Chronic Sinusitis Q & A
If your nose is constantly stuffed up or you often experience sinus headaches, you may have chronic sinusitis. At SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat, the experienced medical team offers comprehensive diagnostic and treatment services to ease symptoms of chronic sinusitis. The SCENT offices in Los Alamitos, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Newport Beach, and Torrance, California, are fully equipped with imaging technology to assess your sinus health. The physicians offer nonsurgical solutions, including balloon sinuplasty, to improve your breathing and overall quality of life. Call the office nearest you to book an appointment or request one online today.
What is chronic sinusitis?
Sinusitis describes inflammation in the tissue that lines your sinuses. Your sinuses are hollow spaces behind the bones in your upper face and have little hairs and mucus to trap environmental debris and bacteria.
Openings in the sinuses promote drainage to keep the space clear and make it easy for you to breathe. The inflammation of sinusitis can obstruct airflow and cause mucus to build-up. Sinusitis can occur occasionally (acute sinusitis) or last for months or years (chronic sinusitis).
There are several triggers of chronic sinus inflammation. For many, the inflammation begins with a cold or the flu. You may also be at increased risk for chronic sinusitis if you have allergies or work around substances that irritate your sinus tissues.
Those who have cystic fibrosis are also at greater risk for developing chronic sinusitis. Cystic fibrosis causes the air-filled cavities to fill up with thick, sticky mucus that blocks the flow of air.
What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
Both acute and chronic sinusitis can cause similar symptoms. However, if you have chronic inflammation, symptoms can be persistent and affect your overall quality of life.
When your sinuses become inflamed, you may experience persistent symptoms like:
- Facial pain
- Nasal congestion
- Pressure behind the eyes
Another common side effect of sinusitis is frequent sinus headaches. This type of headache causes pressure and pain behind your eyes, forehead, and the bridge of your nose due to inflammation and sinus congestion.
In some cases, the inflammation of chronic sinusitis causes a build-up of mucus in the sinus cavities that leads to an infection. This can cause additional difficulties with your breathing, as well as a loss of smell and thick nasal discharge.
How is chronic sinusitis treated?
The medical team at SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat offers on-site computed tomography (CT) imaging tests to evaluate the condition of your sinuses and confirm chronic sinusitis.
Initially, you may benefit from anti-inflammatories to reduce inflammation and antibiotics to clear the infection. Allergy medications may also be useful to prevent allergy-related sinusitis.
If medications aren’t enough to clear persistent nasal congestion, your physician at SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat may recommend balloon sinuplasty.
How does balloon sinuplasty work?
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that requires no incisions or tissue removal. The physicians at SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat use CT-guided imaging to lead a flexible tube into your sinus cavities. The tube promotes drainage of excess mucus, and a small, attached balloon inflates to widen the sinus passage to increase airflow.
Balloon sinuplasty provides long-lasting relief of chronic sinusitis symptoms without a long recovery time or risk of scars.
To find out more about your options for managing chronic sinusitis, schedule a consultation by calling the SCENT – Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat office nearest you or by requesting an appointment through the online booking feature.