Suffering from chronic sinus infections that have you so distraught you are using language that would make a sailor blush? You are not alone; this condition – known as sinusitis – affects 37 million people throughout the U.S., making it the most common chronic physical condition in Mechanicsburg and across the country.
What Causes Sinusitis?
When the tissues lining the sinuses become inflamed and swollen, a painful infection known as sinusitis results. There are a number of possible causes including colds, allergies, nasal polyps, deviated septum, facial trauma, immune system disorders, and tumors. Symptoms are similar to those of the common cold: facial pain and pressure, nasal congestion and discharge, sore throat, postnasal drip, loss of smell and taste, fever, fatigue, and bad breath. It is considered a chronic condition when these symptoms last longer than 12 weeks. If you’re suffering, that feels like a lifetime! But rest assured – treatment is available.
Finding Relief from Sinusitis
When diagnosed with sinusitis, your Pennsylvania ENT will run diagnostic tests to determine what is triggering your attacks. You might undergo a CT scan or MRI, nasal endoscopy, or allergy tests. If you’re really lucky, maybe even all three!
How your sinusitis is treated depends on its cause and severity. If you have acute sinusitis, count your blessings – symptoms should clear up in a few weeks. You may be able to get by with over-the-counter medications and nasal sprays. If a bacterial infection is responsible, you’ll be prescribed antibiotics.
Those with chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, require more aggressive treatment. Some people respond to nasal corticosteroid sprays, antifungal medications or allergy shots. For others, surgery is the only viable long-term solution.
Traditional endoscopic sinus surgery requires cutting and removal of bone and tissue in and around the sinuses. While effective, it is not without discomfort and requires an extended recovery period.
A newer procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty may be recommended instead. This minimally-invasive surgery utilizes a balloon catheter that is inserted into the sinuses and inflated; this expands the cavity and causes fluid to drain.
Your Pennsylvania ear, nose, and throat specialist will determine exactly how to treat your sinusitis.