Sensitivity to sinuses
Chronic sinusitis occurs when the spaces inside your nose and head (sinuses) become swollen for three months or longer, despite treatment.
This common condition interferes with the way mucus normally comes out and causes your nose to become blocked. Breathing through the nose may be difficult, and you may feel pain or swelling in the area around your eyes.
Chronic sinusitis can be caused by infection, by tissue growths in the sinuses (nasal polyps) or by swelling of the lining of the sinuses. Also called chronic sinusitis, this condition can affect both adults and children.
Common signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:
Nasal discharge that is thick and discolored
A runny nose sliding down the back of the throat (posterior nasal discharge)
stuffy nose or congestion; This makes it difficult to breathe through the nose
Pain, tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
Impaired sense of smell and taste
Other signs and symptoms include:
Pain in the upper jaw and teeth
coughing or sneezing
Symptoms and signs of chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis are similar, but acute sinusitis is a temporary infection of the sinuses, often associated with the common cold. Signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis last at least 12 weeks, but you may have acute episodes of acute sinusitis before the condition develops into chronic sinusitis. A fever isn’t a common sign of chronic sinusitis, but it can appear when you have acute sinusitis.
When do you visit the doctor?
Make an appointment with your doctor if:
You’ve had sinusitis several times, and the condition doesn’t respond to treatment
You have had sinusitis symptoms that last more than 10 days
Your symptoms don’t improve after seeing your doctor
See your doctor right away if you have the following signs or symptoms, which could indicate a serious infection:
Swelling or redness around your eyes
swelling of the forehead
Double or other changes in vision
Common causes of chronic sinusitis include:
Nasal polyps. These tissue growths can block the nasal passages or sinuses.
Deviated nasal septum. A crooked septum — the wall between the nostrils — may restrict or block the sinus passages, making sinusitis symptoms worse.
Other disease states. Complications of conditions such as cystic fibrosis, HIV, and other diseases related to the immune system may lead to a stuffy nose.
Respiratory infection. Respiratory infections — most commonly the common cold — can lead to inflammation and thickening of the sinus membranes and blocking the drainage of mucus. These infections may be viral, bacterial, or fungal.
Allergies such as hay fever. The inflammation that occurs with allergies can block the sinuses.
Your risk of developing chronic sinusitis increases if you have any of the following:
deviated nasal septum
Allergy to aspirin
Immune system disorders, such as HIV/AIDS or cystic fibrosis
Hay fever or another type of allergy
Constant exposure to pollutants, such as cigarette smoking
Serious complications of chronic sinusitis are rare, but may include:
vision problems If sinusitis spreads to the eyeball, it may cause decreased vision or possibly permanent blindness.
Infections. Uncommonly, people with chronic sinusitis may develop inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis), a bone infection, or a serious skin infection.
These steps should be taken to reduce the risk of developing chronic sinusitis:
Avoid upper respiratory infection. Limit contact with people who have colds. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially before meals.
Control types of allergies. Work with your doctor to keep your symptoms under control. Avoid exposure to things you are allergic to as much as possible.
Avoid cigarette smoke and polluted air. Tobacco smoke and air pollutants can irritate your lungs and nasal passages and cause inflammation.
Use a humidifier. If the air in your home is dry, such as if you heated the air, adding moisture to the air may help prevent sinusitis. Make sure the humidifier stays clean and free of mold with regular, thorough cleaning.