The maxillary sinus passages are located under each eye, on either side of the nose. Many experience maxillary pressure when mucus builds up due to colds or allergy season, but about one in 10 people may suffer from a maxillary sinus cyst, which might need to be surgically excised. If it does not grow too large, many doctors might just recommend a regimen of antibiotics to reduce the chances of sinus buildup during the healing process.
Cysts can develop if the ostia, or openings, to any of the various sinus cavities become blocked. This may form as a maxillary sinus cyst or in other cavities. The frontal, or bilateral, sinuses over the eyes, the ethmoid sinuses behind the eyes or bridge of the nose, and the branches of the nasal sinuses directly inside the nose all are candidates for a cyst. These growths are small pockets of tissue, often filled with pus that are usually healed naturally by the body.
A dental surgeon will need to remove a cyst in the maxillary sinuses if it becomes too large or infected. These growths often are associated with infections of the upper molars, which can spread through the tooth roots to the mucus membranes. Signs that the cyst has become infected or too large include pain or numbness of the face or neck.
A maxillary sinus cyst may be discovered without any accompanying pain or numbness during radiological imaging. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or a computed axial tomography test, however, might be needed to confirm one's existence. As of 2011, a procedure known as endoscopic surgery is used when cysts are large and in need of removal; this allows doctors to insert a tube through the nose, with a light and camera at the tip. These images allow for another tube to be inserted to perform the excision without any facial scarring. If removed, it is common for the cyst to be tested for malignancy.
Whether surgery is recommended, a regimen of antibiotics is a common treatment for a maxillary sinus cyst. This should help the cyst from becoming infected or fight any infection that may already have taken root. A conquered infection also is less likely to trigger the body's natural mucus-producing response, which will ease sinus pressure.
Some at home remedies also could help treat a maxillary sinus cyst, most of which are aimed at keeping the sinuses clear and operating properly. This could be a room vaporizer or saline infusion to clear and moisturize the sinus passages. It also could involve dietary changes to improve the body's natural immunity.