Face pain? Sinuses acting up?

The sinuses are four pairs of hollow spaces in the bones of your face.   The hollow spaces are lined with tissue that makes thin, watery mucus.  The sinuses connect to each other and drain through the nose.  Can you tell there are many problems that can cause this system to not work as intended?

“Sinusitis” is swelling of the sinus lining.  It can last for a week or for months.  Chronic sinusitis lasts for more than 12 weeks.

Cause of sinus infections? Most common is a virus.  When the virus makes sinus mucus thick and sticky, the sinuses don’t drain well.  Bacteria then can grow in the mucus.

Who gets sinus infections?  Anyone.  More common in those with nasal allergies, hay fever, asthma, cigarette smokers, deviated septum or changes in pressure (like when flying or scuba diving).

Symptoms may include headache, fever, nasal congestion and runny nose, sore throat, bad breath, less sense of smell or taste, pain/pressure in forehead, nose or between the eyes.

Treatment?  Most people clear sinusitis on their own over a week.  Drink fluids (to keep mucus thin).  Sleep with your head propped up and sit in a steamy shower (to help the sinuses drain).  Take over the counter pain medication to help with facial pain and headaches.

See the doctor when symptoms last more than 7 days, the headache does not get better with over-the-counter pain medicine, vision changes or swelling around the eyes, fever above 100.4 F, or symptoms not better after a course of antibiotics.

Want to know more?  http://www.entnet.org/healthinformation/sinusitis.cfm

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About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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