Sinus inflammation caused by a cold, allergies, air travel and decreased immune system. Symptoms can be very similar to a bad cold but will last longer. Usually the sinus drainage passages are not completely or mostly blocked as they are in chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis is acute when symptoms occur for 4 weeks or less.
SYMPTOMS: Facial pressure and pain along the sinuses, feeling of a “heavy head”, decreased sense of smell, nasal congestion, thick or purulent nasal drainage, fatigue, poor sleep, nasal blockage, postnasal drip, sore throat, cough, bad breath, ear pressure, ear pain, fever, facial swelling, painful upper teeth
CAUSES: Acute swelling of the lining of the sinuses caused by colds, the flu, allergies, air travel, decreased immune system, stress / fatigue.
DIAGNOSIS: Acute sinusitis is diagnosed from a patient’s history and a good physical exam of the nose and sinus passages. Nasal Endoscopy is a diagnostic tool used to get a clear and through visualization of the inner nose and structures. A CT Scan is usually not needed for acute sinusitis unless the infection is severe or complications results (eye swelling, severe headaches, not improving).
TREATMENT: Medical management is the primary way to treat acute sinusitis. Antibiotics, saline rinses and oral steroids can be used individually or in combination to help resolve the infection. Treating underlying factors like allergies and the flu will also help patients feel better sooner.