Dr Brad Mckay from Embarrassing Bodies Down Under gives us the lowdown on sinusitis.
Sinusitis sucks. It's a horrible thing to get. It's not just having a runny nose but there's so much pressure and pain. It's estimated that about 2 million people in Australia have had chronic sinusitis at some point in their life. It's more than just a common cold, it's debilitating for some people. They have lots of pressure, lots of pain and they feel completely drained of energy.
Sinuses are annoying little things. They sit in our heads and they don't do a hell of a lot to help us, but they do a lot to annoy us. There are four major pairs of sinuses in your head. There are frontal sinuses which sit behind your forehead, Exhilary Sinuses which sit in your cheeks and then your Sphenoid and Ethnoid Sinuses are right in there, in between your eyes, behind your nose.
Sinusitis is when the layering on the inside of your sinuses becomes inflamed and then they block off the exit points and then your sinuses don't drain. They keep on producing mucus and fluid but then it can't go anywhere and if stagnant fluid is sitting in your face, it can then turn into bacteria, pus and then lots of pressure and pain. Certain factors can increase your chance of getting sinusitis. If you're a smoker that's one. If you're getting frequent colds. If you've got Hayfever, or if you have a problem with the structure of your nose from the inside then it may not drain properly and you're much more likely to develop sinusitis.
The main symptoms that you can get from sinusitis is having facial pain which can be in your forehead, your cheeks, behind your nose or your eyes, also having a runny nose as well or post nasal drip, where snot falls down the back of your throat. Having a nasal voice for a long period of time can also be sinusitis and also having dental pain, so pain at the top of your teeth on your top jaw as well.
People often describe having a real clouded vision, blurred vision as well and just not really feeling present in the moment. They feel disconnected from the world, and that's often a sinus infection that's going on.
There are lots of different treatments for sinusitis. So sinus irrigation with saltwater up your nose can help to clear it all out. Breathing in steam can help too. Eucalyptus or peppermint oil can be very beneficial. But sometimes you do need antibiotics and in extreme situations, you may need to see a surgeon to stop it from coming back. So if you've had a cold or a blocked nose that's been going on for more than a couple of weeks, please see your doctor and get things checked out. You'll feel so much better.