What is Sinusitis?
Acute sinusitis is an infection of the sinuses that is caused by bacteria. Sometimes, it occurs after a cold or allergy attack, but it usually requires treatment by a doctor, using antibiotics to resolve the infection and prevent any complications that might occur as a result.
Sinuses collect mucus, but the mucus normally drains freely into the nose. If your sinuses or nasal passages become inflamed by cold or allergy, the mucus can’t drain freely and it will result in congestion, often followed by infection as bacterial grow readily in the moist environment.
Chronic sinusitis is characterized by a sinus infection that recurs frequently or lasts longer than three months. Although the symptoms may not be as severe as the symptoms of acute sinusitis, complications can result from long term damage to the sinuses. People who have episodes of chronic sinusitis can have damage to the sinuses that must be repaired by surgery. Dr. Burnett, a top New York ENT doctor, can diagnose and treat all forms of sinusitis and its complications.
What are the Symptoms of Sinusitis?
Sometimes, sinusitis seems like an allergy or cold that just won’t resolve. Many Americans are affected by sinusitis each year. Estimates range up to 37 million people who acquire a sinus infection. Sometimes, people don’t seek help, because they think they simply have a cold or allergy that is dragging on.
Acute sinusitis is diagnosed when a patient has purulent nasal drainage, for up to 4 weeks. This is usually accompanied by facial pressure or pain, and nasal obstruction frequently occurs. When sinusitis lasts longer than ten days, it’s usually due to a bacterial infection.
Chronic sinusitis symptoms are similar, but usually not as intense. They last three or more months, and people frequently mistake chronic sinusitis for an allergy or a cold. This can result in significant damage to the sinuses from an untreated infection.
Treatment of Sinusitis
When patients are seen in our office, we first determine the diagnosis. If a patient has bacterial sinusitis, we always prescribe an antibiotic, and sometimes recommend use of a nasal decongestant for a short period of time. Use of nasal decongestants for a long period of time can result in rebound stuffiness.
Dr. Burnett often recommends use of steam or saline nasal drops to open the nasal and sinus passages.
Choice of antibiotics is very important, as many bacteria become immune to the effects of antibiotics, so for this reason, you should be sure to take all of your antibiotics until they are gone. If you develop sinusitis, you can usually wait about a week before you start taking antibiotics, and your body may be able to fight the bacteria naturally.
Dr. Burnett may use more intensive antibiotic therapy to treat patients with chronic sinusitis, and sometimes surgery by an experienced ENT physician is necessary to relieve nasal obstruction. Dr. Burnett uses functional endoscopic sinus surgery for many types of sinus disease, so he is able to see the tissues of the nose clearly while opening up the obstruction and removing any polyps or diseased tissue.
If you think you are suffering from acute or chronic sinusitis, you should have a top New York ENT doctor examine you to determine your diagnosis and the appropriate treatment. The right treatment may prevent complications from sinusitis.
Call today to schedule your appointment at 212-867-4813.