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Sphenoid Sinusitis: Less Common, but Still a Painful Condition

During a bout with sinusitis, it is typical to have pressure, pain and infection in one of the four pairs of sinuses. The four main pair of sinuses are the maxillary, the frontal, the enthmoid, and the sphenoid sinuses. While sphenoid sinusitis is a less common form of sinusitis, it is still just as painful and worthy of further examination.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases describes the sinuses as hollow air spaces in the body and names the four pairs of cavities as paranasal sinuses. According to the NIAID, frontal sinuses are located over the eyes in the brow area, maxialary sinuses are located inside each cheekbone, ethmoid sinuses are located just behind the bridge of the nose and between the eyes, and sphenoid sinuses are located behind the ethmoids in the upper region of the nose and behind the eyes. Maxillary sinusitis is the most common type of sinusitis while the ethmoid, frontal and sphenoid sinuses are affected less frequently. Sphenoid sinusitis is less common than maxillary sinusitis, but symptoms are similar and suffering can still be immense.

Sphenoid Sinusitis Symptoms and Treatment
Sphenoid sinusitis typically causes pain in the occipital region. Although the sphenoid sinuses are less frequently affected, infection in these sinuses can cause earaches, neck pain, and deep aching at the top of your head.

Acute sphenoid sinusitis is uncommon and usually seen as part of a pansinusitis, an inflammation of all the sinuses on one or both sides of the nose. Chronic sphenoid sinusitis is also an uncommon condition and is typically treated as part of a combined treatment or surgery for sinusitis in multiple areas.

Treatment for sphenoid sinusitis may be medical or surgical, with initial treatment usually involving antibiotic administration plus painkillers and antihistamines. Holistic treatment options include steam inhalation, also avoiding irritants and allergens may help keep it at bay. As with most cases of sinusitis, nasal spray may provide relieve during sphenoid sinusitis and may be used to relieve congestion. The use of irrigation and drainage of the affected sinus can provide additional relief on occasion.

Surgery for many forms of sinusitis, sometimes including sphenoid sinusitis, involves making a window in the affected sinus through puncture to allow for easy drainage. In the uncommon ethmoid or sphenoid sinusitis, an ethmoidectomy can also be used as a surgical treatment.

While sphenoid sinusitis may be less common, it still brings with it the painful symptoms and irritating congestion that all cases of sinusitis can cause. Because the sphenoid sinuses are relatively hidden sphenoid sinusitis was commonly misdiagnosed in early medical treatment, but with advancing technology it more clearly diagnosed and treated, giving hope and relief to the many people suffering with sphenoid sinusitis.


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