Sinus Infection and Nasal Congestion
Sinus infection often presents itself if a person constantly suffers from nasal congestion
caused by some medical conditions.
Nasal congestion, in layman terms, refers to a stuffy nose or blocked nose. When both nostrils
are completely blocked, you need to breathe through the mouth so that enough oxygen enters the lungs.
It is erroneous to think that the cause of nasal congestion is the result of too much mucus
clogging up the nasal passages.
In fact, nasal congestion occurs when the mucosal lining within the nose become swollen. It
could also be due to enlargement of the inferior nasal turbinates at the same time.
Inferior Turbinate Enlargement is the Main Cause of Severe Nasal
A nasal turbinate is a long, narrow shell-like curled bone which protrudes into the breathing
passage of the nose. Its main purpose is to help warm and humidify the inhaled air before it reaches the lungs.
Severe nasal congestion impairs normal breathing as it forces patients to breathe through the
Infant nasal congestion in the first few months of life can interfere with feeding and could
cause life-threatening breathing problems.
Nasal congestion and enlarged turbinates can also contribute to sinus headaches and sleep
There is a strong association between enlarged turbinate nasal congestion and allergic rhinitis,
commonly known as hay fever. This happens when the mucosal lining becomes inflamed with the onset of hay fever. The
blood vessels in the lining then begin to expand.
This causes the enlargement of the turbinates which in turn obstructs the natural ventilation of
the nasal passages and sinuses.
Medical Conditions Which Can Cause Nasal Congestion
- Hay fever and other allergies
- Sinus infection or sinusitis
- Overuse of some nasal sprays or drops
- Very cold external environment
Nasal congestion can be caused by the common cold, influenza, hay fever and other allergies such
as dust, pollen or pet dander.
Allergies invariably also cause nasal congestion symptoms by releasing chemicals in the body
that cause tissue swelling surrounding the turbinates.
Nasal Congestion Remedy
Over-the-counter medicines can provide nasal congestion relief and make breathing easier.
Decongestants are drugs used for shrinking the blood vessels in the mucosal lining of the nose.
However, decongestant nasal sprays and drops should not be used for more than 3 days because
they cause rebound congestion when used for too long.
Sinus Infection and Nasal Congestion
Sinus infection often occurs if a person does not recover fully from the common cold, viral
influenza or allergies. When a person’s nose is blocked, the natural ventilation of the nasal passages and sinuses
This allows viruses and bacteria to multiply within the sinuses resulting in bacteria
If the immune system of the person is strong, the body’s natural defenses can suppress the
bacteria buildup within the sinuses. But unfortunately, those with a weakened immune system will succumb to the
bacterial overload and sinus infection results.
In order to prevent sinus infection successfully, it is
imperative that nasal congestion must be treated as early as possible.
For those people who are born with naturally large inferior turbinates, it is common for then to
have nasal congestion and blocked nose on a daily basis even though they are not suffering from any medical
As a result, they often suffer from sinus infection regularly. We term these people as
chronic sinus infection or chronic sinusitis
Latest Medical Treatment For Those With Enlarged Nasal
Thermal ablation with radiofrequency energy is a recently developed non-surgical procedure for
the reduction of enlarged turbinates. It involves using an electrode to heat the turbinate tissue from within the
This causes the size of the turbinate to be reduced. With this method, there is little or no
bleeding and pain.
Thermal ablation with radiofrequency is minimally invasive and is done in the clinic with only
The patient can resume normal activity almost immediately.
This procedure also preserves the normal function of the turbinate resulting in excellent
ventilation of the nasal passages and sinuses.
Sinus infection and nasal congestion are closely related. Successful treatment of nasal
congestion problems can very well prevent sinus infection or sinusitis from recurring.