While acute sinusitis may initially feel like a bad cold taking place over a short period of time (usually less than two weeks), chronic sinusitis is typically more persistent.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chronic sinusitis is one of the most commonly experienced chronic health issues in the U.S., affecting about 14% of the entire population.
As far as symptoms are concerned, if you’ve had at least two of the following symptoms for more than 12 weeks, you could be diagnosed as having chronic sinusitis:
- Yellow or green-colored mucus dripping from the nose
- Dry or hardened mucus blocking the nasal passages
- Mucus leaking down the back of the throat (postnasal drip)
- Tenderness or discomfort in the face, especially in the area of the eyes, forehead, cheeks and teeth
Other common symptoms include:
- Headaches due to pressure and swelling in the sinuses
- Pain or pressure in the ears
- Throat soreness
- Cough that feels worse during the night
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe at Silenso Clinic in San Diego, CA, offers high-end minimally invasive treatments for diagnosing and treating chronic sinusitis. He also can use advanced imaging procedures to monitor your condition.
What is Chronic Sinusitis?
Also known as chronic rhinosinusitis, this is the typical diagnosis for patients with sinuses that remain inflamed and swollen for three months or more. Swollen sinuses — the spaces inside the nose, forehead, and around the eyes — experience problems with excess mucus, blocking the nose and making it difficult to breathe.
Dr. Schalch Lepe will determine the best treatment, using two popular procedures to treat chronic sinusitis: Balloon Sinuplasty or the more invasive functional endoscopic sinus surgery.
What Causes Chronic Sinusitis?
Allergies often trigger infections and sinus swelling due to dust, mold, pollen, or fungal spores inhaled through the nose. These particles cause the body to release histamine, which causes us to sneeze, and the linings of the sinuses to swell, a protective mechanism to prevent even more of the particles from entering the body.
Severe allergic reactions that are not treatable with medication can lead to chronic sinusitis. As a result, this might lead to the growth of nasal polyps in the sinuses, preventing mucus from draining while also stimulating mucus production.
How Can Chronic Sinusitis Affect Me?
Chronic sinusitis and the impact it can have on someone suffering the disorder should not be taken lightly.
Chronic sinusitis often starts as an acute condition before becoming chronic. Symptoms might persist for several days or weeks, then disappear until the following month or year, when the same symptoms, more pronounced and more persistent, appear again.
Due to increased nasal congestion and sinus pressure, chronic sinusitis interferes with a patient’s breathing, leading to fatigue, frustration, and poor sleep quality. To make things worse, chronic sinusitis may lead to swelling around the eyes and cheeks, a lack of energy, feelings of exhaustion, all resulting in the avoidance of physical activity and potentially even depression.
Large nasal polyps will also affect your sense of smell, and they might be related to airway inflammation and asthma.
How Prevalent is Chronic Sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis affects roughly 30 million Americans, both children, and adults, every year, with adults more susceptible to nasal polyps. While the causes of nasal polyps aren’t fully understood, we do know that chronic sinusitis caused by nasal polyps can be hereditary, which means if your parents and grandparents suffered from the disorder, you might develop it as well.
How Is My Chronic Sinusitis Best Treated?
At Silenso Clinic, Dr. Schalch Lepe will start your treatment with imaging tests to accurately diagnose your condition. He will perform a computer tomography (CT) scan of your sinuses to find out more about the blockages that might be causing them.
Depending on what condition Dr. Schalch Lepe finds, he will recommend one or more of the following procedures:
Celon®: Uses radiofrequency to shrink structures called turbinates and septal swell bodies within your nasal passages.
VivAer®: A non-surgical handheld device used to reshape your nasal tissues and improve airflow.
Balloon sinuplasty: Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery to drain your sinuses by widening your sinus passages using a small balloon catheter.
Every treatment offered at Silenso Clinic is cutting-edge, minimally invasive, and office-based for top-quality results and convenience.
Best Chronic Sinusitis Treatment in San Diego, CA
Treating chronic sinusitis takes specialized training and expertise. With Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe being a leading Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist in San Diego, he offers personalized consultations and a comprehensive follow-up schedule, always putting his patients first.
Contact us at (858) 925-5800 or fill out our online form to schedule an assessment of your chronic sinusitis symptoms.