Seasonal allergens throughout the United States usually taper off during the winter months, but in Texas, the opposite is true. In fact, McAllen was ranked the worst city in the U.S. because of allergens in 2018, causing individuals that live here to suffer from chronic sinusitis.
You may have a hard time breathing through your nose, and the area around your eyes may feel swollen or tender. Before trying to google and self-diagnose you or your loved one’s symptoms, however, let our McAllen ENT, Dr. Frank R. Glatz, and his team of sinus relief specialists at the Glatz Group give you the run-down on what chronic sinusitis is, and how it affects you.
What Causes Chronic Sinusitis, and What’re the Symptoms?
Chronic sinusitis occurs when the spaces inside your nose and head–called your sinuses–swell up and are inflamed for three months or longer. This common inflammatory condition prevents mucus from draining properly, thus making your nasal passages congested. In fact, several different causes can attribute to the development of chronic sinusitis, such as:
- Nasal polyps – These tissue growths can grow within the nasal passages or sinuses, causing complications with how these structures drain mucus out.
- Deviated nasal septum – A crooked septum can limit or block sinus passages, causing the symptoms of sinusitis to worsen.
- Other medical conditions – The complications of conditions like cystic fibrosis, HIV, and other immune system-related diseases can create a nasal blockage as well.
- Respiratory tract infections – Infections in your respiratory tract may cause your sinus membranes to inflame and thicken, which then blocks mucus drainage. These infections can be viral, bacterial, or fungal.
- Allergies (i.e hay fever) – Inflammation that comes with allergies can block your sinuses.
Be on the lookout for any the following symptoms if you suspect you are currently suffering from chronic sinusitis:
- Nasal inflammation
- Thick, discolored discharge from the nose
- Drainage down the back of the throat (called postnasal drainage)
- Nasal obstruction or congestion, making it difficult to breathe through your nose
- Pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose, or forehead
- Decreased sense of smell and taste
The aforementioned symptoms are not the only key factors to consider during a diagnosis. Other signs and symptoms to consider include:
- Ear pain
- Aching in your upper jaw and teeth
- Constant clearing of throat or cough
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
Chronic sinusitis is often confused with acute sinusitis, as they have similar signs and symptoms. An easy way to distinguish between the two is to remember that acute sinusitis is a temporary infection of the sinuses usually associated with a cold, while the signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis last at least 12 weeks.
Though you may face several episodes of acute sinusitis before developing chronic sinusitis, fever isn’t a common sign of chronic sinusitis. You may get one with acute sinusitis.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Sinusitis
If any of these symptoms hit close to home for you or your loved one, you’re probably wondering what the next step to take is. Before our trusted ENT can recommend treatment for your condition, he needs to run a diagnosis along with a number of tests that examine your nose with a small, nasal endoscope that lets him look for mechanical obstruction, redness, swelling, and sinus drainage.
If you or your loved one have tried using antibiotics and found them to be ineffective, you may need to consider treatment. Steroids can be more helpful when it comes to treating chronic sinusitis, as they reduce the swelling that leads to nasal and sinus blockage. Nevertheless, many patients require a more effective solution that provides longer-lasting relief. That is where we come in.
Balloon Sinuplasty as a Solution to Your Chronic Sinusitis
Balloon sinuplasty technology is used to treat chronic sinusitis, especially for patients whose symptoms were not resolved with medication. Not only is it a minimally-invasive treatment option, but it also can be performed by our very own McAllen ENT, Dr. Glatz, right in our office.
Chronic sinusitis doesn’t just affect your nasal function; it compromises your quality of life. Most patients are able to go back to their daily lives within 24 hours after the treatment, making balloon sinuplasty a popular choice for sinus relief.
Meet with us to discuss if balloon sinuplasty can treat your chronic sinusitis. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Frank R. Glatz today by contacting us at (866)-602-4716. You’ll be Glatz you did!