“Sinusitis” occurs in 10-15% of people. The features include a blocked and/or runny nose, post-nasal drip, a loss or reduction in the sense of smell and, in some cases, facial pain. Many people describe a feeling of a constant head cold. Often, they will have had multiple courses of antibiotics and other medications with temporary relief in some cases.
Sinus disease can be a very debilitating and frustrating problem. There are evidence-based treatments available that can aid in controlling the disease and improving quality of life.
This is a great question and the source of thousands of medical articles. The cause of sinus problems can vary from person to person. Evidence would suggest that the development of chronic rhinosinusitis is a consequence of an interplay between genetic and environmental factors in most cases.
A person’s bony structure of the sinuses and nasal passages may contribute as it may limit the ability of the sinuses to drain out mucous and allow in air. The lining of the nasal passages may also contribute through the way it reacts to things inhaled from the environment. This lining can become inflamed for multiple reasons and contribute to “sinusitis”. Any problems with your immune system will also have a bearing on “sinusitis” as can other medical conditions. Even things such as dental infections can contribute.
To confuse matters there are a number of other conditions which can lead to similar symptoms and which can be mistaken for sinusitis. These include allergies, various forms of headache and dental problems.
The classic symptoms of sinusitis are:
- Nasal obstruction or congestion.
- Runny nose or post nasal drip.
- Facial pain.
- Reduction or loss of sense of smell.
- Recurrent cough (Especially kids).
Firstly, it is important to confirm that the problem is actually the sinuses. Lots of other medical conditions can imitate “sinusitis” and it is only with a careful history, examination of the nose and often a CT scan that we can be sure the problem is sinusitis.
Dr Morrissey can take you through this process to determine if sinusitis is the cause of your concerns or help identify other contributing factors.
Chronic Rhinosinusitis can be effectively treated both through the use of medication and surgery. Usually doctors will try a course of medications to get things under control. In some cases, this is all that is needed. For some people they may need to continue to use nasal sprays or other medications to keep the symptoms at bay.
In instances where the medications fail to correct the problem, surgery may be recommended. Sinus surgery has come a long way in the last 20 years and Dr Morrissey has completed advanced training in the surgical management of sinus disease. He will take you through the options available to you. Anyone who has had sinus surgery in the past will be happy to know that Dr Morrissey doesn’t “pack the nose” in the vast majority of cases.