Sinusitis, inflammation around the nasal passages that clogs your sinuses and makes breathing difficult, is a common condition that affects about 31 million Americans. The causes of sinusitis can include:
- An infection
- A growth such as a polyp inside the nose
- A deviated nasal septum
You may, at first, write off your sinusitis as a cold. Often sinusitis acts like a cold and clears up on its own or with the help of treatments such as antibiotics, saline sprays, steroid medications, saline nasal irrigation, or over-the-counter cold and sinus medications.
But if the symptoms persist for 12 weeks or more, even after treatment, it’s likely you have chronic sinusitis, which may be the result of something other than an infection. Sinusitis symptoms include:
- Stuffy or congested nose
- Mucus draining down the back of your throat
- Pain or pressure in your face or around your eyes
- Cold symptoms
- Ear pain
- A sore throat
For chronic sinusitis, surgery is also a treatment option. Not sure if surgery is right for you? Here are three reasons to consider sinus surgery as the best treatment option for your chronic sinusitis:
Chronic sinusitis has failed to respond to other treatments
If you have a one-time sinus infection that clears up when you take antibiotics, you don’t have to consider surgery. But if you get sinusitis four to 10 times a year, you shouldn’t take antibiotics each time because you could develop antibiotic resistance. And if other treatments fail to relieve symptoms, then sinus surgery is an option for you.
You have a deviated septum, polyps, or other structural problem
If you have a structural problem inside your nose that is causing repeated sinusitis, then it’s unlikely that non-invasive treatments are going to resolve your infection. Surgery can help open the drainage area in your nose to create a clear pathway for mucus, which cuts down on the number of infections and improves your ability to breathe normally.
Snoring and sleep apnea fail to respond to treatment
Sinus problems are often partly to blame for snoring and sleep apnea. One study found that 15% of people with chronic sinus problems also had sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing and subsequently wake up for short periods several times throughout the night.
Symptoms of sleep apnea include excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue and a diminished capacity to focus or concentrate. If other methods used to treat your sleep apnea haven’t worked, sinus surgery may help you sleep better throughout the night.
While sinus surgery is a big undertaking, it’s very effective for long-time sufferers. Studies show that the surgery has an 85-90% success rate.
For more information about sinus surgery and how it can help alleviate sinus issues so that you can breathe better, call one of Dr. Robert A. Guida’s two New York City location, in Manhattan’s Carnegie Hill neighborhood and on Staten Island. Or book an appointment through this website.