Finding Relief from Chronic Sinusitis

Those who suffer chronic sinusitis will tell you themselves: they’d go to great lengths for relief of their symptoms. More than 37 million Americans suffer from at least one episode of acute sinusitis each year. The prevalence of sinusitis has soared in the last decade, due possibly to increased pollution, urban sprawl and increased resistance to antibiotics.

What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the membrane lining of any sinus, especially one of the paranasal sinuses. Acute sinusitis is a short-term condition that responds well to antibiotics and decongestants, while chronic sinusitis is characterized by at least four recurrences of acute sinusitis each year. Individuals suffering from chronic sinusitis may have the following symptoms for 12 weeks or more:

• Facial pain & pressure
• Facial congestion & fullness
• Nasal obstruction/blockage
• Thick nasal discharge/discolored post-nasal drainage
• Pus in the naval cavity

Other symptoms may include fever, headache, bad breath and fatigue. To relieve sinus pain, many doctors recommend warm moist air to alleviate sinus congestion. Warm compresses are also useful in relieving pain in the nose and sinuses, while saline drops are helpful in moisturizing nasal passages. Antibiotics may be necessary if a bacterial infection develops.

If the above treatments are ineffective in relieving sinus symptoms and discomfort, surgery may be necessary. The goal of surgery is to improve sinus drainage, usually by removing a blockage and draining the mucus. This may mean removing infected, swollen or damaged tissue; bone, to create a wider opening of drainage mucus from the sinuses; growths, such as polyps, inside the nose or sinuses; or a foreign object that is blocking the nasal or sinus passages, usually occurring in children.

Surgery may be the only means of relieving infected sinuses and encouraging them to drain properly, but that doesn’t mean surgery will always completely eliminate sinusitis; some patients may even require a second operation. Surgery is most successful, however, when combined with medicine and home treatment to prevent future sinusitis. A second surgery and future sinusitis may be avoided if antibiotics are taken to prevent infection.

To learn more about your options concerning your sinusitis, visit Methodist McKinney Hospital at or contact our offices at (972) 569-2700.

Leave A Comment