A lot of us don’t even know we have sinuses until they painfully make their presence known. Sinuses themselves are not a problem. They’re merely hollowed air spaces in the bones between our eyes, in the forehead, and behind the cheekbones. The job of a sinus is to make mucus which keeps the nose’s interior area moist. This offers protection against allergens, pollutants, and dust.
So why do our normally well-functioning sinuses suddenly start acting out and cause us unbearable pain? Enter sinusitis.
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammatory condition in which the tissues lining the sinuses swell up. Healthy sinuses are usually filled with air. But when sinusitis gets triggered, they get filled and blocked with germs and fluids that grow into an infection. Some common conditions that cause sinusitis are:
- Common cold
- Allergic rhinitis, in which the lining of the nose swells up
- Nasal polyps, growths found in the lining of the nose
- A deviated septum
Sinusitis is a normal condition that many people experience. In fact, around 35 million Americans contract sinusitis at least once a year.
Chronic vs. Acute Sinusitis
Sinusitis is usually of two types:
Acute Sinusitis: An acute sinusitis infection lasts for a short time that’s less than four weeks. It usually happens in correlation to colds or other common respiratory conditions.
Chronic Sinusitis: A chronic sinusitis infection lasts more than twelve weeks and recurs continually. It’s accompanied by facial pain, congestion, infected nasal discharge, and nosebleeds.
What Causes Nosebleeds?
Have you ever wiped your nose and spotted it was bleeding profusely? A nosebleed is generally no cause for panic, they’re actually quite common. In the United States, one out of every seven people will get a nosebleed at some point.
While most nosebleeds happen spontaneously without any cause or reason, if you’re getting them repeatedly, it can be due to a certain reason, such as:
- Dry climates or heated air
- Picking or rubbing your nose too hard
- A common cold
- Blowing your nose repeatedly or forcefully
- A nasal injury
- A sinus infection
When to See a Doctor
Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you suspect sinusitis, have a fever, congestion, facial pain, nasal discharge, or nosebleeds that keep coming back. Treating sinusitis in time will help you cure avoidable pain and discomfort.
About Dr. Paul Drago
Are you having trouble with your eyes, nose, or throat? Visit the leading ENT specialist in Greenville, SC, Dr. Paul C. Drago MD. We provide professional ENT care that treats a variety of medical issues. Schedule an appointment today to receive expert care.