The sinuses are air-filled spaces. They are located in the cheeks, the forehead and between the eyes and are connected to the nose through very narrow channels. Inflammation or infection in these areas is termed sinusitis. Symptoms can vary according to the type and location of the inflammation.
In acute sinusitis there is often facial pain, fever and an unpleasant nasal discharge. The discharge is often felt at the back of the throat, commonly called ‘post-nasal drip’.
In longer term or chronic sinusitis, the pain may be absent or intermittent. Often the nose is blocked. The nose and sinuses are often inflamed at the same time.
Sinusitis may occur for no apparent reason. It may also follow a cold or flu like illness. It may be due to the normal drainage channels being blocked, for example by a bend in the nasal septum, the partition that divides the nose into two halves.
Assessment of the sinuses is helped by endoscopic examination of the nose in the clinic. In some cases a CT scan is required to give more information.
Sinusitis is usually treated by medicines to start with such as antibiotics, nasal sprays or drops, and sinus rinses. If this treatment doesn’t work, surgery often helps by relieving any obstructions and improving the normal drainage and ventilation of the sinuses. Such operations are usually straightforward and are performed under general anaesthetic (i.e. you are asleep) as day case or one night stay procedures.
If you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss your symptoms further, please do so via using one of the available options on our contact us page