Sinuses are hollow cavities filled with air that are located in your face and around your nose. Each sinus cavity has small tubes or channels, and when everything’s working as it should, mucus is able to easily drain from each sinus into the nose.
When the lining of one or more sinus cavities becomes inflamed, this is referred to as sinusitis. It can cause annoying symptoms that can last for week after week. In other cases, it may seem to get better only to quickly return.
In this blog, Dr. Cecil Yeung will address the top signs and symptoms that indicate you have sinusitis. Identifying the source of your problem is the first step toward receiving effective treatment.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is a sinus infection caused by a buildup of mucus in the sinuses. This allows viruses or bacteria to multiply and causes the sinus lining to become inflamed and swollen. Mucus is unable to drain normally and becomes backed up as a result.
This blockage and inflammation of the sinus membranes can be infectious (contagious) or non-infectious (non-contagious).
Inflammation of the sinus lining has effects that go far beyond your nose. It can cause uncomfortable symptoms that affect your entire body.
What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
There are a wide range of signs that may indicate the presence of sinusitis. They include:
- Facial pain, swelling, or tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead
- Nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Reduced sense of smell and/or taste
- Post-nasal drip (when mucus runs down the back of your throat)
- Sinus headaches
- Nasal polyps (noncancerous growths that form in the nose or sinuses)
- Yellow or green mucus discharge
- Pain in your teeth
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Snoring and sleep issues
Are there different types of sinusitis?
There are two different types of this condition – acute and chronic.
Acute sinus infections occur suddenly, typically because of inflammation caused by a common cold, allergies, or irritation from environmental pollutants. It’s characterized by a runny, stuffy nose and facial pain and usually lasts for four weeks or less.
There are two types of acute sinus infections – those that are caused by viruses and those caused by bacteria. The vast majority of cases (90% or more) are viral, and they usually affect the upper respiratory tract.
In some cases, acute sinus infections will improve and then will reoccur. If you experience four or more episodes of acute sinusitis within a year, you have recurrent acute sinusitis.
Chronic sinus infections, on the other hand, involves symptoms that persist for 12 weeks or more. It’s one of the most common chronic diseases, affecting 14% to 16% of adults in the United States.
What are the treatment options for sinusitis?
After a thorough examination, an ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for your condition.
Treatments may include:
- Nasal decongestant sprays
- Topical nasal corticosteroids – a spray used to help reduce swelling
- Nasal saline sprays – helps reduce inflammation and loosen up mucus
- Balloon sinuplasty (a minimally invasive procedure that opens inflamed sinuses)
- Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) (surgery that utilizes a lighted tube called an endoscope to remove excess tissue and correct structural abnormalities).
Looking for the best sinusitis treatment in Houston?
At Houston Sinus Surgery, we’re pleased to offer the full continuum of care for sinusitis. Dr. Yeung has over 20 years of experience as an ENT in Houston and specializes in helping patients suffering from all types of this condition, including those suffering from chronic sinus infections.
Dr. Yeung takes a progressive, personalized approach to treatment, beginning with the least invasive options. He pioneered the FESS procedure in Houston and has performed over 4,000 sinus surgeries with outstanding, long-lasting results.
If you’re suffering from sinusitis, schedule an appointment at Houston Sinus Surgery and take the first step toward relief today!