Sinusitis is the inflammation of the sinus cavity lining and the nose, often causing mucus that stuffs up your nose or drips down your throat (post-nasal drip). If it doesn’t get better on its own after three months, we refer to it as chronic sinusitis.
One problem with the inflammation is that the mucus and fluids that collect in the sinus cavities can’t drain through the sinuses the way that nature intended, because the passageways are blocked or narrowed. This leads to significant pain and discomfort.
Determining the cause of sinusitis is vital to creating a treatment plan. An accurate diagnosis by a physician experienced in treating sinusitis can help avoid needless delays in receiving effective treatment.
Diagnostic tests that your doctor may perform to determine the condition and its cause include visual inspection of the sinuses via rhinoscopy. The doctor inserts a thin tube with a light on the end to see what’s going on inside the nasal passageways and sinuses.
If you have a history of allergies, or the doctor sees something that would indicate that allergies may be contributing to your sinusitis, you can get allergy skin tests. Allergies can be an insidious cause of illness, since you could have the allergen right in your environment, on your clothes, in your bed, and not even be aware that it is harming you. Determining the underlying cause of your chronic sinusitis is the way to prevent it from returning again and again.
Your doctor may take nasal or sinus cultures to determine if you have a bacterial infection. All of these tests will help guide the next steps in your treatment. In the short term, you may benefit from anti-inflammatory medications, either oral or nasal. Antihistamines can also be very effective in treating sinusitis.
If allergies are causing chronic sinusitis, allergy shots along with abstention or avoidance of the allergen will help. Of course, antibiotics are prescribed to combat a bacterial infection.
If you suffer from chronic sinus problems, you need to see a doctor with the experience and skill to determine the underlying cause. In the Tampa, Florida area, arrange to see one of the sinus experts at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates of Tampa Bay by calling (813) 971-9743, or use our online appointment request form.