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Your Family’s Ear, Nose, Throat, and Hearing Rehabilitation Specialists

Chronic Sinusitis

If you or your child has persistent inflammation or swelling of the tissues that line your nose and sinuses, you have a condition called chronic rhino sinusitis. Under normal circumstances, your sinuses are full of air. Because of the limited space by which air gets into the sinus, it is common for the passages to become blocked/obstructed by inflammation. This obstruction leads to inflammation of the lining of the sinuses and bacterial and fungal creates a chronic smoldering infection. Chronic Rhino sinusitis is extremely common and costs the economy billions in lost works days and dramatic effects on quality of life and health.

Causes and Concerns

Sinus blockages can be caused by a common cold or from swelling of the nasal linings due to allergic rhinitis, fungal elements in the air and irritants in the air in general. Other causes include small growths within the nasal passages (nasal polyps) or a septal deviation in the nasal cavity. Approximately 37 million U.S. citizens suffer from one or more attacks of sinusitis every year. There are various types of sinusitis including:

  • Chronic Sinusitis – Symptoms persist for eight weeks or perhaps longer.
  • Acute Sinusitis – Cold-like symptoms develop suddenly.
  • Sub-acute Sinusitis – Sinus inflammation lasts from four to eight weeks.
  • Recurrent Sinusitis – Several attacks of sinusitis occur during the course of a single year.

Symptoms and Signs

With the chronic form of sinusitis, you have persistence in the symptoms and signs of the condition. The common symptoms and signs include:

  • Swelling of the mucous membranes of the nose
  • Drainage that may be yellow or green
  • Stuffy nose and nasal congestion
  • Facial pain that is worse with bending
  • Headaches
  • Visual disturbances
  • Loss of smell
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth pain or toothache

Home remedies for chronic sinusitis include:

  • A vaporizer or humidifier (inhalation of steam or cool mist)
  • Warm compresses (apply to your nose/sinuses to relieve pain)
  • Nasal saline drops (relieve congestion)
  • Increase fluid intake (drinking water thins nasal secretions)
  • Non-prescription nasal decongestant sprays (use with caution)

Chronic Sinus Infections

Chronic sinusitis with or without recurrent infections is a very common problem which frequently becomes irreversible. Common sinus complaints include:

  • Recurrent infections (although many chronic sinusitis sufferers do not experience acute infections)
  • Nasal obstruction/congestion
  • Sinus pressure/headache
  • Postnasal drainage and cough

Maximal medical therapy is always tried and surgery is recommended only if the patient fails this therapy. Dr. Tamez's success rates are in the high 90's. Surgery corrects anatomical abnormalities [deviated septum, enlarged nasal filters (turbinate hypertrophy and concha bullosa) and opens obstructed sinus cavities via the latest in minimally invasive sinus/nasal techniques]. Patients can rest assured they would receive world class care in the hands of Dr. Tamez. He has ensured that every facility in which he operates has the best in image-guided technology along with the finest tools and packing materials. This means less blood loss, more thorough and safe surgery, less discomfort and better healing.

Possible Testing

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan of the sinuses
  • Allergy Testing

Possible Treatments

  • Septoplasty
  • Functional Rhinoplasty
  • Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)
  • Balloon Sinuplasty
  • Allergy Evaluation

Tools/Technology

  • Coblation
  • Microdebrider
  • Stryker Image guidance
  • Merogel
  • Doyle splints
  • Balloon Sinuplasty

Solutions and Options

You should see Dr. Oscar A.Tamez of Tejas Ear Nose and Throat if you have symptoms of chronic sinusitis. In order to determine if you have the condition, he will ask you to describe your symptoms, and he will perform a detailed physical examination. Test for diagnosing your sinusitis could include , X-rays, mucosal cultures, allergy testing, CT scans of the sinuses and endoscopy.

The treatment of chronic sinusitis depends on the underlying cause. Determining and then addressing any contributing factors and potential triggers is a critical strategy in your chronic sinusitis management. To decrease your nasal congestion, Dr. Tamez may suggest prescription nasal sprays or oral decongestant medications. If you suffer from episodes of severe chronic sinusitis, oral steroids may be necessary to reduce your nasal inflammation. Other treatment options include antibiotic therapy, antihistamines, and surgery.

Medical therapy is always tried and surgery is recommended only if the patient fails this therapy. Dr. Tamez's success rates are in the high 90's. Surgery corrects anatomical abnormalities [deviated septum, enlarged nasal filters (turbinate hypertrophy and concha bullosa) and opens obstructed sinus cavities via the latest in minimally invasive sinus/nasal techniques]. Patients can rest assured they would receive world class care in the hands of Dr. Tamez. He has ensured that every facility in which he operates has the best in image-guided technology along with the finest tools and packing materials. This means less blood loss, more thorough and safe surgery, less discomfort and better healing.