Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis

Dr. Amin Javer, MD, FRCSC, FARS, discusses Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis

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Dr. Amin Javer, MD, FRCSC, FARS, discusses Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Amin Javer, MD, FRCSC, FARS
Symptoms of Acute Sinusitis
Duration: 2 minutes, 18 seconds

Acute sinusitis is an acute infection of the sinuses that patients will usually present with an obstructed nose, pain, pressure, congestion, post-nasal drainage.  

Usually people will feel fairly lousy when they have an acute infection. Some of them will not be able to get out of bed. If it’s a mild or a moderate event, they may be still able to function, but they won’t really feel that well.

So when you get a cold, it will turn into an acute sinusitis in only about one to two percent of cases. So most goals just resolve without doing much. But when it lasts for more than five to seven days that it actually turns into acute sinusitis.  

The underlying process of acute sinusitis is inflammation, so you sinuses drain through very, very tiny little holes into the nasal cavity, and these holes are called ostia, and so you get inflammation that is exacerbated by the bacteria that find their way into the sinuses over this five to seven day period, and close off the drainage pathways of the sinuses, so you get backup of secretions into the sinuses. This becomes a perfect milieu for bacteria to grow in, and you get a culture plate, basically, happening in your sinuses.  

The bacteria find their way into the sinuses from the nose, and basically set up shop. You get this very inflamed sinus cavity that then hurts and drains your energy, and the secretions fill up your sinuses and you basically feel pretty lousy.  

The issue with acute sinusitis that is if it’s not treated adequately, you can get the infection spread into structures near the sinuses, like the eyes or the brain, and so that is something that one should be aware of. Any swelling of the eyes or bad headaches, or brain-involving symptoms should be immediately checked by either an emergency room physician or your family doctor.

Presenter: Dr. Amin Javer, Otolaryngologist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Otolaryngologist

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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