Sinus infections are commonplace. And they aren’t fun. The discomfort and annoyance caused by the inflammation of nasal passages and sinus cavities can linger for days or weeks and interfere with normal activities.
For most of us, these sinus infections (sinusitis) are gone in a relatively short period of time. But many millions of Americans deal with chronic sinusitis that may last for months and resurface again and again. Fortunately, with a proper diagnosis, chronic sinus disease can be successfully treated!
Five Causes of Chronic Sinus Disease
The five main causes of chronic sinus disease are well-documented culprits:
Seasonal Allergies– The buildup of pollen during certain times of the year can inflame the nasal passage, causing swelling that makes it difficult to breathe. Pollen buildup also causes continual runny noses, facial swelling, and headaches.
Year-round Allergens– Pet dander is frequently a cause. Dander has a similar effect as pollen as it builds in the nasal passage.
Infections – Colds, flus, and other respiratory infections caused by bacteria or fungus can also lead to lingering sinus infections.
Deviated Septum – Facial trauma causing a deviated septum can also interfere with normal nasal function.
Nasal Polyps– As polyps develop, sinus infections become more likely
There are a variety of symptomsthat range in severity associated with chronic sinusitis. Symptoms that are common include:
- Thick, yellowish discharge from nasal cavity
- Difficulty breathing
- Ear Pain
- Fatigue and Irritability
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
Successful Treatment Options
Regardless of the cause, treatment can bring relief. Depending on the reason for your sinus infection and its severity, a variety of treatment options may be available to you.
- Antibiotics– Used to kill bacteria in an upper respiratory tract infection
- Allergy shots– Can help a person develop an immunity to seasonal or chronic allergies
- Nasal decongestants or corticosteroids– Medications that can help to minimize symptoms
- Over-the-counter pain relievers– For headaches and facial pain resulting from inflammation
In some cases of facial trauma or irregularities, surgery may be needed to fully address the problem.
An Accurate Diagnosis Is Necessary
In order to treat a chronic sinus disease, the true cause has to be identified by a doctor. Asthma & Allergy Associates specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of sinus infections and other respiratory conditions that may be caused by allergies. If you are suffering, don’t wait any longer. Easy breathing could be just a phone call away.
NOTE: This article was recently updated and originally published October 10, 2018.