Chronic sinusitis

Have you ever suffered from cold since three or more weeks that wouldn’t go away? Then your condition is suspected to be chronic sinusitis. The chronic sinusitis is the infection or inflammation of the sinuses. The sinuses are the small, air-filled spaces located behind your cheekbones and the forehead. The sinuses produce the mucus that drains through small, narrow channels into your nose.

According to the estimation of Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 29.4 million people are diagnosed with sinusitis every year.

Following are the common causes of chronic sinusitis.

  • Nasal polyps are the fleshy swellings or masses that develop in the lining of the nose and block nasal passages.
  • A crooked or deviated nasal septum obstructs the nasal passages
  • Respiratory tract infections that cause inflammation and thickening of your sinus membranes blocking the mucus drainage
  • Inflammation due to allergies such as hay fever may also block the nasal drainage

The other medical conditions that lead to blockage of the nasal drainage include cystic fibrosis, gastroesophageal reflux, or HIV and other diseases associated with the immune system.

The chronic sinus symptoms include:

  • Nasal obstruction with thick, discolored nasal discharge
  • Severe pain over the upper teeth
  • Pain and swelling around your eyes and cheeks
  • Loss of smell

Other sinus infection symptoms include ear pain, cough that worsens in the night, sore throat, bad breath, fatigue, fever, and nausea.

Maxillary sinusitis symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Redness and swelling around the eye
  • Pain around the upper teeth

The risk for chronic sinusitis or recurrent sinusitis may be increased if you have any of the following conditions;

  • Nasal passage abnormality
  • Asthma
  • Aspirin sensitivity
  • Immune system disorders, such as HIV/AIDS or cystic fibrosis
  • Hay fever or any other allergic condition
  • Regular exposure to pollutants

If the symptoms of chronic sinusitis are left untreated, it may lead to certain complications that include:

  • Meningitis
  • Infections
  • Partial or complete loss of sense of smell
  • Vision problems

Your doctor diagnoses chronic sinusitis by thorough physical examination and may recommend you to go for the following diagnostic tests;

  • Nasal endoscopy: The diagnostic procedure used to view the inner side of your sinuses. It uses a thin, flexible tube that consists of optic light inserted into your nose.
  • Imaging scans: The computed tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging may be recommended for a detailed view of nasal sinus areas.
  • Nasal or sinus cultures: Sometimes, culture is suggested if you fail to respond to the treatment. The tissue cultures are obtained to determine the bacterial infections.
  • Allergy test: Your doctor may suggest a skin test to find the allergen that is causing nasal flare-ups.

The primary goals for the chronic sinusitis treatment include reducing the nasal inflammation, clearing the blockage of nasal drainage, and reducing the recurrent sinusitis. Your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments.

Nasal corticosteroids: The corticosteroids such as fluticasone, triamcinolone, budesonide, mometasone and beclomethasone are given in the form of nasal sprays and help to treat inflammation.

Oral or injected corticosteroids: your doctor may recommend oral or injected corticosteroids if you have nasal polyps.

Antibiotics: Antibiotics are prescribed to treat the bacterial infection. It is also recommended for maxillary sinusitis treatment.

Immunotherapy: If the underlying cause of your chronic sinusitis is due to allergy, then your doctor may recommend immunotherapy that reduces the body’s response to the allergens.

Surgery: In some instances, an endoscopic sinus surgery may be required to treat the condition or halt the progression of the condition.

Certain lifestyle and home remedies may relieve the symptoms of sinusitis. These include:

  • Take adequate rest
  • Increase the intake of water
  • Moisturize the sinus cavities
  • Apply warm compresses to the nasal area
  • Clean or rinse the nasal passages frequently
  • Keep your head elevated while sleeping