Learn how you can ease sinus discomfort.
The sinuses are eight air-filled cavities located within the bones of our face, around our eyes and nose. They play a vital role in ridding the body of unwanted mucus. But when the sinuses become irritated or filled beyond capacity, they become vulnerable to bacteria growth, and you feel terrible.
Typical sinus problems include the following symptoms:
- headaches and tenderness in the face
- pressure around or behind your eyes
- yellow or green mucus
- difficulty breathing through the nose
- post-nasal drip
- a cold that lasts more than 10 days
- a cough
In particular, a sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, is a condition directly caused by a cold. The sinuses specifically around your nose have swollen or become inflamed, stopping mucus from draining.
Some people have very narrow sinuses which block quickly. If you have allergies, it’s important to learn what triggers them, and avoid these triggers.
What treatments are available for my sinus problems?
Some conditions, such as certain allergies, can be resolved with over-the-counter decongestants or nasal sprays. Other more persistent conditions, like sinusitis, may require antibiotics, so it’s important to visit your physician if symptoms last longer than 10 days. He or she may have an X-ray or CT scan made of your sinuses to better view their condition.
In some more severe cases, surgery is needed to provide much-needed relief. There are several types of surgery:
- Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive surgery where a balloon is inserted into the sinus and carefully inflated to widen or reopen one that has been blocked.
- Endoscopic sinus surgery uses a very narrow tube to view the site. The obstruction is then removed.
- Image-guided sinus surgery is another minimally invasive surgery. The doctor uses a CT scan like a map of your nasal passages. This magnified view allows the surgeon to perform endoscopic surgery with great precision.