Treating the Source of Chronic Sinusitis

By Shawky Hassan, M.D.

Treating the Source of Chronic SinusitisSinus Allergy is commonly referred to as chronic sinusitis. Allergy is a common problem affecting the ears, nose, throat and the sinuses and is the main cause of recurrent sinus infections.

Investigating chronic sinusitis and treating the underlying allergy is very important. Surgery of the sinuses is of limited value, if the underlying allergy disease is not dealt with effectively.

The symptoms of chronic sinusitis are deceiving.  They appear very gradually and are not usually noticed until flares of acute sinusitis on top of the chronic sinus disease occur.  Often we see the disease of the sinuses not diagnosed until very advanced that it already affected other organs in the body or caused serious complications in the sinuses, lungs, ears, nose, teeth and gums or affecting distal organs.

CHRONIC SINUSITIS SUFFERERS USUALLY COMPLAIN OF ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING:
Severe headaches, Excessive drainage of clear, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose, Excessive drainage of clear, yellow or greenish discharge down the back of the throat, Stuffiness or congestion of the nose, causing difficulty breathing through the nose, Pain, tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead, Aching in the jaw and teeth,Loss of smell and taste, Cough is also a common symptom, which may be    worse at night, Ear pain, Sore throat, Bad breath, Fatigue or irritability, Frequent nausea or vomiting, Fever is not a common sign of chronic sinusitis.
Chronic sinusitis is seen more commonly in allergy sufferers. The condition is described as chronic, if the symptoms last longer than 8 weeks or if the condition is recurring for months or years. The risk of developing sinusitis is much higher in those individuals who suffer from allergic diseases.

Chronic sinusitis affects more than 35 million Americans each year. Approximately 60% of allergy patients develop chronic sinusitis. People suffering from sinusitis miss an average of four days of work each year. There are more than 20 million office visits to primary care physicians for sinusitis annually. The yearly cost of caring for sinusitis in the US is approximately $8 billion. There is a serious association between sinusitis and asthma; approximately 60% of asthma patients have chronic sinusitis and their asthma is triggered by the sinusitis.

Investigating chronic sinusitis and treating the underlying allergy is very important. Surgery of the sinuses is of limited value, if the underlying allergy disease is not dealt with effectively.

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