Nose infection, also known as Sinusitis, occurs when your nasal passage becomes inflamed, infected and swollen. When the healthy sinuses become filled or blocked with fluid, germs grow and lead to infection. Sinus infection or nose infection usually occurs if the lining of your nose become swollen, if small nasal polyps grow in the lining of your nasal passage, if you catch a cold, or if the thin walls separating your left and right nasal passages shift to one side. The common symptoms of nose infection are- severe headache, sinus pressure at the back of your cheeks and eyes, a stuffy runny nose, cough, fever and fatigue.
Nose infection is of two types- acute and chronic. Acute sinus infection results from a cold or any other respiratory disorder, while chronic sinus infection is caused by allergies, deviated septum, nasal polyps, and infections in your respiratory tract.
Nose or sinus infection is usually treated with antibiotic medications, decongestants and corticosteroids, ibuprofen or paracetamol drugs.
Your doctor will first look and feel for sensitivity in your face and nose before starting with the tests. The common methods of diagnosis include nasal endoscopy, nasal cultures, allergy test and imaging test. During nasal endoscopy a flexible thin tube with fiber-optic light, known as endoscope, is inserted through the nose which allows your doctor to look inside your nasal cavity. An allergy skin test is recommended if your doctor feels the infection is caused due to some allergy. An MRI or CT scan is performed to take images of the nasal area which helps your doctor detect an inflammation or infection.
Nose infection treatment options include- saline nasal irrigation which uses nasal solutions or sprays to reduce drainage and wash away allergies. Nasal corticosteroids like Fluticasone, Triamcinolone, Mometasone, Beclomethanese etc are given to treat and prevent inflammation, especially if you have nasal polyps. Antibiotics are prescribed if the sinusitis has developed from bacterial infections. Immunotherapy or allergy shots help ease symptoms of specific allergens.
If medications fail, the doctor will perform an endoscopic sinus surgery by using different instruments eliminate the tissues or polyps that are causing blockage in the nasal passage.
People who see signs of swelling or inflammation inside the nasal passage, blockage in the passage, severe headache and pain on the forehead and around the eyes are most likely to suffer from Sinusitis or nose infection. If you have growths of nasal polyps in the lining of your nasal cavity or a deviated septum resulting in sinus, then you are eligible for the treatment.
Mild headache or an ordinary cold does not necessarily indicate signs of a nose infection, and usually disappear on their own. If you do not observe symptoms of sinusitis, then you need not undergo any treatment.
An endoscopic sinus surgery may lead to serious complications or side effects such as bleeding, pain, damage to the eyes, damage to skull base resulting in brain abscess or meningitis, a reduced sense of taste or smell, chronic nasal drainage etc. If the surgery does not work out, the condition may recur or deteriorate. Certain antibiotic and corticosteroid drugs may also cause side effects such as easy bruising, diabetes, weight gain, glaucoma and osteoporosis.
Anybody who has gone through a sinus surgery or treatment must follow these guidelines- refrain from smoking, avoid interacting with people with respiratory problems and cold, keep yourself vaccinated, maintain good hygiene and use an air purifier or air conditioner at home to keep the surrounding air clean, avoid exposure to pollution like in roads, and follow the medicines prescribed by the doctor.
It usually takes less than 4 weeks to recover from acute sinus infection, while long-term or chronic sinus infection can take up to 12 weeks. In some cases, the condition may even relapse so it is advisable to follow the post treatment guidelines to keep away from the infection.
The price of nose infection or sinusitis treatment varies from one city to another, depending upon the procedure used. While the cost of antibacterial medicines and corticosteroids vary between Rs.500 to Rs.5000, the cost of an endoscopic sinus surgery usually starts from Rs.25,000 and can go up to Rs.70,000.
The treatment results are not permanent. Although short-term sinus can be cured with the help of decongestants and steroids, chronic sinus may relapse after a few months if you do not follow post treatment guidelines. The surgery may not always yield positive results and may lead to various complications.
Alternative treatment for nose infection can be Ayurvedic therapy like Nasyam massage treatment. During this procedure, medicated powder or juice and herbal oils are applied through the nostrils. This therapy is very effective in treating a headache or ENT related disorders such as sinusitis, migraine, ear, nose or throat.