Sinusitis is a medical term for a sinus infection. Sinuses are air-filled cavities in the skull. Blocked sinuses trap mucus, which allows a bacterial, viral or fungal infection to grow more easily. Acute sinusitis symptoms can last two to eight weeks, but chronic sinusitis can last longer than eight weeks. Sinus blockage can occur because of a malfunction in the structures that normally move mucus out of the sinuses, an increased amount of mucus due to colds or allergies and an abnormality in the nasal structure such as a deviated septum, nasal bone spur or nasal polyps.
Certain conditions or factors can increase the risk of developing a sinus infection such as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, cystic fibrosis, changes in altitude, large adenoids, tooth infections, weakened immune system from chemotherapy or HIV and disorders that affect the structures responsible for moving mucus out of the sinuses like Kartagener syndrome or immotile cilia syndrome. Children in day care are also at an increased risk of sinusitis.
Symptoms of sinusitis in adults include decreased ability to smell, bad breath, cough, fatigue, fever, nasal congestion and discharge and nasal drainage down the back of your throat and sore throat. You may also experience pain such as headache, pain behind the eyes, toothache or facial tenderness.
Sinus infection symptoms in children are high fever in conjunction with a darkened discharge from the nose that lasts at least three days and a respiratory illness that seems to improve at first but begins to get worse. Children may also experience a discharge from their nose for greater than ten days that may or may not be accompanied by a cough.
Sinusitis Home Treatment
Treatment of a mild sinus infection can include increasing your fluid intake, flushing your nasal passages out with a saline solution several times a day, using a humidifier, inhaling steam two to four times a day and applying a warm, damp washcloth to your face several times per day.
Sinusitis Medical Treatment
Acute sinus infections usually go away without medical treatment. Antibiotics, such as clindamycin, can be prescribed for bacterial sinus infections with symptoms such as fever greater than 102.2 degrees F, severe swelling around the eyes, pain in the face, headaches and, in children, nasal discharge that may occur with a cough. Your physician will prescribe the best treatment for your condition based on your symptoms, age and medical history.
Side Effects of Clindamycin
The brand name of clindamycin is Cleocin. This medication can cause side effects such as vomiting, nausea, joint pain, painful swallowing, heartburn and white patches on the mouth. Clindamycin can also cause certain side effects in women including a thick, white discharge from the vagina and swelling, itching or burning of the vagina. Contact your physician if these side effects become bothersome.
Serious Side Effects of Clindamycin
Serious side effects related to clindamycin use include a skin rash, blisters, hives, problems swallowing or breathing, decreased urination and yellowing of the eyes or skin. Serious side effects need to be reported to your physician immediately, or if severe, contact emergency medical services.
An overgrowth of bad bacteria in the digestive system is possible with clindamycin treatment. The bad bacteria can lead to mild diarrhea or colitis, which is a life-threatening condition. Colitis is an irritation and inflammation of the large intestine. Symptoms of colitis such as bloody or watery stools, diarrhea, stomach cramps or fever can occur up to several months after clindamycin treatment has stopped. Contact your physician immediately if you experience these symptoms.