Sinusitis affects 37 million people each year
It is more prevalent than heart disease and asthma and has a greater impact on quality of life than chronic back pain or congestive heart failure. (3)
When you have acute or chronic sinusitis, the mucous membranes of your nose, sinuses and throat become inflamed, possibly from a pre-existing cold or allergies. Swelling obstructs the sinus openings and prevents normal mucus drainage, causing mucus and pressure to build up. Symptoms include: drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat; nasal obstruction or congestion; tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead; and/or a reduced sense of smell and taste.
Types of Sinusitis
Many sinusitis cases are acute. For acute sinusitis, Dr. Congdon may recommend saline nasal sprays, antibiotics, nasal steroid sprays, decongestants and over-the-counter pain relievers to help relieve the condition.
However, if sinusitis symptoms last longer than 12 weeks, it could be chronic sinusitis.
Is It Allergies, a Cold or Sinusitis?
If you are like many patients, you may have misdiagnosed yourself as having allergies or a cold, when you actually have sinusitis. It’s important to schedule a consultation with Dr. Congdon to determine the proper diagnosis.
A Look into the Sinuses
The sinuses are hollow spaces in the skull (i.e. the frontal, ethmoid, sphenoid and maxillary) which serve to lighten the skull and give resonance to the voice. The purpose of the sinuses, which open into the nasal cavity, is to generate mucus to keep the nose from drying out during breathing and to trap unwanted materials so that they do not reach the lungs.
Each sinus has an opening that allows mucus to drain. These openings are essential in keeping your sinuses functioning properly. In some cases, smaller openings or blockages cause a buildup of mucus and lead to a sinus infection.