Sinuses are actually hollow spaces of bone in the face and skull. Sometimes they will become infected with bacteria. As the bacteria multiply, the physically occupy the space in the sinuses and cause swelling into the into the nose, eyes, forehead, and cheeks. Eventually people become miserable and may have headaches, post-nasal drip, fever, or severe fatigue. Antibiotics are recommended if the cause is bacterial.
Sinuses can also swell when the weather changes abruptly. Cold fronts can move in overnight and cause a lot of dry air to affect your nasal passages. Conversely, rain and damp air can cause your sinuses to become congested. These cases may not require antibiotics, but anti-histamines like Claritin, Benadryl, Alavert, and Zyrtec may be beneficial. Mucinex can also be used to burn off off the mucous congestion.
Some people will suffer with sinus problems due to pollen, dust, ventilation issues with their AC/furnace, or pet hair. These situations are best handled by an Allergist or Ear, Nose, Throat doctor for proper testing. Nasal sprays such as Flonase, Rhinocort, Nasonex, or nasal saline may be beneficial.
Talk with your doctor if over the counter medicines are not helping.
– Muhammad Emran, MD