Do you feel a little congested in the nose? Or can’t you breathe at all? The reason may be inflammation or infection in the sinuses, leading to a condition called sinusitis. Other symptoms include coughing, sneezing, feeling tired, aches, and a constant low-grade fever.
Because the signs are so much like those of a cold, people with sinusitis often mistake their condition for a cold. But then, when the medications they’ve been taking to treat their cold symptoms don’t seem to be working, they go to the doctor who then examines them and tells them they have sinusitis.
How does sinusitis work?
To answer that question, we first need to take a look at what sinuses are. They are actually hollow cavities inside the skull that surround the nose. Each of us has four sinuses: the frontal sinuses above the eyes in the forehead area, the maxillary sinuses within each cheekbone, the ethmoid sinuses just behind the bridge of the nose and between the eyes, and the sphenoid sinuses behind the the ethmoids in the upper region of the nose and behind the eyes.
These paranasal sinuses have a mucous lining that continues into the nostrils. The mucus helps keep the air that passes from the nose to the nostrils clean, clear and dehumidified. When you have a cold, the cause is a viral infection in the nasal passages. As a result, the mucosal lining secretes more mucus as more white blood cells are sent to fight viruses in the infected area. This leads to swelling of the mucosal lining, causing inflammation that then becomes the precursor to sinusitis.
Full-blown sinusitis results in blockage of the nasal passages, which obstructs drainage and leads to postnasal drip. Due to the obstruction, the excess mucus produced gets trapped inside the nasal passages, where it accumulates and becomes dirty, causing the side effect of bad breath. Additionally, trapped mucus due to sinusitis can become a breeding ground for bacteria that cause the side effect of bad breath.
The worst thing about this bad breath side effect is that you usually don’t notice it, as the infection has caused your sense of smell to shut down. This bad breath side effect of sinusitis could very well be an embarrassing situation waiting to happen. Why let it happen?
How to treat Sinusitis?
The good news is that the bad breath side effect of sinusitis can be treated simply by treating the sinusitis itself. And there are dozens of different over-the-counter nasal decongestants and antihistamines that will do more than their job of stopping sinusitis. These medications work by relieving congestion and drying up excess mucus. However, by doing this, some of these medications can also inadvertently cause the side effect of bad breath, as dry mouth is one of the most common causes of bad breath.
However, drugs like Flonase are different. Flonase, generic name flonase floticasone, is a steroid-based prescription nasal spray that treats sinusitis but does not have a side effect of bad breath. Flonase has been used by many sinus patients with good results. Regular use of Flonase produces better results, as it may take several weeks for the medication to produce its maximum effect.