What is Sinusitis?

By Dr. Michael Bubilk 
June 20th, 2017

What Is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is common! Acute sinusitis can be triggered by a cold or allergies and may resolve on its own. Chronic sinusitis can last from four to eight weeks and may be caused by an infection or growths and can linger for years, its cause can be hard to pin down and hard to treat.

Symptoms include:

  • facial pain
  • runny nose
  • nasal congestion
  • headache

Differences between Acute and Chronic Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis usually doesn’t require any treatment beyond symptomatic relief with medications.

Chronic sinusitis may require antibiotics and sometimes due to problems with the structure of the nasal passages, or growth such as nasal polyp that keeps the sinus from draining normally.

Acute and Chronic sinusitis have similar symptoms of facial pain and pressure, thick discolored mucus and congestion.

Treatment is Key! Finding the right ENT specialist is not always an easy task. You want to find a specialist that has experience in treating both acute and chronic sinusitis.

When diagnosing the specialist needs to determine whether you have acute or chronic sinusitis, this determines the correct treatment.

Typically the specialist will try over the counter medications such as decongestants to open the sinuses, medications to thin the mucus like saline, nasal sprays and pills like mucinex. If the nasal and sinus symptoms linger for more than one week, or are worsening after a few days, the specialist may need to treat you for an acute sinus infection by using antibiotics. If your symptoms continue even after medical treatment, you may have chronic sinusitis (sinusitis lasting more than 12 weeks.) Or if you get better only to have problems return again this is called acute sinusitis.

Chronic and recurrent acute sinusitis may require a nasal endoscopic exam and a CT scan of the sinuses because there are several causes for chronic and recurrent acute sinusitis including abnormal anatomy or nasal polyps.

Sinusitis Anatomy Dr. BublikProcedures for Treating Chronic Sinusitis

There are many breakthrough and cutting edge treatments for treating chronic sinusitis such as an in office procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty™. Balloon Sinuplasty™ technology is a FDA-approved, endoscopic, catheter-based system for the relief from sinusitis. Balloon Sinuplasty™ technology uses a small, flexible, sinus balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal sinus drainage and function.

Surgery is done when the symptoms can’t be controlled with medications and other treatments. The most common type of surgery for the sinuses is called Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. The purpose of the surgery is to widen the natural drainage pathways between the sinuses and the nose, allowing mucus to get out of the sinuses and air to get in. Medications that are delivered to the surface of the nose and sinuses, like sprays and irrigations, can get into the sinuses better after surgery as well.

There is also a breakthrough clinically proven device called Propel Stent. Propel improves surgical outcomes for chronic sinusitis sufferers. Propel stent is the first and only FDA approved device to keep the sinuses open after surgery, precisely deliver anti-inflammatory medication directly into the healing tissues, and then dissolve. The innovative sinus stent decreases post-operative scarring and inflammation, reducing the need for additional surgical procedures as well as oral steroids and their potential side effects.

Resources:

  • MedlinePlus – Trusted Health Information for You
  • Entnet.org – American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery
  • Mayo Clinic
  • Balloon Sinuplasty Acclarent
  • Propel Sinus Stent

Learn more about Michael Bublik, MD.

Make an appointment to learn if you are a candidate for the balloon sinuplasty procedure.

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