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Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is a condition in which the sinuses swell for a period of time exceeding three months. This condition lasts despite attempts at treatment, therefore rendering it a chronic condition.

Some of the symptoms experienced with chronic sinusitis include mucous build-up, headaches and pressure in or behind the eyes and in the cheek area. Some may experience a thick yellow or greenish discharge that either drains out the nose or down the back of the throat.

Symptoms may increase at night, when the person afflicted is lying down. They may experience difficulty breathing through their nose. They might also have decreased sensations of taste or difficulty smelling fragrances. Chronic sinusitis sometimes manifests as an earache. The pain may reach down to the jaw and teeth.

Cold like symptoms might also appear and include coughing, sore throat, bad breath, exhaustion and irritability.

Those who believe they may be suffering from chronic sinusitis should consult a specialist as opposed to a general practitioner. The most recommended specialists include an allergist/immunologist or a medical professional that specializes in ears/nose/throat.

In order to make a diagnosis, a specialist or physician may take a nasal or sinus culture or they may employ imaging studies to see inside the nose. Using nasal endoscopy is not uncommon. In this case a tube is inserted into the patient’s nose with a camera attached. If the physician believes the condition is allergy related, allergy tests may be recommended.

Most common causes of chronic sinusitis include a blockage of the nasal passage. The most common culprits are nasal polyps or growths, allergies, deviated septum and broken facial bones that block the nasal passageway. Other less dramatic triggers may include 1st or 2nd hand smoke, allergic reactions to aspirin and asthma.

Chronic sinusitis can lead to more severe conditions including asthma attacks, meningitis, vision problems, aneurysms or blood clots.

Potential treatments for this condition include but are not limited to saline nasal sprays, nasal corticosteroids, oral or injected corticosteroids, decongestants, aspirin and Ibuprofen. Those who experience chronic sinusitis as a result of an allergy attack may be given allergy shots, or immunotherapy.

For severe conditions, surgery may be required, wherein the specialist goes into the nasal passage to cut out the growth or blockage, or repair broken bones.

*Basic information provided by MayoClinic.com

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