What is a Sinus Infection?

A sinus infection can be a painful ordeal. A sinus infection is an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages. A sinus infection can cause pain in the head, which is where the sinuses are located. The pain of the sinus infection can result in a headache, pressure in the eyes, nose, upper cheek area, or on one side of the head. Also a person with a sinus infection may have a cough, fever, bad breath, and nasal congestion. The congestion can result into secretions of thick mucus from the nasal passages. Sinus infections are categorized as either acute or chronic. Chronic is the most common of the two.

To further understand a sinus infection I will give further detail of the anatomy of the sinuses, otherwise known as paranasal sinuses. The human skull contains four pairs of hollow air filled cavities. These cavities are your sinuses and are located in different parts of the head. The frontal sinuses are located in the forehead. The maxillary sinuses are located behind the cheek bones. The ethmoid sinuses are located between the eyes. The last pair of sinuses, the sphenoid sinuses, are located behind the eyes. This is a brief description of the anatomy of the sinuses. All of these contain defenses against viruses and bacteria. When the normal defenses are disrupted it may allow for bacteria normally present in the nasal passages to enter the sinuses thus causing a sinus infection.

As I discussed earlier there are two types of sinus infections acute and chronic. Acute sinus infections usually last less than eight weeks or can happen only up to three times a year with ten days per infection. Medication is normally effective against this type of infection. Acute sinus infections normally follow a viral infection in your upper lungs, but allergens can also cause sinus infections. On the other hand chronic sinus infections last longer than eight weeks or occur more than four times a year with each episode lasting more than twenty days. To prevent sinus infections be properly treated for a cold or symptoms resembling a cold. This way it cannot become a sinus infection. Also taking vitamins can prevent you from becoming sick. If you feel that you are experiencing discomfort in your sinuses and such over the counter medications as Sudafed are not working make an appointment with your doctor.