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What is sinusitis?

Sinuses are tiny air-filled pockets located behind your forehead and cheekbones.

Normally, mucus produced by these sinuses flows into your nose through narrow channels.

Sinusitis, a prevalent condition, occurs when the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed, obstructing these channels and impeding mucus drainage. Typically triggered by a viral infection, it often resolves within two to three weeks.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

Sinusitis typically follows an upper respiratory tract infection, such as a cold. If you're experiencing a lingering cold along with the following symptoms, sinusitis might be the cause:

Symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Green or yellow nasal discharge
  • Facial pain and tenderness around the cheeks, eyes, or forehead
  • Fever of 38°C (100.4°F) or higher
  • Sinus headache
  • Toothache
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Halitosis (bad breath)

In children, sinusitis may manifest as mouth breathing, irritability, feeding difficulties, and nasal-sounding speech.

Acute sinusitis often resolves within a few weeks without treatment, while chronic sinusitis may persist for three months or longer.

How can you relieve symptoms?

You can alleviate your symptoms by:

  • Utilising over-the-counter pain relievers like paracetamol or ibuprofen.
  • Using nasal decongestants, but limit usage to one week to avoid exacerbating the condition.
  • Applying warm compresses to your face.
  • Rinsing the inside of your nose with a saline solution.

When to seek help?

If your symptoms show no improvement within ten days or worsen, you might find relief through a course of antibiotics or by using a corticosteroid nasal spray.

How can a Lincolnshire Co-op Pharmacy help?

Our pharmacists are available to assist individuals aged 12 and older.

They will inquire about your medical history and symptoms to rule out other conditions or complications that may require urgent referral to your GP or other sources of assistance.

They may suggest pain relief and over-the-counter products, as mentioned above. If your symptoms indicate further treatment is necessary, our pharmacists can provide you with a corticosteroid nasal spray.

If deemed appropriate, our pharmacists can prescribe a course of antibiotics.

What if I am under 12 years old?

If you are under 12 years of age, we are unable to offer this service to you. Our pharmacists or members of the pharmacy team can provide self-care advice or refer you to your GP as needed.

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