Introduction to acute frontal sinusitis
Frontal sinuses are cavities that occur in a pair, are small, air-filled and are located behind the eyes where you have the brows.
Together with another three pairs of sinuses called paranasal sinuses, the frontal sinuses are laden with the responsibility of mucus production. The mucus is a thin substance that drains through the nasal passages.
When this mucus is produced in abnormally large amounts, or when the sinuses, especially the frontal sinus, become inflamed, an acute frontal sinusitis will develop. The inflamed sinuses will cause the mucus to be poorly drained.
What can cause an acute frontal sinusitis?
Excessive accumulation of the thin mucus due to inflammatory conditions in the brain happens to be the top cause of acute frontal sinusitis. So many factors have been implicated in influencing both the amount of mucus production and the ability of the frontal sinus to get rid of mucus. They are;
- The common cold virus: It is one of the top causes of acute frontal sinusitis. Having flu thus predisposes you to develop an acute frontal sinusitis. This is true because flu induces excessive mucus production. Too much mucus can actually block the sinuses. And when the sinuses are blocked, inflammation can set in.
- Bacteria: Tiny hairs called cilia line up the sinuses. Their responsibility is trapping microorganisms that find their way to the sinuses. The hair can fail in this function notwithstanding. When this is the case, it means bacteria can find their way to the sinuses through the nose. Bacteria thrive in mucus-filled environments. These bacteria can end up causing bacterial infection in the sinuses. Flu can also cause bacterial infection in the sinuses. It has been discovered to be the most severe symptoms associated with acute frontal sinusitis.
Bacterial infections usually cause the most severe symptoms of acute sinusitis.
- Nasal polyps: A Polyp is an abnormal growth in your body. When numerous amounts of these are found in the sinuses, they can actually block these mucus drainage pathways. What will follow will be a pile-up of mucus in the sinuses.
- Deviated nasal septum: If you have a deviated nasal septum, you can’t breathe at the same rate through the two sides of your nose. When this happens, air that will be made available in your body will be limited. Limited air in your body circulation means tissue death. And tissue death will lead to inflammation.
Photo Credit: Mayo Clinic
Who is at risk of acute frontal sinusitis?
Most of the risk factors associated with the development of acute frontal sinusitis are;
- Allergic reactions
- Smoking tobacco products
- Enlargement of the adenoids – tonsils
- A weakness of the immune system
- Fungi-induced infections
- Differences in the structures of the sinus cavities that can negatively affect their drainage functions.
What are the symptoms of acute frontal sinusitis?
Facial pain around your eyes or forehead is the most common symptom of acute frontal sinusitis. Other symptoms may vary in severity depending on the type of inflammation or infection. They include:
- You will experience mucus discharge from your nose
- You might feel pressure behind your eyes
- You will have a poor visual ability.
- a cough that gets worse during the night
- Malaise – when you start having a feeling that you are not well.
- Mild or high fever.
- Your body gets easily tired.
- You will have feelings of soreness in your throat.
- Your breath can become uninviting.
You see the above-mentioned symptoms? Children show that they are not enough! They add more to theirs. Take a look at them;
- Their cold becomes really worse.
- They add an unusual color to their mucus discharge- perhaps because they love colors!
- Fever that is unreasonably high.
Diagnosis of acute frontal sinusitis
Doctors have a way of diagnosing diseases. They will begin with what they call a history check. The history of your condition will be taken. Your doctor will inquire about the symptoms, their duration and other information he might need to glean from you. He will do all of these so that he can adequately know whether what you are currently going through is mere cold or its more than that – an acute frontal sinusitis.
You are likely to receive a light tap on your frontal sinuses. He will do this to find out whether you will feel pains.
To be very sure of your diagnosis, a throat, ear and nose doctor might have to come into the scene. This special doctor will be on the lookout for inflammatory signs and polyps in the cavities of your nose. He might even go a step further to take some samples of mucus from your nose in order to see if there are any traces of infections.
You need to be familiar with other tests that your doctor can recommend for reliable diagnosis of your condition. They are; allergy checks, nasal endoscopy, nasal CT scan and MR imaging, and blood tests.
Treating acute frontal sinusitis
When you are to be treated, your doctor must have had firsthand information about the cause of the condition – polyps, virus, bacteria, etc.
Nasal spray: It will be used to do three things – reduce inflammation, speed up drainage of mucus, and lower pressure build up from the blockage. It is indicated for virus-caused acute frontal sinusitis.
Over-the-counter drugs: you might have to get some drugs from your local drugstores to alleviate your pains. Most of these drugs especially aspirin is not recommended to children. This is because it has the potency of making them develop Reye’s syndrome.
In addition to the drugs gotten from the local drug stores, a particular drug referred to as antihistamine can be useful in drying some of the mucus in the sinuses. But it should not be abused through overuse as it can make you uncomfortable.
Antibiotics will come in to play when after ten days if you still do not respond to the treatments mentioned before now. It might be an indication that a bacteria in involved and its infections need to be addressed.
If the presented case of acute frontal sinusitis is due to a deviated septum, a surgical regime might be embarked upon to fix it up.
Most of the cases of acute frontal only need a couple of days for the symptoms to go away. But when it gets even more stubborn after you might have taken different medications and you still have the symptoms still persisting for say, twelve weeks or more, then you have got to see your doctor- it has become chronic and you are at a huge risk of serious complications. You might have to undergo a surgery to put this in check.
Also, ensure you always stick to all instructions that come with your medications. You are too smart to be smart with drug consumption.
Preventing acute frontal sinusitis
Good hygiene? Yes! What does it entail? Keep your hands clean always – before you get them into your mouth, after you’re done using the bathroom or toilet, restrict how you touch your face anyhow. You never can tell what germ is dancing on your palms. It’s always good to be on a safer side. Do you love tobacco? You smoke it? It can be an allergen! It can induce mucus to pile up in your sinuses. It will end up becoming another case of acute frontal sinuses.
Do you love to drink water? Yeah, keep it up! It’s good for preventing infections. How about your diets? Make sure they are healthy. They will help to strengthen your immune system. It will also help your sinuses to remain properly drained.