Sinusitis, otherwise known as a sinus infection, is an inflammation of the sinuses causing blockage of the sinus cavities and overgrowth of bacteria.
It may be a short-term, otherwise known as acute sinusitis, which lasts less typically about 10 days. It can also be long-term or recurring, known chronic sinusitis, which typically lasts longer than 4 weeks or occurs more than three times a year.
Before I explain the connection between allergies, asthma and sinus infections, let me explain what the sinuses are and how they work.
Sinuses are empty pockets that are filled with air in the face. There are four pairs of sinuses, which are responsible for circulating air and lubricating the nose.
Healthy sinuses are not obstructed or clogged. Mucus is able to pass through into the nose and throat without problems.
What Happens When Sinuses Are Blocked?
Blocked sinuses create a build-up of mucus, an environment that favors the overgrowth of bacteria. This build-up could be due to allergies, asthma, colds or nasal polyps (growths on the sinus linings).
Acute sinusitis is typically caused by a bacterial infection after a viral respiratory infection such as the common cold, or as a result of untreated allergies.
Chronic sinusitis may also be caused by bacterial infection, but more often is due to a chronic issue like allergies, structural problems in the sinus cavity, immune deficiencies, or asthma. Chronic sinusitis can last for months or years if it’s not properly treated.
Symptoms of Sinusitis
Symptoms of both acute and chronic sinusitis include:
- Thick, green or yellow nasal discharge
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
- Facial pressure that is worse with leaning forward or lying down
- Post nasal drip
How Asthma and Allergies can Increase Your Chance of Developing Chronic Sinusitis
Both allergies and asthma can cause chronic inflammation of the sinus and mucus linings, which increases your risk of developing nasal polyps.
Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths on the lining of your nasal passages or sinuses. Small nasal polyps may not cause symptoms, but larger growths can block your nasal passages, preventing proper drainage of mucus from the sinus cavity, causing a build-up of bacteria.
Treating Chronic Sinus Infections
If you’re experiencing chronic sinus infections, meaning they last longer than 4 weeks or have recurred three or more times in a year, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about sinus surgery.
Your doctor can determine if you have nasal polyps or some other structural issue like a deviated septum that would cause recurring infections. If you do, sinus surgery can correct any structural issues and significantly improve your quality of life.
Booking an Evaluation
If you have recurring sinus infections and are interested in learning more about our simple sinus procedure, book a consultation at our office in [city].
Our doctors will determine if you have sinusitis during your exam and propose the best treatment option based on the cause.
To book an evaluation, give us a call at [phone] or email us at [email]. You can also contact us with any questions you have.