Chronic Sinus Infections? Consider Seeing An Allergist For Treatment
Do you suffer from sinus pain and pressure? And are you annoyed by a stuffy or runny nose? Well, you're not alone, although symptoms like these are an annoying nuisance. They're normally signs of a sinus infection and are more prevalent in people suffering from allergies. Fortunately, relief is available throughout Idaho from our skilled allergists at The Allergy Group.
What Are Sinuses?
Your skull and facial bones, near your nose, comprise four sets of air-filled pockets, known as the paranasal sinuses. They include:
- A maxillary sinus in both cheeks
- A frontal sinus located on each side of your forehead
- A set of sphenoid sinuses behind the ethmoid sinuses
- Each sinus has an opening that connects it to your nose, called an ostium
- On each side of your nose, near your eyes, is between six and 12 ethmoid sinuses
Sinuses start in the fetus as pea-sized air pockets that grow roughly to walnut size throughout your childhood, except for your frontal sinuses.
What Is the Purpose of Sinuses?
Sinuses are a unit of coordinated hollow spaces within your skull that link to your nasal passages via small channels. Your sinuses help humidify the air you breathe, as well as enhance your voice. The air that enters through your nose and mouth flows through these channels, which are also covered with a soft tissue called "mucosa." This layer of mucus moisturizes your inner nose and protects it from:
Additionally, there are minuscule hair cells, known as "cilia," whose job is to gradually move the layer of mucus into the throat, where it's swallowed.
What Are the Symptoms of a Sinus Infection?
- Nasal Stuffiness
- Postnasal Drainage
- Discolored Nasal Discharge
- Headaches (frontal head or around your nose)
What Causes Sinus Infections?
A bacteria or virus is usually the cause of a sinus infection or sinusitis. Swollen sinuses are usually the culprit that causes pain over your nose and cheeks, a relentless headache, and a runny nose.
What Is Chronic Sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis occurs when inflammation or infection in your sinuses lingers for more than three weeks. Chronic sinusitis can be triggered by allergies or by an infection. Inflammation of the sinuses can happen suddenly, or a cold or other respiratory infection can trigger it.
Are Sinus Infections Rare?
Sinus infections are pretty common, and they affect around 31 million people in America . Sinus infections can either be bacterial or viral and occur in two forms:
- Acute infection - can last from 10 days to eight weeks
- Chronic infection - lasts more than eight weeks and can continue for months
How Are Sinus Infections and Chronic Sinusitis Treated?
If you suffer from sinus infections, our allergy specialists can work with you to identify a cause and then proceed to develop a proper treatment plan. Treatments for chronic sinusitis that could provide you with effective relief include:
Antihistamines can alleviate congestion, due to pollen and other allergens, especially during peak pollen production times.
2. Saline Nasal Sprays and Drops
Reduces inflammation and swelling in your sinuses.
3. Natural Treatments
If your sinusitis is ordinarily mild, consider natural remedies like:
- Hot water steam can help clear blocked airways.
- Getting plenty of rest and staying hydrated can help resolve less severe symptoms.
- Ease inflammation and swelling by laying a warm towel on your face for up to 10 minutes.
Persistent sinusitis triggered by bacterial infections is generally treated with antibiotics.
In rare cases, surgery may be recommended. For instance, if bone or tissue is causing a blockage in your sinuses or for the removal of nasal polyps.
Biologics treat inflammation in people who deal with diseases that cause inflammation of tissues within the body. Biologics are progressively being utilized to relieve inflamed tissues such as rhinosinusitis. Here are three examples of biologics:
This drug helps individuals suffering from severe and chronic rhinosinusitis, which may or may not be accompanied by nasal polyps, and is an injection. Dupilumab has been shown to improve symptoms and doesn't trigger severe side effects.
A similar type of drug, mepolizumab may work equally, but more studies are needed to be sure.
May also improve symptoms in sufferers with severe chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps. If steroid nose spray fails to find relief, and surgery is not yet an option, treatment with omalizumab will likely be used.
When Should You See An Allergist for Chronic Sinusitis? How Can They Help?
Often, when you get sinus infections, it's essential to pinpoint the cause of your inflammation. Our Allergists at The Allergy Group are trained in nasal and allergy problems and can establish a suitable treatment plan to help relieve your symptoms. However, your primary goal is to identify and treat the underlying reasons for your sinus infection.
The Allergy Group is also a part of Treasure Valley Medical Research where we assist in conducting research studies related to chronic sinus disease with or without polyps. Due to this research, we can offer additional treatment options to patients who fail to improve with traditional treatment or who do not possess the funds or insurance to receive treatment.
Schedule an Appointment with a Boise Allergist to Treat Chronic Sinus Infections
If you live in the Boise area and you're suffering from acute or chronic sinusitis, contact The Allergy Group to schedule an appointment. We have several locations throughout the Treasure Valley including Boise, East Boise, Meridian, Eagle, Nampa and Caldwell. Our board-certified allergists are here to help you on your journey to living sinusitis-free.