Sinusitis affects most people at some point. It’s common during a cold or flu, but it can also exist on its own. In some cases, it can be chronic. If you’ve been struggling with chronic sinusitis, you know it can be a daily struggle. Here’s what to know about some of your options for treatment with the help of our ENT specialists.
Decongestants can be taken as nasal sprays or drops to soothe symptoms. However, these tend to provide only short-term relief. They can also cause the mucous membrane to swell, which won’t improve symptoms in the long-term, so you should only take them for a few days at a time.
An over-the-counter, easy treatment is nasal irrigation. These include saline solutions or nasal salt water rinses, such as with neti pots. Steam inhalation can also provide relief. These practices require some extra steps to remain safe, however, so you should use them under the instructions of your ENT specialist.
While these might not actually target chronic sinusitis symptoms, they may relieve any associated pain and swelling. Your ENT specialist can recommend the best options for you, whether it’s prescription-strength or over-the-counter.
Steroid nasal sprays
Steroid nasal sprays can be used daily to relieve chronic sinusitis symptoms. While it may take a few days to feel improvement, these sprays can help shrink nasal polyps and reduce swelling. Some individuals may need to be on the medication for a few months or more than a year to see permanent improvements. These sprays can, however, cause side effects if taken for long periods of time. They can aggravate the mucous membranes and dry them out, cause headaches, and sometimes lead to nosebleeds. Let your ENT specialist know if you start experiencing these side effects and they can adjust your dose or recommend other options.
In cases of bacterial infection, antibiotics can be taken. Sinusitis can be caused by either a bacterial infection or a viral infection, so it’s important that your ENT specialist assesses your symptoms and recommends the right options.
For immediate relief, your ENT specialist can perform a balloon sinuplasty procedure in our office. This allows the sinuses to drain and remove infectious mucous. Paired with some of the above options, many patients find an effective treatment for the long-term.
Schedule an Appointment
If you’ve been struggling with chronic sinusitis, our ENT specialists can help. To meet with us and begin creating a treatment plan with some of these options, contact our Tuscaloosa office by calling or filling out our online form.