Airborne Irritant Induced Sinusitis: Symptoms And Treatment

Sinusitis is swelling of the para-nasal sinus cavities. Sinuses are spaces filled with air and lined by mucus membrane. They are located in the bony structure of the skull; in cheek bone, on both the sides of nasal bridge, forehead, and behind the nose. Normal function of paranasal sinus is to secrete mucus and keep the nasal lining moist.

Sinusitis can occur due to several reasons which include bacterial, viral and fungal infection. Many people suffer from sinusitis due to allergy or from airborne irritants usually as a consequence of their occupational environment.

Vapors emitted from chemicals, fumes and dust, tiny parts of fiber glass all can cause irritation in sinuses when a person inhales such airborne particulates.

Sinusitis caused due to airborne particulates can manifest various symptoms such as nasal congestion, frontal headache, thick yellow nasal discharge, constant sneezing, pain in upper jaw, fever, tenderness around the orbit and cheek bones etc. Avoiding coming in contact with airborne irritants is of prime value in controlling sinusitis of such type. Use of medicines, nasal sprays etc will definitely help to relieve the condition temporarily.

How Does Airborne Irritant Cause Sinusitis?

Airborne irritant induced sinusitis is inflammation of para-nasal sinus cavities.

This type of sinusitis occurs when the airborne irritant particles are inhaled in the nose. Most common air irritants are dust particles, fumes and vapor of chemicals, tiny particulates of fiber glass and wood, agricultural products etc. The inhaled tiny particulates after entering into the nose cause irritation in the lining of nose, sinuses and throat. It leads to inflammation. The swelling causes obstruction in the flow of mucus draining from the sinuses. This gives rise to pain and various other symptoms of sinusitis. In also increases risk of secondary bacterial infection.

In majority of cases airborne irritant induced sinusitis occurs among people working in certain occupations and industry. These people are more exposed to industrial chemicals and fumes, vapors of ammonia, cotton dust particles, dust from woodcutting and fiberglass industry, tobacco smoke etc. People working in certain professions are at risk. They include; cooks, welders, glass blowers, construction workers coming in contact with particulate of cement, agriculture products, insecticide and pesticides etc.

Symptoms Of Airborne Irritant Induced Sinusitis

The signs and symptoms of airborne irritant induced sinusitis are similar to sinusitis caused due to any other substance or pathogen. They are as follows:

  • Pain and pressure in the sinus area. The area is tender to touch.
  • Blocked nose, often patient has to breathe through mouth due to blocked nose.
  • Thick yellow or green mucus discharge from nose.
  • The discharge is difficult to remove.
  • Congestion obliterates sense of smell.
  • Fever may be mild or moderate.
  • Pain in forehead, orbits, ears, behind the eyes, upper jaw area.
  • Toothache
  • Swelling of face
  • Sore throat
  • Lassitude
  • Bad breath

Treatment For Airborne Irritant Induced Sinusitis

Airborne irritant induced sinusitis can be easily treated by following ways:

  • Primary important part of treatment is to avoid airborne irritant responsible for sinusitis. The source of exposure to irritant must be abstained.
  • Use of nasal spray and decongestants helps to liquefy the congested mucus and makes easy for its passage.
  • Patient may need anti inflammatory medicines to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Inhaling steam also helps to reduce congestion.
  • Patient must wear protective face mask when at work.