Sinusitis refers to an inflammation of the tissues that line the sinuses. When a person is healthy, their sinuses are full of air. If the airways become blocked, however, bacteria, viruses, and fungi can grow in them and cause an infection. The swelling induced by the infection often causes headaches, pain, pressure, and nasal congestion, along with other possible symptoms.
Although the pathogens that cause sinus infections technically could pass from one person to another, sinus infections aren’t viewed as contagious. The bacteria, viruses, and fungi that cause them are usually trapped in the sinus, which is why they’re causing an infection in the first place, and, therefore, won’t pass to another person under normal conditions.
Allergies themselves won’t cause a sinus infection because allergies are the immune system’s overreaction to benign allergens. Allergies, however, can cause congestion that can trap bacteria, viruses, or fungi in the sinuses and lead to a sinus infection. Additionally, allergies can delay the recovery from an existing sinus infection.
Allergists use several methods to treat sinusitis. Often, simple cases can be fully treated with a simple decongestant and antibiotic. Persistent or recurring cases of sinusitis may require additional treatments, such as vapor treatments, nasal sprays, antihistamines, and oral steroids. Often, these treatments along with lifestyle changes are enough to reduce the frequency of sinus infections. In extremely severe cases, though, surgery may be appropriate. Only a medical doctor is qualified to make this assessment.
Anyone who has persistent or recurrent sinusitis symptoms should contact Dr. Tano. It's important to treat quickly sinus infections that aren't going away on their own, as they can worsen, and a visit to Integrative Immunity may be able to help determine why you’re suffering from recurring sinus infections.
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