Sinus infections can occur acutely or chronically as a result of bacteria, viruses or fungi. The sinus is the cavity behind your cheeks, behind your eyebrows, and between your two eyes. Sinus cavity contains air and mucous membranes that are useful for filtering the air we breathe.
The sinus membrane produces mucus and circulates it into the nasal passages. It aims to help remove dust, particles or microbes from the air we breathe.
Causes of sinus infections
The sinuses become infected when the sinus cavities or sinus mucous membranes become inflamed due to viruses, fungi or bacteria. Usually if the sinus is blocked it will experience this infection or inflammation.
The terms “sinusitis” and “sinus infection” are often used interchangeably. But sinusitis only leads to inflammation of the sinuses either due to infection or not. In the medical world, the term for sinusitis is called rhinosinusitis, this disease affects the nose and sinuses.
How Common Are Sinus Problems and Chronic Sinus Issues?
Every year, Americans have an average sinus problem of as many as 31 million people and spend about 1 billion dollars to purchase medicines freely, and spend $ 150 million dollars on prescription drugs. As stated by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. This is what happens in short-term sinus infections.
While chronic sinus or long-term sinus is the most common disease in America, and this disease has affected as many as 15% of the population, said the American Rhinologic Society.
How long does sinusitis last?
Sinusitis is grouped into two: chronic and acute sinus. Acute sinuses experience sinus symptoms and inflammation and progress rapidly within 7 to 10 days if this is caused by a viral infection. But it can last longer up to 4 weeks if this is caused by a bacterial infection.
While chronic sinus, is an inflammatory disease of the sinuses that lasts long, usually can last 12 weeks, some are even months or even years. People often call it a chronic runny nose.
Besides being classified into acute and chronic, sinusitis is also grouped to:
- Subacute: Symptoms last more than 4 weeks but less than 12 weeks
- Recurrent acute: There are four episodes of acute sinus infection in a year.
- Acute exacerbation of chronic rhinosinusitis: This sinus has worsening symptoms in people with chronic.
Having sinus symptoms all the time does not mean you have sinus disease or sinusitis.
Also see: Benefits of Spearmint Essential Oil
Is It a Sinus Infection, Cold, or Allergy?
Sinus infections sometimes show symptoms similar to cold. So, cold, allergies and sinus symptoms sometimes have similarities including clogged and headaches. Also, colds and allergies are health conditions that can develop into sinuses. So, how exactly do you know if someone has these diseases, where do we distinguish symptoms?
Even doctors sometimes find it difficult to distinguish, which is sinus, cold, and allergic. So, please note that the disease is indeed different.
A typical sign if your sinuses are lodged with disease. Colds, snot, can sometimes occur, but if it’s a sinus infection you will feel pain, usually you feel a painful sensation and painful pressure on your face, teeth and ears.
There are other sinusistic symptoms, postnasal drip or entry of mucus into the back of the throat, the sense of smell becomes reduced, bad breath (in patients with sinusitis sometimes causes bad breath).
Mucus due to sinus infection is usually green or yellow, but the color is not enough to prove that someone is having sinusitis. So, there are many reasons for nasal expulsion.
Allergies and colds cause sneezing, and these symptoms are usually not seen in sinusitis. Allergies do not cause fever, and this fever exists in colds or sinusitis. If your symptoms are running for 10 days, this is likely you are not having a cold.
Also see: 5 Best Essential Oils For Shingles
Are Sinus Infections Contagious?
Actually, sinusitis is not a contagious disease but it also depends on what causes the inflammation that occurs. Someone with a particular infectious disease sometimes also develops into sinusitis and this type is sometimes contagious.
Sinus and nasal obstruction causes sinus infections. A healthy person, mucosal secretions always move, and flow into the nasal cavity. Well, if a blockage occurs then this mucus cannot flow properly. This is what causes the level of mucus to become thick, and clog the nasal cavity.
When thickened, the cilia will also slow down in sweeping and cleaning them. This is the reason why mucus is increasingly difficult to flow. When conditions such as (mucus do not flow), then this will be a perfect medium for the development of microbes and eventually cause infection.
Some causes of sinus blockage
Sinus congestion is due to many things and this can occur due to environmental, anatomical, genetic factors, but among the many causes of sinus, the most common are inflammation, swelling, allergies and colds.
Common Colds and Sinus Infections
A very common cause of sinus infections is flu, which is related to viruses. This is also known as sinusitis virus. This virus can move to other people and cause the same thing, from the flu to sinusitis.
There are also sinusitis caused by bacteria, but there are fewer. Only about 0.5 to 2% of sinus infections are caused by bacteria. Sinusitis caused by bacteria is different from that caused by viruses, it is not contagious.
In addition, there is also sinusitis due to fungus, but this does not happen much, and usually occurs in those who are allergic to fungi.
Also see: Essential Oils To Clear Sinuses
So, the main causes of sinuses, swelling, and lethargy are very many sinuses. Among the causes include:
- Nasal polyps,
- Swelling of the wall between two nostrils
- Weakened immune systems such as HIV sufferers
- Facial fractures that limit the nasal passages
- The presence of congenital diseases such as cystic fibrosis
- Asthma, and other reactive diseases
Chronic sinus Types and Infection
Chronic sinusitis does not cause infection and acute sinusitis often involves infection. Long-term sinus disease can also occur due to old diseases that do not heal completely. But certainly, the exact cause of chronic sinusitis is unknown.