An ENT Doctors Guide on Sinusitis

Sinusitis refers to the swelling and inflammation of tissues lining the sinuses. It may interfere with our mucus drainage, thereby creating breathing problems, pressure, and pain. If such conditions persist for more than three months, it becomes chronic Sinusitis. An ENT doctor can help diagnose it in time and treat it suitably.

Causes Of Sinusitis

1.  Allergy

Allergy causes swelling and inflammation of sinuses leading to infection and blockages.

2.  Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps can lead to blockages and infections.

3.  Deviated Septum

The wall of cartilage between the nostrils is your septum. An abnormal shape of the septum can cause blockages leading to infections.

4.  Underlying Conditions

Certain disorders like cystic fibrosis can create nasal blockages.

5.  Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections like the common cold can cause swelling and may result in blockages.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

People who suffer from Sinusitis show several cold-like symptoms, including pain around your eyes, earaches, nasal congestion and blockage, cough, sore throat, stuffy nose, nausea, fatigue, etc. Moreover, some complications may include Meningitis, asthma attacks, aneurysm, stroke, and vision-related issues.

Diagnosis

ENT doctor can conduct a physical examination, review your medical history, inspect your nasal passages for polyps, other such abnormalities, inflammation, or fluid buildup. The doctor may also conduct additional tests like nasal endoscopy, CT scan, MRI, and allergy test to confirm the diagnosis.

Can Acute Sinusitis Turn Into Chronic Sinusitis?

If you have recurring Sinusitis or your infection lasts more than 12 weeks, it could become chronic Sinusitis. Remember that chronic Sinusitis symptoms may be less severe than acute Sinusitis; however, if untreated, chronic Sinusitis can lead to sinus and cheekbone damage that may need surgical intervention to repair.

Treatment Options of Sinusitis

1.  Antibiotic therapy

ENT doctor may prescribe an appropriate antibiotic as therapy for bacterial Sinusitis. You must consult your doctor for a diagnosis if you have at least three Sinusitis symptoms. The ENT specialist may suggest oral or nasal sprays or decongestant drops for relieving congestion. However, we recommend that you avoid continued usage of non-prescription drugs. Moreover, you may inhale steam or use saline nasal sprays or nasal drops to get relief from any sinus discomfort.

Nowadays, antibiotic resistance is making commonplace infections like Sinusitis challenging to treat. Such resistance refers to immunity developed by infection-causing bacteria against some antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. But you can prevent it by waiting for a minimum of seven days before consuming the next dose of antibiotics. It will allow you some time to combat the disease naturally. Secondly, you must finish the entire medicine of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. You must follow the doctor’s instructions and not discontinue taking antibiotics even if your symptoms are gone.

2.  Intensive antibiotic therapy

The ENT specialist may recommend intensive antibiotic therapy if you have chronic Sinusitis. In severe cases, surgery may sometimes be necessary to remove any physical blockage contributing to your Sinusitis.

3.  Sinus surgery

You should consider surgery only if medical treatment fails or doctors cannot correct your nasal obstruction with medicines. The doctors choose the surgery type to best suit the patient and the disease. ENT surgeons can perform surgical procedures under your upper lip, behind your eyebrows, next to your nose or scalp, or inside your nose.

Doctors may recommend functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) for a specific type of sinus disease. Using endoscopy, the surgeon can look directly into your nose while simultaneously removing diseased tissues, polyps and clearing the narrow channels between your sinuses. The surgeons may decide to use local or general anesthesia by consulting you and considering your unique circumstances.

It would be best if you had realistic expectations about the results, recovery, and postoperative care. Although useful surgical techniques lead to good results, you still need to cooperate with the physician throughout your healing process. It is equally essential for you to follow both pre and postoperative instructions.

When Should You Consult The ENT Doctor?

Since the symptoms of Sinusitis usually are similar to colds and allergies, you may not realize the need to see a specialist. If you think that you have got Sinusitis, you may review the above symptoms. If you suffer from at least three of them, you should consult the ENT doctor.

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