Commonly known as sinusitis, rhinosinusitis is a very common condition worldwide. This is a condition in which inflammation occurs in the paranasal sinuses. Most cases of rhinosinusitis resolve within 10 days. Rhinosinusitis can be chronic or acute (the subject of this article). Unlike acute bacterial rhinosinusitis, chronic rhinosinusitis can last longer than three months and is usually caused by varied diseases that cause chronic inflammation of sinuses. Chronic rhinosinusitis presents such symptoms as nasal congestion, headache, night cough and asthma symptoms.
As for acute bacterial rhinosinusitis, it is usually occurs as a result of upper respiratory tract infection caused by bacteria. However, acute rhinosinusitis can also be caused by viral infections. In most cases, acute bacterial rhinosinusitis only last for a few weeks before wearing off. The condition is prevalent in diabetic and other patients with immune deficiencies. It is also important to point out that apart from that caused by bacteria, rhinosinusitis in general can also be caused by inhalation of chemical fumes including cigarette smoke.
Causes of Acute Bacterial Rhinosinusitis
Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis is mainly caused by bacteria. In this regard, three types of bacteria are responsible. These include Streptococcus pneumonia, Haemophylus influenza and Moraxella catarrhalis. A close look at these bacteria shows that they are responsible for causing other diseases such as influenza and pneumonia, which encourage the development of rhinosinusitis. It is critical to point out at this juncture although rhinosinusitis can also be caused by viral infection, most of such cases turn into bacterial rhinosinusitis.
Symptoms of Acute Bacterial Rhinosinusitis
Acute bacterial rhinosinusitis presents varied symptoms, some which are similar to those presented by rhinosinusitis caused by virus. Symptoms include localized facial pain, headache, thick nasal discharges usually green in color and fever. Although the symptoms can be mild and the condition easily wears off, there is usually the danger of complications. Untreated rhinosinusitis can cause such complications as infection of eye sockets (which can lead to loss of sight), infection of forehead and facial bones (osteomyelitis and pott’s puffy tumor respectively) and ear problems due to congestion of nasal passages.
Treatment of Acute Bacterial Rhinosinusitis
There are various options when it comes to treating acute bacterial rhinosinusitis. Natural treatment options include application of warm, moist cloth several times in a day on the nose and inhaling the warm air. Increasing intake of water and other fluids also helps in thinning mucus. Although not a treatment option, decongestant nasal sprays provide relied from symptoms. The first line of medical treatment is usually through the use of antibiotics. Amoxicillin, Augmentin, Fluoroquinolones, Clarithromycin and Doxycycline are the most commonly prescribed medications.
In extreme cases, surgery is usually undertaken. Nasal surgery is usually undertaken for chronic rhinosinusitis that shows signs of causing serious complications. Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is the latest surgery treatment available. It involves the removal of the anatomical obstructions associated with rhinosinusitis. Another surgery treatment available is balloon sinuplasty. It is a less invasive technique that involves the use of balloons to expand sinus openings. Older surgery techniques are only undertaken if a patient shows no positive response with the latest surgery treatment techniques.