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The on­go­ing cli­matic changes have led to a rise in health is­sues in the coun­try. But if it is a per­sis­tent cold that you are suf­fer­ing from, you may need to worry…

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Si­nusi­tis – the new city dis­ease

Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent study, it is es­ti­mated that 134 mil­lion (one in eight) In­di­ans suf­fer from chronic si­nusi­tis. The ur­ban pop­u­la­tion is more prone to si­nusi­tis mainly be­cause of higher oc­cu­pa­tion and in­dus­trial air pol­lu­tion in ci­ties as com­pared to ru­ral ar­eas.

WHAT IS SI­NUSI­TIS?

Si­nusi­tis is in­flam­ma­tion of the lin­ing of the paranasal si­nuses, also re­ferred as rhi­nos­i­nusi­tis (RS). It is dened as acute rhi­nos­i­nusi­tis (ARS) if it lasts less than four weeks, and as chronic rhi­nos­i­nusi­tis (CRS) if it lasts for more than 12 weeks.

CAUSES:

RS de­vel­ops through the com­bi­na­tion of en­vi­ron­men­tal (air pol­lu­tion) fac­tors, struc­tural prob­lems in the nose and host im­mune func­tion. Al­ler­gies, up­per res­pi­ra­tory vi­ral in­fec­tion (the most com­mon in­fec­tious cause for RS across all age groups), or other fac­tors cause an un­der­ly­ing, vig­or­ous inam­ma­tion affecting the nose and paranasal si­nuses lead­ing to si­nusi­tis. Re­cur­rent episodes of RS oc­cur in peo­ple with asthma, cys­tic bro­sis (a ge­netic dis­or­der) and poor im­mune func­tion (fun­gal si­nus in­fec­tions are more com­mon). In­creased level of air pol­lu­tion in ur­ban ar­eas leads to high lev­els of Sul­phur Diox­ide (SO2), Ni­tro­gen Diox­ide (NO2), Ozone (O3), Car­bon Monox­ide (CO), Am­mo­nia (NH3) and Par­tic­u­late Mat­ter (PM10), which have a high in­ci­dence of res­pi­ra­tory disor­ders, no­tably max­il­lary

si­nusi­tis. Lack of proper air pol­lu­tion reg­u­la­tion and gen­eral aware­ness has es­ca­lated the prob­lem. Vi­ral in­fec­tions trig­ger si­nusi­tis, which if un­treated can lead to bac­te­rial in­fec­tions, al­ler­gies, and ex­ces­sive mois­ture that can lead to the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of fun­gus in the si­nus cav­i­ties.

SYMP­TOMS:

1. Sud­den on­set of nasal block­age. 2. Nasal dis­charge. 3. Fa­cial pain/ pressure. 4. Headaches. 5. Hy­pos­mia (de­creased sense of smell). 6. Red­ness of nose, cheeks, or eye­lids. 7. Per­sis­tent cough­ing. 8. Sore throat. 9. Ear full­ness/ pressure.

TREAT­MENT:

Treat­ment op­tions de­pend on the na­ture of the si­nusi­tis. An­tibi­otic med­i­ca­tions are used to treat acute si­nusi­tis. De­con­ges­tants, or the short-term use of de­con­ges­tant nose sprays, can be use­ful. Steroid nasal sprays may be used to de­crease swelling in the nasal pas­sages. If an anatomic rea­son is found for chronic si­nusi­tis, it may need to be cor­rected with surgery (FESS – Func­tional En­do­scopic Si­nus Surgery). Un­til the var­ied symp­toms be­gin to af­fect the pro­duc­tiv­ity, most peo­ple suf­fer silently. Pa­tients with a mild si­nus in­fec­tion do not re­al­ize that the symp­toms, which last be­yond 12 weeks, could be an in­di­ca­tion that they suf­fer from si­nusi­tis.

PRE­VEN­TION:

Pre­ven­tion in­volves the usual stan­dards of good hy­giene to cut down on the num­ber of colds an in­di­vid­ual catches. Dur­ing win­ter, use a hu­midier. Avoid ex­po­sure to cig­a­rette smoke. Iden­tify and treat al­ler­gies to pre­vent si­nus in­fec­tions.

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