If you have allergies, you probably know the discomfort and misery of sinusitis. While allergies aren’t the only trigger for this condition, you’re much more likely to experience acute or chronic sinusitis if you also suffer from allergies. The symptoms of sinusitis can be treated with over-the-counter medicines, but it will keep coming back until the underlying cause is properly treated.
Our caring staff at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center is led by Wade Han, MD FACS, and Elvira Livigni-De Armas, Au.D. Dr. Han is an ear, nose, and throat specialist who provides quality custom care to our patients whose experiences with chronic sinusitis leave them unable to fully enjoy their daily lives. Learn more about sinusitis and what you can do if it affects you.
What is sinusitis?
Nearly 30 million people in the US experience some type of sinusitis. Sinusitis is a common condition that affects the lining of the sinuses. Your sinuses are pockets of tissue located in your forehead, between your eyes, and behind your cheekbones.
Your sinuses produce their own mucus, which keeps the pockets moist. The mucus also protects your nasal passages from environmental irritants, including allergens and pollution. When these pockets in your face are inflamed, you have a sinus infection, or sinusitis.
Sinus infections can be acute and last for a few days, or chronic, lasting for weeks. If your sinusitis lasts longer than 12 weeks, it’s generally considered to be chronic sinusitis, and without treatment, there could be other complications. Extreme complications include infections that reach your brain or spine, but this is a rare occurrence.
What causes sinusitis?
One of the chief causes of sinusitis is polyps, or fleshy growths on the interior of your nasal passages, which can block your nasal passages. Colds, cases of flu, and other respiratory infections can also trigger sinusitis, making your already-uncomfortable sickness even worse.
Allergies, either seasonal outdoor allergies or even indoor allergies, can cause sinusitis, and you may have stronger indoor allergies than you realize if you’re experiencing chronic sinusitis. Some people living with chronic conditions like HIV or other auto-immune diseases are susceptible to developing sinusitis. Chronic inflammation of the nasal passages can also cause sinusitis without the dubious benefit of being an actual infection.
How do I know I have chronic sinusitis?
If you’re suffering from sinusitis, you certainly won’t miss the symptoms. Though much of the discomfort comes from severe congestion of the nasal passages, there are a number of other symptoms that crop up with chronic sinusitis:
- Postnasal drip
- Dry mucus blockages in your nasal passages
- Reduced sense of taste or smell
- Mucus dripping from the nostrils
- Pain, pressure, or discomfort around your forehead, cheeks, and/or eyes
These symptoms are usually mild to moderate, being enough to interrupt your daily life, but rarely enough to leave you bedridden. Still, the best course of action is to seek treatment before your sinusitis gets worse.
What do I do if I have sinusitis?
An appointment with your provider at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center will help you understand what’s going on with your sinuses. Dr. Han has a number of available treatments to help you feel better and treat any underlying causes. If you’re having trouble breathing through your nose, and are experiencing pain in your face, call us today at either of our Florida offices for a consultation or book an appointment with us online.