Almost 30 million people report a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis, according to the CDC. Chronic sinus issues have multiple sources, including infections, growths, and sinus lining swelling. Pinpointing the cause takes time and effort by a professional.
Even once you have the cause, though, you may not know why your sinus problems persist. Depending on the problems, what to do about them might not be obvious either.
In this article, we’ll cover symptoms that suggest you have chronic sinus problems and ways to treat them.
Symptoms of Chronic Sinus Issues
Chronic sinusitis has symptoms similar to a cold, but they last more than 12 weeks. Nasal inflammation, runny nose, and post-nasal drainage all indicate the presence of common sinus issues. Pain and tenderness in the face can also suggest sinusitis.
One less-reported common symptom, however, comes in the form of reduced sense of smell or taste. Many health problems affect the senses, but sinusitis often damages these in particular.
Less-common symptoms in turn include ear pain, fatigue, constant throat-clearing, and sore throat. If you have a significant number of both common and uncommon symptoms, seek a referral to an ear nose and throat doctor.
Treatments and Medicine for Sinus Issues
Starting to fear you have chronic sinusitis? Already have a diagnosis? You can do a lot to mitigate your symptoms.
Avoiding irritants like cigarette smoke or vehicle exhaust can help reduce the impact of sinusitis. While these don’t directly cause sinusitis, they can worsen it.
For home remedies, try moisturizing your sinuses. Using a neti pot or even taking a hot shower can reduce the pain and discomfort. A warm compress on the head can have similar effects.
Sinusitis treatments by medical professionals include allergy medications, antibiotics, corticosteroids, and antifungals. The type of medication prescribed depends on the cause, since sinusitis can come from any type of foreign body in the nose.
Occasionally, chronic sinus issues stem from a physiological problem that cannot be treated with medication or other non-invasive treatment. When medicine for sinus issues doesn’t work, doctors look at surgical intervention.
In a surgical intervention, the surgeon will place a thin tube with a camera inside the nose. After looking at the area, the doctor determines further appropriate activities.
If sinusitis comes from a polyp or other form of tissue overgrowth, surgery involves removing the offending tissue. If the nasal passages are too small to function, the doctor can expand them.
Recovery from chronic sinusitis surgery can take days to weeks, depending on the interventions necessary. Patients need to regularly visit their healthcare team to assess healing and progress, due to the personalized nature of these interventions.
Don’t Suffer in Silence
Millions of people grapple with chronic sinus issues every year. You don’t need to sit and suffer alone. Whether your sinusitis stems from chronic infection or physical blockage, it can be treated.
Have another ongoing health problem? Interested in novel treatments for diseases? Come read our health and wellness section for more information.
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