When you’ve got the common cold, the symptoms that make you miserable are due to a condition called sinusitis, when the lining of your sinuses becomes inflamed and works less efficiently at clearing mucus overproduction resulting from the virus. You may feel pain from sinus pressure along with breathing difficulty, but symptoms typically resolve themselves in seven to ten days.
The inflammation and restricted drainage associated with sinusitis can, in some cases, create conditions that support continued infection. When such conditions last three months or more, you may be diagnosed with chronic sinusitis. If you’re having ongoing sinus issues, it’s time for a visit to the sinus care specialists at Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat in Sheridan, Wyoming. There are solutions for your chronic sinusitis.
When sinusitis becomes chronic
The cyclical potential for sinusitis means that any respiratory infection could begin a chronic phase. When your sinuses are plugged and poorly draining, they become a welcome haven for bacteria and fungi as well as viruses. You may start with sinusitis from a virus, only to have another pathogen take up residence while you’re suffering.
Other conditions can also begin the sinusitis cycle. Allergies with a respiratory response, such as hay fever, create similar conditions that may support other, unrelated infections of the sinuses. Complications of other conditions, like cystic fibrosis or some immune system diseases, can also contribute to nasal blockages from poor drainage.
And in some cases, people have physical impediments that also interfere with breathing and sinus drainage, delaying the normal healing phase of sinusitis.
The wall between your nostrils is called the septum, and ideally, each nostril is the same size. However, such symmetry is rare, and usually one side is slightly larger than the other, or the septum is crooked rather than straight. These deviations aren’t always an issue, but they may be significant enough in some people to complicate sinus drainage. You may have a deviated septum from birth, or it could develop following an injury to your face.
Soft and painless, nasal polyps are benign growths that sometimes form along the lining of the nasal passages and sinuses. By themselves, they’re harmless, but like issues with the septum, they can impede efficient drainage of your sinuses and airways. They can be treated with medication or surgery, but they may later enlarge or regrow.
Treating chronic sinusitis
Dr. Scott Bateman, founder of Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat, is the first doctor to perform minimally invasive balloon sinus dilations in Wyoming, a treatment for some cases of chronic sinusitis. He’s also introduced state-of-the-art sinus imaging to the area.
Dr. Bateman can pinpoint the cause of your sinusitis and recommend the appropriate treatment to get you breathing easily again. Common therapies include:
- Nasal irrigation
- Nasal sprays with corticosteroids
- Injected or oral corticosteroids
- Surgery to remove polyps or reshape the septum
Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat staff are also allergy specialists, so if immunotherapy will help prevent future episodes of sinusitis, you’re already in the right place. For any sinus-related issue, contact Sheridan Ear, Nose & Throat by phone at 307-672-0290, or online. The right treatment is waiting for you, so book your consultation now.