What is an Abscess in the Sinus Cavity

Posted in Sinus Cavities

An abscess is an accumulation of pus which is formed due an infection. It can occur anywhere in the human body and the sinus cavity is no exception as it communicates with various areas via tracts. Abscesses can be formed in the sinus cavity due to infection by bacteria or viruses. Sometimes even a case of sinusitis can lead to the formation of an abscess in the sinus cavity. The foreign micro-organisms stimulate the defense system of the body into action and white blood cells are sent to deal with the infection. Here, pus is formed which is a combination of dead white blood cells, dead tissue and bacteria or any foreign substance that has caused the infection. This accumulation of this pus forms an abscess.

There are many abscesses that require complicated treatment modalities however an abscess in the sinus cavity is one condition which can be resolved by the use of antibiotics if the treatment is started on time. Only cases that avoid getting proper medical attention on time progress to a stage where surgery is required. The first thing to do is establish a proper diagnosis when such a patient turns up. Recording proper clinical history is very important along with physical examination to establish a definite diagnosis. Radiographs will not be of much use unless the infection has progressed to a level where there is enlargement of the sinus cavity. The patient can be advised to undergo blood tests to help in confirming the infection. There are a few symptoms that the patient can report which are mentioned below:-

  1. Pain or pressure in the sinus region due to pus accumulation.
  2. Nagging headaches.
  3. Features of toxemia- fever, loss of appetite
  4. Discharge from the nose.
  5. In severe cases the swelling might show on the face.

Once the diagnosis has been established then the treatment is started without any delay. The patient is started on a course of antibiotics. The patient is advised bed rest for a few days and drainage is established to help in reducing the pain and the swelling. Sometimes a combination of antihistamines and antibiotics is employed. Once the infection subsides then the swelling reduces automatically. In case the medications do not work then in certain cases surgery may need to be done to drain the infected mucus.

After the surgery the patient is prescribe antibiotics for a few days so that the infection goes away completely. However, after the surgery there are certain instructions that the patient is asked to follow on a routine basis. The patient is asked to avoid smoking and going to places where the level of air-pollution is high. Also the patient is asked to avoid coming in close proximity of people who are suffering from respiratory infections.  The patient is told to follow a proper and healthy dietary lifestyle and ensure that proper hygiene is maintained around the house to prevent any recurrence. Also exercise and a good cardio workout prove beneficial in such cases.

There can be a lot of complications if the infection is not taken care of in a proper manner so timely intervention is very important. If you or anyone in the house complains of breathing problems along with the above mentioned problems then you should not waste time and fix up an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible. Make sure that a proper history is given to help in the diagnosis. And take the prescribed medicines on time along with a good period of bed rest so that relief is achieved soon without any complications.

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