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Pain is one of the symptoms of sinusitis, and it can be annoying that you may want to consult a Singapore otolaryngologist right away. People have different sinuses – behind the nose, below the eyes, and above the eyes. Any of the said areas can hurt when you have infected sinuses. Many people believe that ignorance is bliss, and you will not get hurt by something if you are unaware of its existence. But, it is not the same when it comes to sinusitis.

To prepare yourself, you need to know what sinusitis is, its symptoms, potential signs, contributing factors, and how it is diagnosed.

What is Sinusitis?

Doctors often use the term rhinosinusitis, which came from the word rhino that means nose and sinus. Most people simply call it sinusitis, which refers to the inflammation of sinuses. The sinuses are air-filled cavities that can be found at the back of upper facial bones.

Sinusitis may involve 4 pairs of sinuses namely sphenoid, ethmoidal air cells, frontal, and maxillary. Among the pairs, the maxillary sinuses are the biggest. The nasal cavity’s mucous membranes may also be involved.

If you have sinusitis, the secretions of mucous in your nasal passages are directly involved in the ongoing changes in the pathology of the surrounding tissue and bone.

Contributing Factors

The following are the contributing causal factors:

  • Allergic conditions
  • Anatomic abnormalities
  • Malfunctioning neuro system
  • Congenital conditions such as syndromic disorders, cystic fibrosis
  • Benign or malignant tumor growths
  • Immune system issues
  • Systemic diseases

The following are the environmental factors:

  • Chemical agents
  • Medications
  • Surgical procedures
  • Trauma to the affected area
  • Fungal, bacterial, or viral infections

Signs and Symptoms of Sinusitis

Each of the 4 pairs of sinuses has a mucous drainage opening. When the natural process of mucous drainage is blocked, expect that chronic sinus inflammation will surely happen. The following are the minor and major symptoms or factors of sinusitis:

  • Halitosis or bad breath
  • Clicking in ears
  • Dental pain
  • Nasal passages that are congested
  • Yellowish to yellow-green discharge
  • Pain in the ear
  • Facial pain
  • Facial fullness or pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Fever (only in the presence of additional symptoms)
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Pharyngitis or hoarseness
  • Pus in the nose during the physical exam
  • Persistent coughing
  • Diminished or loss of sense of smell
  • Sneezing
  • Blockage or stuffiness in ears
  • Postnasal drainage that is thick-colored

You will be able to recognize that you have sinusitis by looking at the symptoms stated above. You may have more than one symptom and may even come in complex combinations.

Diagnosis

The doctor usually reviews the medical history of the patient and performs a full clinical examination to come up with a proper diagnosis. Patients suffering from complications of sinusitis known as mucocele or those who need medical treatment should undergo radiologic evaluation. When a patient needs radiologic evaluation, he should prepare himself for a CT scan. The most useful scans are those with reconstructed sagittal, coronal, and axial views.

The clinical examinations include nasal endoscopy and rhinoscopy. These procedures can be done effectively under local or topical anesthesia. For optimum viewing, it is more beneficial to use rigid nasal endoscopy. It allows the doctor to view the sinuses from various angles with the different angled Hopkins telescopes. An image-guided culture can be carefully and effectively done without too much contamination from the nasal cavity. This can help a lot in improving the isolation of bacteria or fungal organisms.

Recurrent acute sinusitis may occur when the symptoms and physical findings show worsening of the condition after 5 days from the day that it has been confirmed that the patient has sinusitis or remained the same after 10 days. The condition may continue to persist for up to 4 weeks. Moreover, without antibiotic therapy, as many as 4 episodes usually happen in a year.

CT scan is the standard radiologic examination for sinusitis imaging. This is done in both axial and coronal views. It is done occasionally in sagittal reconstruction. CT scan evaluations are more precise and far superior than the traditional or conventional imaging used in viewing the sinuses that have a problem. The CT scan can show the relationship of the sinuses to the brain and the orbit. These revelations are vital in making proper diagnosis and treatment.

The MRI examination is based on mucosa’s protein and water signals. It will not be able to define the difference between viral and bacterial infections. However, it is useful when evaluating fungal sinusitis as well as patients that have fluid collections in the brain area or orbit.

Radiologic studies are commonly done to evaluate the severity of the disease in patients suffering from acute sinusitis. After the clinical diagnosis has been completed, the doctor will proceed to develop a suitable medical treatment for the patient.