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Chronic sinusitis
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Chronic sinusitis

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Prevention

You can reduce your risk of chronic sinusitis by carefully treating allergies and colds. Work with your doctor to get allergy symptoms under control. He or she may suggest medications or allergy shots.

Use decongestants and drink plenty of fluids when you have a cold. Keep your nasal passages clear by gently blowing your nose, one nostril at a time.

Avoid air travel during a cold, allergy attack or bout of sinusitis. If you must fly, use decongestants to reduce the pressure that may block sinuses.

If you're prone to sinusitis, avoid cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoke and other air pollutants that can cause your sinus membranes to swell.

Although people cannot prevent all sinus disorders — any more than they can avoid all colds or bacterial infections — they can take certain measures to reduce the number and severity of the attacks and possibly prevent sinusitis from becoming chronic.

Many people with sinusitis find partial relief from their symptoms when humidifiers are installed in their homes, particularly if room air is heated by a dry forced-air system. Air conditioners help to provide an even temperature, and electrostatic filters attached to heating and air conditioning equipment are helpful in removing allergens from the air.

A person susceptible to sinus disorders, particularly one who also is allergic, should avoid cigarette smoke and other air pollutants. Inflammation in the nose caused by allergies predisposes a patient to a strong reaction to all irritants. Drinking alcohol also causes the nasal-sinus membranes to swell.

Sinusitis-prone persons may be uncomfortable in swimming pools treated with chlorine, since it irritates the lining of the nose and sinuses. Divers often experience congestion with resulting infection when water is forced into the sinuses from the nasal passages.

Air travel, too, poses a problem for the individual suffering from acute or chronic sinusitis. A bubble of air trapped within the body expands as air pressure in a plane is reduced. This expansion causes pressure on surrounding tissues and can result in a blockage of the sinuses or the eustachian tubes in the ears. The result may be discomfort in the sinus or middle ear during the plane's ascent or descent. Doctors recommend using decongestant nose drops or inhalers before the flight to avoid this difficulty.

People who suspect that their sinus inflammation may be related to dust, mold, pollen, food — or any of the hundreds of allergens that can trigger a respiratory reaction — should consult a doctor. Various tests can determine the cause of the allergy and also help the doctor recommend steps to reduce or limit allergy symptoms.

Chronic sinusitis is a prolonged or recurrent infection and/or inflammation of the sinuses of the head.

Most cases of sinusitis are acute sinusitis, which lasts less than 4 weeks. If the signs and symptoms of sinusitis last more than 12 weeks, or if you have frequent bouts of sinusitis, you may have chronic sinusitis.

Self-care

These steps may help you lessen the symptoms of chronic sinusitis:

  • Avoid bending over with your head down. This can increase the pain.

  • Apply warm facial packs.

  • Use a humidifier or inhale steam from a kettle or basin of boiling water, being careful not to scald yourself.

  • Dilute the secretions by drinking lots of fluids.

Chronic sinusitis > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 


 



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Last Modified : 03/15/08 02:09 AM