Chronic Sinusitis: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Millions of Americans are affected by chronic sinusitis. This common condition can cause annoying, uncomfortable, and miserable symptoms, but the good news is that with the care of your Mesa allergists, your chronic sinusitis symptoms can be significantly reduced! Learn more about the causes of chronic sinusitis and how it can be effectively treated.

Chronic Sinusitis

What Is Chronic Sinusitis?

Chronic sinusitis, the medical term for recurrent sinus infections, is a condition that happens when the cavities surrounding the nasal passages become swollen and inflamed. Acute sinus infections commonly occur with colds, flus, and other contagious illnesses, but the condition is considered to be chronic when it lasts for at least 3 months and isn’t seeing improvement with standard treatments.

What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Sinusitis?

People who suffer from chronic sinusitis generally experience poor nasal drainage and have mucus buildup inside their nasal passages, leading to difficulty breathing, facial pain, and facial pressure.

Symptoms will vary between patients, but Queen Creek allergy experts generally observe the following symptoms:

  • Thick nasal discharge that may be discolored, that drains through the nose and/or down the back of the throat
  • Constant nasal congestion
  • Pain or tenderness around the nose, cheeks, forehead, eyes, and ears
  • Decreased taste and smell
  • Thick or discolored discharge that comes from the knows or drains down the back of the throat (postnasal drip)
  • Nasal congestion
  • Coughing that is usually worse at night
  • Sore throat
  • Pain or tenderness around the eyes, nose, forehead, or cheeks
  • Pain in the jaw or teeth
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

In order to be diagnosed with chronic sinusitis, at least two of the symptoms must be present.

What Causes Chronic Sinusitis?

There can be many causes of chronic sinus inflammation, but the most common causes include:

Allergies: Seasonal allergies are a common cause of inflammation and blockages in the sinuses.

Upper respiratory tract infections: Common colds, flus, and other infections can cause inflammation in the sinuses.

Deviated nasal septum: When the wall between the nostrils is crooked or unusually shaped, blockages may result.

Nasal polyps: These tissue growths inside the nasal passages can fill or block the sinuses.

Other medical conditions: Some health conditions can contribute to chronic sinusitis, such as GERD, cystic fibrosis, HIV, and immune system dysfunction.

Your Chandler allergy doctor can help identify the cause of your chronic sinusitis to help with a more effective treatment strategy.

What Are The Risk Factors For Chronic Sinusitis?

Some of the risk factors for chronic sinus inflammation include:

  • A history of asthma
  • Severe hay fever or allergies
  • Regular pollutant exposure, such as cigarette smoke or secondhand smoke
  • Aspirin sensitivity
  • Immune system disorders

How Can Chronic Sinusitis Be Treated?

If you’ve tried to treat chronic sinus inflammation with over the counter medicines and haven’t seen relief, get in touch with an experienced Mesa allergy doctor who can develop a personalized, comprehensive treatment plan to help bring symptom relief.

There are many effective treatment options that can significantly reduce chronic sinusitis. These include:

Nasal irrigation: Using a saline solution in the nose can help remove irritants that are causing inflammation.

Corticosteroid sprays: Nasal sprays with steroids can help reduce or prevent inflammation, and are often used in combination with nasal irrigation.

Corticosteroid medications and injections: These can help reduce severe inflammation, especially when nasal polyps are the primary cause of inflammation.

Aspirin desensitization: If aspirin sensitivity is the cause of your sinus inflammation and you need to take it for a health condition, your Queen Creek allergy experts may recommend desensitization treatment to minimize your symptoms.

Antibiotics: Some cases of chronic sinusitis are the result of untreated bacterial infections.

Lifestyle changes: Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to help support your body, which may include sufficient rest, drinking plenty of fluids, steam, warm compresses, elevating the head during sleep, and avoiding caffeine and other dehydrating beverages.

Are There Surgical Treatments For Chronic Sinusitis?

In extreme cases, when other treatments are not working effectively, surgery may be recommended. Two surgery options are most commonly used.

Endoscopic sinus surgery removes the nasal polyps or tissue buildup that are blocking the sinus passages. General anesthesia is required and the recovery is up to a week.

The OPEN procedure may be an alternative surgical solution, in which your doctor will inflate your sinuses with an open balloon to expand the tissue and relieve pressure. Once everything has expanded and drained, the balloon is deflated and removed. This is a same-day procedure with local anesthesia and a short recovery time.

Are You Ready For Chronic Sinusitis Relief?

Are you sick and tired of your chronic sinus symptoms? Schedule your appointment with the experienced team at San Tan Allergy and Asthma. Our friendly doctors are ready to help find the cause of your chronic sinusitis and will develop a comprehensive treatment plan that can get you feeling much better! Call our office today to schedule your appointment and get started on your journey to better health!