Sinusitis: Learn About The Allergens Behind It

Our sinuses are empty cavities filled with air and a thin layer of tissue called the mucosa. When the soft pink tissue or the mucosa becomes congested with mucus, the tissue swells resulting in sinusitis. Sinusitis is a condition characterized by an inflammation of the tissues that line the four sinus cavities or the body’s nasal passages. This inflammation can be caused by either virus, bacterial growth, or allergens. 

In this post, our experts at IBO, a medical center in Sharjah, provides us an overview of sinusitis, its symptoms, treatment, and a few of the common allergens behind it. 

Classifications Of Sinusitis

Sinusitis can be classified by severity – accordingly, these are acute and chronic sinusitis. 

Acute Sinusitis

Otherwise known as Rhinosinusitis, this condition is fairly prevalent among people across different age groups. Although acute sinusitis develops relatively faster than chronic sinusitis, it lasts shorter. Most cases resolve after a week or two. The common cold usually causes this type of sinusitis. The symptoms for acute sinusitis include nasal obstruction or congestion, facial pain, especially on the sinus cavities), headache, cough, and runny nose. Patients may also experience fever and pressure in the ears. 

Chronic Sinusitis

Sinusitis is classified as chronic when the condition persists for more than three months despite numerous treatments. Although acute and chronic sinusitis has similar symptoms, the duration of the condition differentiates the two. While patients experience acute sinusitis temporarily or in the short term, sufferers of chronic sinusitis endure it for months. When left untreated, chronic sinusitis causes complications, including vision problems and other infections such as meningitis. 

Other Symptoms 

As previously mentioned, common sinusitis symptoms of sinusitis include a congested nose, headache, and runny nose. Infections in the sinus usually start with cold-like symptoms, and as it progresses, the individual experiences pain and pressure in the sinus cavities. Other symptoms include: 

  • Bad breath
  • Puffiness around the eyes/ swollen eyelids
  • A feeling of tenderness in your face or nasal blockage
  • Fatigue or extreme tiredness
  • Pus in the sinus
  • Sore Throat 
  • Teary eyes

Causes Of Sinusitis

As previously mentioned, sinusitis occurs when the mucosa swells. Common colds, respiratory infections, and tissue irritants such as over the counter nasal sprays and cigarette smoking can cause sinusitis. Allergens, including pollen, animal dander, dust, and certain fragrances cause the swelling of the sinus cavities, resulting in sinusitis. Other allergens include:

  • Mold
  • Houseplants 
  • Smoke
  • Dust mites
  • Fumes from cleaning products/ toiletries

Inhaling these allergens can cause sinusitis. It’s crucial to avoid environments that have these allergens.

Treatment

Your healthcare provider can prescribe you with over the counter medicines that help relieve the symptoms of sinusitis. Depending on the cause of your condition, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics. For extreme or severe sinusitis, expect prolonged treatment. It is crucial not to purchase antibiotics without a prescription to avoid misuse and incorrect dosage. This misuse often results in bacterial resistance.

Ensure to seek the help of your doctor if your symptoms persist. The experts at our department of family medicine can help you with your condition. Contact us today for more information.