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There are various factors that can cause sinusitis, such as viral infections and bacterial infections. Most sinusitis resolves on its own within 1-2 weeks. Even so, there are several causes of sinusitis that need special attention
The causes of sinusitis can be different for each person. However, in general, sinusitis can be caused by infection and irritation. Both of these can cause the sinus walls to become inflamed and swollen, reducing sinus function.
He althy sinuses produce mucus to keep the sinuses and nasal cavities moist and trap dust and germs. The nasal cavity and sinuses are connected by a small opening called the ostium. Through this ostium, the air that enters the nose is also circulated into the sinuses to be filtered.
Various Causes of Sinusitis
The following are some of the things that can cause sinusitis:
1. Virus infection
Viral infection is the most common cause of sinusitis. Sinusitis caused by a viral infection usually starts when you have a cold or flu. This viral infection can cause the sinus walls to swell, thus blocking the ostium that should be the place for mucus to escape. As a result, mucus accumulates in the sinus cavities.
2. Bacterial infection
Although rare, bacterial infections can also be a cause of sinusitis. Bacteria that enter the nose can cause excess mucus production so that there is a buildup of mucus that is difficult to expel in the sinuses.This condition will support the growth of germs in the sinuses and cause sinusitis.
3. Fungal infection
Fungal sinusitis usually occurs in people who have a weak immune system. If your immune system is weak, it will be easier for mold to grow, especially in moist areas of the body such as the sinuses, and cause inflammation.
Allergies to dust, pollen, mites, and animal dander can cause allergic rhinitis. This condition causes swelling of the nasal wall so that it clogs the ostium.
In addition, allergies can also increase mucus production. The combination of these two conditions causes excess mucus to build up in the sinuses. As a result, it becomes easier for bacteria to grow and sinusitis occurs.
5. Nasal polyps
Polyps can grow inside the nose or sinuses. Regardless of its location, a polyp mass can block the ostium and block the passage of mucus from the sinuses. This buildup of mucus can cause inflammation which in turn triggers sinusitis.
6. Air pollution
Pollutants in the air such as dust, cigarette smoke, air pollution, and strong odors can cause irritation of the nasal passages. Inflammation and swelling caused by this irritation can increase the risk of sinusitis, especially if the exposure to air pollution is long and heavy.
7. Dry air
Dry air can cause mucus to become thick. This will make it harder for mucus to come out of the sinuses. This buildup of mucus can eventually be the cause of sinusitis.
How to Overcome Sinusitis
Mild sinusitis can generally be treated on its own without the need to visit a doctor. Here are some steps you can take:
- Get enough rest
- Drink lots of water, at least 2 liters a day
- Avoiding allergy triggers, such as animal dander and plant pollen
- Do not smoke or inhale other people's cigarette smoke
- Clean the nose with a saline solution to relieve swelling
- Using a humidifier to humidify the air in the room
In addition, if you feel pain around your cheeks, eyes, or forehead, you can also take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as paracetamol.
If the ways to deal with sinusitis above have been done, but the symptoms of sinusitis, such as a stuffy and runny nose or headache, don't go away in 1 week, or are even accompanied by fever and cough, you should immediately consult a doctor.
The symptoms of sinusitis can be similar to the symptoms of COVID-19, which is currently a pandemic. If you are one of the people who are at risk of contracting the Corona virus, you should self-isolate and call the COVID-19 hotline at 119 Ext 9 for further instructions.
However, if you are not at risk or at low risk of contracting the Corona virus, your doctor may prescribe medication to relieve the symptoms that arise from sinusitis.
Medication can be nasal sprays or drops, steroids or ephedrine to reduce swelling, antihistamines if sinusitis is caused by allergies, and antibiotics if sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection.
If sinusitis doesn't get better despite taking medication, your doctor can refer you to an ENT specialist. In some cases, the doctor may also recommend surgery to drain the pus and improve the flow of mucus from the sinuses.