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Sinusitis is the inflammation or swelling of the tissue the lines your sinuses. When swelling occurs, these cavities are blocked and can fill with mucus that is difficult to drain. Without drainage, these cavities become breeding grounds for germs, leading to an infection. Sinusitis can be chronic or acute, depending on the length of time it occurs or whether it improves with treatment.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when your sinusitis lasts at least three months despite treatment. Chronic sinusitis can also involve improvement for a few days before symptoms reoccur and never fully resolve. Acute sinusitis is a temporary infection that is most often associated with an infection, such as the common cold or flu. Common symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:

  • Nasal inflammation or nasal obstruction/congestion
  • Thick, colored mucus secretions from the nose
  • Postnasal drip (mucus running down the back of your throat) and/or coughing and throat clearing
  • Pain, tenderness, and/or swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose, or forehead
  • Reduced sense of taste or smell
  • Ear pain
  • Aching in the upper jaw and teeth
  • Sore throat
  • Fatigue

Causes of Sinusitis

Common causes of chronic sinusitis include:

  • The presence of nasal polyps (tissue growths in the nasal passages or sinuses)
  • A deviated nasal septum
  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Environmental allergies

Diagnosis and Treatment of Sinusitis

If you believe you are suffering from chronic or acute sinusitis, an allergy specialist at Frontier Allergy Asthma and Immunology can help. During your visit, your doctor will obtain a thorough history of your symptoms and potential causes and perform a physical examination. If your doctor suspects your sinusitis is allergy-related, they may recommend undergoing a skin test to discover what allergen(s) may be causing your symptoms. If your sinusitis has persisted despite trying various treatments, your doctor may send you for a mucus culture to determine the cause of your infection. After determining the cause(s) of your sinusitis, your doctor will recommend a plan of care unique to your situation. Treatment options for sinus infections involve reducing overall inflammation in the nasal passages and sinus cavities and/or eliminating what may have caused the initial infection. Your doctor may prescribe nasal sprays, oral medications (such as antibiotics or antihistamines), and/or a saline nasal irrigation regimen. If regular medication use and/or irrigation does not resolve your sinusitis symptoms, your allergist may refer you to an ENT for additional imaging (such as a CT scan or a nasal endoscopy) and/or surgery.

Next steps

If you are interested in further discussion about your specific needs, Dr. Reshamwala is happy to see you and answer any questions you may have. Please call (512) 535-2655 or email to schedule an appointment today! Book an appointment

Written by: Dr. Neha Reshamwala
NPI number: 1780874578
Page last reviewed: 03/20/21

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