We learn a lot of things throughout our lives. Going to school, reading books, watching informational television, and, sometimes, even surfing the Internet are all strong influences in our education. We learn science and history and English and math–but, outside of the classroom, when we don’t even know we’re learning, we are constantly picking up bits of information about life. One area in which we can all claim moderate expertise, even if we’ve never picked up a single textbook, is health. We may not be doctors, but we know how to tell if something’s wrong, even if we don’t have an exact word to describe it. Sometimes, though, this instinctive knowledge just can’t go far enough–and that’s where answers from specialists come in handy.
Although our instinctive knowledge of health can help us in a lot of situations, sinus problems often require a little outside help. The sinuses are an important and delicate aspect of our anatomy, and taking care of them is a crucial task for maintaining whole-body health. There are many hazards that can assault the sinuses, many health issues that affect the sinuses, and a thousand questions in between–but don’t worry. With a little bit of extra knowledge, the guiding voice of your instinctive health knowledge, and a helping hand from your doctor, your sinuses will be safe and sound.
FAQs About Sinuses
Do you have a question about the sinuses? Looking for some information on a specific issue? Here’s a quick look at FAQs about sinuses!
- Sinusitis. Sinusitis is an inflammation of any one of the sinuses. It is a short-term issue, easily treated with antibiotics–although 37 million Americans will have at least one case of sinusitis annually. Sinusitis is characterized by facial pressure, nasal obstruction, and nasal discharge.
- Sinus pain. Relieving sinus pain at home is relatively simple. Warm, moist air usually does the trick, helping to clear the sinuses and alleviate pressure and pain. Saline nose drops are another option–however, non-prescription drops and sprays should only be used short-term, or they could aggravate symptoms.
- Sinus examinations. If you are having sinus issues or pain, the best thing to do is consult a doctor. An Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist will usually perform a physical examination, looking for swelling, redness, or tenderness–and, more rarely, an X-Ray, CT scan, or endoscopy may be necessary.
Headaches are all too common. We’re uncomfortably familiar with them; whether it was a long day doing paperwork, drafting essays, taking care of children, or writing novels, we’ve all experienced the occasional stress-headache after working. Unfortunately, headaches come in many different varieties and have countless causes–which is why they’re so common. Overheating can cause a headache. Dehydration can cause a headache. Any number of sicknesses, like the flu, can cause headaches. And, most notoriously, sinus problems can cause headaches–but this last one is a little more complicated than the others. Sinus headaches are related to many different processes in the sinus area and can be signs of something bigger.
Sinus Headaches and Sinusitis
Although sinus headaches don’t always indicate an actual sinus disorder, there are some cases where these unique headaches are symptoms of sinusitis. Sinusitis may be acute or chronic and is often accompanied by facial discomfort, fever, nasal congestion, and upper jaw pain, in addition to those notorious sinus headaches. However, sinus headaches are uniquely crafty–that is to say, sinusitis can sometimes occur with sinus headaches as the only symptom, and, conversely, sinus headaches on their own are sometimes unrelated to sinusitis. This means that sinus headaches might be something more than they appear, or they might not. The best thing to do? Visit your local Ear, Nose, and Throat expert–an ENT Doctor–and, until then, try some temporary at-home treatments.
Easing a Sinus Headache
While it’s important to visit an ENT Doctor for your sinus headache, the chances are you’ll be looking for some immediate relief. Here are a few at-home solutions you can try.
- Humidity. Inhaling moist air can do wonder for the sinuses. This can be achieved using a humidifier, a pot of boiling water, or a hot shower–the important thing is that you inhale the steam slowly and evenly.
- Nasal Rinse. Sometimes, the cause of a sinus headache can be “washed out” by a nasal rinse. Although these rinses are slightly uncomfortable, they do help to shrink the sinus membranes and clear out the drainage pathways for easier breathing.
- Hot and cold. If you find that your sinus headache is particularly stubborn, you may want to try alternating hot and cold compresses. Hot for three minutes, cold for thirty seconds, and repeat up to six times per day.
Looking for information on sinus headaches or sinusitis? Searching for a reliable ENT Doctor? Contact us at (208) 336-4368 today!