Do I Have Sinusitis?
Millions of Americans suffer from some sort of sinus pain every year. While having sinusitis can be a painful experience on its own, it can be unbearable if it becomes chronic. Do you know if you’re suffering from chronic sinusitis? Are your sinus symptoms worse than you think you are? Find out by taking our sinus quiz now.
What are the sinuses?
To understand sinusitis, it's essential to first understand the sinuses. The sinuses are the empty spaces in the face below and above the eyes. The sinuses and nasal passages play a critical role in your overall health because they are the initial filters that can catch foreign substances that cause sinus pain and infection.
When your nasal cavity becomes inflamed or irritated, the flow of mucus may become impacted, leading to infection. This swelling and infection in the nasal passages is known as sinusitis.
What is sinusitis?
As mentioned above, sinusitis is the swelling and inflammation of the tissues in the nasal or sinus cavity, and it can be either acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is short-term swelling that can usually be treated quite easily and typically results from a sinus infection. Chronic or recurring sinusitis can be more painful because it's regularly occurring and sometimes challenging to deal with.
Common sinus infection symptoms
The common symptoms of sinus infection or sinusitis are pretty standard, but there can be some variation between patients. Sinus infection symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Facial pain
- Facial pressure
- Loss or reduced sense of smell
- Postnasal drip
- Nasal inflammation
- Green or yellow nasal discharge
- Reduced or loss of taste
- Nasal congestion
Other less common symptoms include:
- Ear pain
- Jaw or tooth pain
If you are suffering from any combination of these symptoms, you may be dealing with chronic or acute sinusitis. Our expert ENT's at New Orleans Sinus Center can help.
Is my sinusitis chronic?
When your sinus pain and symptoms last longer than 12 weeks at a time or happen several times a year, then you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. Your condition is probably chronic due to a nasal blockage that keeps the flow of mucus from leaving the body.
When mucus can't leave through the nose, it just sits in the nasal cavity and becomes infected. This is what leads to your chronic condition. Some of the most common causes of blockages that lead to chronic sinusitis include:
- Allergies can cause your nose to react to foreign substances leading to swelling and inflammation of your nasal passages. If you only experience sinus symptoms during one part of the year, you may be suffering from seasonal allergies.
- Nasal polyps can cause blockages in your nose that slow the drainage of mucus, leading to infection.
- A deviated septum, like nasal polyps, can impact the flow of mucus, leading to an increased rate of infection.
At New Orleans Sinus Center, we can create a treatment plan for you that may include any combination of the following:
If you are suffering from acute sinusitis that only lasts a week and occurs once or twice a year, then home remedies may be the solution for you. However, if your symptoms last longer and get in the way of life more often than not, you should seek long-term treatment options. That being said, home remedies are still a good way to reduce sinus pain in the short term. Home remedies include:
Drinking plenty of fluids
Drinking extra fluids, mainly water, when feeling sick can help your body naturally heal quicker because our bodies work best when adequately hydrated.
Breaking up blockages with steam or mist
Using a humidifier, a pot of hot water, or taking a hot shower can allow for steam to enter the nose and nasal passages. Steam can help break up and thin mucus, loosening it to drain from the nose and reduce congestion properly.
Use a sinus rinse or Neti pot to flush the sinuses
Nasal rinses are an excellent way to flush the nose of blockages and excess mucus. However, if misused, they can cause injury or worsened infection, so following the manufacturers’ instructions is essential.
Medications, like home remedies, are a good way to control the symptoms of sinusitis for short-term relief. However, if your condition is chronic, you should seek a better long-term solution at New Orleans Sinus Center. Medications on your treatment plan may include:
Antibiotics are prescription medications that are one of the best treatments for bacterial sinus infections. However, they will not get to the root cause of your chronic sinusitis, and they will not treat a fungal or viral infection.
Decongestants may be prescription or over-the-counter medications. They may also come in a pill, topical decongestant, or nasal decongestant spray. Decongestants work well to reduce the swelling in the sinus cavity, but they are not recommended for long-term use.
Like decongestants, corticosteroids are used to treat swelling in the sinus cavities. They may come in pill or spray form, and some are safe for long-term use.
Long-Term chronic sinusitis treatment options
Traditional sinus surgeries
Traditional sinus surgeries can be used to treat a sinus blockage like a deviated septum, closed passage, or nasal polyps to provide long-term relief. However, traditional surgery for sinusitis includes the removal of bone and tissue. The recovery time can also take weeks. Now, there is a better option called Balloon Sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive in-office procedure that can treat nasal blockages. A small balloon is inserted into the impacted nasal cavity and then inflated. Once it is gently removed, you should see immediate results.
Get Long-Term Sinusitis Treatment at New Orleans Sinus Center | Find Out More!
At New Orleans Sinus Center, we can treat all types of sinus-related issues, including your chronic or acute sinusitis. Schedule an appointment today to begin breathing easier in no time.