(Sinus Infection; Acute Sinusitis; Chronic Sinusitis)
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- Streptococcus pneumoniae
- Haemophilus influenzae
- Moraxella catarrhalis
- Recent viral infection
- Smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke
- Other sources of indoor or outdoor air pollution
- Allergies, particularly hay fever and asthma
- Abnormalities of the facial bones, sinuses, or nasal passages, such as:
- Certain chronic illnesses, including:
- HIV infection and other disorders of the immune system
- Head injury or a medical condition requiring a tube to be inserted into the nose
- Cocaine and other drugs inhaled through the nose
- Facial pain or pressure that increases when you bend over or press on the area
- Nasal congestion not responding well to either decongestants or antihistamines
- Runny nose or postnasal drip
- Thick, yellow, or green mucus
- Bad breath
- Cough, often worse at night
- Ear pain, pressure, or fullness
- Dental pain
- Facial congestion or fullness
- Holding a flashlight up to the sinuses to see if they are illuminated
- CT scan or Xray of the sinuses to look for fluid in the sinus
- Removing sinus fluid through a needle for testing (rare)
- Endoscopic examination of the sinuses—threading a tiny, lighted tube into the nasal cavities to view the sinus opening
- History of 10 or more days of colored mucus
- Tenderness over the sinuses
- Visible infected mucus in the nose
- Difficulty smelling
- Hydrating—Drinking lots of fluids may keep your nasal secretions thin. This will avoid plugging up your nasal passages and sinuses. Salt water nose sprays or irrigation may also loosen nasal secretions.
- Using steam treatments—Keep a humidifier running in your bedroom. Fill a bowl with steaming water every couple of hours. Make a steam tent with a towel over your head. This will let you breathe in the steam.
- Nasal and sinus washes
- Decongestants—Use either decongestant pills or nasal sprays to shrink nasal passages. Do not use nasal sprays for longer than 3-4 days in a row.
- Intranasal corticosteroids—These are inhaled directly into your nose through a nasal spray. Corticosteroids may help relieve congestion by decreasing swelling in the lining of the nose in people with allergies.
- Antihistamines—Allergy medicines called antihistamines may help sinusitis symptoms if they are caused by allergies. However, they may also dry out the nose.
- Guaifenesin—This medicine can help you cough up secretions, but hydration is more effective.
- Antibiotics—Your doctor may decide to give you antibiotics if the infection seems to be caused by bacteria. Although, studies have shown that antibiotics are not effective in treating acute sinusitis.
Over-the-counter medicine—You can use
, or aspirin to treat sinus pain.
- Note: Aspirin is not recommended for children or teens with a current or recent viral infection. This is because of the risk of Reye's syndrome . Ask your doctor which other medicines are safe for your child.
- Repair of a deviated septum
- Removal of nasal polyps
- Functional endoscopic sinus surgery—a lighted scope is used to enlarge the sinuses to improve drainage
- Balloon sinuplasty—a tube with a balloon attached is inserted into the sinuses (the balloon is inflated to open the sinus passages)
- Have allergy testing to find out what things you are allergic to and to learn how to treat your allergies.
- Avoid substances you know you are allergic to.
- If you have allergies, consider using cortisone nasal spray or antihistamines to decrease inflammation.
- If you get a cold, drink lots of fluids and use a decongestant (either pills or nasal spray).
- Sinus washes.
- Blow your nose gently, while pressing one nostril closed.
- Try not to fly in an airplane when you are congested. If you must fly, use a nasal spray decongestant to decrease inflammation prior to takeoff and landing.
- Use a humidifier when you have a cold, allergic symptoms, or sinusitis.
- Use High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters for your furnace and vacuum cleaner to remove allergens from the air.
- Avoid cigarette smoke.
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery http://www.entnet.org
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases http://www.niaid.nih.gov
Allergy Asthma Information Association http://aaia.ca
Calgary Allergy Network http://www.calgaryallergy.ca
Fact sheet: allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, and rhinosinusitis. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/rhinitis.cfm . Accessed June 22, 2008.
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Medical Center of McKinney. So long, sinusitis. Medical Center of McKinney website. Available at: http://medicalcenterofmckinney.com/your-health/?/11554/Sinusitis . Published May 26, 2010. Accessed June 10, 2010.
Medications for sinusitis. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary . Updated September 2009. Accessed December 11, 2009.
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Sinus infection (sinusitis). National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health (NIH) website. Available at: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/sinusitis/Pages/index.aspx . Accessed June 22, 2008.
Sinusitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Accessed November 10, 2007.
Stewart AE, Vaughan WC. Balloon sinuplasty versus surgical management of chronic rhinosinusitis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep . 2010;10(3):181-187.
1/10/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Williamson IG, Rumsby K, Benge S, et al. Antibiotics and topical nasal steroid for treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA . 2007;298:2487-2496.
12/11/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Zalmanovici A, Yaphe J. Intranasal steroids for acute sinusitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev . 2009;(4):CD005149.