Nothing affects your ability to think like a constant pressure between your eyes. Sinus issues come with the seasons, it seems, an inconvenient side effect to the holiday season. But how do you know if your occasional sinus infection or nagging sinus headache is chronic?
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis affects more than 37 million people in the United States annually. While affected, those dealing with sinusitis experience inflammation of the membrane lining of the sinuses, usually one of the paranasal sinuses, that causes any of the following symptoms:
- Ear pain
- Aching in the jaw and teeth
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
When acute, the condition typically lasts for one or two weeks and responds well to antibiotics and decongestants. But if you experience four or more recurrences of acute sinusitis within a short period, or the sinuses are inflamed for at least 12 weeks regardless of treatment, the situation requires a physical examination to diagnose a chronic problem.
But, how do you know it’s sinusitis?
Because it can be difficult to differentiate sinusitis from cold or allergies, consult the chart below to determine if you should pursue medical treatment with an ENT.
|Duration of illness||> 10-14 days||Varies||> 10 days|
|Nasal discharge||Whitish or colored||Clear, thin, watery||Thick, whitish, or thin|
|Pain in upper teeth||Sometimes||No||No|
Other symptoms of chronic sinusitis:
- Nasal obstruction or blockage
- Pus in the nasal cavity
What causes this painful sinus congestion?
If I ignore it, will my sinusitis go away on its own?
That’s a bad idea. Leaving chronic sinusitis untreated may cause damage to the sinuses and cheekbones that will eventually require surgery to repair — not to mention unnecessary pain and discomfort.
To determine best treatment options, physicians assess your physical history and symptoms. During the examination, specialists will inspect the nose, ears, throat, and teeth to identify inflamed sinuses and particular areas of trouble.
Additional diagnostic testing may be necessary and include a mucous culture, nasal endoscopy, x-rays, allergy testing, or CT scan of the sinuses.
Okay, I think I have chronic sinusitis. What options are available to me?
Patients with chronic sinusitis may be prescribed intensive antibiotic therapy. Ashland ENT also offers a safe, in-office, minimally invasive procedure called balloon sinuplasty.
What Is Balloon Sinuplasty
Balloon sinuplasty takes less than two hours under local anesthesia. A wire catheter and balloon, inserted via endoscopic visualization in your sinus, is used to open blocked passageways, thus improving drainage. When you are done, you may return to work and other normal daily activities, but with the added benefit of breathing a lot easier.
SYNOPSIS: If you’re tired of dealing with constant sinus pressure, maybe you have a chronic sinus condition. Find out the symptoms and get relief today.