What Is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis refers to the swelling of your sinuses, which makes it difficult for mucus to drain properly. This can lead to a stuffy nose, difficulty breathing and pain in the area around your eyes.
Sinusitis affects more than 30 million people in the United States, making it the country’s number one reported chronic condition. Acute sinusitis is typically caused by a cold and resolves within one week, while sinusitis that lasts more than 12 weeks is considered chronic.
Sinusitis can be uncomfortable, but there are options for treating your symptoms. Our team at Sacramento Ear, Nose & Throat can work with you to provide the highest quality treatment while minimizing your discomfort.
What Are the Symptoms of Sinusitis?
People with sinusitis often experience cold-like symptoms such as nasal congestion and discharge, postnasal drip, sore throat, facial pressure and swelling, loss of smell and taste, headache, fever, fatigue and bad breath.
What Causes Sinusitis?
One of the most common causes of sinusitis is a cold or allergies. It may also be the result of:
- Nasal polyps
- Deviated septum
- Facial trauma
- Complications from tumors or immune system disorders
How Do ENTs Diagnose Sinusitis?
Your doctor will begin by asking about your symptoms and how they’ve been impacting your life. They will also perform a physical exam, likely feeling your nose and face for tenderness and looking inside your nose. Imaging tests, allergy tests and cultures of nasal and sinus discharge may also be part of the diagnostic process.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
Acute sinusitis will typically resolve on its own. Symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications, allergy medications and saline nasal spray.
If you have chronic sinusitis, your ENT will work with you to create a treatment plan customized to your needs. Options include:
- Avoiding triggers, particularly if your symptoms are the result of allergies
- Corticosteroid sprays to reduce inflammation in the sinuses
- Treating underlying conditions like allergies or asthma
- Surgery to correct a deviated septum or remove nasal polyps
- A balloon sinuplasty, which is a surgical procedure in which a balloon is inserted into the sinuses to further open them
Sinusitis can be uncomfortable, but your symptoms don’t have to disrupt your daily life. Sacramento Ear, Nose & Throat is here to partner with you as you take the next steps in caring for your health.