Every day, without fail, doctors offices all over the country fill up with people complaining about chronic sinusitis. This condition does affect millions of people at some point in their lives, so it’s easy to understand why sufferers keep the MD’s so busy. It’s important for everyone to understand, though, that not every case of sniffles is actually chronic sinusitis.
Generally speaking, there are a number of underlying causes that are responsible for chronic sinusitis. These causes can range from allergic reactions to sinus infections. And for a case to truly be categorized as chronic sinusitis, more than one of the most common conditions must be present for longer than three months time.
There are other conditions which are often confused with sinusitis. Let’s look at a few of these common maladies, before we discuss chronic sinusitis symptoms and chronic sinusitis treatment.
Chronic Sinus Infection
As was mentioned earlier, a sinus infection can be one of the causes of chronic sinusitis. It only makes sense, then, that a chronic infection of the sinus region can result in a chronic case of sinusitis. Since a lingering infection naturally causes a person to experience the nagging symptoms of sinusitis, any case of sinus infection that is present for more than three months is a prime culprit to be aware of.
People are allergic to all sorts of things. For some people it might be dust or pet dander. Other folks are allergic to pollens and molds. Any type of allergic reaction that results in sneezing, congestion and a general interference with the ears, throat or nose functions can result in a case of chronic sinusitis. Since people often deal with allergies for months at a time, the long periods of irritation to the sinus passages can quickly turn into a chronic case of sinusitis.
Chronic Sinusitis: Night Time Woes
Though many people associate a hacking cough with bronchitis or colds, they often overlook that these types of coughs can actually be a sign that they might actually have chronic sinusitis. This type of coughing commonly occurs at night, and causes many people to lose precious hours of sleep.
The reason that sinusitis related coughs don’t occur during the daytime is simply a matter of drainage. When you lay down to go to sleep, the build up of excess mucus in your nasal cavity can begin to drain back into the throat. Many times this drainage will even lead to a severe sore throat. And because of this all to common symptom of chronic sinusitis fatigue can become a major, secondary symptom that affects people suffering from chronic sinusitis. After all, it’s pretty darned hard to sleep when you’re coughing incessantly.
This lack of sleep can actually prove to be a double-edge sword. For starters, it’s hard to deal with day to day issues when you are tired and dealing with other symptoms of chronic sinusitis. And to make matters worse, your body tends to heal and fight off infections while you sleep. If a sinus infection is present, the lack of sleep can often make it more difficult to get rid of an annoying infection.
Treatment for Chronic Sinusitis
If you’ve had a bout with sinusitis symptoms that has gone on longer than 12 weeks, you need to find a way to combat this condition. For most people, treatment is a twofold path. For starters, you’ll want to battle the symptoms. This can often be done with over the counter medications and some natural herbal remedies.
Once you have the symptoms under control, though, you need to get at the underlying cause and find a proper course of treatment. Since there are multiple causes of chronic sinusitis, though, you’ll need to find out exactly what is causing your long term symptoms. If it is an infection, you may need to take a round of antibiotics. For allergies, you’ll need to find out what you are allergic to, and take the right course of action.
Some people have chronic sinusitis with the development of polyps. These are the more severe cases and often times chronic sinusitis surgery may be the most viable option. Of course, before you even consider surgery, it’s best to consult with a doctor who specializes in these types of cases.