Ethmoiditis: Symptoms and Treatment

Ethmoidal sinusitis or acute etmoiditis is a disease characterized by inflammation of the mucous epithelium located in the cells of the latticed bone. The meaning of this term is not known to anyone (more often on hearing a sinusitis or sinusitis), but the pathology itself is very common. It is for this reason that it is necessary to know what is the etmoiditis, its symptoms and treatment. The pathology is quite dangerous, since the focus of inflammation is located close to the brain and the branch of the trigeminal nerve, which is responsible for the innervation of the face. Ethmoid sinusitis occurs in both adults and children.


The main causative agents of maxilloimitis are the same viruses that cause the emergence of acute respiratory viral infection, influenza, rhinovirus or adenovirus infection. The cause of the disease can become bacteria — staphylococci and streptococci, as well as pathogenic fungi. In medicine, there were cases when the maxilloethitis develops because of so-called mixed infection. Several materials are detected in the test material.

Ethmoid sinusitis in rare cases develops primarily. As a rule, in children of preschool, school age and in adults, it appears as a complication from other infectious diseases: sinusitis, rhinitis, and sinusitis. In the latticed sine, the infection enters two ways: hematogenous (most often) and contact. Hymoroetmoitis can affect even newborn babies. The cause is umbilical, intrauterine and cutaneous sepsis.

Causes of the disease

The pathological process is most often triggered by an infectious disease that affects the human body and weakens its immunity. As a consequence, viruses and bacteria begin to actively develop on the nasal mucosa. The main reasons for the development of gaymeroetmoiditis include:

  • nasopharyngeal anomalies (congenital and acquired throughout life)
  • frequent colds, runny nose
  • viral infections;
  • fungal, bacterial, viral sinusitis
  • chronic diseases associated with the nasal cavity (allergic rhinitis in particular)
  • personal injury;
  • Weakened immunity.

The first signs of ethmoid sinusitis in adults and children are manifested against the weakening of immunity and inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. Older people more easily tolerate this disease. In children, the mucous membrane of the cells is inflamed much more often, and the disease proceeds heavily, with a high body temperature. The pathological process can pass to other paranasal sinuses. In such cases, it is customary to talk about the development of maxilloetmoiditis and frontoethmoiditis.


By the nature of the leakage, two forms of ethmoid sinusitis are distinguished:

  1. acute;
  2. Chronic.

Localization of the inflammatory process is distinguished:

  • two-sided — cells from both sides of the trellised bone are affected;
  • right-sided — only the cells on the right are inflamed;
  • Left-sided — only the cells on the left side are inflamed.

Also, the disease is classified according to the characteristics of its course. There are three forms:

  1. Catarrhal ethmoiditis. The cause is viruses. This form is characterized by abundant lacrimation. The patient has the first signs of intoxication — headache, dizziness, weakness in the whole body, nausea. Eye whitened reddened. In some cases, in the inner corner of the eye there may be bursting capillaries. The bridge of the nose is edematous. Swelling spreads to the corners of the eyes. With this form, there is no sense of smell.
  2. Polyposic etmoiditis. This form of the disease is chronic. It arises from a prolonged runny nose. The swelling of the mucous membrane does not last long and often seizes the latticed bone. Inside the cells gradually grow polyps, which completely block the lumens. Because of this, the mucosa will be constantly edematous. Patients may experience remissions. At this time, the signs of the disease almost completely disappear. A person can breathe freely through the nose. The aggravation comes against the background of ARVI.
  3. Purulent etmoiditis. The most complex and dangerous form of the disease. Symptomatic is pronounced, the body temperature rises to high figures — 39-40 degrees. There is a strong pain in the frontal lobes and nose, teeth, eyes. There is abundant lacrimation. The condition is aggravated by signs of general intoxication of the body.

Symptoms of acute form

Acute ethmoiditis develops against the background of infectious diseases. A person has a heaviness at the base of the nose, nasal passages are laid. The mucus is allocated together with pus yellow-green color. Often the whole process is accompanied by a very severe headache.

For this form is typical:

  • raising the temperature to high digits;
  • the overall condition is getting worse
  • the patient develops a feeling of weakness and fatigue
  • pain in the root of the nose that extends to the orbit;
  • the skin of the inner part of the orbit is often thickened and very sensitive to touching
  • pulsating pain at the base of the nose and forehead area (worse at night)
  • fast fatigue;
  • photophobia.

In elderly people and young children, the pathological process can destroy the bone walls of the cells, and the inflammation will gradually pass to the soft tissues of the inner corner of the orbit. If acute etmoiditis is not treated, then the process will start to affect surrounding tissues, multiple foci are formed. As a result, there will be intracranial and orbital complications, osteomyelitis of the upper jaw.

Symptomatic of chronic form

If the disease was not previously diagnosed and treated correctly, the patient will have chronic etmoiditis. Often, this pathological process is a complication of inflammation of the maxillary sinus (gaymeroetmoiditis), a frontitis or a chronic rhinitis. The first signs of this disease appear in a person two months after the acute ethmoiditis.

With an exacerbation of chronic etmoiditis, the following symptoms are observed:

  1. the upper eyelid is highly swollen;
  2. purulent discharge comes from the nose
  3. severe headache;
  4. In the region of the nose, the patient observes the severity, which increases if it tilts the head
  5. Pus and mucus flow down the nasopharynx. A lot of secretions accumulate in the morning and the patient coughs up with great difficulty
  6. when the eye moves, the patient feels severe pain.

