Chronic sinus infections are characterized as ongoing sinus infections lasting for more than 6 months by allergists. If you suffer from such infections, you know the agony of going through a sinus infection and the way it affects you on a daily basis. Keep reading to find out how to eradicate or at least minimize symptoms of a chronic sinus infection:
What Are The Causes of Chronic Sinus?
To begin the treatment, we must first analyze the causes that can lead to a chronic sinus. By far, the most common causes include ongoing allergies, infections and a host of inflammatory processes. Sometimes the causes can be a mixture of the above. To diagnose the above conditions, your doctor may conduct some lab tests, imaging studies and some other special investigations to rule out the causes.
Medical Management of Chronic Sinus Infections
Oral steroids are pills like medications that have an overall systemic effect on the body, apart from the nasal sinuses. Usually your doctor will prescribe a short term oral steroids course if antibiotics fail to achieve any response. Oral steroids are potentially harmful drugs with deleterious side effects on the whole body, which is why only short term usage is recommended.
Intranasal steroids produce a local effect on the mucus lining because of their intra nasal mode of administration. These drugs have an excellent response in chronic sinus infections, they reduce the ongoing inflammation and swelling of the nasal tract and make breathing easier. Intranasal steroids include fluticasone and mometasone.
Nasal decongestants work by clearing the mucus and nasal secretions of the nasal tract, thereby improving symptoms of breathlessness. They are available in both aerosol and oral form. On the flip side, nasal decongestants stop working if you tend to use them long term, so we recommend using them sparingly for symptomatic relief only.
Saline irrigation involves rinsing of the nasal passages by 0.9% sodium chloride water. It is a very cheap and effective way of thinning the mucous secretions of the nasal tract thus improving chronic sinus in the long run.
In chronic sinus infections, because of ongoing inflammatory processes, a course of antibiotics can prove to be curable. Before starting the antibiotic, your doctor will obtain a nasal swab and likely a few cells scraped from your nasal tract, to check for the bacterial organism and the antibiotic sensitivity. Once the results come in within a week’s time, you will be prescribed an antibiotic course depending on the severity of your symptoms.
Immunotherapy is reserved for a subset of patients with chronic sinus infections with ongoing immunodeficiency such as IgA and C4 deficiency. Treatment options include Intravenous immunoglobulins to enhance the host response.
Surgical Options for Chronic Sinus
In some patients, ongoing inflammation in the sinuses causes massive destruction, unresponsive to treatments stated above, of the nasal passages which is only curable through surgery. Functional Endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) involves widening the nasal folds, and removing cysts, polyps, or inflammatory debris to widen the nasal passages thereby improving symptoms.
Natural Remedies for Chronic Sinus
Though natural remedies do not have an established role in the treatment of chronic sinus, many people swear by some of these remedies and it’s worth a try at least once.
Drinking Plenty of Fluids
Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids helps to thin out the mucus and favors expectoration. You should ideally drink up to 8 glasses of water per day for enhanced symptomatic relief.
Use a Neti Pot
A neti pot is used as an alternative to saline nasal sprays. It is available widely on most pharmacies and drug stores. It looks like a small teapot with an elongated spout, in which you fill sterile water, insert the spout in one nostril and pour water through it so that it comes out through the other nostril.
However, it is recommend to visit an allergy clinic Manassas for a proper and personalized treatment.