Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, is holding strong in the Tri-Cities this week. Christina Hammonds, a nurse practitioner with Wellmont Medical Associates in Big Stone Gap, Virginia says she's seeing many cases in her office.
Hammonds says sinusitis causes the cavities around your nasal passages (sinuses) to become inflamed and swollen. This interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up. With acute sinusitis, it might be difficult to breathe through your nose. The area around your eyes and face may feel swollen, and you may have throbbing facial pain, a sore throat, an earache or a headache.
She says it is most often caused by the common cold. Other triggers include allergies and bacterial and fungal infections. Treatment of acute sinusitis depends on the cause. In most cases, home remedies are all that's needed. However, persistent symptoms need treatment with antibiotics, so you should contact your primary care provider.
Over-the-counter treatment, such as saline nasal sprays or washes can help alleviate some symptoms. If you use a vaporizer, make sure you clean it daily to avoid bacteria growth. Also, drink plenty of fluids and try a decongestant.