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Chronic Sinusitis: Causes And Treatment

Chronic sinusitis refers to sinus inflammation and it can be caused by various health conditions. It can produce symptoms such as nasal congestion, pain underneath your eyes, headache, post-nasal drip, and fatigue. Because the signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis can mimic those of other medical conditions, your sinus doctor, or ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist, will need to uncover the cause before developing a treatment plan. Here are some causes of chronic sinusitis and some effective treatment options.

Chronic Sinusitis Causes

Allergies can cause chronic sinusitis because allergic responses can trigger an inflammatory response in your nasal cavity and sinuses. Other causes of sinusitis include viral and bacterial upper respiratory infections, nasal polyps, and exposure to certain chemicals. Cigarette smoking, structural deformities inside your nose such as deviated septum, and even acid reflux disease can also cause sinusitis.

To confirm a specific cause for your chronic sinusitis, your sinus doctor will examine the inside of your nose with a special instrument called or nasoscope. If warranted, your doctor may also recommend a procedure called a nasal endoscopy to further examine your nasal cavity and sinuses. After an examination and a detailed medical history, your healthcare provider will develop a treatment plan to manage your sinusitis. 

Chronic Sinusitis Treatments

Nasal irrigation with salt water solution can help relieve your sinusitis symptoms. Salt has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can decrease sinus swelling and help lower your risk for sinusitis-related infections. Nasal decongestants can also help decrease sinus inflammation and relieve nasal congestion so that you can breathe better through your nose. Nasal decongestants are available in both spray form and as an oral medication.

Nasal corticosteroids are also commonly used to treat sinusitis-related nasal congestion and sinus inflammation. Certain types of nasal corticosteroids are available without a prescription, however, depending on the extent of your condition and the severity of your symptoms, your sinus doctor may recommend a prescription steroid spray.

If your sinusitis is caused by a lingering or untreated bacterial upper respiratory infection, your healthcare provider may prescribe a course of oral antibiotics. It is important to note, that upper respiratory infections caused by viruses are not responsive to antibiotics, and because of this, they will not be prescribed if your infection is viral in nature.

If you have signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis, make an appointment with a sinus doctor. An early diagnosis and treatment will help relieve your symptoms as soon as possible and may help reduce your risk for sinusitis-related complications such as systemic infections and permanent loss of taste.

For more information, contact a sinus doctor near you.