Asthma & Sinusitis

    If a secondary bacterial infection has developed in your sinuses, you’ll need antibiotics. Your doctor will probably prescribe them for about 10-14 days. Just remember that antibiotics will only work in cases of bacterial infection. They will not help with viruses.

    For people with allergies, controlling exposure to allergens is key. Not only will it reduce your asthma symptoms, it will also reduce your risk of sinus infections. Avoid any allergic triggers and irritants, like cigarette smoke. You can also ask your doctor if allergy shots might be helpful.

    In some cases, more involved treatments are necessary. Physical problems in the nasal passages can lead to chronic sinusitis. These include narrow nasal passages, a deviated septum, or polyps — small lumps in the nose. Surgically correcting these problems can sometimes resolve the problem.

    Can postnasal drip trigger asthma?

    Postnasal drip is an unscientific term that refers to the sensation of thick phlegm in the throat, which can become infected. Your glands in the nose and throat produce mucus continuously (1 to 2 pints per day), that helps to cleanse the nasal membranes, helps warm the air you breathe, and traps inhaled foreign matter. Mucus also helps to fight infection.

    In normal situations, the throat is moistened by the secretions from the nasal and throat mucous glands. This is part of the mucous-nasal cilia system that defends us from disease. When the amount of liquid secreted by the nose and sinus is reduced and the cilia of the nose and sinus slow down, the fluid thickens and you become very aware of its presence. Because the thick phlegm is unpleasant and often infected, our bodies naturally try to get rid of it by noisily coughing and clearing our throats.

    Sometimes postnasal drip syndrome is associated with asthma as the thick mucus secretions drain from the back of the nose to the back of the throat, causing throat clearing, cough, and bronchial constriction.

    How is sinobronchial syndrome related to asthma?

    Sinobronchial syndrome is a combination of sinusitis and the resulting lower respiratory tract symptoms such as bronchitis or asthma. With sinobronchial syndrome, the sinus disease may be caused by allergies or an infection — or it can be chronic. The lung disease can be one of several types such as acute infective bronchitis, recurrent bouts of bronchitis, chronic bronchitis, or asthma that’s difficult to manage.

    It’s thought that the sinus disease resulting in lower airway symptoms such as asthma is due to a constant drip of inflammatory and infective secretions from the back of the nose to the back of the throat. This throat irritation may cause bronchial constriction by a reflex transmitted by the nervous system. Or, the postnasal drip of inflammatory secretions from the upper airway may create a secondary inflammatory reaction of the lungs, causing either asthma or bronchitis.

    What are the symptoms of sinobronchial syndrome?

    With sinobronchial syndrome, you will feel a host of miserable nasal and chest symptoms including shortness of breath, wheezing, a productive cough, nasal obstruction, fever, headache, or chest tightness. Along with signs of sinus inflammation or infection with pain and tenderness over the sinuses, you might have constant nasal and sinus drainage, wheezing, cough, and other respiratory or asthma symptoms.

    How can you prevent sinusitis?

    There’s no sure-fire way of preventing sinusitis. But there are some things you can do to lower your risk:

    • Use regular steroid sprays to prevent further sinus infections. This is particularly important if you’ve had recurrent or chronic sinusitis.
    • Avoid allergens and irritants, if you have allergies.

    Take your asthma medication as recommended. Keeping your asthma symptoms under control can reduce your risks of developing serious sinusitis.

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