Sinusitis is an extremely common problem that afflicts around 30 million Americans each year. In some cases, it develops into chronic sinusitis, which causes troubling symptoms for months on end.
In this blog, the board-certified ear, nose, and throat doctors at New York ENT explain what you can do to treat your chronic sinusitis.
What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
Sinusitis can cause symptoms that include the following:
- Nasal congestion and obstruction
- Nasal discharge
- Facial pain and pressure
- Bad breath
- Ear pain or pressure
- Diminished sense of taste or smell
What is chronic sinusitis?
This condition is defined as sinusitis that lasts for 12 weeks or more despite attempts to treat it.
What causes it?
It can be caused by several different factors, including the following:
- Respiratory tract infections – Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections can block the normal drainage of mucus.
- Nasal polyps – Non-cancerous growths of tissue can block your nasal passages or sinuses.
- Deviated septum – This wall of bone and cartilage, which is located between your two nostrils, can be crooked or off-center can block sinus passages.
- Allergies – When you have allergies, the resulting inflammation can block your sinuses.
- Other conditions – Medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause your nasal passages to be blocked.
You can also be a greater risk of having chronic sinusitis if you’re frequently around environmental pollutants such as cigarette smoke, have asthma, or have an immune system disorder such as HIV/AIDS or cystic fibrosis.
What can you do for it?
An ear, nose, and throat specialist is the best doctor to treat your chronic sinusitis since they have the knowledge and experience to do so. This type of doctor can recommend some of the following treatments for chronic sinusitis:
- Saline nasal irrigation – This treatment can help reduce drainage and clear away irritants.
- Nasal corticosteroids – Nasal sprays help prevent and treat inflammation.
- Oral or injected corticosteroids – These can relieve inflammation, but they should only be used in the short-term due to a risk of serious side effects if they’re taken for longer periods of time.
- Antibiotics – These are effective only on bacterial infections.
- Immunotherapy – If allergies are causing your sinusitis, immunotherapy can help slowly build up your tolerance to the substances you’re allergic to.
- Surgery – If a structural issue such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps is causing your nasal passages and sinuses to become blocked, surgery may be needed to correct the underlying problem.
If you’re experiencing nasal congestion or other symptoms related to sinusitis or chronic sinusitis, make an appointment today for an evaluation with New York ENT. We’ll determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and will recommend the most effective, least invasive type of treatment to help you breathe easier.