“Disease is the warning, and therefore the friend – not the enemy – of mankind.”

~ Dr. George S. Weger

Sinusitis is an infection or inflammation of sinus openings. There are four pairs of hollow spaces inside our skull called paranasal sinuses. They are located between the eyes and behind the forehead, nose and cheeks (who knew there were so many!).

As often is the case about our body part that is hidden, it was only when I started to have sinus problems and started the research that I learned some interesting functions of our sinuses, which led to a greater appreciation of them.

For one thing, they lighten the skull’s weight and warm and humidify the air we breathe in. Also, they act as cushion for the interior of the skull, like air bags in cars, and protect the lungs from bacteria, viruses, and pollen. Since paranasal sinuses are lined with the kind of tissue that lines the inside of the nose, things that irritate nose can affect sinuses as well. Hence, people with sinusitis often have rhinitis.

When the sinus tissues are inflamed, mucus discharge is increased and the color becomes yellow-green, both from your nose and down the back of your throat. The mucus buildup plugs up the sinus openings and prevents mucus from draining, which creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow and spread easily. The air trapped inside swollen sinuses creates painful pressure resulting in headaches and facial tenderness.

Sinusitis is classified into acute and chronic. Most cases of sinusitis are acute, which generally lasts less than four weeks. When sinusitis symptoms last longer than twelve consecutive weeks, the condition has become chronic.

The signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis are similar to acute sinusitis, although fever is rarely experienced with chronic sinusitis. With chronic sinusitis, you will likely have less severe symptoms than with acute sinusitis, but the symptoms usually don’t go away.

Chronic sinusitis is the most common chronic illness in America as increasing number of people become more vulnerable to developing it. Many experts say the polluted environment and our body’s immune system problems may be the main causes.


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