Thursday, December 25, 2008


Sinusitis generally refers to inflammation of mucous membranes of the panasal sinuses, which are bone cavities located in the skull near the nose. They include the frontal sinuses, located above the orbits of the eyes; the maxillary sinuses, located in the cheekbones; and the ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses, located behind the nose. All of these sinuses drain mucus into the nose sults from an infection or an allergy. Infection is caused by the introduction of bacteria through interconnecting channels and is accompanied by pain and tenderness. Chronic sinusitis may be infective, allergic, or a combination of these forms.

Maxillary sinusitis often occurs after a cold or after swimming in contaminated water. Occasionally, extraction of a molar tooth will break the floor of the maxillary sinus, leaving an opening through which bacteria can enter and cause sinusitis. Frontal sinusitis usually is accompanied by localized headache, surface tenderness, and, occasionally, swelling of the eyelids. Sphenoid sinusitis often causes blurring of vision because of the proximity of this sinus the optic nerves.

The proximity of these sinuses to the brain makes all paranasal sinusitis potentially dangerous. The usual treatment is with antibiotics, although surgical procedures are sometimes necessary to facilitate drainage and relieve pressure.
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