What Can Help with My Chronic Sinusitis?

Mar 08, 2023
What Can Help with My Chronic Sinusitis?
At first, you thought you just had a cold. But then the cold didn’t go away. If you’re stuck with a stuffy or runny nose without an end in sight, you may have chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis won’t clear on its own; you need help.

Chronic sinusitis affects about 12% of women and men in the United States. It’s considered to be one of the most common chronic health conditions around the world. The symptoms of chronic sinusitis affect your quality of life and may even limit your social interactions. The direct and indirect costs of chronic sinusitis in the US add up to about $20 billion per year. 

Chronic sinusitis is most often the result of some type of sinus infection that creates long-term inflammation. More rarely, nasal polyps or a swollen nasal lining lead to chronic sinusitis. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis resemble the common cold, including:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Swollen or inflamed nasal passages
  • Postnasal drip
  • Pain or swelling on forehead, eyes, nose, or cheeks
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Reduced sense of taste

The common cold is actually a case of acute sinusitis. If that cold lasts for 12 weeks or longer, however, it’s considered to be chronic sinusitis. Unlike a cold, the symptoms of chronic sinusitis don’t go away on their own. 

At the Allergy and Asthma Institute in North Atlanta, Georgia, our specialist, Lakshmi Reddy, MD, diagnoses the cause of your chronic sinusitis. Once she pinpoints the factors involved in your discomfort, she chooses an appropriate and effective treatment to resolve your nasal inflammation and irritation so you can breathe, smell, and taste fully and normally again.

Treat an infection

Even if your initial viral infection faded with time, you may have developed a bacterial infection in the inflamed tissues. If so, Dr. Lakshmi prescribes a course of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

Another source of inflammation could be a fungal infection. In that case, she prescribes antifungal medications to clear the infection.

Subdue inflammation

When your sinuses and nasal tissues are inflamed and swollen, it’s difficult to breathe. If inflammation is involved in your chronic sinusitis, you could benefit from various treatments that help calm down your tissues and alleviate inflammation, such as:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Leukotriene antagonists
  • Saline nasal irrigation

Anti-inflammatory medications may be available as pills, nasal sprays, or injections (for severe cases only).

Neutralize allergies

Allergies can cause chronic sinusitis. If Dr. Reddy suspects that allergies are involved in your case, she administers an allergy test to identify your triggers.

She then helps you design a lifestyle that allows you to avoid your triggers. She may also prescribe allergy medications to control symptoms or immunotherapy to reduce your reaction to the trigger.

Clear the blockage

If you have nasal polyps or other growths in your nose that contribute to chronic sinusitis, you may need surgery to remove them. However, if your nasal passage is inflamed or narrow — but not blocked — you could benefit from a minimally invasive procedure called balloon sinuplasty.

During a balloon sinuplasty, the doctor guides a slim tube called a catheter through your nostril into your sinus cavity. Once the catheter's in place, she threads a balloon through the tube and then inflates it in the sinus, pushing back swollen tissue to enlarge the opening.

In most cases, we perform balloon sinuplasty in our office. We either apply a numbing agent or give you a mild sedative.

Don’t keep waiting for chronic sinusitis to get better; it won’t. Get the relief you need to breathe freely again by contacting us today at 678-615-7878. Or, at your convenience, book an appointment online.