If you are like most people today, the last thought you really had about the…
Ah, spring – warm days, flowers blooming and sinusitis? Yes, the pressure behind your eyes is all too familiar and is often exacerbated in spring if you have any kind of allergy. Sinusitis is quite common among Americans and often leads to lost work and school days.
Sinusitis is simply the medical term for chronic sinus infections. The most common symptoms are facial pressure and pain, with the addition of nasal drainage, bad breath and sometimes fever. A chronic cough is also fairly common. Sinusitis makes it hard to breathe and may also affect your sense of taste or smell.
Chronic infections are the most common cause of sinusitis, although allergies can make things worse. The infections may be due to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, although even if properly treated, the bacteria and viruses that cause sinusitis often remain in the nasal passages after healing has occurred. Nasal polyps (growths) or a crooked bone in the center of the nose can also contribute to chronic sinusitis.
In many cases, doctors will try to treat sinusitis conservatively, at least at first. In most cases, the goal is to increase nasal drainage and relieve inflammation, although if an actual infection is present, the doctor will also treat that. Nasal sprays, saline rinses, warm moist compresses and over-the-counter medications like antihistamines and decongestants are the first line of defense in conservative treatment.
If conservative treatments are ineffective, surgery is usually the next option. Part of the problem with conservative treatments is they treat the symptoms but not the actual cause of the problem, leading to recurrent sinusitis. Surgery is the only way to remove a nasal polyp or correct a deviated septum (the bone in the nose). In most cases, the surgery can be performed as an outpatient procedure.
If you’re tired of dealing with chronic sinusitis and conservative treatment hasn’t solved the problem, this may be the spring to consider a permanent fix. A ENT specialist can perform the procedure and allow you to breath freely again. Give us a call.
Dr Don J. Beasley, MD is a board-certified otolaryngologist who has been practicing ear, nose, and throat medicine for over 20 years. Sinusitus surgery is one of Dr. Beasley’s ENT specialties. If you’re interested in getting your sinusitis treated today, feel free to schedule an appointment online or call our office today at (208) 229-2368