Sinus Infection

The sinuses are present essentially to give the voice resonance, and in this capacity they do well. However, the problem of infections weighs heavily, and they are commonly caught up in the general infections of the region, particularly the antra and frontal sinuses, with their well-known head and face pains. Toward the back, the nasal canals directly link with the part of the pharynx known as the nasopharynx. In this way, the nasal regions become continuous with the pharynx (throat) and, in turn, with the upper air-passageways of the larynx, trachea, bronchi and lungs. They are also continuous with the middle ear by way of the Eustachian canal.

Sinus Infection Symptoms

Children is likely to be infected if they swim in infected water or pools containing excessive amounts of harsh, irritating chemicals. I might add that many backyard swimming pools are inadequately sterilised and have been found to harbour huge numbers of germs. In turn, these can track into the sinuses and produce infections. On the other hand, if the water is too heavily treated with chemicals, this also may irritate the sinus linings.

The linings of the sinuses may become congested, and the surface will discharge. The chief sinuses, or antrums as they are sometimes called, are located on either side of the nose, below the eye sockets behind the cheekbones. They normally give the voice the deep, pleasant resonance. The cavities are joined to the nasal canals by a tiny opening called an ostium – one is present on each side of the nose. Fluids can normally drain from the sinuses via the ostium into the airways of the nose.

The sinuses are air-containing cavities located in close proximity to the nasal passageways. They gradually develop .:wring childhood to become well established by adulthood. There are four main groups. The maxillary air sinus is the largest and is located on each side of the nasal canals, below the eyes, behind the cheeks. It communicates, via a small opening, with the nasal passageways.

The frontal sinuses are above the orbits of the eyes; the ethmoidal cells consist of many small air cells, irregularly placed in position, located in the upper cart of the outer wall of the nose. The phenoidal sinus is located well back in :ne skull in the sphenoid bone. The sinuses are interconnected, and often when one is affected, almost always this spread to involve the others. Being part of the upper respiratory system, they are very prone to infection, especially the maxillary areas and the frontal sinuses.

This is usually the result of an extended form of a simple nasal infection, very much like a common cold. Excessive blowing wring a simple infection can drive germs into the sinuses. This can cause the drainage apertures to close quickly and a full-scale infection become established, causing a new complaint. Douching of nasal canals has also been incriminated, and so has swimming underwater, swimming in potentially germ- infected water.

Although essentially one sinus will be involved to start with, this may spread to others. Pain, discomfort on pressure over the infected part, elevated temperatures, and general malaise arc the usual symptoms.

Sinus Infection Treatment

This is usually straightforward. It is best done by the doctor or surgeon. Unless the patient can identify the object and it is very close to the surface and he has a pair of suitable forceps available, it is best not to interfere. It is easy to push the foreign item deeper into the nasal cavity, so making its retrieval more difficult.

Sometimes the simple expedient of using a paper clip may be adequate. Often the doctor will use “crocodile forceps,” which are specially designed for this purpose, or fine-pointed forceps to grasp the object and remove it. Deep-seated obstructions may produce more difficulties, and even in skilled hands, it is possible sometimes for the foreign body to be pushed right back into the nasal passageways and into the oropharynx (mouth part of the throat well back). Here there is a risk of it slipping into the upper air passageways of the nose. Sometimes a nasal douche may be ordered, but there is little difficulty or adverse aftermath after the offending object has been removed.

Nosebleed (Epistaxis). This is very common, and in young persons and children generally results from trauma, nasal picking or harsh nasal blowing, particularly in the presence of an upper respiratory infection (such as a cold). The bleeding usually comes from the septum, low down in a part called Little’s area. In older persons, it tends to come from areas higher up, and is more likely to be associated with internal disorders. Blood pressure, cardiovascular disorders, renal and blood diseases are known causes. In an older person, it is essential to exclude a deep-seated cause as well as simply treating the bleed. Many cases of leukemia (cancer of the blood) have presented with nose bleeding being the first symptom. It should never be regarded lightly in older persons.

In Little’s area many blood vessels are close to the surface, and they are very prone to injury. During swelling and congestion of the part during infections, the blood vascularity increases, so increasing the tendency to bleed.

Tumours of the Nasal Cavity.

It is possible for various types of tumours to occur in the nasal cavities. These may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Nasal obstruction on one side. and often bleeding or discharge (frequently bloodstained) are typical signs. Any set of symptoms along these lines requires immediate medical attention. Once the disorder has been diagnosed, it will be treated, usually surgically. So-called squamous-celled carcinomas arc the most probable type of cancer, and these usually respond well to treatment. However, other forms of cancers are also possible. Cancer in any part of the body. naturally, requires diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Never delay with any of the telltale symptoms.