We all know the feeling – stuffy nose, throbbing pressure, and that mucus down the back of your throat. Sinusitis may make you uncomfortable for a while, but there are also a few things to watch out for that are a sure sign you need to see an allergy and asthma specialist. Understanding the symptoms of sinusitis and the different variations of the condition can help you and your doctor get the best treatment for an optimal outcome.
What Is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of your sinuses, the hollow air-filled spaces in facial bones that surround your nose. Among other functions, sinuses produce a layer of mucus that helps protect your nose from pollution, dust, dirt, and microorganisms.
When your sinuses become inflamed and swollen, passages get blocked and mucus can’t flow as normal. This causes pressure in your sinus to build up, increasing the chance for infection.
Symptoms To Watch For
If you experience these symptoms it may mean you have complications from sinusitis, including infection:
- Stubborn nasal obstruction or congestion (“stuffed up nose”) that makes it difficult to breathe through your nose
- Discharge from your nose or draining down the back of your throat that is thick, greenish, or yellow
- A sinus headache or facial pain extending to the temples and forehead
- Swelling or discomfort around your eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead
- A reduced sense of smell and taste
- Bad breath and a dry mouth
- Persistent cough
What Are the Types of Sinusitis?
- Acute sinusitis is a temporary inflammation of the sinuses and it can be a complication from the common cold. Sinusitis can also be caused by allergies, and it’s important to distinguish between the two causes. Your doctor can help you tell the difference and suggest appropriate treatment.
- Chronic Sinusitis lasts longer and it tends to come back periodically. A large percentage of people with moderate to severe asthma are more vulnerable to chronic sinusitis. Certain allergies can also make chronic sinusitis a problem.
Chronic sinusitis may also be caused by a deviated septum (the tissue inside the nose that divides each side). Polyps inside the nose may also be associated with chronic sinusitis. Certain conditions, such as such as cystic fibrosis and gastric reflux can make chronic sinusitis more likely.
What Is the Treatment for Sinusitis?
When you see your doctor for sinusitis symptoms, the first step in treating it is to help unblock nasal passages. This helps restore proper drainage of the sinuses, and it can help flush out any infection.
Your doctor will prescribe a round of antibiotics if you have a sinus infection. In addition, over-the-counter products such as decongestants, saline nasal rinses, and warm compresses can help reduce symptoms.
If your sinusitis is related to allergies, antihistamines or other medications can tame allergic reactions and prevent recurrence.
For chronic sufferers, prescription steroid sprays and rarely, surgery, are used when other methods are ineffective.
If you suffer from sinusitis, you need to see a doctor like Dr. Cho with the experience and skill to formulate an effective treatment plan. Arrange to see one of the allergy experts at Allergy Tampa by calling (813) 971-9743, or use our online appointment request form.