Sinuses are the hollow cavities in the bones around the nose that connect to it through narrow channels. Sinusitis, more commonly referred to as a sinus infection. A common cold, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps or a deviated septum can create an environment where the sinuses become blocked and fill with fluid, bacteria, viruses or fungi that grow and cause an infection.
Sinus infections can affect all age groups. Symptoms include facial pain or pressure, nasal stuffiness, nasal discharge, loss of smell, cough, congestion, fever, bad breath, fatigue and dental pain. There are two types of sinus infections. Acute sinus infection symptoms last up to four weeks and are usually caused by a virus or bacteria. Chronic sinus infection symptoms last 12 weeks or longer and are usually caused by prolonged inflammation.
Treatment for a sinus infection will depend on the cause. The goal with any sinus treatment is to improve drainage of mucus and reduce swelling in the sinuses, relieve pain and pressure, clear up any infection, prevent the formation of scar tissue and avoid permanent damage to the tissues lining the nose and sinuses. If medication and home treatments are unsuccessful, procedures such as sinus surgery or Balloon Sinuplasty can help drain the sinuses for better outcomes when paired with medication.
An untreated sinus infection typically leads to unnecessary pain and discomfort. Very rarely, an untreated sinus infection can lead to meningitis or brain abscess and bone infection. To determine the appropriate treatment plan for your nasal condition, your otolaryngologist will need to evaluate and diagnose your symptoms. Contact our office at 337-266-9820 to schedule an appointment.