Your sinuses are cavities above and below your nasal passages. When these become inflamed and swollen, the condition is known as sinusitis. Symptoms can include constant congestion, frequently suffering a sinus infection, headache and others. Sinusitis is considered chronic when these symptoms persist for twelve weeks or more and resist treatment.
Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms
There are four major symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis. These include:
- Nasal congestion or obstruction, which make it difficult to breath through your nose.
- Pain and tenderness around your nose, forehead, cheeks and eyes. You may also see swelling in the area.
- Thick, discolored nasal discharge and postnasal drip.
- Reduced sense of smell or taste.
Two of these four primary signs must be present for a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis. Other symptoms that can accompany these include sore throat, ear pain, nausea, bad breath, fatigue, irritability, a cough and pain in your teeth or upper jaw.
Home Treatment for Sinusitis
When you are experiencing sinus pain, pressure or other sinusitis symptoms, you may be able to find some relief through remedies at home.
Nasal irrigation or a neti pot can help rinse away irritants that are making your sinusitis worse. A saline solution can help draw out water from inflamed tissue, leading to a reduction in inflammation. Over the counter pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can reduce the pain or swelling that are associated with an attack of sinusitis. Decongestants can help ease pressure and make it easier to breathe.
The Houston area’s climate means that allergens are present year-round.If your sinusitis is allergy-related, OTC antihistamines can help. Your doctor may also recommend avoiding allergy triggers to avoid a sinusitis attack. For instance, if you are allergic to pollen, staying inside during high pollen-count days can help.
Some people find that they get relief by applying warm compresses to the face. A warm, damp towel can be applied for up to fifteen minutes at a time. Drinking plenty of fluids can help prevent dehydration and speed healing.
When to See a Doctor about Sinusitis
If you have been having sinus symptoms for four weeks or more without relief, your doctor can help you identify the root cause and help you find lasting relief.
Your doctor may prescribe medications that will help prevent chronic symptoms. For instance, inhaled steroids can prevent and treat inflammation. If your sinusitis is allergy-related, a daily antihistamine can help. Allergy shots or drops can help reduce your susceptibility to allergens over time, allowing you to experience fewer symptoms.
In some cases, narrow or blocked sinuses are the source of frequent bouts of sinusitis. Treatments that include balloon sinuplasty can help identify blockages and obstructions and safely enlarge sinus cavities for lasting relief.
It’s important to schedule an appointment right away if you are experiencing symptoms that include a high fever, a severe headache, swelling or redness around your eyes or double vision. These can all be signs of a serious infection.
Struggling with chronic sinusitis symptoms? You don’t have to live with the pain. Make an appointment with American Sinus Institute today to learn about your sinus care options.