What is Pansinusitis?

Pansinusitis happens whenever all the paranasal sinus cavities within the skull become inflamed.

A sinus is simply an air-filled space within the skull. This is a relatively common condition that affects both children and adults.

Fortunately, it’s treatable with medication and it rarely leads to complications. Here’s a fun fact: there are approximately 25 million cases of sinusitis per year.

What is Pansinusitis?


There are many sinuses within the skull. For example, there’s the sphenoid sinus, which is found within the sphenoid bone.

There’s the ethmoid sinus, which is found close to the eye. There’s the maxillary sinus, which is found underneath your cheekbone.

Finally, there’s the frontal sinus, which is located above your eyes. If all four of these sinuses become inflamed at the same time, then we call this pansinusitis.

The inflammation can be caused by many things. Possibilities include allergies, a bacterial infection, or a fungal infection.

When all your sinuses become inflamed, it’s recommended that you see a doctor as soon as you can to begin treatment.

Bottom Line: The four main sinuses in the skull are the sphenoid, frontal, ethmoid, and maxillary sinuses. If all four get inflamed at once, we call this pansinusitis.

Pansinusitis is Usually More Severe Than Sinusitis

Pansinusitis symptoms

Typically, the symptoms of pansinusitis will be more severe than sinusitis.

That’s because it involves all the sinuses in the skull (not just one). Here are some symptoms to look for:

You may also experience green discharge coming from the nose, pain on or near the eyebrows, nose pain, a sensitive scalp, and facial swelling.

Although rare, it is possible for this infection to spread to your brain. Therefore, it’s recommended to get it treated as soon as possible.

Patients have also reported bad breath as a symptom. In most cases, the infection will last for about 6 weeks.

Believe it or not, there have been reports of people living with it for years because they didn’t treat it right away.

Bottom Line: The symptoms of pansinusitis are usually more severe than sinusitis. They include headache, sore throat, blocked nose, a cough headache, and more.

What Causes Pansinusitis?

While there are many potential causes to this symptom, the most common one is a bacterial or viral infection.

If your immune system isn’t working efficiently (you haven’t gotten much sleep for example), then you’re at a higher risk of infection.

Hence, people with HIV and other immune disorders are more likely to develop this condition. Here are some other common causes/risk factors:

  • Smoking
  • Nasal Polyps
  • Asthma
  • Tooth Infection
  • Rhinitis

Swimming in contaminated water, or breathing in polluted air, can also be a cause. When your immune system isn’t functioning properly, it’s easier to get pansinusitis.

That’s because your body’s defenses are down. People with the flu can develop this condition, as can people with an upper respiratory tract infection.

If you smoke, it’s recommended that you stop since cigarette smoke contains chemicals that can trigger this condition.

Bottom Line: Pansinusitis can be caused by a variety of things, including rhinitis, asthma, nasal polyps, and smoking. People with HIV are more likely to get it due to their weakened immune system.

Diagnosing Pansinusitis

There are several ways to diagnose this condition, including:

  • CT Scan: This diagnostic procedure will allow doctors to look inside your body in a noninvasive way. CT scan stands for computed tomographic scan.
  • MRI: If the doctor suspects a tumor or sinusitis caused by a fungus, then they may order an MRI, or magnetic resonance image of the affected area.

There are pros and cons to each. Generally, when diagnosing pansinusitis, an MRI is used last.

That’s because it’s expensive and has a high incidence of false-positive findings. Plus, they take longer to do.

CT scans are cheaper, faster, and can be just as effective. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor will determine which diagnostic method is needed.

Bottom Line: The two main ways to diagnose pansinusitis is through a CT scan or MRI. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.


Pansinusitis treatment

As mentioned earlier, it’s recommended that you take care of this condition as soon as possible. Otherwise, there’s a very small chance that it can spread to the brain.

Though the odds of complications are small, you should still take this condition very seriously. The treatment will depend on the underlying cause.

For instance, if it’s caused by an infected wisdom tooth, then you’ll want to get that tooth extracted.

If it’s caused by nasal polyps, then surgically removing them should make your symptoms go away.

If it’s due to smoking cigarettes, then quitting is the best way to alleviate your congestion.

Basically, when you attack the root of the problem, it should make the underlying symptoms disappear.

Bottom Line: The best way to treat this condition is to attack the underlying cause. If you smoke, then stop smoking. If it’s an infected tooth, then get it extracted. You get the picture.

Home Remedies

Pansinusitis home remedies

Here are some pansinusitis remedies that you can try from home:

  • Dietary Changes: Eating more fruits and vegetables will help strengthen your immune system, which can prevent microbial infections.
  • Drink More Water: The only way for your immune system to operate at maximum capacity is to give it fuel- and by fuel, we mean more water.
  • Steam Inhalation: Inhaling stream can be an effective way to reduce mucous accumulation and relieve congestion.
  • Ginger: Ginger has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for a variety of ailments. Give it a try to see if it relieves your symptoms.
  • Garlic: Some people can’t stand the taste of garlic, but the truth is, just a small amount per day can make you feel better.

You can also give warm compresses a try. Placing a warm compress over your face can help alleviate your congestion.

You can achieve a similar result by taking a hot shower. Experiment with these pansinusitis treatments to see if they help.

Bottom Line: Some potential home remedies include garlic, ginger, steam inhalation, drinking more water, and a healthier diet.
Ask a Question: If you want to ask a medical doctor a question that hasn't been answered in one of our articles go to: Ask a Medical Doctor About your Symptoms

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