About Infected Sinus Cavities

Posted in Sinus Cavities

What is infection of sinus cavity? When sinus cavity is attacked by various pathogenic microorganisms, it leads to microbial growth on nasal fluids. This process is called infection of nasal cavity. This infection may occur due to bacteria, virus and fungus. Most of the cases are found with viral infections. Sinusitis is a medical condition which is caused by inflammation of the sinus cavities within the passageways of the nose. One of the major reasons behind sinusitis is infection; however, it can be caused by allergies and chemical also due to irritation of the sinuses.

Classification of infection of sinus cavity: Sinusitis is classified in a number of ways like acute sinus infection, sub-acute sinus infection, chronic sinus infection, infected sinusitis, and non-infectious sinusitis.  Acute sinusitis is further classified depending on the base of infection such as bacterial, viral, and fungal infections. The duration of acute sinusitis may vary between several days to four weeks.

Viral infection of sinus cavity: The viral infection is the most common sinus infection. It is typically caused by different strains of viruses. Viral infection is also known as an upper respiratory tract infection (cold or flu). The symptoms of viral infections are similar as of common cold, i.e. a runny nose, congestion, sore throat, and coughing. When the viral infections remain untreated, it may convert into a bacterial infection. When sinus infection prolongs up to ten days it is usually diagnosed as viral infection.

Bacterial infection of sinus cavity: The common bacterial infections are Streptococcus pneumoniae, H. influenza, Staphylococcus aureus, anaerobic bacteria, and gram negative bacteria. H. influenza is typical causative organism of bacterial acute sinusitis. These types of bacteria are frequently found in the respiratory tract of healthy human. These will give harmful effects only when the immune system is weakened due to some reason. Swimming in contaminated water is one of the common causes of bacterial infection in the sinus cavity. Bacterial sinusitis is more persistent than viral sinusitis and is more harmful to the human body. Bacterial infection usually lasts between 10-30 days.

Fungal Infection of sinus cavity: Fungal infections are seen for acute time periods but mostly in immune deficient patients like diabetes and AIDS patients. Fungus are typically exists in human body without harming.  They become active when the immune system is suppressed. Fungi may unusually cultivate on living organisms such as the mucus membranes lining in sinus and nasal passages. This infection results into an inflammation of the nasal membranes. Aspergillus fumigatus is a typical example of such fungus.

The fungal infection is further sub-classified as below:

Invasive fungal sinusitis: It is typically caused by Aspergillus Fungus usually in patients with rigorously suppressed immune systems. The common symptoms are nasal obstruction, single sided facial pain, and impaired eye movement.

Non-invasive fungal sinusitis: It is typically originate in patients with medical conditions like allergic rhinitis, asthma, chronic sinusitis, and nasal polyps. The typical symptom includes sinus discomfort, slight inflammation, and thick fungal debris.

Causes of sinus cavity infection: Sinus cavity infections are typically caused by pathogenic microorganism infection in sinuses. The microbes like bacteria, virus, and fungus are usually involved in infection. It is also caused by allergens or pollutants but with less frequency.

Diagnosis of sinus cavity infection: The infections are basically diagnosed on duration basis and usually not require any test. CT scan and ultrasound are sometimes performed by ENT specialist when the case is severe.

Treatment of sinus cavity infections: There is large number of treatments available for sinus infection. The drugs like expectorants (e.g. guaifenesin) are used to enhance nasal drainage, antibiotics (e.g. amoxicillin) to fight against microbial growth, steroids (e.g. prednisone, beclomethasone, fluticasone, triamcinolone, and flunisolide) for their anti-inflammatory effects, nasal decongestants (e.g. phenylephrine, pseudoephedrine, oxymetazoline, naphazoline, and chlorzoxazone) for reducing congestion, pain relieving and anti-inflammatory agents (e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen) for reducing swellings and pain.

The natural remedies for the treatment of infected sinus cavity include drinking plenty of water, hot tea, inhale steam or using a steam vaporizer, taking a hot and steamy shower, ginger, garlic, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, and some vitamin C rich fruits like oranges.

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