Wondering what the most common chronic health condition in the United States is? If you’re suffering from sinusitis in Las Vegas, then you already know. In Nevada, ear and sinus infections rank as the top physical complaint – and statistics reveal the same is true across the country. In fact, some 37 million Americans have been diagnosed with sinusitis. That’s an awful lot of people dealing with the accompanying pain and misery!
Sinusitis is the medical term for sinus infections. These occur when the tissues lining the sinuses become swollen and inflamed. Symptoms mimic those of the common cold – stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, postnasal drip, loss of smell and taste, fever, and fatigue – but also include facial pain and pressure and bad breath. No wonder so many people seek treatment!
There are many causes of sinus infections. The most common ones include colds, allergies, nasal polyps, facial trauma, immune system disorders, physical defects such as a deviated septum, and tumors. Those whose symptoms clear up in a few weeks are “lucky” to have experienced acute sinusitis; when symptoms persist beyond 12 weeks, the condition is considered chronic. The treatment you receive will depend on the duration of your sinus infections and severity of your symptoms.
Treating Sinus Infections
In order to diagnose sinusitis in Las Vegas residents, your ear, nose, and throat specialist will administer diagnostic tests that might include a CT scan, MRI, nasal endoscopy, or allergy tests. Once the trigger for your infections is identified, a treatment plan will be written up.
For those with acute sinusitis, a less aggressive treatment approach is usually recommended. Your doctor is likely to prescribe over-the-counter drugs and nasal sprays. Bacterial infections require a course of antibiotics.
Chronic sinusitis sufferers will be given stronger prescription medications initially. Nasal corticosteroid sprays, antifungal medications, or allergy shots are frequently recommended. If these methods do not provide relief, surgery is the next step.
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) involves cutting and removal of bone and tissue in and around the sinuses. It is an effective long-term solution, but the recovery time can be lengthy, and post-surgical pain and swelling often occur.
A less invasive, FDA-approved procedure known as Balloon Sinuplasty may be a possibility instead. In this operation, a balloon catheter is inserted into the sinus cavity and inflated, opening up the sinus passages and allowing fluid to drain. It is usually performed on an outpatient basis and results in fewer complications and a shorter recovery period, but the procedure is not right for everybody.
Speak with your Nevada ear and sinus specialist to determine the best treatment options for your sinus infections.