All You Need to Know About Acute Bacterial Sinusitis

Posted in Sinusitis

The human body consists of four sinuses namely the Ethmoid, Frontal, Maxillary and Sphenoid sinuses.  When these sinus cavities contract infection due to bacteria, a condition called acute bacterial sinusitis occurs.  This type of sinusitis is common among children as they are vulnerable to exposure from people who carry contagious bacteria.  Acute bacterial sinusitis usually begins by catching a cold and is normally lasts up to a month.  If acute bacterial sinusitis is not treated immediately and it goes beyond 6 weeks, it will already be considered as chronic sinusitis.

At the first stages of acute bacterial sinusitis, it is usually viral in nature.  This condition normally starts with a cold or an allergy attack leading to the inflammation of the sinuses.  When this happens, the nasal passages can’t drain the fluids stuck inside.  Eventually, the congestion becomes even more infected.

Acute bacterial sinusitis goes with a number of symptoms.  Patients may experience severe headache or feelings of facial fullness, yellow or green secretions accompanied by frequent cough and sneezing, sore throat and even bad breath.  At times, the same bacteria that causes acute bacterial sinusitis is also responsible for ear infections.  More often than not, acute bacterial sinusitis patients are also feverish.

The factors attributed to contracting acute bacterial sinusitis are Streptococcus bacteria species that include Moraxella and Pneumococcus.  But acute bacterial sinusitis is not exclusively caused by bacteria – viral infection in the upper respiratory area can be a culprit as well.

There are a number of known treatments for acute bacterial sinusitis.  Ordinarily, antibiotics are being utilized to remedy the symptoms.  With the right dosage, antibiotics can provide relief if taken for 3 to 4 weeks and continued for a week more after the symptoms have fluctuated.

In case a certain antibiotic is ineffective and the symptoms have alleviated, it is important to switch to another one because continued use of antibiotics without any positive results could lead to bacterial resistance.

Besides antibiotics, nasal decongestants can also be taken.  These nasal decongestants come in various forms: oral spray or drops.  However, it is not advised to proceed with using this substance without any go signal from a medical specialist.

Compared to the ordinary colds or allergy, proper medical diagnosis is a prerequisite for acute bacterial sinusitis in order to avoid complications in the long run.  The good news is acute bacterial sinusitis has a high success rate of treatment by antibiotics alone.  Should the infection be non-responsive to the first choice of antibiotics, a second course of antibiotic treatment is prescribed.

The main reason why antibiotic is being utilized for acute bacterial sinusitis is to keep the infection from spreading and create further complications.  If not treated with urgency, acute bacterial sinusitis can affect the eyes or worse, lead to bacterial meningitis.  Brain abscess is likely to be a complication as well.

Meanwhile, some patients are conscious of the side effects that antibiotics and nasal decongestants could trigger.  They seek alternative treatment methods in overcoming acute bacterial sinusitis such as yoga and acupuncture.

There are instances though that acute bacterial sinusitis has advanced to a stage that medications no longer work.  If the condition has gone for months, medical professionals advise patients to undergo surgery for sinusitis.

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