Sinus doctors treat a wide range of nasal problems each year. The most common one is sinusitis, which can make you
uncomfortable, cause irritation, and become painful. Sinusitis, which may be acute or chronic, is an inflammation of the tissue that lines the small cavities in the skull that are normally filled with air.
When the swelling becomes severe and blocks these cavities, trapping mucus and air inside, sinusitis can become a condition that is defined by extreme pressure and pain. It may eventually develop into a bacterial infection.
Sinusitis is a common condition, affecting 37 million people in the United States and costing $5.7 billion every year. Whether you have acute sinusitis, which can last up to four weeks, or chronic sinusitis, which can last more than twelve weeks, you need treatment.
Steps Towards Sinus Treatment
When sinus doctors in West Palm Beach examine a patient presenting classic sinusitis symptoms, which include facial pressure and pain; thick, discolored mucus; and congestion, they first want to discover the cause of the problem. Doing so allows them to prescribe the most effective treatment method and/or medication.
Sinusitis is often triggered by a cold or an allergic reaction. If you experience symptoms related to this condition and they last for more than a few days, it is a good idea to make an appointment to see an ENT.
Depending on your symptoms, their intensity, and the manner in which they are presented, your doctor may decide to recommend an imaging test, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. Such tests will help your sinus doctor prescribe the proper treatment.
Treatments that Work
Although approximately two out of three sinusitis problems are resolved on their own, many people still need treatment. A sinus doctor will often recommend utilizing some form of medication, as well as self-care.
Common remedies include antibiotics, painkillers, decongestants, allergy medicines, and steroids. Also, for some people with more serious cases, surgery may be necessary.
If you are suffering from a bacterial infection, your sinus doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. A course of antibiotics lasting ten to fourteen days can be prescribed for acute sinusitis, while a longer regimen may be utilized for a chronic problem. Antibiotics are not effective if you have a viral infection.
Painkillers and Decongestants
Over-the-counter painkillers are useful in reducing inflammation. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are commonly used. It is important to remember, however, that you should not take such painkillers for more than ten days.
Decongestants are also useful in that they can aid in the reducing the amount of mucus in your sinuses. Nasal sprays, such as Afrin and Dristan, and decongestants in the form of pills, such as Contac and Sudafed, are effective.
Sprays should not be used for more than three days, as this can sometimes worsen congestion. Do not use oral decongestants for longer than a week.
Allergy Medicines and Steroids
Many sinus problems are the result of allergies. If you are an allergy sufferer, medications such as antihistamines, can provide relief. Also, better control of environmental factors, such as reducing dust and controlling the development of mold, can be useful in reducing allergic reactions. For some people, allergy shots are in order, especially in severe, ongoing cases. For those who have been diagnosed with allergies, testing may be in order, as this can help better diagnose your specific allergy.
Oral steroids may be used when inflammation is severe, and in cases of chronic sinusitis steroid inhalants may be prescribed.
If you have been suffering from sinusitis and live in this region of Florida, take time to make an appointment with one of the experienced ENT Specialist in West Palm Beach. Dr. Light and his team of medical professionals are ready to serve you and help you finally find relief from allergy symptoms.