Behind your cheeks, forehead, and nose lie moist air spaces known as sinuses. The spaces serve various functions, including humidifying and heating the air you inhale, lightening head weight, providing a sense of smell, enhancing speech resonance, and protecting facial structures in case of trauma. Sinuses drain into the nasal cavity opening, which can be obstructed and result in Los Angeles sinusitis. Unpleasant symptoms like a distorted sense of smell, runny nose, itching, nasal congestion, facial pain, fatigue, and sleeping difficulty characterize sinusitis.
Sinusitis is caused by various issues like cold or flu and clears on its own. When the condition is unresponsive to treatment and lasts for three months or longer, it is called chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis results from ongoing swelling or inflammation, which is commonly caused by:
An abnormal nasal structure, like a crooked septum, the wall between your nostrils, can obstruct sinus passage. They can be the leading cause or aggravate sinusitis. Since the structures are unlikely to resolve independently, they result in chronic sinusitis. Nasal abnormalities can occur at birth or result from concerns, including trauma, surgery, aging, or medical conditions. Structural concerns often require surgical correction to ease the symptoms and lessen sinusitis recurrence chances.
Nasal polyps are tissue growths that are often painless and non-cancerous. They mainly grow in the lining of the nose or sinuses. The growths block sinuses or nasal passages, which worsen when they are more or grow bigger. Nasal polyps are treatable with medications, including corticosteroids. If unresponsive to medicine, you may need surgical treatment.
Allergies cause inflammation, which in turn blocks the sinuses. Chronic allergies mean you will likely deal with the inflammation all year round. Avoiding allergen exposure is the simplest way to manage allergies like allergic asthma and hay fever. This includes establishing the allergens that trigger the reaction and avoiding them as much as possible, such as remaining indoors during certain seasons or investing in an indoor air purifier. Allergies are incurable, but with measures like avoidance and certain medications, you can limit their occurrence and manage the symptoms, including sinusitis.
Medical conditions and resulting complications can lead to nasal blockage. For instance, cystic fibrosis causes recurrent infections characterized by thick and sticky mucus in passageways, including the lungs. Others, like HIV, weaken your immune system, leaving you susceptible to more infection and complications. With a weak immune system, you easily catch colds or flu, often experience significant symptoms, and are likely to develop complications. This can result in recurrent infections and inflammation, hence chronic sinusitis.
Respiratory tract infections
Infection in the respiratory tract can be due to bacteria or viruses. The infection can cause inflammation and/or thicken the sinus membranes, blocking mucus drainage. Recurrent infections, as is the case when the immune system is weakened, can result in chronic sinusitis.
Chronic sinusitis can significantly impact your routine since symptoms, including pain, pressure, and nasal congestion, makes it harder to remain focused or sleep. Solutions like surgery or addressing the underlying cause can help manage the symptoms or treat sinusitis. Contact Mani H. Zadeh, MD, FACS, today for more on sinusitis, prevention, and treatment.