Over 33 million Americans are affected by chronic sinusitis every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you’ve been coping with symptoms such as facial pressure, headaches, fatigue, a stuffy nose or loss of sense of smell for a period of 12 weeks, it’s likely you have chronic sinusitis.
Chronic sinusitis can be described as the inflammation and blockage of the sinuses for more than 12 weeks. Patients with the condition often experience the following symptoms:
- Feeling pressure in the face (especially around the eyes, forehead, and nose)
- Stuffy nose
- Loss of sense of smell
- Mucus dripping down the throat
- Ear pain
Chronic sinusitis is caused by various factors and can be tough to treat. Only your doctor can determine the cause of your condition after running a couple of tests. Some common causes of chronic sinusitis include:
- An infection
- A fungus
- A polyp (growth)
- Weak immune system
Effective treatment of chronic sinusitis should be able to reduce sinus inflammation and unblock the nasal passage to allow normal draining of mucus. Moreover, the treatment should be able to get rid of the underlying cause and prevent frequent the recurrence of the condition. Some treatment options to relieve your symptoms include:
Saline nasal irrigation and use of corticosteroids:
Your doctor may prescribe nasal sprays to fight off irritants and allergies and decongest the nasal cavity. Nasal corticosteroids can also be given to reduce inflammation, particularly if the swelling is caused by nasal polyps or growth.
Chronic sinusitis caused by bacteria can be effectively treated with antibiotics.
Since allergies also cause chronic sinusitis, your physician may prescribe allergy shots to improve your body’s reaction to common allergens.
Endoscopic sinus surgery:
Endoscopic surgery may be preferred if your condition doesn't respond to normal medication like nasal sprays. With this type of surgery, the doctor employs a thin tube fitted with a camera to evaluate your sinus passages. When the source of obstruction is identified, various instruments are used to get rid of the inflammation.
Don’t suffer in silence if you suspect you might be suffering from chronic sinusitis. Getting urgent treatment is imperative if you don’t want to be stuck with the symptoms.