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They are filled with air and have a lining (almost like a tight blanket) with little hairs that keep your nose clean.10

When this lining becomes swollen, it feels like your nose is blocked. You will feel pressure and pain in your sinuses. There is liquid that pools in the spaces and germs can grow in this liquid, infecting your body and making you sick.1


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You can get sinusitis from germs, like bacteria or viruses, that can cause an infection.

You can also get it from something that you may be allergic to.1


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  • Pain and pressure in your face. It is sore when you touch your face
  • Yellow or greenish fluid that runs from your nose. Your nose is stuffy and feels blocked. You loose your sense of smell
  • Bad smelling breath
  • An irritating cough, often at night
  • You may feel tired or irritated.  You may have a fever or chills (feel very hot or very cold)


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To treat sinusitis, you could get some medicine from the pharmacy called decongestants.

They can be either tablets that you drink, or a nasal spray that you spray into your nose.

  • Benefits of a saline nose spray
    • Saline softens and dislodges thick nasal mucus lining
    • Facilitates the mechanical removal of irritants and allergens responsible for the common cold, flu and allergies, as well as inflammatory mediators
    • Effective as an adjuvant, reducing nasal discomfort by countering the drying effect of allergy or sinusitis treatments10
  • A decongestant reduces the swelling in the passages of your nose and allows you to breath more easily5. Decongestants are often available in spray form7
  • Benefits of a decongestant Spray
    • Reduces swelling of nasal membranes and airway resistance
    • Improves drainage of the nasal cavities
    • Improves sinus ventilation and nasal flow 3, 6
    • Improves ventilation to the middle ear
    • Mouth-breathing leading to a dry and irritated throat are prevented by nasal decongestion 3
  • Using a Saline Nasal Spray Solution is the 1st line option for use in acute and chronic sinusitis, and an effective adjuvant in allergic rhinitis, URTIs and rhinitis in pregnancy9

You should see your doctor or go to the clinic if you have a fever for longer than 3 days and have a lot of pain

For full prescribing information, please refer to the Professional Information approved by the medicines regulatory authority.

Please note: this is an education information leaflet only and should not be used for diagnosis. For more information on Sinusitis, consult your healthcare professional.

