The 4 Types of Sinusitis and the Best Treatment Options

February 5, 2018

Sinuses are a group of air-filled spaces surrounding the nasal cavity. The sinuses perform multiple functions related to the respiratory system and require the free flow of gases and secretions into the nose. When the pathways connecting the sinuses and the nose get blocked, the mucosa lining the sinuses gets unhealthy, leading to inflammation and infections. This leads to unhealthy secretions, pus, and polyps in the sinus, causing the development of sinusitis.  Identified by various symptoms of thick nasal mucus, a plugged nose, and pain in the face, headaches, cough, sore throat etc, sinusitis is a common condition affecting many.

Did you know? Sinusitis affects women more than men. Read on to know more.

Types of Sinusitis

According to Cleveland Clinic, sinusitis can be categorized into four types, commonly segregated through its symptoms, the adversity of the symptoms, as well as the duration of these symptoms.

  1. Acute sinusitis- It usually has symptoms that are similar to a cold/fever, such as a runny nose, cough, sore throat etc. They develop rapidly and last for around 4 weeks.
  2. Chronic sinusitis– It produces the same symptoms as the acute sinusitis, but for longer than 8 weeks.
  3. Subacute sinusitis– It has the same symptoms, and can trouble one for 4 weeks to 8 weeks. It also is a form of transition from acute to chronic sinusitis.
  4. Recurrent sinusitis-It has the same symptoms as any other sinusitis, but it recurs several times in a year. It can also be identified with four or more full episodes of acute sinusitis that occur within one year.

Treatments Available

Depending on the condition, the degree of damage and the need of the hour, it can be treated either through home remedies, medications or in a few extreme cases, through surgery.

  1. Home Remedies

The first stage of treatment is usually home remedies. If you are suffering from this or can relate to the symptoms mentioned above, here are some home remedies that can be followed after consulting with an ENT specialist.

– Drinking plenty of fluids to keep the mucus thin.

– Breathing warm and moist air from a hot bath or steam.

– Actively blowing your nose to keep it clear of mucus.

  1. Medication

While following home remedies may give temporary relief, a specialist may also suggest certain medications to put your pain at ease.

– Antibiotics – prescribed if the symptoms persist beyond a week

– Decongestants -to reduce swelling in the mucous membranes

– Analgesics – to reduce pain

– Corticosteroids – to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages. They are usually available in the form of sprays or drops and are recommended for chronic sinusitis patients

– Mucolytics- for thinning of the mucus

  1. Surgery

If these treatment options- home remedies as well as medications- fail to address or minimize the severity of the condition, surgery is performed to treat this condition. Based on the effectiveness of the medical treatment, your surgeon may recommend surgery. Advanced sciences have made these surgeries minimally invasive and highly effective.

FESS (Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery) – This surgery is performed using an endoscope to clear the natural pathways of the nasal cavity and the sinuses to improve nose functions and enable easy respiration.

Balloon Sinuplasty – This surgery is performed to open up blocked sinuses by enlarging the natural openings. It is effective in relieving the patient from various symptoms like a headache, facial pain, nasal discharge, etc.

It is advised to consult an expert doctor before following trying home remedies or medical suggestions mentioned above. Depending upon the type of sinusitis, the extent of damage, and the remedial treatments available, the ENT specialist will recommend solutions. Find India’s top Otolaryngologists at Apollo Spectra Hospitals. Our world-class infrastructure, state-of-the-art technologies, and near-zero infection rates ensure total patient-comfort. You can book an appointment to consult our top doctors here.

Know more about this condition here.