What is maxillary sinus?
It is a Para nasal sinus that is situated near the nose area. They are two in numbers and can be found on both the nose sides just above the moustache/teeth area. They resemble the shape of tilted pyramids. They have 3 cavities, which are directed towards the side, interior and inferior sides.
Their main functions are mucus production; decrease the weight of the overall skull region as well as have a deep effect on the voice tone of speech. Besides, they have other functions like
- Acting as shock absorber against the trauma that can occur in the facial area (Injury to soft tissues, swellings, facial structural changes etc)
- Protecting the inter connected organs like teeth, their roots and parts of the eye from frequent temperature variations.
- Humidifying inhaled air from this region.
- Controlling the air/gas pressure in the intra nasal regions etc.
Infections, Illnesses and diseases
One of the most commonly occurring infections of this region is the bilateral maxillary sinusitis. In this case, both the cavities get infected. Most common signs are inflammations in the nasal cavities start spreading and reach the Maxillary sinus region. They could be a result of virus attacks or bacterial infections. In some cases, it could be the combination of both.
Common symptoms are
- Nose blockage and difficulty in breathing. Of the nasal blockage becomes heavy, the breathing automatically switches over through the mouth, leading to higher chances of breathing infections.
- Continued blockage could lead to nasal mucus leaks.
- This could lead to teeth problems, arising from its roots.
- This could affect eye regions, often resulting in sore eyes, bulges in the region just below the eyes, irritation etc.
- Facial pain of the acute order.
- Increasing head ache, accompanied by frequent sneezing and nasal leaks.
Type of bilateral maxillary sinusitis
There are three types of this illness, namely acute maxillary sinusitis, sub acute maxillary sinusitis and chronic maxillary sinusitis.
Acute maxillary sinusitis: This is the first stage. It is often accompanied by frequent nasal blocks. The patient will not be able to bend his head as it leads to blockage! This can be cured with the help of liquid nasal drops and/or nasal spray. Hot fumes inhaling from nasal liquids, hot sauna and other simple remedies are sufficient to overcome this problem.
Sub acute maxillary sinusitis: This is the second stage of the illness. In this case, the maxillary sinus is either punctured or it is soaked with anti biotic compounds in order to reduce the intensity of the viral infections. In many of the cases, it gets cleared over a period of time.
Chronic maxillary sinusitis: In this case, a catheter (a thin tube usually made of medical grade plastic) is inserted into the sinus region in order to ease the breathing process. In other cases, where this method is not found to be suitable, surgical method of sinusitis removal is the only option.
Depending on the intensity of the illness, the method is varied. In chronic conditions, when the surgery is performed, the success rate is found to be about 80% 95% in the short run that is up to a period of 5 10 years approximately. The chances of sinusitis relapses are quite high among those patients, who happen to pick up smoking habits at a later age. In most of the other cases, the surgical methods have found to give long lasting solutions.
This is in fact my real life experience at the age of 14, when I underwent sinusitis surgery due to its chronic condition. My problems started approximately 45 months prior to my surgery. I used to get frequent nose blocks, occurring in both the nasal pipes. This used to happen even when I bent my head down for more than 2 3 minutes! My initial treatment started with nasal drops.
After taking a couple of drops into my both nostrils, it would be followed by a series of non stop sneezing. It used to last for about 4 5 minutes, accompanied by nasal leaks and then it would stop. My nose blocks got cleared.
The E.N.T –specialist suggested that I undergo sinusitis surgery which I did. Since then I had no problems with this illness until the age of 41. Now I get the nasal blocks sometimes, when I get exposed to dust, which gets cleared after a round of nasal drops.