Common Sinusitis Myths You Should Know About
Sinusitis or sinus infection is a condition that causes inflammation of the sinus membranes. People with sinusitis often experience sinus headache, stuffy nose, fever, sore throat, coughing, and other symptoms. This condition can be caused by infection, sinus-irritating chemical or any other substance, as well as allergies.
Although sinusitis is relatively common, there are still various misconceptions about it. Below, we will go through seven common sinusitis myths.
#1: Sinusitis is a contagious disease.
Sometimes, viral infections like cold and flu can lead to sinusitis. Thus, if you catch a virus, you may develop a sinus infection. However, sinusitis itself is not contagious.
You may spread the viral infection to people, but they will not necessarily develop sinusitis, as well.
#2: Nasal sprays effectively reduce congestion, making it easier to breathe.
There are different types of nasal sprays, including decongestants, steroid sprays, antihistamine sprays, or saline water solutions. Each type is designed for treating different problems.
Talk to your doctor about the medication that is right for you. Male sure to use a nasal spray exactly as directed.
If you are suffering from congestion, using a decongestant nasal spray can really help to relieve stuffy nose, but not all of nasal spray types are suitable for a long-term use.
Certain sprays are designed only for a short-term treatment and using these for a longer time than recommended can lead to dependence on the product and other health problems.
Dependence on a nasal spray, which is also known as rhinitis medicamentosa, is an adverse reaction of the body resulting from a prolonged use of nasal decongestants. The symptoms often include worsened nasal congestion.
#3: Sinusitis requires a treatment with antibiotics.
Depending on the cause of your sinusitis, you may or may not need to be treated with antibiotics.
There are two types of sinusitis: acute and chronic. Acute sinusitis usually lasts less than a week, while chronic sinusitis can persist for a month or more. Chronic sinusitis can be a result of a viral or bacterial infection, as well as allergies.
According to experts, antibiotics are only needed, when there is a bacterial infection. If your sinusitis is not caused by bacteria, using antibiotic drugs is unnecessary. In this case, the treatment won’t reduce your symptoms. Besides, there may be a risk of developing a bacterial infection that is resistant to antibiotics.
It is important to consult with your doctor before using any kind of treatment. Depending on what causes sinusitis and how long the symptoms last, the doctor will recommend a treatment that is suitable for you.
Apart from antibiotics, the treatment options may include decongestants, nasal steroids, antihistamines, and mucolytics. Some people may also need a surgery.
#4: The risk of developing sinusitis is higher during spring.
Some people think that sinusitis is more likely to occur during the spring months, when seasonal allergies hit. However, your risk of developing sinusitis may actually be higher during winter. Various factors like changes in air pressure, cold, as well as increased exposure to indoor dust may contribute to the development of sinusitis.
#5: Surgery can only be effective, in case of a physical cause of sinusitis.
Many people believe that sinus surgery can help, only when there is a physical cause of sinusitis, such as a deviated septum.
However, experts recommend treating sinus problems surgically, when other treatment options don’t seem to be working. Sinus surgery is usually quite an easy procedure, and the risks are minimal. Estimated recovery time is approximately 14 days.
In addition, sinus surgery is often considered to be ineffective. However, according to specialists, this type of surgery helps to improve the patients’ quality of life in the majority of cases. Research shows that sinus surgery resulted in significant improvements in up to 97 percent of patients.
People with nasal polyps may sometimes need a revision surgery.
#6: Chronic headaches usually indicate sinusitis.
Headache is a common symptom, when it comes to sinusitis, but having a chronic headache doesn’t necessary mean you have sinus infection. In fact, many people with self-diagnosed “sinus” headache are actually affected by migraines. Make sure you can distinguish between the two conditions before using any treatment.
Therefore, if you have a persistent headache and sinusitis treatment doesn’t help to reduce your symptoms, you may need to visit your doctor. This is especially important, if you have additional symptoms like blurred vision, nausea, and flashing sensations. Otherwise, you may develop other, more serious health complications.
#7: Green or yellow mucus means you a sinus infection.
If you experience a runny nose with green or yellow mucus, you may have a sinus infection. Such a color appears when white blood cells fighting off the infection die. However, the color doesn’t indicate whether the infection is caused by virus or bacteria.
Make sure to consult with your doctor, in order to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.