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Sinusitis / Chronic Sinusitis

Sinusitis means your sinuses are infected or inflamed. Your sinuses are hollow air spaces within the bones surrounding the nose. They produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If your nose is swollen, this can block the sinuses and cause pain and infection. Sinusitis can be acute, lasting for less than four weeks, or chronic, lasting much longer. Acute sinusitis often starts as a cold, which then turns into a bacterial infection. Allergies, pollutants, nasal problems and certain diseases can also cause sinusitis.

Common Symptoms of Sinusitis

  • Low grade fever

  • Weakness

  • Fatigue

  • Cough and congestion in addition to bad breath or loss of smell

  • Generally not feeling well

  • Headache

  • Pressure like pain behind the eyes, over the eyebrows, facial tenderness, or toothache

  • Nasal congestion and discharge

  • Sore throat

  • Postnasal drip

COVID-19 Symptoms That Could Be Sinusitis

Did you know that there are some symptoms of sinus infection that are shared with symptoms of COVID-19?

  • Fever

  • Cough (COVID-19 cough is dry/no mucus) vs. Sinusitis cough is generally productive (with mucus)

  • Headache

  • Nasal Congestion

  • Sore Throat

COVID-19 Symptoms NOT shared with Sinusitis

Symptoms of COVID-19 that are not associated with sinusitis are bluish lips or face, body aches and chills, loss of smell or taste, pink eye, digestive discomfort, and chest pain.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to COVID-19, please visit the St. Clair County Health Department for up-to-date information on testing and exposure guidelines.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options For Chronic Sinusitis

Initial treatment options include antibiotics, decongestants and pain relievers. Using heat pads on the inflamed area, saline nasal sprays and vaporizers can also help.

Surgical Options For Chronic Sinusitis

When non-surgical treatment options and medication fails, surgery may be the only alternative for treating chronic sinusitis. The goal of surgery is to improve sinus drainage and reduce blockage of the nasal passages.

Balloon Sinuplasty

  • Safe and Effective – While use of any surgical instrument involves some risk, clinical studies have shown the Balloon Sinuplasty™ system to be safe and effective in relieving symptoms of sinusitis.

  • Minimally Invasive – The technology uses small, soft, flexible devices that are introduced thru the nostrils. These devices gently open blocked sinus openings.

  • Reduced Bleeding – Because in many cases, no tissue or bone is removed during surgery using this technology, there may be reduced bleeding. As a result, the need for uncomfortable nasal packing may also be eliminated.

  • Fast Recovery Time – While recovery time varies with each patient, many people can return to normal activity within 24 hours.

  • Does not limit treatment options – The Balloon Sinuplasty technology is an endoscopic tool and may be used with other medical therapies or surgical techniques. It does not limit future treatment options if you have a progressive disease.

Balloon Sinuplasty Benefits

Balloon Sinuplasty devices represent a new technology in the opening of blocked sinuses and chronic sinusitis, and in many cases, without tissue or bone removal. the FDA- cleared Balloon Sinuplasty products are used by qualified Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physicians.

Balloon Sinuplasty technology is an endoscopic, catheter-based system for patients suffering from sinusitis. The FDA-cleared technology uses a small, flexible, sinus balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal sinus drainage. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it gently restructures and widens the walls of the passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

For patients with symptoms of chronic sinusitis, nasal/sinus polyps, facial pain and pressure, bad breath, or decreased sense of smell – endoscopic sinus surgery may be recommended. Your doctor may prescribe antihistamines or antibiotics for acute bouts of sinusitis, but your doctor may recommend sinus surgery if other treatment options fail to effectively treat your sinusitis.

Endoscopic sinus surgery widens the sinus openings and allows the removal of mucus or diseased tissue for patients who suffer frequent sinus infections.

The procedure can be performed endoscopically, using a thin fiberoptic tube (an endoscope) inserted through the nostrils. This minimally invasive technique lets patients enjoy a shorter recovery time and less post-operative pain. In addition, real-time video imaging guides the surgeon inside the nose and sinuses.

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