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The Underlying Causes of Sinus Pain

Women Struggling with Allergies Looking Through a Window

Most instances of acute sinusitis subside within a couple weeks, if not sooner. The majority of sinus infections begin with a common cold. They can also be caused by allergies, bacteria, pollutants, and nasal conditions that a patient may not even be aware of.

However, an acute sinusitis infection can cause chronic sinusitis to develop over time. Chronic sinusitis involves persistent symptoms that come and go, and various underlying conditions can keep them coming back.

This article discusses the underlying causes of sinus pain, as well as why these issues create pain and how it can be treated. Preventative measures and targeted treatment can help individuals with frequent sinus pain live normal and healthy lives.

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The Role of Bacteria in Mucus

The sinus cavities are made up of bones in the face and lined with a mucus membrane. The purpose of this membrane is to filter out germs and pollutants so that they are not ingested and also to warm up inhaled air so that oxygen can be properly transported to the lungs.

When bacteria from the environment enters the sinus cavity, the sinuses can become inflamed and the regular airflow disrupted. This blockage can create sinus pressure, a sinus infection, and sinus headaches. Bacteria is often what takes a common cold to the next level by complicating an existing infection. In rarer cases, a fungus can also cause sinus infections.

Conditions that Lead to Sinus Pain

Based on their existing medical conditions, some people are more prone to sinus pain than others. This is because sinus pain caused by external and environmental factors can be exacerbated by various underlying issues that aren’t properly being treated.

These are some of the underlying conditions that can lead to persistent sinus pain.

  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Fungal allergy
  • Nasal polyps
  • Biotoxicity disorders
  • GERD
  • Immune deficiency disorders
  • Complications of cystic fibrosis
  • Asthma
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Chronic dental infection

Symptoms of Persistent Sinusitis

The most common symptom of a sinusitis condition that comes and goes is pain around the forehead, nose, cheeks, and eyes. Individuals who have this condition may also experience aching pain the teeth and jaw. They may also have excess mucus build-up, nose and throat drainage, difficulty breathing through the nose, a sore throat, nausea, and fatigue.

Common Treatments for Sinus Issues

If one of the underlying conditions noted above is the cause of one’s sinus pain, it is necessary to treat that condition first to get the symptoms under control. Over-the-counter medications like Vanquish may be recommended to reduce the pain of sinus headaches and make the sinusitis more manageable. Practicing good dental hygiene and quitting smoking are recommended in order to keep symptoms at bay. Sinus pain sufferers should also be aware that air travel can increase sinus pain because of the changes in air pressure, especially on the plane’s descent.

After a complete review of underlying and other co-existing medical conditions, a physician may recommend prescription medication, nutritional counseling, craniosacral therapy, acupuncture, nutrition supplements, or herbal remedies to treat and prevent future sinusitis occurrences. A primary care physician may recommend consultation with an ear, nose, and throat specialist to conduct tests that will determine if an underlying cause is making a person more prone to sinusitis. This often involves scanning technology to look deep into the nasal cavity for possible abnormalities and blockages.

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