Sinus infections are the ones that affect the cavities, called sinuses, in the bones near the nose. An inflammation of the sinuses causes a disease called sinusitis. The inflammation occurs due to the blockage of the sinuses which leads to the trapping of air and mucus in the sinuses.
The trappings and inflammation of the nasal membrane lining produces great physical discomfort and severe pain. This condition is referred to as a sinus attack. The cause for sinusitis may be an allergy or infection, either due to bacteria or fungi. Some diseases, like HIV, also cause sinusitis. People with abnormal mucus secretion are also prone to sinusitis.
Sinus attack can occur in different parts of the body, particularly the face. These include the frontal sinusitis which affects the area over the eyes, maxillary sinusitis which affects the area inside the cheekbones, ethmoid sinusitis which affects the area between the eyes and the nose, and sphenoid sinusitis which effects the area behind the upper region of the nose and behind the eyes. The sinusitis causes pain in the area affected.
Sinus infections can be classified on the basis of the time for which they last. For instance, an acute infection lasts for upto three weeks, whereas a chronic infection lasts between three weeks to eight weeks or even more. Recurring sinusitis occurs frequently over a period of time.
The most common symptoms of a sinus infection include severe headache, pain in the jaws, pressure around eyes and nose and a thick discharge from the nose. Sometimes these are accompanied by fever, weakness and cough and cold.
Common treatments for sinus infections include the use of decongestants, antibiotics, nasal sprays and pain killers. Home remedies for treating sinusitis vary from inhaling steam, intaking warm fluids, applying a paste of cinnamon with water, to having jalapeٌo peppers and ripe grapes' juice.
The treatment must always be decided after a prescription from the doctor, that too after an analysis of the cause and nature of sinus infections. However, in absence of any effective relief from the aforementioned treatments, a surgery can also be resorted to. This surgery aims at widening the sinus openings so as to clear the blockages.