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Ask Dr Gupta

Treating sinusitis

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Click here  to submit medical questions to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, then watch CNN at 2:30 p.m. ET Saturday to see if it is answered.

Editor's note: CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta answers medical questions submitted by e-mail on "Your Health," which airs at 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturdays. Questions and answers are posted on after the show.

Q: What is sinusitis and how is it treated? -- A viewer in Nigeria

A: Sinusitis is simply an inflammation of the sinuses -- hollow air spaces, or cavities in the skull.

There are actually four pairs of cavities surrounding the nose, called the paranasal sinuses.

Inflammation most often occurs from a bacterial infection caused by a cold, but it can also develop from a fungal infection, allergies or other causes.

Before you can treat sinusitis, a doctor has to determine its cause -- because different causes require different treatments.

Many cases of acute sinusitis cure themselves without antibiotics, by re-establishing proper drainage of the nasal passages and controlling the source of the inflammation. However, sometimes antibiotics are necessary.

Chronic sinusitis is trickier to treat and may require steroid nasal sprays, and in severe cases, surgery.

Q: What is fibromyalgia? What are the best drugs to treat the symptoms? -- Jeanette in Kentucky

A: Fibromyalgia is characterized by aching and pain in muscles, tendons and joints all over the body, but especially along the spine.

The pain usually seems worse when a person is trying to relax. Other symptoms can include:

•Sleep disturbance



•Alternating diarrhea and constipation

•Numbness and tingling in the hands and feet

•Feelings of weakness

•Memory difficulties


Treatment for fibromyalgia is tailored to the individual based on overall health, medical history, severity of pain and presence of other symptoms.

Treatment might include medication to improve sleep and decrease pain, and lifestyle changes including stress reduction and exercise, and practicing relaxation techniques.

"Ask Dr. Gupta" is not intended to address specific questions concerning individual cases. CNN does not directly or indirectly practice medicine or provide medical advice, and nothing contained in the responses of CNN through its correspondents is a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always contact your doctor if you need medical advice or treatment, or have any questions regarding a medical condition.

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