Here comes the sneezing, runny nose, and headaches…..again. You can tell that it’s most likely a sinus infection by that inflamed clogged feeling behind your nose.
Repeated sinus infections (also called chronic sinusitis) can be a considerable problem for people that cope with them, causing miserable days in bed (and plenty of sick days). Sinus infections are really unpleasant, and they can’t always be treated with antibiotics.
Why do People Get Chronic Sinusitis?
There can be numerous causes of a sinus infection, from a clogged nose to a virus, fungus, or bacteria. That makes a sinus infection hard to manage using medication because antibiotics only work on bacterial infections, although sometimes you’ll be prescribed a steroid to help manage symptoms and inflammation.
That leaves your immune system to do the heavy lifting. Most of the time, that’s not an issue. But when sinus infections are presented with favorable conditions, symptoms can linger.
If there is an excess accumulation of fluid in your sinuses, sinus infections can thrive. Some of the reasons why sinus infections may keep popping up include:
Nasal Polyps: These growths in your nasal canals are usually non-hazardous. However, nasal polyps can obstruct drainage from your sinuses. That means, fluid is more likely to build up and could cause recurring sinus infections.
In-home heating: It’s more common to have a sinus infection when it’s cold out. That’s partly because your home heating system has a tendency to dry out your air. The mucus membranes, which are your body’s first line of defense against infection, can be weakened by this dry air.
Deviated nasal septum: If your nasal septum is deviated, you might have a hard time properly draining your sinuses. Chronic, severe sinus infections can be the result of this trapped fluid.
Infections and allergies: Frequently, congestion comes before a full-blown infection. That’s because congestion can establish the ideal conditions for sinusitis to establish itself. So you’re more likely to experience chronic sinus infections if you have persistent respiratory infections or allergies.
Other conditions: There are a number of other conditions which may lead to chronic sinus infections, like issues with the immune system, Cystic fibrosis, and more.
If you’re suffering from persistent sinus infections, give us a call about your treatment and prevention options in addition to determining the root causes.
Avoiding Chronic Sinus Infections
There are some simple things you can do around the house to stop sinus infections from happening at all. Some of the easiest and most common include the following:
- Take a warm steamy shower. This will help replenish or relieve those mucus membranes when you’re coping with that dry air.
- Run a humidifier when possible. The dryness of the air will be eliminated in this way.
- Drink a lot of water. Again hydration is key here: when you’re hydrated, your mucus membranes are not so likely to dry out.
- Wash your hands regularly. It can reduce the spread of germs like cold germs and it’s just good hygiene.
- Regularly wash clothing and surfaces thoroughly.This gets rid of germs, on the one hand. But perhaps, more importantly, vacuuming, washing your sheets, and all that can help keep allergens at bay. You’ll breathe a lot easier if there’s minimal dust or pet dander on your sheets. And that means your sinuses are not so likely to become clogged.
Medical Prevention For Sinus Infections
Of course, these home remedies won’t work for everybody. For some, no matter how moist the air is, they can’t get rid of chronic sinus infections. A medical procedure called balloon sinuplasty is the solution for many.
Balloon sinuplasty is a procedure where a catheter is put into the sinuses through the nose. Once in the sinus area, a special, tiny balloon is inflated, which helps the sinus passages to open more completely. Next, the balloon is deflated and removed. This all takes place under general anesthesia, and because it’s minimally invasive, there’s a lot less recovery and discomfort following this procedure than there would be with other surgical procedures.
What Solution is Right For You?
Practical solutions, including prevention, are obtainable if you are dealing with persistent sinus infections. We can help identify what course of action is best for your situation, so come see us.
Constant sinuses infection don’t need to be your fate this winter. Call us for a consultation.