While most people have experienced a sinus infection at one point in their life, millions more suffer from chronic sinusitis, an often painful sinus condition that lasts longer than 12 weeks. Here are facts you didn’t know about chronic sinusitis to help you realize when you’re suffering from this issue.
1. It’s chronic
Though this seems obvious, this type of condition is determined “chronic” when it occurs for around 12 weeks or more. It’s similar to acute sinusitis in that they both affect the same area and have many of the same symptoms — pain, tenderness, mucus build-up — but acute sinusitis is only temporary and will go away with antibiotics or the sickness that brought it.
2. Antibiotics won’t help
When you visit the doctor, you expect to receive a prescription and get sent on your way. However, chronic sinusitis is not a bacterial infection and will not respond to antibiotics. If a bacterial infection spurred the presence of sinusitis, you might find relief from your other symptoms from taking an antibiotic, but your symptoms will still persist. This condition causes inflammation and it’s this inflammation that leads to the other symptoms.
3. There are multiple causes
It is often caused by bacterial infections or other illnesses; however, there are other factors that encourage the presence of sinusitis, including nasal polyps and growths in the sinuses, a deviated septum, allergies, fungal infections, and even certain chronic diseases that affect your immune system. The treatment depends on how your chronic sinusitis began.
4. There are ways to prevent it
And ways to treat it at home. Taking good care of your respiratory system is the first thing you can do to stop infections and improve your sinus health; this can include using an air filter, air conditioning in the car and home instead of keeping the windows open, avoiding allergens, and washing your hands often in order to prevent bacteria from getting into your nasal passages. If you have chronic sinusitis, you can try inhaling steam to clear the painful mucus buildup, rinsing your sinuses with saline water a few times a day, and taking decongestants in order to reduce inflammation and pain. If symptoms persist, however, see a doctor as soon as possible to get the correct treatment.
Chronic sinusitis can be a debilitating condition and can affect anyone; in fact, between 18 and 22 million people experience chronic sinusitis each year. Talk to your local ear nose and throat specialist or visit your doctor to determine the cause and treatment of your health issue.