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Acute sinusitis is an infection of the sinus cavities around your nasal passages. This interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up. Symptoms often include yellow or greenish discharge; nasal obstruction or congestion; pain and tenderness around your eyes, cheeks or forehead; a reduced sense of smell; and a cough which may be worse at night. Acute sinusitis is often caused by the common cold. Sinusitis that lasts more than eight weeks or keeps coming back is called chronic sinusitis.
What Are the Common Causes of Sinusitis?
While sinusitis is the presence of an infection in the sinus cavities, there are many ways that this can happen other than the common cold. It can be caused by seasonal allergies due to the constant presence of liquid running through the nasal passages, for example. Nasal polyps could be another culprit, as well as a deviated nasal septum.
Different causes of sinusitis can come with varied factors that can make them tricky to cure. That’s why it’s important that patients who suffer from chronic sinusitis come in for a consultation.
Your Sinusitis Consultation
When patients come in for a consultation regarding their sinusitis, they will first be asked questions regarding their symptoms. Chief among these questions are the duration of symptoms, whether they are recurring, whether the patient has recently had a cold, and whether they suffer from seasonal allergies.
Patients will then be examined to better understand the severity of the issue and to determine which treatment is best. Imaging tests may be ordered, including MRIs and CT scans. Allergy tests may also be ordered.
Treatments for Sinusitis
Treatment of sinusitis depends on the signs and symptoms. There are several treatment options for sinusitis, which can include medication delivered orally or in the form of a simple nasal spray.
Balloon sinus dilation (also called balloon sinuplasty) may also be an option. This treatment is offered at ENT Associates of San Diego and involves no incisions of any kind. An instrument called a balloon catheter is inserted, a small balloon is inflated and deflated, and then the instrument is removed. This dilates the sinus, restoring proper drainage and functionality.