Sinusitis is the swelling or inflammation of the tissue which lines the sinuses. This can prevent infected fluids from draining, causing the infection to remain. There are several reasons that could lead to blockage in the sinuses, including the common cold, nasal polyps, deviated septum, and allergic rhinitis (swelling in the lining of the nose). About 35 million Americans suffer from sinusitis at least once per year. There are different types of sinusitis that have their own symptoms.
Acute sinusitis typically begins with symptoms of a cold like a stuffy and runny nose. It can have a quick onset and last for between 2 to 4 weeks. These symptoms include:
- Runny and stuffed nose
- Loss of smell
- Pain or pressure in the face
- Congestion or cough
- Bad breath
- Dental pain
Chronic sinusitis can last for around 12 weeks or sometimes longer. These symptoms include:
- Feeling full or congested in the face
- Nasal obstruction or blockage
- Pus in your nasal cavity
- Runny nose or discolored postnasal drainage
- Bad breath
- Tooth pain
- Extreme tiredness
This type of sinusitis exhibits the above symptoms but can dissipate for months between flareups. Most patients with this type of sinusitis experience symptoms three to four times throughout the year.
Your sinusitis will depend on a few different factors like its severity and cause. Sinusitis can be caused by either bacterial or viral infections, each of which can require different treatment methods. The first step in treatment is the appropriate medications like over-the-counter decongestants, or even antibiotics or saline sprays if these are ineffective. For more effective treatments, your ENT specialist can perform a balloon sinuplasty to dilate the sinus passageways and allow for drainage.
Schedule a Consultation
The first step in your sinusitis treatment plan is a consultation with our ENT specialists who can recommend your best options. To schedule an appointment at our Tuscaloosa office, contact us by calling or filling out our online form.