Cure For Sinusitis

12 February 2023

Sinusitis that is left untreated can cause infection to the eyes and brain. If it affects the eye, it may cause redness, swollen and blurred eyes. If the infection spreads to the brain and left untreated, sinusitis can cause high fever followed by convulsions. However, that situation is very rare nowadays as many patients get proper treatment.

Sunway Medical Centre, Sunway City Consultant Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and Head & Neck Surgeon Dr Wong Hui Tong said sinusitis is a common disease that affects about 10 to 15 percent of the population in Malaysia.

In the skull, there are four pairs of air spaces called paranasal sinuses and in each sinus, there is a layer of cells. When these cells experience inflammation, this is sinusitis.

“Sinusitis can be divided into two types. Acute when it occurs less than three months and chronic when it occurs longer than three months. Sinusitis can happen to anyone and even children can experience it,” he said.

Causes of Sinusitis

The main causes of sinusitis are smoking and flu that lasts more than a week.

“Flu usually heals between three and five days, but if it exceeds that duration, it can cause sinusitis,” he said.

Other factors inclusing nasal allergies, sneezing every morning, itching and nasal congestion caused by the structure in the nose contributes to sinuses.

“To prevent sinusitis, avoid dust at home, pet dander and pollen. Sinusitis is not a hereditary disease, but the chance of getting the disease is higher if a family member already has it,” he said.

Patients with asthma, tonsillitis and gastritis may experience sinuses easily because they are related to the same respiratory tract.

Symptoms of Sinus

Patients will feel prolonged pain in the nose, nasal congestion, and green, yellow and foul-smelling mucus.

“The patients’ cheeks, forehead and the area between the eyes will hurt and the most common symptom is the reduction in the sense of smell. There are patients who experience headaches, breathlessness, fever, sore throat, discomfort and cough because the mucus has flowed from the nose to the throat,” he said.

For chronic sinuses, patients will feel that their nose is always blocked and discomfort in the cheeks, forehead and between the eyes.

More worryingly, if the patient has suffered from sinusitis for a long time, the problem with their sense of smell is difficult to recover and may be permanent.

Individuals with flu, mucus and high fever lasting between a week and two weeks, need to see an ENT doctor immediately.

The doctor will perform an endoscopy procedure that involves inserting a camera into the nose to see the condition in the cavity.

“The patient may be monitored in the ward and given antibiotics and medicine for a week. Two types of medicine are given, namely medicine aimed at reducing inflammation, reducing mucus, and a nasal spray to wash the mucus in the nose,” he said.

If after a week there is no recovery, a sinus surgery is performed where the patient is completely anesthetised and a camera is inserted into the nostril to remove the swollen structure to open the sinuses.

“When the sinus is swollen, it narrows the airway causing mucus to stagnate in it. The surgical procedure aims to remove the swollen part and remove the mucus,” he said.

Risks of Surgery

Dr Wong said the surgical procedure is done in the nostrils so it will not leave a scar and the patient can recover between a week and two weeks.

However, surgical procedures have their own risks, including bleeding during surgery.

“Bleeding occurs depending on the level of the sinuses and if severe, the bleeding will also be severe. This procedure can result in injury to the eye and brain but it is very rare because now we have endoscopy techniques that are clearer with the availability of image-guided surgery (IGS), which helps reduce complications,” he said.

After undergoing treatment and surgery, patients can be completely cured from sinus.

Dr Wong said it depends on the severity of the sinus and the patients’ level of immunity.

“However, those who have received treatment or surgery, are still at risk of getting sinusitis again, but the symptoms they will face will not be as bad as before,” he said.

He added that sinus patients do not need to abstain from any food once they recover from treatment and are free to eat anything.

“But if the patient has diabetes, it is necessary to take care of their sugar level and it is necessary for those with nasal allergies and asthma to control their disease,” he said.

Some associate sneezing when it rains due to sinusitis, but the condition is due to the individual being sensitive to weather changes and not due to sinusitis.

Dr Wong advises individuals who have sinus symptoms to immediately get an ENT examination.

Early examination is important to help provide prompt treatment.

“By undergoing the examination, it is possible to find out if an individual has sinusitis, and to be able to detect other problems such as tumours so that appropriate treatment can be carried out.

“Therefore, it is very important that they are aware of their health level so that every disease can be given early treatment to avoid harm,” he said.

Source: Berita Harian