This form of the disease is dangerous because the mucosa of the middle shell of the nose begins to grow very quickly, and soon closes with the nasal septum. Degenerative changes in it lead to the formation of polyps. If the edema does not subside, then there will be a polyposis. Multiple polyps will fill the entire nasal cavity and begin to come out. The nasal septum will deform.


If acute or chronic ethmoiditis is not treated, purulent masses can spread to nearby organs. Develop complications, dangerous not only for health, but for human life. The most common problems are:

  • complications on the eye — phlegmon orbits, retrobulbar abscess, empyema
  • the trellis labyrinth collapses;
  • The inflammatory process passes to the intracranial regions. This is the most dangerous condition, since brain abscess, diffuse purulent meningitis, arachnoiditis can develop.

Moreover, chronic ethmoiditis is almost impossible to detect on its own. Therefore, you can not delay! At the first signs of the disease, you should immediately visit a qualified specialist. «Cured» or not cured completely inflammatory process can lead to irreversible consequences.


The most informative method for assessing the condition of the sinuses of the latticed bone with maxilloemaitis is computed tomography. In medical institutions, magnetic resonance therapy is also often used. This method has its advantages — high resolution and informative. With its help, it is possible to diagnose sinusitis caused by fungi. MRI is the method of choice for diagnosis of the disease in children, since it does not use ionizing radio waves.

X-ray studies are used to diagnose ethmoid sinusitis in adults. The picture will show a darkening of the cells of the trellis.

Instrumental survey methods:

  1. Endoscopic inspection. It is carried out by means of a probe with an optical system.
  2. Rhinoscopy. The nasal cavity is examined using an expander and nasopharyngeal mirror.

Treatment of acute etmoid sinusitis

Acute etimoiditis should be treated with medical drugs. Therapeutic measures will be aimed, first of all, at reducing the swelling of the mucous membrane of the cells of the latticed bone.

The most effective method of treatment is the Yamik sinus catheter. With the help of such a catheter, specialists remove pus from infected cells, inject medicinal substances into them, which suppress the activity of bacteria and viruses, thereby eliminating inflammation.

With antibiotic infection, antibiotics of a broad spectrum of action — Amoxicillin, Tsipromed, Augmentin, Sumamed, Clacid — are best used. Also shown is the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Ebastine, Chloropyramine. Nasal congestion is eliminated with the help of vasoconstrictors. The most effective are Nafazolin, Dimethinden.

Treatment of chronic ethmoid sinusitis

Chronic etmoiditis is more difficult to cure. Symptoms are eliminated through the treatment of complex drugs — Polydex, Bioparox, Isofra. In the composition of these drugs are present several active substances — antibiotic, anesthetic, vasoconstrictor.

Physiotherapy procedures also give a very good effect:

  • hydrocortisone phonophoresis;
  • electrophoresis with solutions of diphenhydramine and calcium chloride;
  • UHF on the sinus bones;
  • the nasal cavity is treated with a helium-neon laser.

Surgical operation

Surgery for this disease is indicated only when complications arise due to the rapid spread of the inflammatory process to the bone tissue and periosteum. The cells of the trellis are opened from the outer access. The operation is performed under anesthesia.

The first thing a surgeon needs is to provide full access to the trellis bone. For this, he extends the nasal passage. After that, the cells are opened. All affected areas are deleted during the operation.

Folk methods of treatment

Ethmoid sinusitis should not be treated solely with folk remedies! They can serve as an auxiliary therapy. The main treatment is antibiotics, vasoconstrictive and anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition, you can wash the nasal sinuses with a decoction of sage, chamomile or strong tea leaves. It is also possible to wash the sinuses with a heated solution of Ledum or Cyprulae. Treatment of ethmoiditis should be done only under the strict supervision of the attending physician!

Ethmoidal sinusitis in children

This disease in children occurs in isolated form. Sinuses are affected, since they are the most developed since birth. Treatment of ethmoiditis in newborns, children of preschool and school age should be carried out only in a hospital!

In children, all symptoms are more pronounced. The high temperature complicates the course of the disease — up to 40 degrees. Gradually, the intoxicating phenomena increase — vomiting and nausea.

The eye located on the side of the inflammation is completely closed, and the eyeball moves down and slightly to the side. If you do not provide qualified help to a patient, then complications can appear on the third day due to a breakthrough of pus. If the child does not receive adequate treatment, then on the fifth day orbital and intracranial complications develop, sepsis.

Treatment of ethmoiditis in children is carried out only in a hospital. First of all, it is necessary to conduct active antibacterial therapy. The drugs are administered intravenously. Removal of pus from the sinuses can be carried out using an electric pump. Also prescribe vasoconstrictor drugs. It is important to bring down the temperature in time. To this end, the child is prescribed Ibuprofen or Paracetamol.

At the stage of recovery, physiotherapy is prescribed — ultrasound, UHF, microwave, helium-neon laser, magnet. Children are observed at the clinic until they are fully recovered.


Since ethmoidal sinusitis is caused by a variety of microorganisms, there are simply no specific measures for its prevention. In order to prevent this pathological process from developing, it is necessary to prevent the development of diseases that can cause it. In addition, it is shown to take vitamin complexes to strengthen the immune system in the cold season.

In order for the disease to not develop in children, it is necessary to strengthen their immune system from birth. To this end, you can use vitamin preparations (by age), give fruits enriched with vitamin C, carry out hardening.