Most people are not able to differentiate between common colds and a sinus infection. Sinus infection occurs when the sinus openings become swollen as a result of fungal or bacterial infections. Sinuses are the air spaces found in the skull along the nasal cavity. They are lined with mucus membranes that permit air circulation in the body.
You are likely to get this infection when your nasal hair follicles fail to function making it easy for dust particles to enter into the nasal cavity. Another cause may be a common cold which leads to accumulation of mucus in the sinuses and bacteria and fungus are able to thrive in this moist condition.
Types of Sinus infection
It is not easy to determine the type of infection that you may be suffering from but sometimes you can use the time duration differences to among various types of sinus infection to figure it out. There are two common types of the infections:
- Acuteinfection: It occurs when the upper breathing track is invaded by bacteria or virus. This is characterized by difficulty in breathing, swollen sinuses and pain when blowing your nose. These symptoms last for less than a month.
- Chronic sinus infection: This causes severe inflammation of the sinuses leading to breathing problems, headache, and severe coughing during the night. The condition may worsen, leading to a greenish mucus discharge from the nose. Symptoms may last for a long period of time – approximately three months.
Predisposing factors of Sinus infections
Children or adults are likely to get Sinus infections especially when exposed to some conditions like:
- Smoking: Individuals who smoke are likely to get this infection due to the chemical nicotine which is found in cigarettes. This chemical tends to block the respiratory system leading to germs and bacterial accumulation in the nasal cavity which can cause severe infection.
- Fever: Mild or severe fever may lead to this condition especially when there is accumulation of mucus in the nose which allow dust particles to enter and germs are able to survive.
- Compromised Immunesystem: People who have other complications like Tuberculosis or HIV infections are likely to get infected.
- Climate: If you travel to an area of high altitude the chances of infection are high since moist conditions germs and bacteria to survive.
- Allergies: People with different types of allergic problems may be affected due to colds which tend to plague them more frequently.
Prevention and Treatment of Sinus infection
Before the infection gets transmitted to you or your family members, it is easy to prevent it and if sinus infection has already affected you need to get quick treatment.
- You can drink a lot of fluids like water to make the mucus thin in order to discharge easily hence minimizing germs accumulation.
- Avoid going to places with allergic triggers like fields when flowers are in bloom if you have pollen grains allergy.
- Always cover your face with clean blankets while sleeping to prevent colds. Also when traveling to high altitude areas carry nasal saline and spray your nose with it often.
- Seek medication from a doctor who will give you antibiotics to boost your immune system and prevent severe conditions. You can also take your children for post nasal treatment which helps in softening the mucus to enhance breathing and get rid of the infection.
It is clear that infections like colds or fever can cause discomfort to our bodies and consequently lead to severe infections. This should not make you worry. All you have to do, is make sure that you do not expose yourself to avoidable conditions which may cause Sinus infection or other related conditions.
Also Check this article about Negative effects of a stuffy nose