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How is Acute Sinusitis Treated?

woman suffering from sinus painAcute sinusitis is a common ailment that sometimes resolves on its own. In other cases, however, it can lead to complications or result in chronic sinusitis, which persists for more than 12 weeks.

In this blog, the board-certified otolaryngologists (ear, nose, and throat doctors) at New York ENT explain how acute sinusitis is treated.

What is acute sinusitis?

This infection of the sinuses lasts for up to four weeks. The sinuses are air-filled cavities that are normally filled with air, and they make mucus that helps clear allergens and pollutants out of your nasal passages.

When they become inflamed, however, they swell and are unable to drain mucus normally. As your nose continues to produce mucus – over a quart a day - it becomes trapped and can cause acute sinusitis.

What causes acute sinusitis?

It can be caused by the following conditions:

  • The common cold (the most common cause)
  • Allergic rhinitis (swelling of the lining of the nose caused by allergies)
  • Hay fever
  • A deviated septum (a crooked or off-center wall of cartilage separating the two nostrils)
  • Nasal polyps (non-cancerous growths in the lining of the nose)
  • An immune system disorder
  • An injury such as a broken nose
  • Bacterial infection

What are its common symptoms?

Sinusitis can cause any of the following symptoms:

  • Facial pain, pressure, or tenderness that may get worse when you bend over
  • Nasal congestion or obstruction
  • Thick nasal discharge that’s yellow or green
  • Reduced sense of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Earache
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in the upper teeth and jaw

What are the treatment options?

Treatment options may include the following:

  • Decongestants
  • Saline nasal sprays – to rinse your nasal passages
  • Nasal corticosteroids – to reduce inflammation
  • Antibiotics - for sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots) – for caused by allergies
  • Drinking plenty of fluids
  • Applying warm compresses to your face
  • Inhaling steam

When a structural abnormality such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps are the cause of your sinusitis and other forms of treatment aren’t effective, surgery may be recommended. This can correct the underlying problem and provide long-term relief.

If you have symptoms that could indicate the presence of acute sinusitis, schedule an appointment today with New York ENT. Our board-certified doctors will determine the cause of your sinusitis and recommend the most conservative form of treatment that will yield the best possible results.

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