a. Definition/Characteristics. Paranasal sinusitis is an infection of the mucous
membranes that line the paranasal sinuses. Since the membrane that lines these
sinuses is continuous with that of the nose and throat, paranasal sinusitis is a common
complication of any upper respiratory infection. Causes of paranasal sinusitis include
viruses, streptococci, and pneumococci.
b. Signs/Symptoms. Signs and symptoms of acute paranasal sinusitis are like
those of acute rhinitis but are more severe. Included are headache, worse during the
day; facial and tooth pain; tenderness over the sinuses; and fever and chills. There may
be chronic recurrences of these signs and symptoms along with postnasal drip.
c. Treatment. The goals of treatment are to improve drainage and control
infection. Vasoconstrictors such as steam inhalation and phenylephrine 0.25 percent
spray used three times a day for a maximum of seven days may be used to open the
nasal passages. In the case of acute paranasal sinusitis, antibiotics may be given. The
drug of choice is penicillin G. If the patient is allergic to penicillin, erythromycin is an
alternative drug. Patients suffering from chronic paranasal sinusitis may be given
ampicillin or tetracycline.
d. Complications. Possible complications from paranasal sinusitis include
osteomyelitis (inflammation of the bone marrow); meningitis (inflammation of the
membranes covering the brain and spinal cord); and abscess.
a. Definition/Characteristics. The common cold is a contagious, viral infection
of the upper respiratory tract. The cold is usually caused by a strain of rhinovirus. Over
ninety distinct strains of rhinovirus are known to cause the common cold. Although not
everyone is susceptible to infection from a cold virus, this respiratory infection occurs
more often than all other diseases combined. Whether or not a person develops a cold
after being exposed to a cold virus is determined to some extent by the person's general
health. Fatigue, chilling of the body, wearing wet clothes and shoes, and the presence
of irritating substances in the air make it more likely that the person will develop a cold.
b. Signs/Symptoms. These are signs and symptoms of the common cold:
Malaise (general feeling of being unwell).