Sinusitis: The Scourge of Memphis

This time of the year we see an increase at AFC/Doctors Express of patients with sinusitis, the scourge of Memphis.

Memphis is among the nation’s top 10 allergy and asthma capitals because this area has both high ozone levels and ragweed pollen. Because of this, many Mid-Southerners suffer from sinusitis.

Sinuses are warm, wet, and dark. They are fertile areas for bacteria to grow if thick mucus does not drain properly. Swelling in the sinuses (sinusitis) is usually accompanied by swelling in the nose.

The symptoms of sinusitis can be similar to cold symptoms, but there are some differences. Like a cold, the nose can be congested and runny. Mouth breathing is common when the nose is stuffy. Drainage through the soft palate into the back of the mouth (postnasal drip) is frequent. Pressure and pain around the nose and eyes are common. Sometimes a cough and headache will occur. Thick green mucus is more likely with sinusitis. Sinus patients can have dental pain or bad breath.

Sinusitis means your sinuses are inflamed.

The cause can be an infection or another problem. Your sinuses are hollow air spaces within the bones surrounding the nose. They produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If your nose is swollen, this can block the sinuses and cause pain.

There are several types of sinusitis:

  • Acute, which lasts up to 4 weeks
  • Subacute, which lasts 4 to 12 weeks
  • Chronic, which lasts more than 12 weeks and can continue for months or even years
  • Recurrent, with several attacks within a year

Acute sinusitis often starts as a cold, which then turns into a bacterial infection. Allergies, nasal problems, and certain diseases can also cause acute and chronic sinusitis.

Symptoms of sinusitis can include fever, weakness, fatigue, cough, and congestion. There may also be mucus drainage in the back of the throat, called postnasal drip.

Treatments for sinusitis include antibiotics, decongestants, and pain relievers. Using heat pads on the inflamed area, saline nasal sprays, and vaporizers can also help.

For more on Sinusitis from the The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, click here.

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