A cyst is a pocket-like structure growing abnormally in or on the body. It can contain a solid, liquid or semi-solid substance.
Maxillary sinuses are pyramidal paranasal cavities present in the cheekbones, above the upper teeth. They are also known as antrum of Highmore. Let us now understand how maxillary sinus cysts are formed and how they can be cured.
Formation of the Cyst
- Maxillary sinuses are lined with mucus membranes which are covered with hair-like growth called cilia. The cilia move in a back and forth manner and help to regulate the flow of mucus.
- The mucus is responsible for collecting any foreign particles that may enter the passages when humans breathe. This mucus is drained into the nose through tiny openings called ostia.
- The maxillary sinus is prone to infection because of colds, flu and allergies, and fungal infections, and may lead to maxillary sinusitis.
- Cysts can develop near the ostia, thus blocking off the path for the mucus to drain, resulting in an infection.
- Dental ailments can also cause cysts to develop, since an infection in the upper set of teeth, which lie close to the maxillary sinuses, can spread to them.
- An individual suffering from a cyst can experience facial pain, headaches, chronic sinus infection, dental pain, or pain in or under the eye.
- If the cyst becomes infected, increased pain and swelling can occur, leading to fever.
There are several home remedies you can try to prevent the formation of cysts.
Effective Steps for Controlling
- If you are prone to sinus infections, keeping the mucus membranes congestion-free goes a long way in warding off potential cyst formation.
- Use humidifiers whenever possible.
- Inhalation of steam helps dilute the mucus and drains the sinuses. It is a great way to get rid of nasal congestion.
- Use of saline drops is an effective remedy that can be used to clean and disinfect nasal membranes.
- Use warm compresses on the forehead and face which help in reducing congestion and reduce swelling.
- Ensure that your nasal passages are always moist, especially if you spend more time in a dry environment.
- If you are suffering from cold and flu, keep your body hydrated by drinking enough water and other fluids which will assist in draining out the mucus.
- Practice nasal irrigation. It is very effective in treating a number of symptoms like sinusitis and provides relief from blocked nasal passages. It is the safest way to keep your mucous membranes moist and reduce the chances of developing a cyst.
- Ensure that your body gets its daily intake of vitamin C which will boost your immune system, helping to keep infections at bay.
- Keep away from any allergens (pollen, pet dander, dust mites, certain foods like eggs and nuts, etc.) if you suffer from allergies.
Removal and Treatment
- The presence of cysts can be determined using an X-ray or CT scan.
- Treatment for the cyst and the resulting pain involves taking pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen for headaches, facial pain and swelling.
- A common treatment method is using corticosteroids. These are either taken orally or directly injected into the cysts. But their use should be avoided due to harmful long-term side effects such as headaches, weight gain, insomnia, and hormonal changes.
- A cyst in the maxillary sinus may need to be removed surgically if the pain and swelling do not go away or worsen with time even after taking the prescribed medications. Endoscopic sinus surgery is an effective method to get rid of cysts. This process is done through the nostrils and is relatively less invasive. The obstructive cyst is removed which eases the patient’s breathing and alleviates pain. Following up with your doctor and abiding by his instructions till you attain full recovery is equally important.
Sinus cysts can often return even after surgery, especially if they are caused by an allergy or inflammation of the sinuses. It is better to prevent them by taking appropriate precautions and following simple home remedies than to undergo surgical procedures.