Having a sinus infection with pressure and pain is bad enough, but if or when it becomes chronic, it’s time to take action. There are many treatments for recurring sinus infections, but when is it time for surgery?
You Know It When It Happens
Those stuffy nose, difficulty breathing, swollen and tender eyes sinus infection symptoms are BACK. You know it when it happens. Let’s not forget the pressure headache, swelling of the forehead, double vision and stiff neck. There is no mistaking it; it’s another sinus infection.
If that’s not enough, you may also experience a thick colored discharge, postnasal drip, and reduced sense of smell and taste. OK, you know what it is, but what can you do about it?
Common Treatments for Recurring Sinus Infections
If you keep getting sinus infections over and over again, it is known as chronic rhinosinusitis or CRS.
Initial treatments for recurring sinus infections revolve around:
- Lots of rest to improve your immune system
- OTC and prescription meds like antibiotics, corticosteroids, and decongestants
- Staying hydrated and breathing in steam like from the shower
- Flush out nasal cavities with saline, irrigations kits, and nasal sprays
In addition, you can take some preventative measures:
- Avoid smoke and allergy triggers
- Get regular shots for allergies
- Use a humidifier
- Wash your hands frequently to prevent colds
- Get your flu shot
When To See Dr. Ryan Stern
When none of these preventative measures or home treatments improve your condition, it’s time to see help from a specialist like an otolaryngologist or an ENT doctor.
In addition to some of the prescription meds noted above, you may undergo imaging tests to determine if there is a deep inflammation or obstruction causing your chronic sinus infections.
Surgery is the last recommended treatment if all others provide no relief. Sinus surgery is usually performed as an outpatient, is pain free, and has a short recovery time.
The goal of sinus surgery is to reestablish drainage pathways of the sinuses, remove any polyps and abnormal tissue, make sure mucus doesn’t collect, and of course, prevent future infections.