What is chronic sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis is infection and/or inflammation of the sinuses that persists longer than three weeks. Chronic sinusitis is usually caused either by allergies or by infection. It may flare up suddenly or may follow respiratory infections such as the common cold.
What are the symptoms of chronic sinusitis?
The most common symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis are:
Headaches (in the front of your head or around your nose)
Post nasal drainage
Discolored nasal discharge
Chronic sinusitis symptoms can interfere with your daily life, and many people who suffer from chronic sinusitis find it may be difficult to concentrate at work or enjoy social activities. Many patients with chronic sinusitis find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning to start the day.
Seeking the help of an allergist is essential to finding relief from this constant, bothersome inflammation. A board certified allergist is trained to find the underlying cause of chronic sinusitis and to solve the problem.
How is chronic sinusitis treated?
Once the allergist knows the allergens that are causing your chronic sinusitis, a treatment plan will be recommended. Treatment may include:
Nasal steroid sprays
Is there a cure for chronic sinusitis?
When the underlying cause of chronic sinusitis is treated effectively, it frequently disappears or becomes less of a problem. Since allergies can lead to chronic sinusitis, immunotherapy (or IT) may be the most effective long-term approach towards a cure. IT is the only way to rid the body of nasal allergies. In essence, IT is a vaccine against allergies. As you receive IT, you gradually decrease your sensitivity and build up your immunity to your allergens.
If your chronic sinusitis is due to structural problems, your allergist will refer you to your primary care physician for a discussion regarding available options.
What happens if chronic sinusitis goes untreated?
If your chronic sinusitis goes untreated, you can expect frequent sinus, ear and upper and lower respiratory infections. It is even possible for the infection to invade the boney tissue (osteomyelitis), and in rare cases it can cause meningitis. Allergies and chronic sinusitis are responsible for symptoms that make it difficult to enjoy a productive, active life. Don’t let allergies or chronic sinusitis control your life! Work with your allergist to find a solution that helps you take back control and live free of chronic sinusitis.
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