Is nasal decongestant only treatment option for sinus infection? – Dr. Sreenivasa Murthy T M



Most people misunderstand headache for a sinus problem, but actually sinuses are air filled spaces around your nose. They are air filled spaces in the skull bone. The skull bone in made in such a way around your eyes such that there are 8 places where air is filled up and these air filled spaces are lined with mucosa. Mucosa is the lining of the skin, which contains mucus glands, which secrete mucus. Mucus will be slightly thicker than your saliva and thicker than sweat. It is absolutely essential to keep the air that you breathe humidified. Otherwise the breath of air that you take will be as hot as outside or as cold as outside, which the lung may not tolerate. So this humidification is of paramount importance. When this lining of the nose gets inflamed in the sinuses, then that is when it is termed as sinusitis. this again is secondary to bacterial, viral, fungal, exposure to chemicals, allergies, so multiple ways so for every sinusitis, patient can have nose block and invariably what they do is go to a pharmacist and get an over the counter nasal decongestant and start using it. These nasal decongestant can be counterproductive if it is not the right indication because it gives relief from nasal obstruction for some time but on prolonged use, for more than 3 to 4 consequent days, then it can cause a rebound congestion the nose becomes more congested than it was initially, resulting in you using the nasal decongestant more often. So not all congestions of the nose are secondary to sinusitis and not all decongestants require nasal decongestants, which are available over the counter. So anybody who is having a nasal decongestion, not clearing for more than 3 to 4 days’ time, has to visit an ENT surgeon to know what is the predisposing cause and to know what is the treatment to be given.

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