If you’ve grown frustrated with frequent rounds of antibiotics, over-the-counter decongestants, and other methods of treatment, you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining that keeps mucus from draining normally through the nose. Your body can produce around a liter of mucus per day, so if you have a blockage, mucus can build up in the sinuses and result in uncomfortable symptoms.
In this blog, the sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will address the symptoms of chronic sinusitis and whether it’s possible to cure chronic sinusitis without sinus surgery.
What is chronic sinusitis?
There are different types of sinusitis, including acute sinusitis, which lasts fewer than four weeks, and chronic sinusitis, which is characterized by an inflammation lasting four to eight weeks. The types of bacteria in a chronic sinus infection tend to be more varied than the bacteria of an acute sinus infection.
Chronic sinus infections can be one of two variations – chronic sinusitis with or without nasal polyps. These non-cancerous growths occur in the lining of the nasal cavity or sinuses and can further obstruct the nose. They’re caused by chronic inflammation.
Sinusitis is characterized by symptoms that include facial pain, sinus pressure or congestion, yellow or green mucus that drains from the nose, and difficulty breathing through the nose.
What are the treatment options for chronic sinusitis?
There are multiple treatment options offered for this condition, and the first course of action is often trying non-surgical procedures in an attempt to cure chronic sinusitis.
These include the following:
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics are the standard treatment option to cure chronic sinusitis that’s caused by bacteria rather than a virus. They’re usually taken anywhere from 3 to 28 days, depending on the type of antibiotic.
- Nasal Decongestant Sprays: These medications shrink swollen nasal passages, easing the way for mucus to drain more easily. They should be used for no more than three or four days, however. When they’re used for longer periods, they can cause the nasal lining to swell again, even when the sinusitis has passed. It’s a rebound effect that can result in a long-term cycle.
- Antihistamines: These medications can be effective if allergies play a large role in your chronic sinusitis. They work by blocking the inflammation caused by allergies.
- Topical Nasal Corticosteroids: These prescription nasal sprays help reduce inflammation and swelling in the nasal passages and sinus openings. They can start working within just a few hours of using them, but you may not have the full benefit for days or weeks.
- Nasal Saline Washes: These can help clear thickened or dried secretions from the nasal passages and keep the membranes more moist and comfortable.
In addition to these non-surgical treatments, several different types of sinus surgeries are available if less-invasive measures aren’t successful. They include the following:
- Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP): Opens the sinus passages to relieve sinus pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis. Balloon sinuplasty requires no cutting and no removal of bone or tissue, so recovery time is minimal.
- Polypectomy: Removes nasal polyps that interfere with your ability to breathe normally.
- Turbinate reduction: Utilizes radiofrequency energy to shrink your swollen nasal tissues.
- Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS): Helps enlarge and clear blocked sinus passages so they’ll properly drain and ventilate.
Where can I get chronic sinusitis treatment?
At DFW Sinus Select, we specialize in tailoring treatments designed for the best possible long-term results with minimal side effects.
To learn what type of sinusitis is causing your particular symptoms, it’s important to visit a DFW Sinus Select board-certified ear, nose, and throat specialist to properly diagnose your sinus issues and receive information about the best treatments to help cure chronic sinusitis. We’ll discuss which treatments have worked, if any, and which haven’t and will partner with you to create a treatment plan that’s safe and effective.
Contact us today to schedule an evaluation.