Sinusitis ( sinusitis ) is an inflammation of the air filled cavities of the cranial bone. It can affect the frontal sinus, maxillary sinus, ethmoidal cells ( see also: inflammation of the ethmoidal cells) or the sphenoid sinus.
Sinusitis can often be associated with runny nose and facial and headaches. The headache can often be triggered by tapping on the affected paranasal sinus. It can develop after a normal cold and be accompanied by cough and fever. It is usually self-limiting and heals after about a week; if it persists for more than 12 weeks, it is a chronic sinusitis.
Sinusitis can be caused by both viruses and bacteria. However, viral sinusitis is much more common and therefore the use of antibiotics should be done sparingly. Viral inflammation is associated with rather thin white secretions (runny nose), bacterial infections are more accompanied by yellow viscous purulent secretions. Changes in the nasal anatomy, such as a curvature of the nasal septum ( Nasenseptumdeviation ) or an oversized turbinate ( hypertrophy ) favor the emergence of sinusitis.
Patients often ask themselves whether they are allowed to exercise in case of a mild cold or sinusitis. In general, the sport is hampered by the disabled nasal breathing (due to the swelling of the mucous membranes and the cold / secretions) anyway, so that sport increasingly exerts the body in this condition. In case of sinusitis is rather discouraged from exercise. The patient should give the body sufficient rest and strength to fight the pathogens. Since the pathogens can spread everywhere in an infection, even a normally harmless sinusitis can be dangerous. The problem with sinusitis is the often unimpaired subjective well-being. But who wants to do something good for his body, spares himself even with a slight cold.
When the pathogens "scatter" - meaning they spread through the blood - they can cause great damage to other organs. In particular, the heart is at risk here. The pathogens can settle on the heart valves and lead to heart valve damage with far-reaching consequences. This can ultimately make an operative therapy necessary. Also a myocarditis ( myocarditis ) can arise. The symptoms are high fever, fatigue, tiredness and performance kink. In any case, then a very long sports break of months is necessary, so you should rather not take this risk and should instead spare 1-2 weeks in a sinusitis. Cardiac function can be severely impaired by these complications, requiring rapid therapy in the clinic. Otherwise, long-term loss of heart function may even result in heart transplantation. These complications can even be life-threatening, but occur very rarely on the whole.
If the acute sinusitis does not heal, it can become chronic. Another complication is the breaking of the paranasal sinus wall. When it is inflamed and the pathogens enter the surrounding sinuses or organs, the infection spreads. It can also cause meningitis ( meningitis ). This is reflected in headache / neck pain, especially in head flexion. Also an eye involvement is possible, which is manifested in visual disturbances and redness, as well as pain in the eye. A middle ear infection can occur especially in children.
Above all, the person concerned should take care to give the body enough power to fight the pathogens. It should absolutely be waived sports! No bed rest is required, but the body should not have to struggle.
For bacterial infections, treatment with antibiotics may be useful. Fever should be lowered. Otherwise, general measures are in the foreground. It is important to ensure adequate hydration (at least 2 liters of water or tea per day). To alleviate symptoms, decongestant nasal drops or sprays can be used to improve the subjective state of health. But they should not be taken permanently because they can lead to dehydration of the mucous membrane and also to addiction. Steam inhalations, possibly with essential oils are useful to keep the nose moist and to improve the inhalation. Even herbal medications such as Sinupret® forte and Sinupret® drops can provide relief.
By a deviation (deviation) of the nasal septum or by polyps (small protuberances in the nasal mucous membrane) the occurrence of a sinusitis can be promoted, because thereby the secretion discharge can be impeded. These anatomical changes can be treated surgically if there is a high level of suffering or in case of frequent or chronic sinusitis. Dust mite or pollen allergies also lead to chronic runny nose and can promote sinusitis.
Especially in the cold winter months, the immune system should be strengthened and cold be avoided. For this warm clothes, regular ventilation in the heated by the heating air rooms, sufficient fluid and avoiding contact with chilled people is important.