Sinusitis often begins when an upper respiratory infection spreads to your sinuses, causing symptoms like nasal congestion and discharge that last longer than 7-10 days. Wade Han, MD, FACS, at Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery has years of experience providing customized treatments that relieve your symptoms, including advanced procedures like minimally invasive balloon sinuplasty. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Han or Megha Parekh, PA-C, call one of the offices in Orlando or Kissimmee, Florida, or book an appointment online.
You have four pairs of sinuses that are each lined with mucus-producing membranes. Sinusitis develops when the membranes become inflamed. As the swollen tissues block the sinus opening, mucus builds up inside the sinus, and an infection develops.
The top causes of sinusitis are:
Sinusitis is most often caused by a virus, resulting in an acute infection that lasts four weeks or less. Bacteria are less likely to cause sinusitis, but if your symptoms don’t improve in 10 days, chances are you have acute bacterial sinusitis.
Seasonal and year-round allergies often lead to sinus infections. Seasonal allergies are typically caused by grasses, pollen, and ragweed, while year-round allergies are a reaction to mold, dust mites, and pet dander.
If your sinusitis lasts 12 weeks or longer, you have a chronic sinus infection. Chronic sinusitis is usually caused by ongoing inflammation rather than an infection.
Acute sinusitis causes a colored discharge from your nose plus one or more of these symptoms:
Allergic sinusitis also causes classic allergy symptoms such as sneezing and itchy eyes, nose, and throat.
Treatment for sinusitis focuses on relieving your symptoms and taking care of the underlying cause, if possible. Since there aren’t any medications available for an acute viral infection, treatment for this type of sinusitis includes nasal sprays, nasal irrigation, and pain relievers to alleviate your symptoms while the infection heals.
If Dr. Han or Megha suspects you have allergic sinusitis, they may recommend allergy testing. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, you may receive immunotherapy to reduce your allergies and lower your risk for future sinus infections.
When you have chronic sinusitis, Dr. Han may recommend an in-office procedure called balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is performed using a narrow, flexible device that holds a deflated balloon. Dr. Han inserts the device through your nostril, guides it to the opening of the blocked sinus, and inflates the balloon.
The balloon opens the passageway, so Dr. Han can clean the sinus. Then he deflates and removes the balloon. Pressure from the balloon restructures the passageway, so it stays open long after the balloon is removed and your sinus can drain normally.
If you suffer from nasal discharge and congestion, call Florida Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery or book an appointment online.