1. Sinusitis. The Merck Manual Home Health Handbook Consumer. Accessed on 11 November 2019. Available at www.merckmanuals.com/home/ear-nose-and-throat-disorders/nose-and-sinus disorders/sinusitis.
2. Eccles R. Mechanisms of symptoms of common cold and flu. Birkhäuser Advances in Infectious Diseases. 2009 Birkhäuser. Verlag Basel/Switzerland.
3. Polverino M, et al. Anatomy and neuro-pathophysiology of the cough reflex arc. Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine 2012;7:5.
4. MedicineNet. Dehydration. Available at www.medicinenet.com/dehydration/article.htm Accessed on 23 March 201811 April 2020.
5. Woods TA. Diarrhea. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 88.
6. Nathan A. Treating acute diarrhoea in adults. The Pharmaceutical Journal, 2008;281:217.
7. Sibanda M, et al. Chronic constipation in adults. S Afr Pharm J 2018;85(1):34-42.
8. Johnson J. Intestinal worms in humans and their symptoms. Medical News Today. Accessed 2020/04/20. Available at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324042#takeaway.
9. Soil-transmitted helminth infections. World Health Organisation. 14 March 2019 [online] Accessed 2019/07/25. Available from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/soil-transmitted-helminth-infections
10. Conducting Zone. LumenCandela Online learning material. Accessed on 11 November 2019. Available at https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-ap/chapter/conducting-zone/.
11. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Cold vs Flu. Accessed on 16 November 2019. Available from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/coldflu.htm.
12. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) in collaboration with The South African National Department of Health and World Health Organization (WHO). Healthcare Workers Handbook On Influenza (last updated:
May 2014). Accessed on 16 November 2019. Available at www.nicd.ac.za/assets/files/Healthcare%20Workers%20Handbook%20on%20Influenza%20in%20SA%20_12%20May%202014(1).pdf.
13. Buensalido JAL. Rhinovirus (RV) Infection (Common Cold). Accessed 16 November 2019. Available at https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/227820-print.
14. Common Cold. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy Professional. Accessed on 16 November 2019. Available at www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious-diseases/respiratory-viruses/common-cold.
15. Albrecht HH, Dicpinigaitis PV, Guenin EP. Role of guaifenesin in the management of chronic bronchitis and upper respiratory tract infections. Multidiscip Respir Med 2017;12:31. doi: 10.1186/s40248-017-0113-4.
16. WebMD. Why you cough. Accessed on 2019/11/09. Available at https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/overview?print=true.
17. Cracking the cough code. Harvard Health Publishing. September 2018. Accessed 2019/11/09. Available at https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/cracking-the-cough-code.
18. Truter I. Cough. SAPJ 2007;74(4):20-27.
19. Rehydration therapy. Centre for Disease Control (CDC). Accessed 2020/04/13. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/treatment/rehydration-therapy.html.
20. The treatment of Diarrhoea – A manual for physicians and other senior health workers. World Health Organisation. Available at https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/43209/9241593180.pdf;sequence=1.
Accessed 11 April 2020.
21. GBD 2016 Diarrhoeal Disease Collaborators. Estimates of the global, regional, and national morbidity, mortality, and aetiologies of diarrhoea in 195 countries: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study
2016. Lancet Infect Dis 2018; 18: 1211–28.
22. Hill DR, Ryan ET. Management of travellers’ diarrhoea. BMJ 2008;337:a1746.
23. Guidelines for the Management of Acute Diarrhea After a Disaster. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Accessed 2020/04/14. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/disease/diarrheaguidelines.html.
24. Allen S. How to deal with constipation. SAPJ 2008;75(7):23-26.
25. Constipation. South African Gastroenterology Society (SAGES). [Internet] 2020. Accessed 2020/02/18. Available from https://www.sages.co.za/Patients/Constipation.
26. Farrer F. Helminth infections – a review. Prof Nurs Today 2016;20(4):3-7
27. Adams VJ. et al. Paradoxical helminthiasis and giardiasis in Cape Town, South Africa: epidemiology and control. African Health Sciences 2 June 2005;(5)2:131-136
28. Kwitshana ZL, Tsoka JM, Mabaso MLH. Intestinal parasitic infections in adult patients in KwaZulu-Natal. SAMJ Sept 2008(98)9:709-711
29. Vermox HCP Claims Study. Study completed for Johnson & Johnson (PTY) LTD. Prepared by Kantar South Africa (PTY) LTD. Accessed May 2017.Global Strategic Insights & Analytics, December 2019.



1. IMS data. Jan 2021.
2. Eskiizmir G, Hircin Z, Ozyurt B, Unlu H. A comparative analysis of the decongestive effect of oxymetazoline and xylometazoline in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Pharmacol 2011;67:19-23.
3. Eccles R, Eriksson M, Garreffa S, et al. The nasal decongestant effect of xylometazoline in the common cold. Am J Rhinol 2008;22:491–496.
4. Eccles R, Martensson K, Chen S. Effects of intranasal xylometazoline, alone or in combination with ipratropium, in patients with common cold. Curr Med Res Opin 2010: 26:889-899.
5. Data on File.
6. Graf P, Eccles R, Chen S. Efficacy and safety of intranasal xylometazoline and ipratropium in patients with common cold. Exper
Opin. Pharmacother. (2009) 10(5): 889-908.
7. Principi N, Esposito S. Nasal Irrigation: An imprecisely defined medical procedure. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 516.
8. Allergy Foundation of South Africa. Nasal saline sprays and rinses. Available from https://www.allergyfoundation.co.za/nasalsaline-sprays-and-rinses/ Accessed 08/03/2021.
9. Jiao J, Zhang L. Influence of Intranasal Drugs on Human Nasal Mucociliary Clearance and Ciliary Beat Frequency. Allergy Asthma Immunol Res. 2019;11(3):306-319.
10. Greiner AN, Metlzer EO. Overview of the Treatment of Allergic Rhinitis and Nonallergic Rhinopathy. Proc Am Thorac Soc 2011;8:121–131.
11. NHS Patient Information Fact Sheet . How to use a nasal spray, v1 Jan 2020. Available from https://www.uhs.nhs.uk/Media/UHS-website-2019/Patientinformation/Respiratory/How-to-use-a-nasal-spray-patient-information.pdf. Accessed 08 Mar 2021.
12. Sinutab Nasal Spray PI, June 2007.


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