Sinusitis Medical Treatment:
Approach To Medical Treatment
Sinusitis is a common condition that affects over 35 million Americans every year. The sinuses are air-filled spaces behind the forehead, cheeks, and eyes. In healthy sinuses, mucus drains out and air is able to circulate. Sinusitis describes a swelling (inflammation) of the sinuses that can lead to blockages and prevent mucus from draining properly. This can lead to infection.
What Are Sinuses?
Paranasal sinuses are air-filled pockets located in the head. There are four pairs of sinuses:
- Maxillary sinuses
- Frontal sinuses
- Ethmoid sinuses
- Sphenoid sinuses
How do healthy sinuses work?
When you breathe in air, mucus in the sinuses humidifies the air and collects bacteria and pollutants. Tiny hairs lining the sinuses move the mucus (with pollutants) out of the sinus, into your throat. You then swallow the mucus and your stomach acid destroys the bacteria and pollutants.
Colds, allergies, environmental irritants or other conditions can slow or block natural drainage and irritate the sinus lining. This, in turn, can lead to swelling, additional blockage, and sinusitis.
Inflammation obstructs the sinus opening, leading to mucous build-up.
Stagnant mucous contributes to bacteria growth, infection and further swelling.
At ENT & Sleep Medicine Associates, we see many patients suffering from chronic and recurrent sinusitis
What Causes Sinusitis?
A number of factors can cause irritation and contribute to sinusitis including:
It is often preceded by a cold, allergy attack, or irritation by environmental pollutants.
In addition, some studies have shown that structural issues such as narrowed drainage pathways may lead to sinusitis outbreaks.
Common symptoms of sinusitis include:
Loss of smell or bad breath
Headache and facial
pain or tenderness
Lack of energy
Sore throat and
Sinusitis can be acute, chronic or recurrent acute. Every patient is unique and requires a personal approach to therapy. Our typical treatment options include:
Unlike a cold or allergy, bacterial sinusitis requires a physician's diagnosis and treatment with an antibiotic to cure the infection. The doctor will diagnose acute sinusitis if you have up to 4 weeks of purulent nasal drainage accompanied by nasal obstruction, facial pain-pressure-fullness, or both. Some patients with recurrent or chronic sinusitis may benefit from a surgical procedure to open up the sinus drainage pathways.