Sinusitis Basics
Sinuses are hollow cavities found within the skull. For humans, there are four pairs of sinuses, referred to as the frontal, maxillary, ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses. These cavities have holes, called ostia, which open into the nasal cavities allowing them to drain mucous through the nose under normal circumstances. However, when certain conditions occur, such as allergies or colds; or there are structural defects like malfunctioning cilia or presence of a nasal polyp, the sinus ostia become blocked and the mucous within the cavities build up. This environment is very ideal for the rapid proliferation of bacteria. The presence of foreign bodies (like bacteria) triggers an inflammatory response, causing the sinuses to swell, thus the term, sinusitis. (-itis is a medical prefix which indicates inflammation. Thus, sinusitis refers to the inflammation of the sinus or sinuses). The usual manifestations of sinusitis are congestion, post nasal drip, mucopurulent nasal discharge, sinus headaches, facial pressure and general fatigue.

What are the Treatment Options?
There are a lot of treatment options for sinusitis. Usually, doctors prescribe a combination of decongestants, corticosteroids (to relieve the inflammation) and antibiotics. The most common route of administration for these medications is via the mouth (taken orally). However, topical administration is growing more popular nowadays. Topical administration means that the medication or drug is applied directly to the area or body part that is affected. With topical administration, generally, relief is obtained faster because there is no need for the tablet or capsule to be broken down into its active component before it is delivered to the affected area through blood circulation.

In the case of sinusitis, topical administration of medications can be done through medicated irrigation and/or nebulization. One of the leading manufacturers of irrigators and nebulizers is Sinus Dynamics. Their nebulizer, SinusAero, is one of the best in the market. Aside from the convenience it provides because of its lightweight and portability, it has features that maximize the therapeutic effects of medications in the shortest possible time. For instance, its aerosolizing mechanism allows consistent delivery of medications by converting liquid into mist particles as small as 1-3 microns. A particle of that size is small enough to navigate through the smallest openings of inflamed nasal and sinus cavities. As a result, treatment time is cut to as short as 5 minutes. And because Sinus Dynamics itself is also a compounding pharmacy, it is possible to avail your sinusitis medications in forms specifically intended for nebulization.

Surgery is also a treatment option for sinusitis. However, it is only considered as a last resort for cases in which the manifestations are severe and a recurrent or perennial problem. Modern technology has afforded us with sinus surgery that is less invasive and traumatic for the patient. Sinusitis is treated surgically nowadays using a procedure known as functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).

Sinusitis can have serious complications, like the spread of infection to areas near the sinus cavities such as eyelids, eye sockets, eustachian tube, or even the meninges of the brain. However, remember that these serious and potentially life-threatening complications result only if sinusitis is left untreated. Thus, it is important to have sinusitis or any other illness checked by a health professional so that you can discuss the available treatment options that would work best for you.

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