Sinusitis affects millions of people each year
Sinusitis, also known as rhinosinusitis, is an inflammation of the tissue that lines the sinuses and commonly affects millions of people each year. Sinusitis is characterized by nasal congestion and discolored discharge, pain around the eyes, forehead and cheeks, fatigue, fever, dental pain and headaches.
The main triggers of sinusitis are the common cold or other viral respiratory illnesses, allergies, environmental irritants and nasal polyps. The proper treatment depends upon the trigger. A trip to Baker ENT for a diagnosis of the cause will put you on the right track for treatment.
When the sinuses become blocked, you become vulnerable to bacteria and viruses, which can cause infections. Three common types of sinusitis include:
Acute sinusitis is usually caused by the common cold and typically resolves itself in a week to 10 days. Your symptoms should respond to over-the counter medications or home remedies. You shouldn’t need to see a doctor for acute sinusitis.
If your symptoms of acute sinusitis, such as facial pain, headaches, congestion and fatigue last for 12 weeks or longer, you are no longer suffering from acute sinusitis but from chronic sinusitis. In addition to colds or allergies, chronic sinusitis can be caused by nasal polyps or a deviated septum. Over-the-counter remedies might not help in those cases.
Recurrent sinusitis is defined as acute sinusitis symptoms that recur four or more times a year. Unlike simple acute sinusitis, you might benefit from a formal diagnosis. Treatments range from medication to procedures, such as balloon rhinoplasty.
Treatment ranges from medications, such as corticosteroid nasal sprays to nasal irrigation. If your chronic sinusitis has led to a bacterial infection, you might need an antibiotic. In some cases, you might need surgery to remove a nasal polyp or enlarge the sinus opening.
Nasal polyps are a common nasal disorder. Polyps are soft, noncancerous growths on the lining of your nasal passages or sinuses and that hang down like teardrops. They result from chronic inflammation and are associated with asthma, recurring infection and allergies. Nasal polyps are generally painless, but they don’t usually go away on their own. Treatment ranges from medication to surgery.
The wall between your nasal passages is called the septum. When it is displaced to one side rather than centered, it is referred to as a deviated septum. When one nasal passage is narrowed, it can make it difficult to breathe. You can also be prone to nose bleeds.
When treatments, such as decongestants or antihistamines don’t alleviate your symptoms, you will likely need surgery. Surgical repair of a deviated septum is called septoplasty. Although your septum is repositioned to correct this problem, it won’t cure any issues with sinusitis caused by allergies.
Sometimes, septoplasty also involves rhinoplasty, which reshapes the bone and cartilage of the nose.
Don’t suffer needlessly. Contact Baker ENT and start treating your sinus and nasal disorders effectively.