Sinusitis is a condition in which nasal passages, or sinuses, become inflamed and swollen. This causes mucus buildup, trouble breathing, headaches, facial pain, and other unpleasant symptoms. Chronic sinusitis, which lasts longer than eight weeks, can be caused by an infection, growths in the sinuses called nasal polyps, or a deviated nasal septum. While anyone can develop chronic sinusitis, it's more common among people who have asthma, an immune system disorder such as HIV or cystic fibrosis, nasal polyps, or allergies, as well as among those who smoke cigarettes.
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis
For chronic sinusitis to be diagnosed, you must display at least two of the following symptoms for longer than eight weeks:
- Thick yellow or greenish mucus that drains through the nose, down the throat, or both
- Congestion that makes it difficult to breathe through your nose
- Painful or swollen eyes, nose, cheeks, or forehead
- Inability to smell or taste
Beyond these four core symptoms, those with chronic sinusitis often have ear pain, aching in the teeth or jaws, a cough, a sore throat, bad breath, fatigue, or nausea.
Treatment for chronic sinusitis
Without treatment, prolonged sinusitis can trigger an asthma attack as well as lead to meningitis, vision problems, a blood clot, or an aneurysm. Treatment for this condition focuses on clearing the nasal passages to ease breathing and reducing sinus inflammation as well as eliminating the underlying cause of the sinusitis.
Common treatments that are effective for chronic sinusitis include nasal irrigation spray to rinse the breathing passages; nasal corticosteroid sprays to reduce inflammation; oral or injected corticosteroids, which are typically used for treating people with nasal polyps; over the counter decongestants; over the counter pain relievers; and antibiotics for those who have chronic sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection.
If these treatments do not resolve chronic sinusitis, the CLEAR Sinus® Procedure has been proven to provide patients with significant and long-lasting relief. We offer this procedure at any of our locations: Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens, Orlando, and Boynton Beach.
When to see a doctor
It can be difficult to determine when your issues go beyond a simple cold or acute sinusitis. Visit Dr. Raja for a consultation if you frequently develop acute sinusitis, especially if it recurs several times within a month or two, if your sinusitis symptoms last longer than seven days, or if your symptoms fail to respond to treatment.