Sinusitis means inflammation of the sinuses, which are located across the forehead and upper cheeks. It is usually caused by a virus, especially when associated with other symptoms such as cough and cold, and when the pain is across both sides of the face. Sometimes however, it can be caused by a bacterial infection, particularly if there is high fever or pain on one side of the face only, and antibiotics may be considered, but this is not always necessary.
Symptoms can include sinus congestion, headaches, fevers, rhinitis, halitosis and anosmia (loss of sense of smell)
The most common cause for sinusitis is a viral infection and very rarely a bacterial infection. Sinuses can also become inflamed due to allergies, usually environmental including pollens and other autoimmune conditions such as asthma.
Sinusitis can be managed using over the counter medications such as ibuprofen and paracetamol. Congestion can be managed with steam or over the counter preparations such as sterimar. In very rare cases where congestion is significant further specialist management option may be considered such as sinus drainage but this is not commonly performed and is not always appropriate or suitable for all individuals.
Sinusitis is a self limiting illness, which can be managed with over the counter pharmacy treatments. Usual duration is between 2-3 weeks, any significant symptoms, or longer durations can be discussed with a medical practitioner