What is chronic sinusitis?
Sinusitis is a general term used to describe an inflammation of the tissue membrane that lines the sinus cavities. A swollen membrane can inhibit the drainage of mucus and fluid. Normally, the sinus cavities are filled with air. When fluid is retained, it can lead to a bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. When the inflammation and symptoms associated with sinusitis persist for more than 3 months, the condition is called chronic sinusitis.
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:
- Congestion and fluid-filled sinus cavities
- Inflammation of the nasal passages
- Obstructed breathing
- Headache and sinus pressure
- Fatigue and difficulty sleeping
- Dental pain
- Reduced sense of taste and smell
Non-surgical treatments for chronic sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis can often be address with a combination of at-home remedies, medications, and non-invasive techniques. The objective is to open the nasal passages and promote the draining of the sinuses.
- Medicines and medicated remedies. Decongestants can help clear out mucus and reduce nasal congestion. To help reduce swelling, a corticosteroid nasal spray can be used a couple times a day. If a bacterial infection is present, antibiotics can be prescribed to combat the infection.
- At-home therapies. Flushing the nasal passages with a gentle saline solution can help open up the passages and remove material. Neti pots are useful for cleansing the nose.
- Balloon Sinuplasty. A non-surgical procedure, balloon sinuplasty is a highly effective and innovative technique that Dr. Alexis Furze uses to treat chronic sinusitis. A catheter with a balloon is inserted and inflated, which opens the nasal passages and facilitates drainage. Balloon sinuplasty gives immediate relief and does not require any downtime.
Surgery for chronic sinusitis
If a chronic sinusitis problem does not improve with medicines and minimally-invasive techniques, Dr. Furze may suggest surgery.
- Endoscopic surgery. During this procedure, an endoscope is inserted for Dr. Furze to observe inside the sinus cavities and nasal passages. Tissue and bone are carefully removed to reduce obstructions.
- Septoplasty (surgery for a deviated septum). Chronic sinusitis can sometimes be linked to a deviated or crooked septum. A deviated septum can block passages and potentially affect overall respiratory health. As a California board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Furze can determine if an anatomical problem is contributing to ongoing sinus issues.
Your chronic sinusitis consultation with Dr. Alexis Furze
Chronic sinusitis can cause unbearable discomfort and greatly affect your ability to enjoy everyday activities. If you are suffering from chronic sinusitis, Dr. Furze can help you breathe normally again. Contact his Orange County office to schedule your sinus evaluation.