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What is the Best Sinusitis Relief?

Article Details
  • Written By: Karyn Maier
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Images By: Evgenyatamanenko, Alila Medical Media, Vladislav Gajic, Thirteen Of Clubs, Kirillica
  • Last Modified Date: 21 December 2019
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Sinusitis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, the hollow cavities located within the bones of the face and head. Several factors may contribute to the development of sinusitis, such as viral or bacterial infection, allergies, or autoimmune disorders. Symptoms typically include sinus congestion and pressure, increased mucous secretions, headache, cough, and postnasal drip. Determining the best sinusitis relief depends on whether the condition is acute or chronic.

Acute sinusitis is defined as a rapid onset of sinus inflammation of a short duration, usually four weeks or less. This form of sinusitis most commonly follows a lingering head cold that graduates to a bacterial infection of the upper respiratory tract. Acute episodes of sinusitis may also be triggered by fungal infections in individuals with autoimmune disorders.

Chronic sinusitis is more persistent, lasting for eight weeks or more. While common culprits also include bacterial or fungal infections, chronic sinusitis is usually more closely associated with allergies, environmental irritants, and structural disorders, such as a deviated septum.

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The best acute sinusitis relief is to simply allow the cold or viral infection to run its course. Sinus headache may be controlled with the use of over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, while congestion may be minimized with decongestants. If symptoms continue, however, short-term antibiotic therapy may be pursued. Sometimes, nasal corticosteroid sprays are introduced either singularly or in conjunction with antibiotics. A relatively new treatment for acute sinusitis relief is the use of anti-microbial nasal sprays to check various strains of Streptococci.

In terms of chronic sinusitis relief, regular nasal irrigation with ordinary saline (saltwater) may be the best treatment since the condition typically stems from a recurring exposure to allergens or environmental irritants. Depending on the severity of symptoms, long-term antibiotic therapy may be recommended as well as the use of oral steroids, such as prednisone. In cases where a structural or anatomical disorder exists, surgery may be indicated. Common procedures performed to relieve chronic sinusitis include the removal of polyps, functional endoscopic sinus surgery to eliminate obstructions, and balloon sinuplasty to enlarge the opening of the sinus cavities.

Another strategy to consider, regardless of whether the condition is acute or chronic, is the aggressive management of allergies and asthma. Allergies can create a cyclic pattern of sinusitis episodes and further aggravate asthma symptoms. If either asthma or severe allergies are part of the equation, a comprehensive diagnostic workup should be performed to determine the best preventative measures to avoid the complications of sinusitis.

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