What is chronic sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an infection involving the tissues of the sinus cavities. The sinuses are just above the eyebrows and on either side of your nose in the cheek region as well as back in the middle of your head. An infection can cause nasal congestion, significant swelling of the membranes, and blockages that prevent mucus from draining away. Sinusitis becomes chronic when it lasts 12 weeks or more despite appropriate treatment.
What are the symptoms of chronic sinusitis?
Along with nasal congestion, chronic sinusitis may cause:
- Thick, discolored discharge from your nose that may be green or yellow
- Drainage down the back of your throat (postnasal drainage)
- Difficulty breathing through your nose due to congestion
- Pain, tenderness, swelling, and redness around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
Chronic sinusitis can also cause:
- Pain in one or both ears
- Moderate to severe aching pain in your upper jaw and teeth
- Cough with a sore throat and frequent throat clearing
- Bad breath
- Shortness of breath
What causes chronic sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis may be caused by:
- Upper respiratory tract infections, often a cold
- Nasal polyps, small tissue growths that can block nasal passages or sinuses
- Deviated or crooked nasal septum (wall between the nostrils)
Allergies such as hay fever can cause inflammation, nasal drainage, and congestion blocking your sinuses and leading to a chronic infection.
How do you identify what’s causing chronic sinusitis?
Your Advanced Allergy & Asthma specialist will complete a full evaluation and discuss your symptoms in detail. Part of the examination includes using an endoscope to get a closer look at your inner nasal passages and sinuses. An endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a fiber-optic light at the tip which allows your doctor to see the inside of your sinuses.
You may also require imaging tests, such as a CT scan to highlight the details of your sinuses that can’t be seen on the endoscope. These images can identify an area of inflammation, abnormal tissue growth, or other problems that might be causing an obstruction and resulting infection.
Schedule a visit at Advanced Allergy & Asthma today for an accurate diagnosis and treatment of chronic sinusitis. Call the office or book your appointment online.