Plenty of Pennsylvanians who call Mechanicsburg home suffer from sinusitis, a chronic sinus infection that causes runny nose, congestion, facial pain and pressure, loss of smell, fatigue, and other cold-like symptoms. Many turn to over-the-counter remedies for help, only to find they are ineffective in the long term. If you’re one of these unfortunate souls, there may be a solution to rid you of these symptoms for good.
Sinusitis is very common – not only in Mechanicsburg, but across the United States, where an estimated 37 million people suffer from the condition every year, making it one of the most common chronic illnesses in the country. It affects individuals of all ages and is considered chronic when symptoms persist for 12 weeks or longer.
Sinusitis the result of fluids that are trapped in the sinuses when they become swollen and inflamed. This leads to germ growth and infection. Factors that contribute to sinusitis include respiratory tract infections, allergies, nasal polyps, deviated septum, and foreign objects in the nose. Remember that the next time you’re tempted to shove something up your nostrils!
Medications are typically used as a first line of treatment for sinusitis. Antihistamines, nasal sprays, decongestants, corticosteroids, and antibiotics may all offer relief from discomfort and pain, especially when paired with home remedies such as humidifiers and warm compresses. Unfortunately, for many patients relief is only temporary. If you have tried these solutions and are still plagued by sinus infections, your doctor might recommend endoscopic sinus surgery.
A Surgical Solution for Chronic Sinusitis
When medications aren’t effective in combating your symptoms, you might be a candidate for a surgical procedure known as Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, or FESS. Your Mechanicsburg ENT physician will review your clinical history, thoroughly examine your ears, nose, and throat, and administer diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your sinusitis before determining whether you qualify. Surgery is typically recommended only after other treatment options have proven ineffective.
If it’s a go, you’ll be administered a local anesthetic and an endoscope – a flexible tube with a camera attached – will be inserted through your nostrils. This provides the surgeon with a view of your sinus passages and allows them to remove any excess tissue that may be causing an obstruction. This opens up your sinus passages to promote drainage of fluids and mucus, which should bring an end to your symptoms.
The thought of endoscopic sinus surgery may make you squeamish, but it’s a safe and effective procedure that is usually performed in an outpatient setting, so you’re able to go home the same day. Because surgery is performed through the nostrils there is no need to worry about scarring, facial swelling, or bruising. You’ll just need to flush your nasal passages for a few days afterwards and might be given antibiotics or steroids to speed up the recovery process.
Hey, it’s better than suffering from a seemingly endless parade of sinus symptoms, right? If you’re tired of dealing with chronic sinus infections, contact your Mechanicsburg ear, nose, and throat doctor for a consultation.