Sphenoid Sinusitis: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
Ethmoid and sphenoid sinusitis refers to the inflammation of the sinuses located behind and between the eyes. Usually, these infections occur because of fungal, bacterial, or viral infections. Sphenoid and ethmoid sinuses are two of the four paranasal sinuses in the human body. The ethmoid sinuses can be found between your eyes and the sphenoid sinuses are located just above the nose and behind the eyes. While th sphenoid sinuses are rarely affected by and infection, the ethmoid sinuses are the most frequently affected by sinusitis. However, when an infection is able to make its way into the sphenoid sinuses, this can lead to a serious complication, such as meningitis, because these sinuses are connected to the optic nerve.
The Symptoms of Ethmoid and Sphenoid Sinusitis:
Different sinus infections can lead to different symptoms. Inflammation of the ethmoid sinuses often lead to eye-related symptoms, such as puffiness around the eyes or pain between the eyes and on the bridge of the nose. On the other hand, sphenoid sinusitis can be more difficult to diagnose. Doctors will often need to request CT scans and blood tests to find out if germs are present in your sinuses.
Regardless of which sinus might be affected, sinusitis often presents with these common symptoms:
- Flow of nasal secretions at the back of the throat
- Congested nose
- Sore throat
- Thick mucus
The Causes of Ethmoid and Sphenoid Sinusitis:
It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of these sinus infections, but some of the most common causes are:
- Upper respiratory tract infections: sinusitis often develops after an upper respiratory tract infection such as the flu or a cold
- Weakened immune systems: long-term or persistent infections can often happen when you have a weak defense system
- Pansinusitis - chronic sphenoid and ethmoid infections are common in people with pansinusitis
- Allergy attacks - some people suffer from short term periods of sinusitis after allergy attacks
- Structural abnormalities in the nasal passage - problems with the structure of the nasal airway can create ideal conditions for an infection
Treatments for Ethmoid and Sphenoid Sinusitis:
As with any type of sinusitis, the aim with treatment will be to reduce inflammation and help drain bacteria-filled mucus from your sinuses. There are a range of solutions that can be suggested for doing this. The best option is to contact your doctor as quickly as possible so you can come up with a treatment plan that works according to your specific symptoms and condition. Remember that a doctor will want to confirm a diagnosis of your infection to begin with. What's more, doctors will only ever recommend surgery as a last resort, as this treatment solution can cause a range of problems.
Instead of relying on surgery, your doctor might suggest that you use intranasal corticosteroid sprays that help to reduce inflammation within your sinuses and remove symptoms like swelling, itching, and congestion. Another option may be to use antibiotics, but these are not always effective - particularly if the case of sinusitis is caused by a virus - which antibiotics cannot treat.
Other solutions may include turning to stream therapy that helps to remove congestion and improve circulation throughout the sinuses. Drinking plenty of water and hot tea can keep the inside of your nose moist and thin out thick discharge so that it is easier to expel.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.