Acute Bacterial Rhinosinusitis – Causes, Symptoms And Outcomes

The word ‘Sinusitis’ basically indicates acute inflammation of the mucosal lining or inner mucus layer of paranasal sinuses. But when it comes to the serious damage and soreness of adjacent mucosal lining of the nose, then it is given the name ‘Rhinosinusitis’. It is more or less a common disease and often seen in both – adults and children. Bacterial infection is the most important factor of bacterial rhinosinusitis.

Bacterial rhinosinusitis usually starts with a viral infection. At first viruses attack our maxillary sinuses as well as nasal mucosa. This causes inflammation of those parts along with thin and clear nasal discharge. If it gets cured automatically within a week or about 11 days, then we do not need to worry about bacterial infection. But if the symptoms continue for a long time (more than a week or 11 days) and the condition of maxillary sinuses get worse, then we can assume it as the bacterial infection. Other indicators such as headache, cough, facial pain will also be there in this situation. A proper and timely diagnosis of bacterial rhinosinusitis is a must in order to start antibiotic treatment.

Causes of Bacterial Rhinosinusitis

Several studies have proved that bacterial rhinosinusitis is mainly caused due to bacteria like Streptococcus Pneumoniae and Haemophilus Influenza. When these bacteria attack the upper respiratory tract, then the mucosal lining also get infected indirectly. This secondary infection often results into severe bacterial rhinosinusitis. However, if the mucus clearing system gets interrupted and sinus ostia get blocked, then also people can become victims of this serious disorder. Even, if there is a viral infection in the upper respiratory tract, then also the immune system becomes damaged which eventually generates a resultant bacterial infection.

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Symptoms of Bacterial Rhinosinusitis

Signs and symptoms of severe bacterial rhinosinusitis are more or less similar in adults and children. At the primary stage, both may experience cold and flu like signs along with nasal blockage and discharge. Besides, a pus-type yellow or greenish-yellow nasal discharge with sudden high fever may also be there. Chronic coughing (especially during the day time), acute headache and severe tooth pain (goes up with rapid jerky movements) are other major indicators of the disease. Other minor symptoms of bacterial rhinosinusitis include: facial puffiness and tenderness, pressure and soreness in some facial regions (mostly around the eyes), sore throat, fatigue, muscle aches, double vision or temporary loss of vision. Children developing bacterial rhinosinusitis may often experience mild headache and pain due to the bacterial infection in the ethmoid sinus, located between two eyes. The feelings of vomiting, gagging and nausea can also arise sometimes.

Extreme outcomes

It is seen that when individuals suffer from severe bacterial rhinosinusitis, antihistamines just stop working for them. In this situation, they strictly need antibiotic treatment in order to get rid of bacterial infection. However, acute bacterial rhinosinusitis can prove fatal if proper treatment is not provided in time. The infection can affect sinus bones, orbital cellulites and intracranial cavity if left untreated. It can be even life-threatening for patients once hits the central nervous system (CNS) and leads to brain infection or meningitis.

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