With sinusitis, it can be difficult to determine whether you might benefit from professional treatment or at-home methods. This is because sinusitis can range from uncomfortable to severe, and can have many different causes and associated symptoms. There are some remedies, however, that you should keep in mind as you schedule your appointment with our ENT specialists.
With mild sinusitis that accompanies illnesses like the cold or flu, some at-home remedies can usually ease symptoms as your body recovers. These can include over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen to help with swelling and ease any discomfort. Common decongestants can also help relieve symptoms while the body recovers from a viral infection. These medications, accompanied with salt water solutions or nasal sprays, can help keep the sinuses clean and germ-free in the meantime. To aid with drainage, using heating packs or taking hot, steamy showers can loosen the blocked mucus, relieve pressure, and get the infected substances out of the sinuses.
If your sinusitis is more severe, our ENT specialists can help by providing more hefty treatment options. This might include oral antibiotics or nasal sprays to fight bacterial infections, as well as a balloon sinuplasty procedure to relieve pressure and drain the sinuses. This is the preferred method for treatment, since it’s quick, easy, and effective at providing immediate relief. This in-office procedure uses a small and thin tube that is placed through the sinus passageway and inflated, dilating the inflammed tissues blocking the fluids from draining. This can relieve pressure and remove mucus that continues to infect the sinuses, meaning it can be an effective treatment when paired with some of the above medications. In extreme cases of sinusitis, surgery might be used to excise the infected tissues with an endoscope.
When to See an ENT Specialist
Sinusitis is a common condition that affects most people, usually during a cold or flu. It can, however, exist on its own and to varying degrees. As a rough guide, you should be sure to come see an ENT specialist if your sinusitis is recurrent– meaning it reoccurs three to four times per year and lasts for a couple weeks or more– or if it lasts for more than twelve weeks in one episode. These are usually indicators that the condition is caused by bacterial infection, which will need intervention. This can be difficult to determine, however, so your ENT specialist can assess and plan a treatment regimen.
You’ve got options when it comes to relieving your sinusitis and getting back on your feet. To schedule an appointment with or ENT specialists, contact our Tuscaloosa office by calling or filling out our online form.