If you are lucky, over the counter medications help with your sinus issues. You know, the stuffiness, headaches, and post nasal drainage problems. Those unlucky people who get no relief from OTC products can suffer for years with chronic sinus infections, but how do you know when surgery is needed?
Common Symptoms Of Chronic Sinusitis
When sinus symptoms hang around for more than 12 weeks, and nothing seems to work, it might be time for surgery, but only Surgical Associates Northwest can give you the proper guidance. This type of chronic disorder is known as rhinosinusitis.
The most common symptoms of chronic sinus infection include some of the following:
- Nasal inflammation
- Drainage down the back of the throat
- Obstructions or congestion making breathing difficult
- Thick discolored discharge
- Pain, swelling, tenderness around the nose, eyes, and forehead
- Ear pain
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
Surgery Is Always A Last Resort
Neither you nor Surgical Associates Northwest want to opt for surgery immediately. There are many lifestyle changes you can make to reduce symptoms and the number of infections.
Use a humidifier in your home and especially in the bedroom. Be certain to keep the humidifier clean and free of mold. Avoid smoke and pollution and those who smoke whenever you can. Stay as healthy as possible by frequently washing your hands and staying away from those who are ill. Keep your allergies under control and avoid the triggers.
If you use OTC meds and follow the above recommendations, it may help reduce the occasions and risk of chronic sinusitis.
The next steps include treatments like steroids, antibiotics, nasal sprays and irrigations.
When Sinus Surgery Is Needed
Unfortunately, surgery may be the only way to improve your symptoms and decrease infections.
Certain factors necessitate surgery and they include the following:
- Benign but severe sinus polyps
- Chronic infections that do not respond to treatments
- An abnormality in the nose that needs to be repaired, like a deviated septum
- An infection that spreads to the bone
- Cancer is found
These situations indicate surgery. The good news is that sinus surgery has a high success rate with few complications, plus it’s pain free.