All of us have four sets of sinuses which are:
the sphenoid located at the back of the nose;
the maxillary located behind the cheek
the frontal located above the eyes; and
the ethmoidal located between the eyes.
In a healthy state, muscus produced by our four sinuses are discharged through the nasal passage.
Sinusitis occurred when our sinuses are infected by virus, bacteria or fungi. When sinuses get infamed by infection, the blocked sinus caused the muscus to get accumulated. That is the time that we suffer from a running nose, fever, bad breath, sore throat, cough and even headache. Due to our blocked noses, our voices sound different.
In industralized and polluted cities, more people are prone to sinusitis. Pollution and allergies are believed to contribute to the development of sinusitis. Poor dental hygiene is another contributor to sinusitis. Bacteria can pass through the roots of the upper teeth to infect cheek sinus.
There are two classifications of sinusitis, namely acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis.
Sufferers of acute sinusitis usually recover within a few days. As acute sinusitis is very likely the results of virus, doctors generally prescribe antihistamines, antibiotics, decongestants and steroid to clear the blocked sinus. We can even use a simple homemade solution of water and salt to rinse our sinuses.
Those who suffer from chronic sinusitis usually suffer for more than three months, with most suffering silently for years and years. Some chronic sinusitis sufferers have naturally narrow sinus passages.
In this case, as the problem is more of bad structural design of sinus passage, medication is not effective. Enlargement of the narrow sinus passages is the only way to bring relief to the sufferers.
Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) and Balloon Sinusplasty are two common procedures to enlarge the sinus passage.
FESS uses surgical instruments to precisely clear away infected tissue. By removing the infected tissue, it helps to enlarge the sinus passages that are too narrow. FESS is done entirely through the nostrils. ENT (Ear, nose and throat) specialists rely on IGS (Image Guided Systems) to help them located the infected region.
Balloon sinusplasty uses the surgical balloon to expand narrow sinus passages. This procedure involves the use of a guide wire to insert the balloon through the nostril and inflated when in the right place. This method does not involve removal of tissue.
However, prevention is better than cure. If you are prone to sinusitis, staying in well-ventilated room, staying well-hydrated and avoid allergens are ways to keep sinusitis at bay.