What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis occurs when your sinuses are infected and/or inflamed. If that infection or inflammation persists longer than three weeks, it’s considered to be chronic. Usually your sinuses become inflamed due to allergic triggers or respiratory infections like the common cold; but if that inflammation persists without treatment, it can lead to a sinus infection. Sinus infections can flare up suddenly or may follow a persisting common cold.
What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
The most common symptoms associated with sinusitis are:
How is sinusitis diagnosed and treated?
Your allergist will review your symptoms, the duration of your symptoms and potential triggers. Once your allergist knows the cause of your sinusitis, a treatment plan will be recommended. (If your chronic sinusitis is due to structural problems, your allergist will refer you to your primary care physician for a discussion regarding available options.)
Treatment may include:
Is there a cure for sinusitis?
When the underlying cause is treated effectively, it frequently disappears or becomes less of a problem. Since allergies can lead to chronic sinusitis, immunotherapy may be the most effective long-term approach.
What happens if sinusitis goes untreated?
If your sinusitis goes untreated, you can expect more frequent sinus, ear, and upper and lower respiratory infections. It is even possible for the infection to invade the boney tissue (osteomyelitis), and in rare cases it can cause meningitis. Allergies and sinusitis are responsible for symptoms that make it difficult to enjoy a productive, active life. Work with your allergist to find a solution that helps you take back control.