Health > Common Health Problems > Sinusitis
Sinusitis is an infection or inflammation of the sinuses, the air pockets in the front of your head above and below your eyes. Colds, allergies, or chronic irritation from smoke or dust may cause mucus in the sinuses to thicken and the tissues to become swollen. This thickening and swelling blocks the sinus drainage passages into the nose.
- Thick, yellow-green nasal discharge
- Facial or sinus pain, made worse by bending over or straining
- Runny nose with cough and sore throat
- Sinus congestion lasting less than a week.
- Symptoms persist after 7 days of self-care.
- Headache and fever higher than 101°F, history of sinus problems.
- Eyeball pain, vision problems, and swelling or redness around the eyes or on face.
Sinusitis can usually be treated with the following medications:
- Decongestants to reduce congestion
- Antibiotics to fight a bacterial infection
- Pain relievers to reduce pain
Prevention and Care
- Wash your hands often to avoid catching colds.
- Don’t smoke, because tobacco irritates your sinuses.
- Don’t drink alcohol, which can cause the lining of your sinuses to swell.
- Avoid polluted air, which can irritate your lungs and nasal passages.
- Drink 6 to 10 glasses of liquids a day.
- After heating, massage your sinuses to stimulate drainage. Begin at the top and work slowly downward for 2 to 3 minutes. Search for pressure points that relieve pain.