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What is sinusitis?


Inflammation of the sinus lining is called sinusitis. As explained under the heading nasal blockage, the lining of the nose and sinuses are in continuity. Thus, the correct term used is rhinosinusitis. The lining of the nose is usually inflamed when the sinuses are involved.

What leads to sinusitis?

This condition can be due to an allergy or infection. Several factors play a role in its development. Some oddities of the anatomical structures within the nose can predispose a person to its development.

What are its symptoms?

Rhinosinusitis can cause nasal blockage, and catarrh just like other nose conditions. In addition, patients experience congestion around their eyes, a feeling of heaviness, and an acute episode can lead to pain or headache. Discharge from the nose or a post nasal drip can be discoloured, and occasionally intermingled with spots of blood.

How is it managed?

Examination is important to confirm the diagnosis. A look with an endoscope is essential. Investigations may be required to rule out an underlying allergy that may contribute to rhinosinusitis. If surgery is contemplated a CT (computed tomography) scan is requested.

In its acute phase treatment includes antibiotics, decongestants, and pain killers. Appropriate treatment is needed to prevent the condition from becoming chronic. To prevent another episode, or get relief from chronic symptoms surgery may be required. The surgery is called Endoscopic sinus surgery. As the name suggests it is performed using endoscopes. External cuts are not required. The aim is to open and widen the sinus drainage pathways that are blocked. This assists in drainage of the infection, and resumption of the normal self cleansing mechanism within the sinus lining.

Pain and congestion in the cheek area is seen with sinusitis
Arigid endoscope is an excellent tool to examine the nasal cavities.
Endoscopic image of pus coming out from the sinus.
A CT scan of the sinuses gives a detailed information about the various sinsues involved in sinusitis.
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