Sinus pain, sinus pressure, sinus infection – the
How do the sinuses work?
The sinuses are interconnected hollow cavities located beneath the surface of the human face. The maxillary sinuses are positioned behind the cheekbones, the frontal sinuses are behind the lower forehead, the ethmoid sinuses are between the eyes and nasal bridge and the sphenoid sinuses are within the bones behind the nasal cavity. Each sinus cavity is lined with soft pink tissue called mucosa and covered with little hairs called cilia. This surface lining catches bacteria, allergens and other environmental pollutants that you breathe in through your nose, preventing them from reaching the lungs, just like an air filter in a home works. Within the nasal passages there are ridges known as turbinates that also help this air filtering process.
In order to drain, the sinuses have small openings that allow the mucus to exit, therefore preventing excess buildup. Healthy sinuses clear their mucus every ten minutes. However, if the openings are blocked and normal drainage cannot occur, the sinuses can become inflamed, leading to an uncomfortable condition called sinusitis.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is a condition characterized by a buildup of mucus in the sinuses, which allows bacteria to multiply. This produces an inflammation of the sinus lining and can cause uncomfortable, body-wide symptoms for the many people it affects. In fact, the condition impacts more than 30 million Americans each year, making it one of the most common health problems in the country. Sinusitis symptoms can be detrimental to your quality of life, which is why proper diagnosis and treatment are so important.
What are some sinusitis symptoms?
Here are 13 signs to look for that may indicate the presence of sinusitis:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Facial discomfort, pain and pressure
- Pain in the teeth
- Yellow and green mucus draining from the nose
- Loss of taste
- Painful headaches
- Chronic fatigue
- Bad breath
- Pressure and pain behind the eyes
- Coughing up mucus
- Post nasal drip
- Irritated throat
Are there different types of sinusitis?
There are two different types of sinusitis. Acute sinusitis occurs suddenly and typically develops because of inflammation caused by a common cold, allergies or irritation from environmental pollutants. Saline rinses as well as medicines such as antibiotics and decongestants (if necessary) are usually effective at clearing up symptoms of acute sinusitis within a week or so.
Chronic sinusitis is an inflammation in the nasal passages that lasts 6 weeks or longer. In these cases, the most important thing is to see an experienced otolaryngologist who can evaluate your condition, determine the underlying cause(s) and explain your treatment options. Sinus Center of Atlanta offers a cutting edge in-office procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty that can relieve chronic sinusitis without surgery. For more information about how the procedure works, visit our video learning center.
What are some treatments for relieving sinusitis symptoms?
After a thorough examination, a physician will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for your sinusitis condition. Treatments may include:
- Nasal steroid sprays
- Nasal saline sprays
- Allergy testing
- Balloon Sinuplasty
- Other sinus procedures
Looking for sinusitis treatment in Atlanta?
Don’t let another day of pressure, pain and discomfort keep you from living life to the fullest. Call 770-991-2800 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment with the Sinus Center of Atlanta for a comprehensive diagnosis and evaluation of your sinusitis symptoms. We offer three convenient locations in the Atlanta area.
Not sure how severe your sinus condition is? Take our short sinus evaluation quiz to find out whether you have symptoms suggestive of sinusitis.