Most people usually go through life not paying much attention to their sinuses, which quietly filter and humidify the air they breathe. When an infection or inflammation sets in, however, these relatively quiet areas of the face can make themselves known through pain and breathing problems.
At Houston Sinus Surgery, our team of sinus experts, led by top ENT specialist Cecil Yeung, MD, understands the crippling effects of sinusitis. In this blog, we discuss the top five drivers of sinusitis and, more importantly, how we can help you find relief from sinus pain.
Top causes of sinusitis
While many things can cause sinusitis, most cases occur due to the following five reasons:
Viral infections cause 90% of sinusitis cases in adults. When we say virus, we’re typically referring to upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold or flu.
2. Nasal polyps
If you’ve developed nasal polyps in your nose or sinuses, the good news is that these growths aren’t necessarily a cause for concern. If the polyps are large or numerous, however, they can block your nose and lead to breathing problems and chronic infections.
3. Deviated septum
Your septum ― which is made up of bone and cartilage ― divides your nostrils. In a perfect world, your septum would divide your nasal passages equally. Most people, however, have some degree of deviation in their septum, and the more severe the deviation, the more prone they can be to developing complications, such as congestion and sinus infections.
4. Structurally small sinuses
Some people suffer from chronic sinusitis because of structurally small sinus cavities. If your sinuses are on the smaller side, this can leave very little room to accommodate even modest swelling, which can lead to pain and discomfort.
With allergic rhinitis, allergens irritate the nasal passages and sinuses, which leads to an inflammatory response. People with allergic rhinitis typically experience seasonal sinusitis.
Given that there are many roads to sinusitis, our first order of business is to identify the problem. Once we determine the cause of your sinusitis, we can provide a number of effective treatments, including:
- Topical nasal corticosteroids
- Nasal irrigation
If your sinusitis is chronic and these treatments fail to relieve your discomfort, we may recommend sinus surgery, such as a balloon sinuplasty or functional endoscopic sinus surgery.
If you suspect you have sinusitis, we can help. We’ll give you a thorough evaluation and design a treatment plan to help you breathe freely again. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Houston Sinus Surgery today.