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The sinuses are cavities hidden behind the upper facial bones that are located right between the cheeks, eyes, forehead and nose. The air we breathe goes through these passages on the way to the lungs. Sinusitis is a condition wherein this area becomes inflamed causing all sorts of difficulties. This could be due to allergies, obstructions and infections. People who are sensitive to pollen, dust, spores and mold are prone to sinusitis. The growth of tumors, nasal polyps, and other impediments in the region can lead to problems as well, especially if the passages are unusually narrow to begin with.
A temporary episode is called acute sinusitis while an extended bout is categorized as chronic sinusitis. They share very similar symptoms but the former generally occurs due to colds and is gone as soon as the underlying illness has been cured. The latter tends to be more common among patients that have issues with their immune system or have pre-existing conditions like cystic fibrosis or asthma. It is a persistent problem that requires the attention of a qualified physician.
Patients complain that it is often difficult to breathe through their nose. This may be a consequence of narrowing passages due to swelling. It may be a structural abnormality or fracture within the vicinity.
The patients’ sense of taste and smell may be compromised as a result of the illness. They will not be able to fully enjoy their food as these will come across as rather bland.
People suffering from chronic sinusitis will frequently feel pain in the surrounding tissues and organs because of pressure buildup and inflammation. The cheeks and forehead may get sore. The back of the eyes and the nose can become quite painful. Some patients report double vision and other visual impairments.
If the congestion leads to the development of mucus and pus, then the patient may observe the discharge of a yellow green substance from inside the nose. Sometimes it flows on the opposite side to the back of the throat.
Finally, patients may develop sore throat due to irritation. In some cases it degenerates into a persistent cough. This tends to worsen during the nighttime making it hard to get good sleep.
All of these take a huge toll on the body especially since they last for so long. Sinusitis is deemed to be chronic if it lasts for more than four weeks. The accumulated fatigue may begin to affect work and personal life. Consulting an ENT specialist is advised. The doctor will verify the symptoms of chronic sinusitis and formulate a suitable treatment plan.