When sinus problems, including infection and inflammation, last longer than 3 months the term Chronic Sinusitis is used. The term sinusitis alone means general inflammation of the sinuses regardless of the cause. Acute sinusitis usually lasts about 2 weeks on average and can be managed with OTC decongestants, anti-inflammatories or antibiotics, if appropriate. If it lasts three months or occurs several times a year, different approaches and further interventions are often needed.
Those with multiple allergies that cause sinus/nasal congestion, a weakened immune system, frequent upper respiratory illness, an injury or deformity of the nose that makes it difficult to drain mucus properly, or who smoke or inhale secondhand smoke frequently are more prone to chronic sinus problems and complications.
Chronic sinusitis can be treated in a variety of ways depending on the cause. Treatment often includes intranasal steroid sprays or oral steroids to decrease inflammation and swelling that are causing obstruction, pain and pressure. Antibiotics may also be prescribed if a bacterial infection is the source. Routine sinus rinses, maintaining a clean, smoke-free environment, avoidance of allergies can also help minimize sinus symptoms. For those who have polyps or fail to improve with other therapies, sinus surgery or balloon sinuplasty are considered.
If you find that you suffer from sinus symptoms chronically, call us for an evaluation. One of our experienced and caring specialists will sit down and discuss your concerns, conduct a thorough evaluation and go over any necessary testing and/or treatment plans to help relieve your sinus problems.