Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center
Nadia Caballero, M.D.
Sinus Specialist located in Park Ridge, IL
Do you have a stuffy nose, nasal and postnasal discharge, decreased sense of smell and facial pain or pressure that just won’t go away? These are symptoms of chronic sinusitis, a treatable condition that affects over 30% of the adult population in the United States. The team at Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center in Park Ridge, Illinois, specializes in the treatment of chronic sinusitis and other nasal and sinus conditions. Board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Nadia Caballero treats you like family — and sets you on the path to recovery. If you are ready to Breathe Better and Enjoy Life Again, call or book a consultation online today.
Chronic Sinusitis Q & A
What is chronic sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis is an inflammatory disease that occurs when your sinuses become swollen and inflamed. Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when your symptoms persist for at least 12 weeks, despite attempts to treat it. Chronic sinusitis is also called chronic rhinosinusitis, to highlight the fact that it also affects the nose in addition to the sinuses.
What are the symptoms of chronic sinusitis?
If you have chronic sinusitis, you may experience some or all of the symptoms of the condition. Symptoms of CRS can be vague and vary in severity.
The 4 major symptoms are:
- Nasal congestion
- Thick or purulent drainage
- Facial pain or pressure
- Decreased sense of smell
In addition, there are several minor symptoms:
- Ear pain or pressure
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Dental pain
To be diagnosed with chronic sinusitis, you must have at least two of the four primary symptoms.
If you want to know if you have chronic sinusitis, click here to take the SNOT-22 test. If your score is > 7, you may have CRS. If your score is > 30, you may benefit from sinus surgery.
What causes chronic sinusitis?
There is no single cause for chronic sinusitis. Several factors can contribute to the development of this condition. These can include inhalant allergies to environmental agents like pollen, mold and dust mites, allergies to fungus, immunodeficiency, anatomical blockage of the sinuses and nose like a deviated septum, and bacterial infection.
There are some patients who have inherited conditions such as Ciliary Dyskinesia and Cystic Fibrosis, which predispose them to developing CRS. Acid reflux (GERD) can also contribute to inflammation in the sinuses and play a role in CRS.
How is chronic sinusitis treated?
Not all patients with CRS are treated the same way. It is important to develop a customized treatment plan for each patient depending on your individual situation.
The plan may include oral steroids, antibiotics, and salt water irrigations. Intranasal steroid sprays, oral or topical antihistamines, and leukotriene modifiers may also be recommended. Sometimes irrigations containing a steroid and an antibiotic are also used to treat this condition. When medications don’t offer complete relief, surgery may be recommended.
Surgery for CRS is called FESS (Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery). FESS is a minimally invasive procedure performed using instruments that are very small and specially designed to reach into the sinuses without the need to make an incision on the face. Although FESS is performed under general anesthesia, most patients go home the same day. Although FESS does not cure CRS, it does improves the patient’s quality of life significantly in over 90% of cases.
Some patients may be candidates for in-office procedures to help treat their CRS. For example, patients who have had FESS but have experienced a recurrence of the polyps may benefit from a polypectomy in the office. This is a procedure that removes swollen tissue and polyps using local anesthesia.
Patients with polyps may also benefit from having an implant called PROPEL® sinus implant. This is a biodegradable implant placed directly into the sinuses which slowly releases a steroid into the tissues and decreases swelling and reformation of polyps. Another group of patients may benefit from a Balloon Sinuplasty. This procedure is used to widen the natural opening of the sinuses by dilating (or stretching) it without removing any tissue. Patients with polyposis are not good candidates for balloon sinuplasty because the balloon cannot remove the polyps. These techniques may be performed alone or in combination depending on each patient’s specific condition.
If you’re ready to take control over your chronic sinusitis and Breathe Better and Enjoy Life Again, call or book a consultation online today with Advanced Sinus and Allergy Center.