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Apr 28, 2011

Healthy Living pulls out a tissue for sinusitis

In today’s edition of Healthy Living we discuss a condition that can affect just about everyone. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinuses or nasal passages. The main symptoms include pain and pressure on the face and a runny nose accompanied by a green or yellowish discharge. According to Dr. Anastacio Cobb, the location of the pain and the color of the mucus are signs of whether or not you have an infection.

Marleni Cuellar, Reporting

If you’ve ever had a sinus infection or sinusitis, you’d know the pain and discomfort associated with the condition. Ear Nose & throat specialist, Doctor Anastacio Cob, says that sinus infections are one of the main reasons people visit his office. To understand how the sinuses get infected he explains their function.

Dr. Anastacio Cob, Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist

Anastacio Cob

“The sinuses are called really para-nasal sinuses because they are located above and to the sides, below and to the back of the nose. And they are connected to the nose through tiny little channels. They are spaces, they’re empty spaces. And their major role is to produce mucus. The mucus that is produced in the sinus is moved by little broom like movements in the cilium and enters into the nose through these little channels and goes in a laminar flow and so when the air comes through. It brings in dust particles, viruses bacteria pollen. It gets in this mucus that is travelling from the sinus to the back of the throat. So it cleans the air, it produces mucus so it can clean the air, it warms the air as well, this mucus is warm and it also humidifies the air. So as it passes through it picks moisture as well. So when it reaches our throat and goes into our lungs the air is clean, it is moist and nicely warmed.”

The little channels used for travel to the nose can get swollen and become blocked. Allergies, colds or flus, a crooked nose (or deviated septum), and even tumors can interrupt the free flow of the sinus.

Dr. Anastacio Cob

“It stagnates inside the sinus and then once it stagnates. It stays there for several hours and then the bacteria travels through that little channel and infects that mucus. So the patient begins to feel  a little pressure pain around this area here around the eyes on the forehead.”

This is the reason for one of the most recognizable symptoms of sinusitis: when the mucus changes color from clean to yellow to green.  Other symptoms for sinusitis are congestion, pain or pressure around sinus areas, sore throat headaches and sometimes dizziness.

Dr. Anastacio Cob

“I’m going to show you how the sinus looks in an x-ray. When we ask for a sinus Ct we are looking for the structures on our face in this area. We’re going to see the nose and we’re going to see the sinuses in this area. These are the yes. And the sinuses are these little tiny spaces as you see and there are tiny little channels that open and go inside the nose here. We can see how big this space is. It should be nice dark full of air and nothing should be inside. The eyes are here this is the nose and look at all this space is completely blocked. Some mass or some tissue growing inside. So it shows you how a sinus develops a normal sinus and this is a person who is really sick with sinus condition.”

Treatment for acute sinusitis, which typically lasts up to three weeks, involves treating the causes of the blockage: colds, allergies and the like. Chronic sinusitis lasts over three weeks and is more challenging to treat.

Dr. Anastacio Cob

“Now chronic sinusitis which is when the mucus in there is so thick and medication cannot help the patient. It helps it but one two weeks later the patient comes back and now those patients need medication and what we commonly know out there as draining the sinuses. One bout of sinusitis can damage the sense of smell to the point of no return. Fortunately, one sinus problem once they get better. The sense of smell comes back and of course once the sense of smell comes back the sense of taste comes back.”

If you are sick then pay attention to the location of pain and the color of the mucus. Doctor Cob emphasized that sinusitis is often mistaken for allergies and colds.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “Healthy Living pulls out a tissue for sinusitis”

  1. cg says:

    thanks for the research. I’m a consistent sinus sufferer, so information is always good

  2. belizeanpride says:

    i suffer acute sinus but for al ong time, i haven’t felt the symptons latley but i had to use homemade remedies for it since the farmacy pills recommended by a local doctor in town never work. now i feel much better with no side effects like the pills. but good to know what we suffer for those who might have it a never knew what they had also. i like this section of thrusday night “Healthy Living”

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