The importance of healthy sinuses
The nose and sinuses play a key role in keeping the respiratory system running smoothly.
The sinuses–air-filled spaces in the skull that connect to the nasal cavity– are lined with a tissue layer called the mucosa. The mucosa produces and transports a protective, moist substance (mucus). When the sinuses are healthy and functioning well, the mucus is able to move and drain normally. However, if the sinuses become blocked, the cavities can become filled with fluid and microbes, resulting in infection and inflammation.
A sinus condition can produce serious discomfort, including facial tenderness and obstructed breathing. Swollen sinuses can disrupt sleep, diminish the senses of taste and smell, and cause bad breath. Under some circumstances, a sinus infection can lead to problems with the molars (the maxillary posterior teeth). In short, the health of the sinuses can greatly affect the quality of life.
Common sinus conditions
Many of us have experienced the displeasure of a sinus infection. The duration and severity of a sinus problem can vary. The common categories of sinus infections are:
- Acute Sinusitis (sinus infection): Symptoms last for 4 weeks or less.
- Subacute Sinusitis: Symptoms last for 4-8 weeks.
- Chronic Sinusitis: Symptoms persists for more than 3 months.
In extreme cases, a sinusitis condition can become chronic and recurring.
Tips for maintaining healthy issues
A healthy respiratory system can help keep your sinuses in balance. Here are a few tips to prevent sinus problems:
- Protect your respiratory system from pollutants and other irritants. Smoke and poor air quality can contaminate the respiratory system and contribute to swelling and congestion. To keep your sinuses functioning optimally, avoid breathing in cigarette smoke
- Control exposure to allergens. Sinus problems are a common complaint for allergy sufferers. Dust, mold, pollen, and other substances that prompt an allergic reaction can cause blockages of the sinus openings and nasal passages. Minimize your risk of sinus problems by keeping your environment free of allergy triggers or by wearing a protective mask when the risk of exposure to allergens is high.
- Flush out your sinuses with a lukewarm saltwater solution. Irrigating your nasal passages and sinuses can remove dust and particles that can lead to irritated sinuses. An over-the-counter sterile saline spray or a neti pot cleanse can help keep the nose clear.
Your sinus consultation with Dr. Alexis D. Furze
Whether you are experiencing a sinus infection for the first time or are seeking relief for a chronic problem, Dr. Alexis D. Furze can recommend an appropriate course of action. A California board-certified head & neck and facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Furze is an expert in diagnosing and treating sinus problems. Contact his Newport Beach office to schedule your consultation.