Nearly everyone has had at least one experience with sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection. For some individuals, sinusitis is unfortunately a chronic condition. This means that the condition lasts longer than eight weeks at a time or it occurs more than four times within a year. Some people are more prone to developing chronic sinusitis because they suffer from allergic rhinitis or have structural abnormalities within their sinuses or nasal passages.
Given the unpleasant symptoms that go hand in hand with a sinus infection, it is better to take steps to prevent chronic sinusitis than it is to deal with treating it. In this blog, the sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will provide some tips to help reduce your chances of developing chronic sinusitis.
What things should I avoid if I’m looking to prevent chronic sinusitis?
One of the keys to helping you avoid chronic sinus infections from developing is to keep your nasal passages as free and clear as possible and to treat nasal congestion at the first signs of trouble.
For some individuals, avoiding common triggers of allergic inflammation is the first step. These triggers may include:
- Dusty environments – Living or spending time in a dust-filled environment can result in significant inflammation of the nasal membranes caused by breathing in dust. Regular dusting and replacing air filters in your home can help you to avoid this possible sinusitis trigger.
- Dry environments – Living in an overly dry environment, especially during colder winter months, can lead to swollen sinuses. A portable humidifier may be useful to help add moisture to the air, but you must be careful to ensure it stays clean and free from bacteria and mold, as these are two other potential triggers of allergic rhinitis and membrane inflammation in the nose.
- Spending time outdoors when pollen counts are highest – While this tends to be more problematic in warmer seasons, it is important to monitor pollen counts and limit your time spent outdoors when they are highest.
- Overly relying on antihistamines – Antihistamines can cause your mucus to thicken, which, in turn, can make it harder to drain, leading to sinus pain and pressure. For this reason, this type of medication should be used with care and only when absolutely necessary. If you aren’t sure whether you need to take antihistamines or when you should take them, consult with an experienced ENT.
- Sleeping with your head facing downwards – Sleeping with your head down can cause mucus to build up in your sinuses, leading to uncomfortable symptoms. Switching sleeping positions and propping your head up on a pillow can help prevent problems with mucus pooling.
Are there other things that might be contributing to my chronic sinusitis?
For some people, it may be more difficult to prevent chronic sinusitis. These individuals may need to get an examination from a board-certified Dallas/Fort Worth ENT to help identify what is contributing to the issue. In some cases, the underlying problem has to do with an anatomical abnormality such as:
- Nasal polyps
- Small sinus openings
- A deviated septum
All of these factors can make you more prone to developing chronic sinusitis because they can obstruct or narrow the sinus openings, making proper sinus drainage more difficult.
If a structural abnormality is suspected, an ENT can examine your sinuses and nasal passages thoroughly using a small camera. After getting a complete picture of what the inside of your nose structure looks like, your doctor will be able to recommend a personalized treatment plan that will address the problem and help prevent future episodes of sinusitis.
How can I find long-lasting relief from chronic sinusitis?
If avoiding the common triggers of chronic sinusitis doesn’t seem to help and you are finding your quality of life is suffering as a result, it is time to take control of the situation and contact one of our numerous Dallas/Fort Worth area offices. One of our sinus specialists will examine you and get you on the road to recovery. Some patients may be candidates for an in-office procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty that can provide long-lasting results and prevent chronic sinusitis in the future. Contact us today for a consultation or get started by filling out the schedule appointment form right on this page.