The 411 On Sinusitis: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments
Following a well-balanced diet, exercising as much as possible, and seeing your doctor periodically are all smart steps for a healthy lifestyle. However, you still may develop problems when living a healthy lifestyle. While surprising to learn, an estimated 29.4 million adults have chronic sinusitis. This condition not only affects the patient's ability to breathe properly, but the chronic inflammation and swelling can also be painful. If you were recently diagnosed with sinusitis, proper understanding is key. Use this guide to learn more about the condition and how a balloon sinuplasty can help.
The 411 on Sinusitis
Patients with chronic sinusitis have inflammation and swelling in the cavities of the nasal passages or sinuses for weeks at a time even while taking medication. If you have the condition, you may experience pain and a burning sensation when attempting to breathe through your nose.
In addition, the swelling reduces the sinus' ability to drain, resulting in the buildup of mucus. This buildup leads to uncomfortable pressure and possible headaches. You may also develop redness and swelling around your nose and eyes due to the pressure and inflammation.
Here are a few other symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis:
- Postnasal drop, or nasal mucus draining into the back of the throat
- Reduced sense of smell
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Ear Pain
- Aches in the jaw and teeth
Causes of Sinusitis
Your doctor will be able to determine the cause of your sinusitis. In most cases, the problem stems from allergies. The constant sneezing, runny nose, and coughing associated with seasonal and environmental allergies irritate the sinuses, leading to severe inflammation and swelling of the sinuses.
Suffering with numerous colds and respiratory infections can also lead to sinusitis. During a cold, the sinuses swell up, reducing drainage and causing mucus buildup.
Nasal polyps are also a common cause of chronic sinusitis. These growths block air and mucus, increasing buildup, pressure, and pain.
Many patients with chronic sinusitis also have a deviated septum. The wall between the nostril, or septum, helps air and mucus move through the nasal passages properly. If the septum is crooked or deviated, air and mucus will not be able to flow freely through the nasal passages. This leads to irritation and inflammation.
Doctors will prescribe a few medications to treat any infections you may have. Also, a nasal saline solution and spray will be necessary to irrigate the sinuses, rinsing away dirt, dust, and other allergens.
Nasal sprays that contain cortisteroids are also beneficial. These sprays have anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce inflammation, pain, and swelling in the sinuses.
Severe cases of chronic sinusitis may require surgery. Your doctor may need to repair a deviated septum or surgically remove polyps that are blocking your nasal passages.
The 411 on Balloon Sinuplasty
Opening up the sinuses through a less invasive procedure is also possible. Known as a balloon sinuplasty, this innovative procedure is performed in your doctor's office. Anesthesia or a stay in the hospital are not needed.
During the sinuplasty, your doctor will insert a small balloon catheter into the nasal passage. The balloon opens up the sinus, allowing your doctor to spray a saline solution into the nasal passages. This solution flushes out dirt, irritants, and allergens.
The pressure of the balloon is also effective for widening the nasal passages, allowing for space in the sinuses for improved breathing and drainage.
Chronic sinusitis may be common, but it should not have to take control of your life. With this guide, you will understand the condition and learn if balloon sinuplasty is the right option for your needs. And if you have any further questions about sinus infections or treatment options, contact a medical clinic, such as Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc..