How to Treat Chronic Sinusitis

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Determine the cause of your sinusitis.,
Consider your symptoms.,
Take decongestants.,
Try a nasal corticosteroid.,
Know when to see your doctor.,
Take antivirals, antifungals, or antibiotics.,
Consider surgery.

Chronic sinusitis can be caused by infections (viral, bacterial or fungal), structural abnormalities (like polyps or a deviated septum), trauma, allergies, smoking or immune system dysfunction. To determine a cause for your sinusitis, look at the discharge. Viral infections and allergies usually create clear discharge. But, bacterial, fungal, or molds can cause a cloudy and yellowish-green discharge. Chronic sinusitis from other causes can be clear or yellowish-green.Your doctor may recommend a CT scan to evaluate the cause of chronic sinusitis.
Figuring the cause of your sinusitis can help you choose the correct treatments. For example, sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection may need prescription antibiotics.
If your doctor suspects your sinusitis is due to allergies, she may recommend you get tested so that you can better avoid the allergens which trigger your symptoms. In addition, you can then talk to your doctor about using prescription or over-the-counter allergy medications to control symptoms.

, Symptoms of chronic sinusitis vary from person to person. Pay attention to your symptoms, since you may be able to treat some of them with over-the-counter medications. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:Swollen sinuses (from inflammation or infection)
Pain
Pressure in the face
Headaches
Loss of smell
Cough
Congestion
Sore throat (if the mucus drains into the throat)
Fever
Bad breath
Dental pain
Fatigue

, Over-the-counter medications are available to treat sinusitis. You can take decongestants according to the manufacturer’s instructions to reduce congestion. Some decongestants are available in nasal sprays. These may reduce swelling. Do not use nasal decongestants for more than three days or they can create rebound congestion, where the congestion returns worse than before. Side effects for decongestants include:Increased heart rate
Increased blood pressure
Insomnia
Anxiety
Nervousness and irritability
Dry mouth
Blurry vision
Difficulty urinating

, Nasal corticosteroids — such as fluticasone, budesonide, and mometasone — can help treat and prevent inflammation, making it easier for you to breathe.Many are available by prescription only, but Flonase and Nasacort can be purchased over-the-counter.This can be an especially helpful treatment if you suffer from allergies.

It can take a few days to a few weeks for nasal corticosteroids to work.
Side effects may include headache, sore throat, nosebleed, or cough., If you’ve tried several remedies at home and get no relief after four or five days, start running a fever, have facial puffiness, have increased pain, or have bad breath for no clear reason, you should make an appointment with your physician. You may be dealing with a more complicated health issue.Steam treatments, massage, Neti pots, and diffusers can all be used along with pain relievers, antibiotics, antiviral, or antifungal treatments for infections of the sinuses.

, Your doctor may prescribe antivirals, antifungals, or antibiotics if your sinusitis is caused by a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. These medications should decrease the infection and inflammation and keep your sinuses draining.One problem with antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals is that they don’t get into the sinuses very well so they may not be very effective. A longer course of treatment may be helpful.

, Your doctor may recommend surgery if your sinusitis is caused by polyps, a deviated septum or an injury. The openings of your sinuses can be enlarged or nasal polyps and growths can be removed. These surgeries can improve sinus drainage.Surgery can correct any anatomic or structural problems inside your nose and sinuses.

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