This common misconception often ends with sinusitis or frontitis. These are diseases when the paranasal sinuses of the nose — the maxillary and frontal respectively — become inflamed.
What are these sinuses? Our skull bones are not solid, as one might think, but have cavities that are connected to the nose and to each other. They are needed to:
Firstly, ventilate and warm the inhaled air
Secondly, to lighten the skull and reduce the load on the neck
What happens when you don’t treat a cold?
The mucus that forms in the nose «floods» these sinuses. Inflammation begins, creating favorable conditions for infection.
Naturally, this negatively affects the patient’s condition. Thick purulent snot with a characteristic yellow color and an unpleasant smell begins to come out of the nose, there may be traces of blood. The face above the eyebrows or on the sides of the nose begins to hurt, this is accompanied by a bursting sensation in the head. The pain intensifies when the head is tilted and in a lying position. Usually, the temperature rises and a cough appears, which intensifies at night.
Sinusitis and otitis can cause serious complications, as the inflammation develops dangerously close to the brain, ears, and eyes. Accordingly, the infection can cause otitis, meningitis, or conjunctivitis. But don’t panic!
Some factors increase the risk of sinusitis. These include:
Congenital curvatures or fractures of the nasal septum. This complicates the discharge of mucus from the nasal cavity, thereby increasing the risk of its stagnation in the sinuses.
A weakened immune system poorly protects against infection.
Infections of the upper jaw teeth can penetrate through the bone into the sinuses, which are located just above the jaw.
Lung diseases, in particular bronchial asthma and COPD, worsen ventilation in the sinuses, which contributes to infection.
How to treat sinusitis?
There is a misconception that sinusitis and frontitis are caused by a bacterial infection, so antibiotics should be taken. In fact, in most cases, sinusitis is a consequence of a viral infection, so antibiotic therapy is not rational.
With frontitis or sinusitis, you should take sick leave and monitor your condition. To reduce pain and temperature, you should take anti-inflammatory drugs, perhaps the best choice would be ibuprofen. We wrote more about this medicine in our article.
Vasoconstrictor sprays will help reduce swelling in the nose and prevent the accumulation of mucus in the sinuses. A good choice would be oxymetazoline hydrochloride. The main limitation in the use of these funds is not to use them for more than 3 days in a row, otherwise, addiction may develop. We have already talked about this drug, you can read about it here.
If you notice that the disease is getting worse or lasts more than 7 days — there is a risk that it is really a bacterial infection. In this case, see a doctor, he can take an X-ray if necessary, make sure that you are not threatened and prescribe antibiotics. Do not take antibiotics as self-medication, these drugs can harm your health.
It is better not to ignore the symptoms of sinusitis or frontitis, in the advanced form of the disease, surgical methods of treatment are used. Pus in the sinuses can thicken and become too hard to come out through the nose on its own. In this case, the bone has to be punctured with a special needle, through which a liquid is introduced and «washes out» the pus. The procedure is unpleasant, so it is better to keep the disease under control.