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What is Acute Bacterial Sinusitis?

Acute bacterial sinusitis is an infection of the sinus cavities caused by bacteria, with symptoms that can last for up to 4 weeks. Every individual has four paranasal sinuses, the Ethmoid, Sphenoid, Frontal and Maxillary sinuses. Acute bacterial sinusitis is usually preceded by a cold, allergy attack or irritation caused by environmental pollutants. Symptoms of Acute bacterial sinusitis that persist longer than 6 weeks are classified as chronic sinusitis.

The presence of these bacteria within the nasal cavities are common in children, especially those exposed to day care centers because sinusitis is caused by bacteria which is contagious. Sinusitis occurring during the first week of upper respiratory infection is usually viral in origin.

What are the symptoms?

Normally, when you have a cold or an allergy attack, your sinuses become inflamed and are unable to drain. This can lead to congestion and infection. Traditional features of acute bacterial sinusitis include:

  • Headaches or facial tenderness
  • Nasal secretions that becomes thicker and perhaps yellow or green
  • Cough and sneezing
  • Fever with temperature of greater than 38°C
  • Sore throat from post nasal drip
  • Bad breath
  • Ear infections (caused by the same bacteria)
  • Maxillary toothache, on either side of the nostrils in the cheek bones
  • Upper respiratory infection

On average, adults have two or three colds a year and children have six to ten colds a year, of which only about 2% are complicated by acute bacterial sinusitis.

The causes of Acute Bacterial Sinusitis

The major causes of the acute bacterial sinusitis are bacteria called Pneumococcus, Hemophilus influenza, Moraxella, other Streptococcus species and Staphylococcus, the other cause of acute bacterial sinusitis is a viral upper respiratory infection.

Treating Acute Bacterial Sinusitis

Acute bacterial sinusitis is usually best treated with the appropriate antibiotics and right dose for the appropriate amount of time (usually 14-21 days). These antibiotics are usually continued for at least 7 days after the symptoms have disappeared. If symptoms worsen or do not improve, the antibiotic has to be changed early on in the course because long term use of antibiotics without a positive improvement can promote bacterial resistance.

In addition to an antibiotic, an oral, nasal spray or drop decongestants may be recommended to relieve congestion, although you should avoid prolonged use of non-prescription nasal sprays or drops.

Unlike a cold or allergy, acute bacterial sinusitis requires a physician's diagnosis and treatment to cure the infection and prevent future complications. With proper antibiotic treatment, over 90% of acute bacterial sinusitis cases are cured.

Cases of acute bacterial sinusitis which do not respond to an initial course of antibiotics should receive a second course of antibiotic treatment.

The purpose of the antibiotic treatment is to reduce the duration of the infection and illness and to prevent serious complications such as an infection to the eye, bacterial meningitis and a brain abscess. Chronic sinus disease is thought to be another complication of untreated or inadequately treated acute bacterial sinusitis.


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  Allergy Force
Post Nasal Drip
  OriFlu Away
  Ear Warrior
  Damaged Mucous Membranes and Nose Bleeds
OriNasal Clear
Persistent Sinu-Care
  Headache Warrior
  Nasal Spray - Allergies, Congestion/Pressure and Headaches
  Loss of Smell and Taste
  Nasal Polyps
OriEasy Sleep
Sleep Easy
Tinnitus Warrior
OriThroat & Tonsil Care
Super Unblocker
  Provides fast long lasting relief from Sinus Headaches
Solves the underlying cause of Sinus Problems
Treats Sinus Infections
Unblocks; blocked nasal passages
Assists with Post Nasal Drip and Bad Breath
Treats Hayfever/Allergy attacks and Rhinitis
Relieves Sinus Pressure and Pain
Helps shrink and treat Nasal Polyps
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