Sinus infections are also know as sinusitis. Sinusitis means inflammation of a sinus. Most bouts of sinusitis are caused by an infection. The cheekbone (maxillary) sinuses are the most commonly affected.
Acute sinusitis means that the infection develops quickly (over a few days) and lasts a short time. Many cases of acute sinusitis last a week or so but it is not unusual for it to last 2-3 weeks. Sinusitis is said to be acute if it lasts from 4-30 days and subacute if it lasts 4-12 weeks. A mild bout of acute sinusitis is common and many people will have some degree of sinusitis with a cold. However, severe acute sinusitis is uncommon. Most people only ever have one or two bouts of acute sinusitis in their lives. However, some people have repeated bouts of acute sinusitis.
Chronic sinusitis means that a sinusitis becomes persistent and lasts for longer than 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis is uncommon.
Prevention: Acute and chronic sinusitis is often caused by uncontrolled allergies in the environment that invade the sinus cavity causing inflammatory changes. This makes the sinuses more susceptible to infection. Implementing daily prevention measures can help prevent an acute infection.
Below are a few helpful household tips:
- Use an air purifier to purify the air of dust, mold, pollen, and other sources of allergens
- Replace the filters on air conditioning units every 30 days
- Wash bedding once a week in hot water to rid of bacteria and allergens
- Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter
- Saline sinus rinses daily
- Starting Over the counter allergy medication such as Zyrtec, Claritin, or Allegra
- Keeping windows closed
- Shower or Bathing before bed