Smelly mucus in the nose can be an indication that there is a sinus infection also called sinusitis. The history of thick drainage that is foul in smell and taste is a symptom of chronic sinusitis. The treatment for chronic sinus infection is aimed on relieving the symptoms and controlling the unpleasant odor.
The sinuses are situated behind the eyes and beneath the forehead, cheekbones and bridge of the nose. These are air-filled cavities that clean the air as the individual breathes with the use of mucus to filter out germs, dirt and other particles. The mucus travels from the sinuses to your nose where it exits the body. Once the individual is sick or suffering from allergies, the sinuses become swollen which prevents full drainage. This results to a foul-smelling bacterial infection in some circumstances. In case the sinus infection lasts for 3 months or more, it might be a chronic sinus infection.
What are the symptoms?
Other symptoms of a chronic sinus infection might include pressure or pain in the facial bones, sinus congestion, difficulty breathing, postnasal drip, sore throat, bad breath as well as fatigue, yellow or green mucus in the nose, cough and pain in the ear, teeth or upper jaw. The individual might notice that the sense of smell and taste is also affected if there is risk for chronic sinus infection.
What are the risk factors?
If an individual has allergies or a weakened immune system, he/she might be at higher risk for developing a sinus infection. Individuals who have constriction of the sinus openings, deformity of the bony partition and nasal polyps often suffer from chronic sinus disease.
The doctor can manage chronic sinus infection using oral antibiotics. Once sinusitis has been present for several weeks or longer, treatment usually lasts for at least 4 weeks and can continue for up to 8-12 weeks or longer. The doctor might also prescribe an oral decongestant to help thin out the mucus. It is recommended to utilize a nasal steroid spray to minimize the swelling in the nasal passages and a saline spray to keep the nasal passages moist. There are also over-the-counter medications that can help minimize the pain due to sinusitis.
Surgery is only recommended if the individual has severe chronic sinusitis that could not be managed by other treatment options. The doctor might also recommend surgery if there is a polyp that obstructs the nasal passages. The doctor can utilize functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) to carry out the surgery. During this procedure, the doctor utilizes a small telescope that is inserted into one of the nostrils to locate and remove the polyp along with diseased tissues as well as clearing up the sinus passages.