Do you often experience cold-like symptoms such as nasal congestion and discharge, postnasal drip, sore throat, facial pressure and swelling, loss of smell and taste, headache, fever, fatigue and bad breath? If so, you are not alone.
Boone otolaryngologists estimate that 37 million Americans suffer from an inflammation and swelling of their sinus tissue known as sinusitis or a sinus infection.
Make this the year you finally seek help for your untreated chronic sinusitis, instead of just living with the pain and discomfort.
What Is a Sinus Infection?
In order to finally seek treatment, it might be beneficial to understand what a sinus infection actually is.
Sinus infections are caused by an infection brought on by a cold or allergies; they may also be the result of nasal polyps, a deviated septum, trauma to the face, hay fever, complications from immune system disorders or tumors.
In addition to a variety of cold-like symptoms, complications can include asthma attacks, meningitis, vision problems, aneurysms and stroke.
How Are Sinus Infections Treated?
In order to confirm you are suffering from untreated chronic sinusitis, your Boone otolaryngologist will review your medical history and complete a physical exam; this includes inspecting your nasal passage for polyps, inflammation and a buildup of fluid.
Your doctor may need to order additional tests, including:
- Nasal endoscopy
- CT scans
- Allergy tests
The right treatment for you is dependent on the cause and severity of your sinusitis.
Saline nasal sprays and corticosteroids are useful for rinsing your nasal passages and relieving inflammation. Decongestants are a good short-term solution, but extended use can actually worsen the condition. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for bacterial infections.
Antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, saline washes and oral steroids all provide long-term relief. More permanent solutions such as immunotherapy (allergy shots) or surgery can bring relief to those suffering from chronic sinusitis.
For more information on getting the help you need for your untreated chronic sinusitis, contact your Boone otolaryngologist today.