5 Things to Know about Chronic Sinusitis

a doctor examining a patient's nose

Do your sinuses regularly become inflamed? You might have chronic sinusitis. Here are things you should know about this illness to also evaluate if you’ll need nasal surgery in Denver.

Acute vs. Chronic Sinusitis

Acute and chronic sinusitis share the same symptoms. However, acute sinusitis is a short-term infection that lasts for a few weeks only. Chronic sinusitis is a long-term inflammation that lasts for several weeks or even lingers for years. Also, acute sinusitis is usually due to viruses or bacteria. Conversely, chronic sinusitis has several causes.

Causes of Chronic Sinusitis

Infection can cause chronic sinusitis. Long-term sinusitis can also happen if nasal polyps, tumors, and fractures obstruct the sinus drainage. People with abnormally narrow sinuses and nasal passages are also more prone to chronic sinusitis.

Symptoms

Primary indications of chronic sinusitis include the following:

  • Painful pressure around the eyes, nose, cheek, and other upper parts of the face,
  • Nasal congestion,
  • Thick, discolored nasal discharge,
  • Reduced sense of taste and smell, and
  • Halitosis, ear pain, sore throat, nausea, pain that feels like a toothache, and a sore throat.

Treatment

Steam, saline spray washes, and decongestants can help open your blocked sinuses. Over-the-counter pain medications can also help you manage sinusitis-related pain.

Your doctor might prescribe corticosteroid nasal sprays or oral steroids to help relieve swelling and inflammation, or send you to a specialist if therapy and medications don’t help.

An allergy specialist might also recommend immunotherapy for difficult-to-control allergies. Nasal surgery might be the best option if a polyp, deviated septum, or another structural issue is causing your sinusitis.

Complications

Chronic sinusitis can lead to complications such as meningitis, vision problems, loss of your sense of smell. Infection can also spread to your skin or bones.

See your doctor if your sinusitis symptoms last more than a week, or they don’t improve with treatment. Visit a doctor immediately if you experience symptoms that indicate a serious infection.