• Finding Sinus Relief from Seasonal Allergies

    on Nov 14th, 2017

With only a few weeks into the holiday season, Washington residents are already finding themselves having to adjust to the predictably chilly and often downright uncomfortable Pacific Northwest winter weather as best they can. Although we don’t see nearly as many snowy days as other parts of the country, that hasn’t stopped many of us from stocking up on heavy clothes and tissues for runny noses. In fact, urgent care patients are already seeing their own fair share of sinus problems as the leaves continue to fall and the winter air becomes crisper and harsher.

Fortunately for residents around Vancouver and Battle Ground, WA, Rose Urgent Care and Family Practice is here to help treat patients for their sinus woes. Every day, we treat numerous men, women, and youth throughout the Evergreen State for all their minor injuries and illnesses, and sinusitis is no exception. Our experienced and friendly medical team is able to provide treatment for sinus congestion and help our patients find relief from sinus pressure, runny noses, and other related issues.

Just What Are Sinuses?

While everyone has likely heard the word “sinuses,” not every man or woman on the street is particularly familiar with just what they are or how they work. The fact is that sinuses themselves are still a topic of discussion for scientists and medical researchers dating back thousands of years. In fact, their exact purpose is still a matter of debate and not fully understood even today.

Located around the eyes and nose, the sinuses are a series of air cavities found throughout the face. One of the theories for their existence is that their presence allows for a lack of bone density in the head, helping to reduce the overall weight that sits on the spine and neck. Other purposes for these empty cavities are all theoretical, although it is known that sinuses are partially responsible for the way people sound when they talk. In fact, it’s believed that the spacing in the sinuses helps the voice resonate to be louder and clearer, and those of us who suffer from chronic sinus issues find their voices tend to take on a more nasally quality.

In total, four sinus cavities can be found in the head, with the maxillary cavity being the largest just underneath the eyes. The others include the ethmoid cavity (found between the nose and eyes), the frontal sinuses (part of the forehead), and the sphenoidal sinus (found at the center of the skull).

What is Sinusitis?

Rhinosinusitis, or “sinusitis” as it’s better known, refers to a condition in which the mucus which naturally fills the sinuses becomes blocking from draining. This is often due to inflammation or infection around the sinuses that causes mucus to build up. Unable to flow properly, the mucus that once was responsible for warming and moistening the air we breathe quickly becomes an issue in many ways.

This results in a variety of symptoms depending on the severity of the sinus congestion and the length of time by which the sinuses are unable to function properly. The most common form of sinus congestion, acute sinusitis, lasts only four weeks and usually starts as a cold which eventually turns into a bacterial infection. Acute sinusitis is often caused by allergies and nasal problems related to seasonal changes, especially continuously breathing in colder air which may irritate the body.

Other forms of sinusitis include subacute sinusitis which lasts upwards of three months and the quite uncomfortable chronic sinusitis, which is diagnosed when rhinosinusitis continues for more than twelve weeks in spite of medical treatment. Each of these sinus conditions is treatable, although chronic sinusitis requires more attention due to its stubborn nature.

In all types of sinusitis, similar symptoms should be expected. These symptoms often start with slight nasal congestion, pressure around the face or eyes, coughing, and increased mucus production. Symptoms of acute or stronger sinusitis may also include fatigue, fever, or postnasal drip.

Treating Sinusitis

In most cases, many men and women notice that sinus inflammation tends to occur primarily as the seasons change between summer to fall and winter to spring. This is due to the increased number of airborne irritants such as pollen and dander that are circling through the air, along with irritation experienced as a result of dramatic air temperature changes.

If sinusitis is being caused as a result of allergies, then nasal decongestants alone will have minimal effects. It is advisable to seek out professional consultation through a family practice or urgent care to decide the best course of action to reduce inflammation or bacterial infection and find relief. This will include a comprehensive plan involving various combined forms of best practice behaviors and drug therapy.

Should you find yourself reaching for tissues and aching from sinus pressure, request an appointment with Rose Urgent Care and Family Practice today.

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