This past winter, many of us experienced not just the common cold, but sinusitis. As someone who has never had this before, I had no idea how painful it could be.
Many of the symptoms mimic that of the common cold, with stuffy or runny nose, itchy eyes and nose, and sneezing and/or coughing. However, sinusitis also presents with pain around the eyes and nose, headache, postnasal drip, and even pain in the roof of the mouth and teeth. If these symptoms are still present after 10 days, if you have a fever, or if there are underlying health conditions such as asthma or bronchitis, a doctor needs to be seen. Sinusitis can also lead to infections, which can cause even more pain, earaches, sore throat, heavy green or yellow discharge, and swelling of the eye area. If this is the case, antibiotics will be needed.
Otherwise, there are a few things that can be done at home. Massaging the eye area, using a humidifier to keep nostrils moist, and applying heat to the nose and eye area are a few of the most common treatments. There are also some over the counter sinus decongestants available, and some people find that cutting out dairy products cuts down on the mucus. Drinking more water and staying hydrated is important as well.
Since the common cold is one of the causes of sinusitis, it’s important to take precautions against catching one. Wash hands frequently, eat healthily, and try to avoid people who are showing symptoms of a cold.
The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. With over 90 volunteers, we answer calls not only in Scotch Plains but in surrounding towns as well when needed. Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green. We are also available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and any other group that may be interested in what we do. In addition, we lend out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge. Please reach out to us if there is something we can do for you. (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies or firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributing Author: Susan Baldani, a life member of the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad.