What Is Chronic Sinusitis And How Does It Affect Patients?
Chronic sinusitis is a condition that affects the ethmoid, frontal, and maxillary sinuses. These sinuses are located in the forehead, nose, and cheek region of the face. If these sinuses become inflamed for three months or longer and the person has difficulty breathing through the nose, then the person most likely has chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis, a similar condition, is temporary and usually caused by a cold.
What causes chronic sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis is caused by a variety of issues, but people with asthma or allergies are more likely to develop the condition. Chronic sinusitis may also be caused by hay fever, a deviated septum, or nasal polyps. To treat sinusitis, doctors must first identify the cause. For instance, if a deviated nasal septum is the reason for sinusitis, then doctors may suggest nasal surgery, and that may fix the issue. Untreated chronic sinusitis can lead to permanent vision impairment or meningitis.
What is sinus surgery?
Surgery may be necessary for patients that do not respond to other forms of treatment. The most common form of sinus surgery is endoscopic surgery. During this procedure, doctors use an endoscope to explore the nasal passage and remove blockages or enlarge the nasal passageway. Typically, the surgery is a one-day procedure, and doctors use local or general anesthesia on the patient.
How will sinus surgery improve my life?
Sinus surgery can improve a patient’s life in a few key ways.
1. Lowered chance of infection
Blockages in the nasal passageway contribute to and worsen sinus infections. Surgery helps to reduce the chance of infection by allowing the sinuses to drain mucus properly.
2. Fewer sinus headaches
Often, sinus headaches are a result of sinusitis. With a sinus headache, patients feel tension in the forehead, cheeks, teeth, and eyes. Patients also have thick, discolored mucus in the nose. Sinus surgery can eliminate or reduce the occurrence of these headaches.
3. Increase adequate sleep
People with sinus issues can have trouble sleeping due to postnasal drip. Postnasal drip occurs when mucus from the nose drips into the throat. For people with sinus issues, this often happens at night and is often accompanied by coughing and sore throat.
Should I speak to a doctor about sinus surgery?
Only a healthcare provider can diagnose a patient with chronic sinusitis. Patients that suspect sinusitis may be the cause of nasal issues should reach out to a doctor and schedule an appointment. A doctor will be able to help patients find treatments for sinusitis and recommend surgery if necessary.