Sinusitis is the inflammation of the mucous membrane the lines the sinuses. It is mainly caused by infections, allergies, air pollution or anatomical problems in the nasal region of the body.

With the ongoing changes in temperature and ever rising pollution, the risk of one’s health is at an all-time high. One such risks to the human health is Sinusitis. Keeping that in mind, Smart Family magazine had a sit down with medical professionals from Shuswastha Hospital to understand more about sinusitis, its causes, symptoms, treatments and preventive measures.
 
Sinusitis is generally understood as a sinus inflammation or simply, a sinus infection. It is also known as rhino-sinusitis. When there is any kind of inflammation in the mucous membrane that lines the air spaces in the nasal cavity, it can be stated that a person is suffering from sinusitis.
 
What are the various causes of sinusitis? 
There are mainly three causes of sinusitis and they are due toviral or bacterial infections, allergiesand structural problems of the nose. Majority of the cases related to sinusitis are due to viral infection which stem from being in cold or polluted environments.
 
Over all there are two types of sinusitis
Acute Sinusitis –Sinusitis is defined as ‘Acute Sinusitis’ if it lasts less than 4 weeks.  It is caused by viral infectionand lead to inflammation of the nasal cavity. A patient suffering from this experiences severe pain in the nose area, cold, and forehead pain. If it is not treated in time, then it can lead to chronic sinusitis.
 
Chronic Sinusitis - Sinusitis is defined as ‘Chronic Sinusitis’ if it lasts for more than 12 weeks. It is a much severe condition of acute sinusitis. A patient suffering from it experiences constant pain and headaches. Also, blocked nose, sneezes, dry nose are also some of the other symptoms. If it persists, patients can expect to have bad odor, poor sense of smell and more severe headaches along with facial pain. 
 
How does the current status of high air pollution make individuals more prone to sinusitis? 
Since pollution is one of the causes of sinusitis it extremely affects people making them prone to sinusitis. And the fact that air pollution levels are very high people are already having breathing difficulties. The dust and pollution can create irritation in the nasal cavity that can cause inflammation and infections which in turn can lead to sinusitis.
 
What are the early symptoms of sinusitis? 
Some of the most common and early symptoms of sinusitis are blocked nose, presence of thick mucus and facial pain. If those symptoms persist, additional signs and symptoms such as fever, headaches, poor sense of smell, difficulty in breathing, sore throat and coughing can eventually develop.
 
What are the implications of not treating sinusitis in time? 
Most cases of sinusitis can be treated with patience and being in dust and allergy free environments. However, if precautions and proper treatment have not been performed there can be risk inducing situations. Due to prolonged inflammation of the nasal cavity, the infection can spread to the brain region and cause Brain abscess. There is also the potential risk of Asthma due to experiencing continuous breathing difficulties and blocked nose. Therefore, early and prompt treatment is always recommended when sinusitis persists for more than two to three weeks.
 
What are the basic precautions one can implement? 
The foremost precaution people can implement is being aware of their surroundings and environment. By avoiding pollution and cold environments people can reduce the risk of getting sinusitis.One can start by wearing masks when travelling outside, less consumption of cold foods such as Ice cream, yogurt, juices, cold drinks, chilled water etc. Additionally, controlling or laying off the consumption of old fermented foods such as pickled vegetables is also recommended.
 
Once an individual is diagnosed with sinusitis, what is the treatment process? What are the treatments that Shuswastha offers? 
In majority of the cases, sinusitis can be easily treated with rest, drinking plenty of water and even a proper hot shower. However, the following can be applied for the two types of sinusitis.
Acute Sinusitis can be treated with Antibiotics andanti-inflammatory medications if they are caused due to viral infections and persist longer than usual.
Chronic Sinusitis can be treated with a combination of medications, natural therapy, face steam, face massages, and breathing exercises.
 
If those treatment methods fail, then surgery advised depending on the related case of sinusitis. Surgery can include cleansing nasal cavity by cutting the inflamed polyps or nasal septum straightening to mention a few. 
 
Does sinusitis require surgery as a form of treatment? 
Surgery is only recommended for patients who do not benefit from the prescribed medication. In majority of the cases, medication and the fore mentioned therapeutic methods are more than enough for the treatment of sinusitis. Becoming prone to sinusitisis quite environment and lifestyle specific, therefore people need to be more proactive towards becoming aware of its symptoms and be aware of the environment they work and live in.