Sinusitis, chronic

Other names: Chronic sinusitis

DEFINITION

Chronic sinusitis is a common condition in which the cavities around nasal passages (sinuses) become inflamed and swollen — for at least eight weeks, despite treatment attempts. Also known as chronic Rhinosinusitis, this condition interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up.

SYMPTOMS

CAUSES

RISK FACTORS

COMPLICATIONS

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Be prepared to answer detailed questions about your symptoms. Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Your doctor may use tools like nasal endoscopy, imaging studies, nasal and sinus cultures, and allergy tests to diagnose chronic sinusitis.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

Treatment aims to reduce inflammation, keep nasal passages draining, eliminate underlying causes, and reduce flare-ups. Treatments include saline nasal irrigation, corticosteroids, decongestants, pain relievers, aspirin desensitization treatment, immunotherapy, and surgery if necessary.

LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

To reduce the risk of chronic sinusitis:


QUESTIONS

  1. What are the common symptoms of chronic sinusitis?

Drainage of thick discharge from the nose, nasal obstruction or congestion, pain/swelling around eyes/cheeks/nose/forehead, reduced sense of smell/taste.

  1. What are some causes of chronic sinusitis?

Causes include nasal polyps, allergic reactions, deviated septum, trauma to the face, other medical conditions like cystic fibrosis or immune system disorders.

  1. Who is at increased risk for chronic sinusitis?

Individuals with nasal passage abnormalities, aspirin sensitivity, immune system disorders like HIV/AIDS or cystic fibrosis, allergic conditions affecting sinuses, asthma, and regular exposure to pollutants.

  1. What complications can arise from chronic sinusitis?

Complications may include asthma flare-ups, meningitis, vision problems including blindness in severe cases, aneurysms or blood clots.

  1. How can one prepare for a doctor's appointment regarding chronic sinusitis?

Be ready to discuss detailed symptoms and prepare a list of questions for the doctor.

  1. What tests are used for diagnosing chronic sinusitis?

Tests may include nasal endoscopy, imaging studies like CT or MRI scans, nasal/sinus cultures for bacteria/fungi identification, and allergy tests if allergies are suspected.

  1. What are some treatments for chronic sinusitis symptoms?

Treatments may include saline nasal irrigation, corticosteroids (nasal/oral/injected), decongestants, pain relievers (avoid aspirin in children), aspirin desensitization treatment for specific cases.

  1. When is surgery considered for chronic sinusitis?

Surgery may be an option if other treatments fail; endoscopic sinus surgery can help remove tissue/polyps blocking sinuses or widen narrow openings to promote drainage.

  1. How can one reduce the risk of getting chronic sinusitis?

By avoiding upper respiratory infections/colds, managing allergies effectively with a doctor's help, avoiding cigarette smoke/polluted air exposure and using a humidifier if needed.

  1. What lifestyle changes can help manage chronic sinusitis symptoms?

Lifestyle changes such as avoiding allergens/triggers that worsen symptoms and maintaining good indoor air quality can help in managing chronic sinusitis effectively.