Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), indicate that almost 30 million adults in the U.S. are diagnosed annually with some form of sinusitis. The sinuses are hollow except for a very thin lining of mucous that serves to remove and filter air that is inhaled. There are four pairs of sinus cavities located in the bony part of the cheeks, either side of the nose, behind the eyebrows, and directly behind the nose.
A Sinus Infection in Bethlehem PA means that the normally thin layer of mucous in the sinuses is inflamed, resulting in a condition called sinusitis. The two types of sinusitis are acute (lasting less than one month) and chronic (lasting about three months and sometimes for years). Sometimes confused with a severe cold because common symptoms are facial pain, throbbing headaches, and nasal congestion or a runny nose.
Sinusitis produces thick nasal discharges that can be white, yellowish, or greenish and are difficult to clear because they drain in the back of the throat. Other reported symptoms include postnasal drip, congestion, headaches behind the forehead, pain in the teeth, fever, fatigue, and coughing. Less common symptoms include decreased sense of smell, bad breath, and sore throat.
Commonly cited causes for a Sinus Infection in Bethlehem PA, include colds, allergies, bacterial infections, and asthma. Viral and bacterial infections are usually linked to acute cases of sinusitis and typically resolve themselves in about two weeks. Those at most risk of developing sinusitis are those with allergies, compromised immune systems, and chronic nasal conditions. People with chronic sinusitis (chronic rhinosinusitis) suffer from thickened membranes of the nose and sinus cavities that are chronically inflamed. It occurs with and without accompanying nasal polyps that may protrude into the nasal passages or sinuses. The causes of chronic sinusitis are mostly unknown, but it is believed that individuals with asthma or allergies are at a higher risk of developing chronic sinusitis.
A specialist at will be able to make a diagnosis and prescribe the best method of treatment. Quite often, prescription decongestants will ease the discomfort by shrinking the membranes making breathing easier. Antibiotics will be prescribed if the sinusitis is due a bacterial infection. Chronic sinusitis is more difficult to treat. However, surgery to reduce the blockages and improve sinus drainage has proved to be very successful for many patients.
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