One of the main functions of your sinuses is to protect your body from germs, dust, pollen, and other irritants in the air you breathe.
a. True. Sinuses make mucus, a fluid that filters the air you breathe. Tiny hairs called cilia sweep the mucus (and all of the germs, irritants, and particles caught in it) out of your sinuses so it gets flushed out of your body.
Sinusitis is inflammation of the mucus membrane that lines the sinuses. About how many Americans suffer from it each year?
a. 18 million
b. 37 million
c. 48 million
d. 55 million
b. More than 37 million Americans suffer from at least one episode of acute sinusitis each year. The prevalence of sinusitis has gone up dramatically in the last decade, possibly due to more pollution, urban sprawl, and increased resistance to antibiotics.
b. False. Antibiotics can be effective in treating sinus infections caused by bacteria, but they don't work against infections caused by viruses. Decongestants, saline nasal sprays or nasal irrigation (using a neti pot), and steaming your sinuses to loosen mucus can all help relieve symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the best course of treatment for your illness.
a. At least 4 weeks
b. At least 6 weeks
c. At least 9 weeks
d. At least 12 weeks
d. Sufferers of chronic sinusitis have had symptoms for 12 weeks or more. Acute sinusitis is usually preceded by a cold, and can last around four weeks. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen after five days or persist after 10 days.
a. True. Bad breath and dental pain are both symptoms of acute and chronic sinusitis. Other symptoms include facial pain and/or pressure, nasal congestion with yellow or green discharge, reduced sense of smell, fever, and cough not due to asthma (in children).