Sinusitis infection is extremely common and as per an estimate given by a popular medicine portal, it is said that at least 10 million people in India suffer from it every year.
Sinuses are air pockets that are placed behind our forehead, nose, cheekbones and between our eyes. These sinuses are responsible for producing mucus – a flowing liquid that keeps the germs away and protects the body. When excess mucus is formed due to bacteria or allergens that is when the openings of our sinuses get blocked. Excess mucus is common when people have allergy or cold. However, this becomes troublesome when the mucus becomes thick and paves way for germs to build up the sinus cavity and causes bacterial infection.
Common symptoms of sinusitis infection
The sinusitis symptoms are as follows:
- Headache and pressure in the ear
- Toothache and loss of smell
- Fatigue and Fever
- Yellowish discharge from the nose
- Cough and pain in your body
Types of Sinus Infections
There are three categories of sinus infections.
This stays for a short period that lasts no longer than 2 weeks. This is normally caused due to a viral infection and even seasonal allergies. However, if the infection is bacterial, it may last up to 4 weeks.
In subacute sinusitis the symptoms can last up to 3 months. This is also related to bacterial infections or seasonal allergies.
In chronic sinusitis the symptoms last for more than 3 months and they’re known to be less severe. Chronic sinusitis is a result of bacterial infection/persistent allergies or structural issues in the nasal passage.
What are the causes of sinusitis infection?
Anyone can get a sinus infection but certain and health and lifestyle factors increase the chance of developing one:
- A deviated nasal septum – where the wall of the tissue that runs through your nose is uneven and leaning on to one side
- Sudden bone growth in the nose
- Nasal polyps, non-cancerous growth in the nose
- Weak immune system
- Respiratory infection
- Cystic fibrosis/dental infection
How is a sinus infection diagnosed?
To detect a sinus infection, you will have to visit a doctor and get a physical examination done. Doctors can determine such things by doing some basic examining. But in most cases, doctors will only confirm once they run a few tests.
Should your infection be chronic the doctor may also ask for the results of tests like CT Scan or an MRI. Additionally, the doctor may also use a fiberoptic scope – a tube that passes through the nose to directly check for any deviation or blocks in the nasal passage. Finally, if required, the doctor may also do an allergy test to identify if there are any irritants that cause the infection.
These tests were easily accessible and possible before the pandemic but ever since coronavirus took over things have been different. Going to a doctor and meeting him/her for an appointment is difficult as it exposes yourself to the world outside and you too could get the virus. That is where technology came into play and helped people get access to online consultations or telemedicine. To understand the concept of telemedicine, we must first learn about telehealth.
What is telehealth?
Telehealth is the concept of digital or online consultation with doctors when patients cannot travel or stay far away from the doctor. Here the consultations are done completely online, and the patients only see the doctor if it is absolutely necessary. In this form of consultation even the medicines are prescribed online, and this is how it gets the term “telehealth”.
Similarly, in India ever since the lockdown orders were announce owing to COVID-19, almost all doctors opted for virtual treatment. This practice is still on as the pandemic is still rampant and people still avoid stepping out. As days are passing the concept of telemedicine is also catching up with people as it saves time for both the doctor and patient. Additionally, it also eliminates travelling which is also a major comfort factor for older patients. Having said that, even though this form of treatment is flexible, it is advisable up to a certain degree and not for serious cases.
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