Sinusitis is a common condition with up to 29 million Americans being diagnosed with it each year. When you have this inflammation of the tissue in the sinus cavity, you experience an uncomfortable blocked nose, and as the condition advances, you may develop fatigue, fever, and a headache.
While most healthy people are well-equipped to fight off acute sinusitis, the symptoms can still be irritating and uncomfortable. The team here at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center with offices in Orlando and Kissimmee, Florida, explains why below.
Causes of sinusitis
The sinuses are the hollow cavities behind your nose and eyes. Clear sinuses allow air to pass freely. Even when you’re healthy, the sinuses contain some mucus that filters the air you breathe and protects you from infection.
The tissue and mucus of the sinuses can become compromised, however, and cause sinusitis. Conditions that cause sinusitis include the common cold and hay fever, or allergic rhinitis.
Structural issues within your sinuses can also make you more susceptible to sinusitis. These include nasal polyps — benign growths in your nasal cavity. When the thin wall between your nasal passages is displaced to one side — a deviated septum — you may have one nasal passage that’s smaller, making you more susceptible to congestion and breathing problems.
Symptoms of sinusitis
You may feel pressure coming from behind your eyes and nose as fluid builds up in your sinuses. Other symptoms include:
- Nasal congestion (stuffy nose)
- Runny nose
- Pain or aching in your ears and teeth
- Loss of smell
- Thick yellow or green discharge from your nose
- Constant fatigue or tiredness
- Bad breath (halitosis)
An acute case of sinusitis may last two to four weeks. If you do develop a fever, contact our office. Dr. Wade Han may recommend antibiotics to clear up the infection.
If you have symptoms of sinusitis that last more than 12 weeks, you may have chronic sinusitis.
Treatment for sinusitis
While having acute sinusitis usually isn’t an immediate cause for concern, there are steps you can take to relieve the discomfort and the pain. You should seek treatment at our office after a week of symptoms to ensure your condition doesn’t progress to a serious infection.
Home treatment options include:
- Warm compress on your face
- Saline nasal rinses
- Humidifier in your room
- Over-the-counter decongestants
These home remedies can offer some temporary relief from sinusitis, although our providers at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center can offer more effective treatment options if needed. We can prescribe antibiotics, steroids (to reduce inflammation), and decongestants for acute sinusitis.
People with chronic or recurring sinusitis may need interventions that do more than just allay symptoms. Dr. Han may recommend balloon sinuplasty, which is a minimally invasive procedure. With this procedure, he inserts a small balloon into your sinus cavity, guided by a state-of-the-art imaging system. The balloon is gently inflated to help create more space in your sinuses.
Another option is functional endoscopic sinus surgery. This incision-free procedure involves inserting a thin endoscope through your nose to remove the blockage in your sinuses.
If you’re experiencing sinusitis, get the care you need to find relief. Call Florida, Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Center, or book an appointment online for an evaluation today.