Everyone has sinus trouble from time to time. But for some, these annoying symptoms can become ongoing problems.
When your sinuses function properly, they release a thin mucus that drains from your nose. This process works like a filtration system, flushing bacteria from the area. But the sinuses can also become blocked, allowing fluid to build up and infection to set in — an issue known as sinusitis.
As an ear, nose, and throat specialist, Dr. Vandana Kumra has seen all types of sinusitis, from acute issues that last for days or weeks to recurring problems that keep coming back over and over again.
In this blog, Dr. Kumra shares the telltale signs of chronic sinusitis and when you should schedule an appointment at ENT New York in New York City.
When sinusitis becomes chronic
Sinus symptoms are always unpleasant, even when short-lived. However, they become even more challenging to live with when they become chronic.
Unlike acute sinusitis or recurrent sinusitis, chronic sinusitis symptoms never really go away for long periods. Instead, the inflammation and swollen tissue in your sinuses remain a consistent problem for at least 12 weeks.
Common causes of chronic sinusitis include:
- Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections
- A weak immune system
- Blocked airways from conditions like asthma, allergies, or cystic fibrosis
- Abnormal nasal structures, like a deviated septum
- Growths or polyps
Both children and adults can develop chronic sinusitis.
Telltale signs of chronic sinusitis
Acute and chronic sinusitis can have very similar symptoms. However, the persistent nature of chronic sinusitis can make you feel even more miserable since they last at least three months.
Symptoms seen with chronic sinusitis include:
- Thick, discolored nasal discharge
- Drainage down the back of the throat
- Nasal congestion
- Decreased sense of smell and taste
- Sore throat
- Throat clearing or cough
- Ear, upper jaw, or tooth pain
- Bad breath
It’s also common to have pain, tenderness, or swelling around your sinuses — or the cheeks, eyes, nose, or forehead. Many people even have trouble sleeping through the night, which causes dark circles under the eyes.
Treating chronic sinusitis
Dr. Kumra specializes in evaluating and treating patients of all ages. She uses several approaches when diagnosing chronic sinusitis, such as:
- Discussing your symptoms
- Examining your nose and face during a physical exam
- Looking inside your nose at your sinuses
- Ordering imaging tests of the sinuses and nasal area
- Recommending allergy testing
- Taking cultures of your nasal and sinus discharge
After diagnosing chronic sinusitis, Dr. Kumra outlines a treatment strategy according to what’s causing your issues. For example, if you have blockages due to allergies, Dr. Kumra could suggest allergy medications. In other cases, nasal sprays, rinses, or medications can offer relief.
For chronic sinusitis that doesn’t respond to treatment or develops from structural issues, Dr. Kumra could recommend nasal and sinus surgery. These procedures help restore normal function to the nose and sinuses, and most use minimally invasive techniques, so you have less discomfort, risk, and recovery times.
Do you have the telltale signs of chronic sinusitis? Vandana Kumra, MD, uses advanced techniques to diagnose and treat your condition, so you can find relief once and for all. Call 914-867-0399 to schedule an appointment or book a visit online today.