The sinuses are air filled cavities in our nasal passages that warm and moisturize the air that we breath before it enters our lungs. They are located in the bones of our skull behind the forehead and under the eyes. Sinusitis is the term used when the lining of these cavities becomes inflamed and they fill with fluid. When filled with fluid the sinuses may become blocked. Many different conditions can cause the sinuses to become inflamed and blocked with fluid. Certain infections such as the common cold, respiratory viruses, bacteria and fungi can lead to sinusitis. Allergies can also cause inflammation and blockage, especially at certain times of the year. Sinusitis can either be acute, lasting for less than 4 weeks or chronic, typically lasting more than 8 weeks.
WHO IS AT RISK?
Sinusitis is very common and many people with suffer at least one episode in their lifetimes. Certain people are at higher risk for sinusitis. This includes people with structural changes in their nasal passages, nasal polyps, smokers and those with compromised immune systems. People who suffer from frequent allergies may also be at higher risk.
The symptoms of sinusitis include feeling of congestion, runny nose, facial pain or pressure, headaches, fever and dental pain. When a person with acute sinusitis has runny nose the nasal discharge is often thick and greenish/yellow.
DIAGNOSIS AND SINUSITIS TREATMENT
Typically sinusitis is diagnosed based on the history obtained by your doctor. Your doctor may use a camera called a nasal endoscope can be used to visually examine the insides of your nasal passages. In some cases, imaging studies such as x-ray and CT scan are used to aid in diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is established your doctor may recommend medications to help control symptoms and clear up blockages. These can include saline irrigation, decongestants, nasal sprays and antihistamines. When sinus infections are particularly severe or last more than 10-14 days a bacterial infection is more likely and your doctor may prescribe a course of antibiotics.
HOW PLUSHCARE WORKS
At PlushCare all of our visits are through a simple and convenient phone or video consultation. Our doctors are able to help diagnose sinusitis and recommend an appropriate treatment course. If appropriate, we can provide a prescription for medications such as decongestants, nasal spays and antibiotics. If the doctor prescribes a medication, the prescription will be sent electronically to the pharmacy of your choice for immediate pick-up.