Sinus Headaches

What Is Post-traumatic Sinusitis?


Post-traumatic sinusitis develops in certain individuals as a reaction to a traumatic condition  that they may have experienced in the recent past.  The trauma may be a physical one, like a head injury resulting in skull fracture or an emotional one, such as a parent’s divorce or loss of a loved one.

After the tragic 9/11 experience, a number of people had undergone emotional trauma because of loss of a loved one. These people developed symptoms of sinusitis, bronchitis and asthma after experiencing this shocking incident. They had no previous history of such conditions or symptoms.

Similarly, young children often passing through the distressing condition of a parents’ divorce and subsequent separation may experience sinusitis, bronchitis or low self-esteem amongst other symptoms.

Post-traumatic sinusitis due to physical reasons can be due to a head injury. This can result in infection of the sinus cavities by a foreign body, causing mucus accumulation and obstructing the normal sinus ventilation and drainage system.

Just like other forms of sinusitis, this form demands immediate medical intervention or else it can worsen and have serious and threatening consequences. Such a form of sinus infection caused due to physical injury can be treated by way of surgery. Surgical procedures in such cases involve the removal of the foreign body causing the infection, rectifying the resultant fractures if any, eliminating the accumulated mucus and using canalization procedures.

In case of sinusitis as a reaction to emotional disturbance and trauma, stress and trauma management can be of immense help. The use of medications, nasal drops and decongestants may also be considered.

Treatment of this form of sinusitis may often require the assistance of professionals in allied fields as well, like a psychologist, psychoanalyst or a surgeon skilled in handling bone fractures etc. Once the disease has been treated, the patient is advised precaution to ensure that the condition does not recur.