Stuffy nose, pain that seems to radiate from everywhere on your face, even your teeth hurt – these are all indications that you may be suffering from sinusitis. You are not alone. More than thirty million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year – meaning countless days of missed work and interference with family time, social plans and more. Unfortunately, for some, sinusitis may be chronic, meaning that it lasts for more than six weeks.
When you need treatment for chronic sinusitis, the good news is that you have a wide range of options. In this blog, the board-certified otolaryngologists and sinus experts at Sinus Center of Atlanta will explain what you need to know when seeking treatment for chronic sinusitis.
Causes and Symptoms of Sinusitis
Before explaining how chronic sinusitis can be treated, it’s important to understand the causes and telltale symptoms of this condition. Sinusitis is characterized by inflammation resulting from infection in the sinus cavities. It occurs when normal drainage from the sinuses is disrupted or blocked.
Many people mistake sinusitis for allergies or a common cold. It is important to know the symptoms so that you can get the correct treatment.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Facial tenderness or pain
- Pain in the teeth, especially the upper, back ones
- Thick, green or yellow mucus
- Post-nasal drip
- Bad breath
- Decreased sense of taste or smell
- Scratchy throat
Conservative Sinusitis Treatment Options
Initially, sinusitis may be treated with conservative methods that may include:
- Antibiotics – to prevent or take care of any infection
- Nasal sprays – to thin mucus and help wash it out
- Antihistamines – to treat any allergy-related sinusitis
- Decongestants/expectorants – to thin mucus and help it drain more freely
These treatment options may work well for some patients, but once the condition becomes chronic (lasting for more than six weeks) or if it keeps returning, it may be necessary to take the next step and pursue a more advanced, long-lasting treatment for chronic sinusitis.
Advanced Options in the Treatment of Chronic Sinusitis
Balloon Sinuplasty is an advanced procedure for the sinuses that involves no cutting, but produces effective, long-lasting relief from sinusitis symptoms. It can be performed in the office or procedure room under local anesthesia. With Balloon Sinuplasty, a small balloon is inserted through your nasal passage and into the affected sinus cavity opening. The balloon is slowly inflated, causing the opening to expand gently and be remodeled. Once the opening is enlarged, a saline solution can be administered to wash out any built-up mucus from the sinus cavity. Then the balloon is deflated and removed. Patients can return to work the next day. This can provide permanent relief over 85% of the time.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery involves using a small camera inserted through your nose to visualize the sinus anatomy and identify any structures or scar tissue which may be causing chronic sinusitis. Specialized instruments are used to rid your nasal passages of any scar tissue, nasal polyps, or bone abnormalities that are blocking or interfering with proper sinus drainage. This removal is done very carefully and leaves little or no scarring. The entire procedure is performed through the nasal passages, so there are no incisions on the outside.
Both Balloon Sinuplasty and Endoscopic Sinus Surgery have numerous advantages for the treatment of chronic sinusitis, including:
- Fast and easy recovery
- Performed entirely through the nostrils
- Highly effective with minimal discomfort
- Continued relief from sinusitis and causes of nasal obstruction
Get Treatment for Chronic Sinusitis in Atlanta
Depending on the cause of your sinus problems, a single procedure may be all that you need to help prevent future sinus infections. A good way to gauge just how severe your chronic sinusitis may be is to start by taking our Sinus Evaluation Quiz.
If you’re ready to get treatment for chronic sinusitis, contact our practice to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced sinus doctors. You can also get started by filling out the appointment request form on this page.