How To Diagnose And Treat Chronic Sinusitis

How To Diagnose And Treat Chronic SinusitisIn most cases, acute sinusitis doesn’t involve any treatment except for relief of symptoms, but chronic sinusitis may require antibiotics or other forms of treatment.

Your sinuses are tiny cavities filled with air located in your skull. They are responsible for producing mucus, which keeps your nasal passages clear of pollutants and allergens. Sinusitis causes the tissues in your sinuses to become inflamed. Inflammation can block sinuses so that air and mucus become trapped inside. As a result, you’ll feel intense pressure and pain, and in serious cases it can cause a bacterial infection.

Acute Vs. Chronic Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis lasts no more than 4-weeks. Chronic sinusitis can last several weeks and linger on and off for years. It’s often difficult to identify the cause of chronic sinusitis, which is why it can be especially tricky to treat. Some common contributors include a nasal polyp or other issues related to the nasal passages.

Common Symptoms Of Sinusitis:

Pain and pressure in the face

Mucus that is thick or discolored


How To Find Out What Is Causing Your Sinusitis

Sinusitis often starts with a mild cold or allergy attack. If you have a weakened immune system, fungus may also spark sinusitis.  A doctor needs to identify the cause of your sinusitis in order to prescribe the best treatment. For instance, if allergies are causing your sinusitis, taking decongestants won’t help.

If symptoms persist for more than a few days it’s time to visit the doctor. A doctor can provide a thorough exam with imaging tests, such as X-Rays, CT scans or MRIs, which provide a fuller picture of what’s going on and why.

How To Treat Sinusitis

As mentioned above, treatment for sinusitis varies based upon the cause. Here are some common forms of treatment for sinusitis.


If a bacterial infection is causing your sinusitis, a doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. If you have acute sinusitis you may take antibiotics between 10-14 days. If a virus or other issue is to blame, an antibiotic will not be beneficial.

Over the counter pain medications

Over the counter pain medicines, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, is often used to ease the symptoms of sinusitis. You should not take these medications for more than 10 days in a row.

Allergy medications or shots

Allergy medications are often used to control sinusitis, when the cause is related to uncontrolled allergies. A basic allergy test can be performed to see if you have allergies and to what. This knowledge helps you avoid your triggers. You can also get on a medication, such as an antihistamine, that’ll help control allergy symptoms. Allergy shots are another option that will reduce your sensitivities to allergens over time.

Inhaled steroids

Inhaled steroids are sometimes prescribed to reduce swelling in the sinus membranes.


Decongestants are used to help reduce the amount of mucus build up in your sinuses. There are nasal sprays and pills on the market, both serving the same function. Carefully follow the instructions on the label; some nasal sprays should not be used for more than 3 consecutive days.


Surgery is a last resort for extreme cases of chronic sinusitis or reoccurring acute sinusitis. Surgery entails removing blockages and enlarging the sinus passages so that it is easier for them to properly drain.

At Home Treatment Options

There are a few things you can do at home to help ease symptoms of sinusitis. Acute sinusitis should go away within 2 to 3 weeks. If your symptoms linger longer, you may have chronic sinusitis and require medical treatment. 

Use humidifiers wherever you spend a lot of your time, either in your bedroom, office, living room, etc. Make sure to carefully follow the humidifier’s cleaning instructions for best results.

Place a wet warm towel over your face. Heat a moist towel up in the microwave so that it is nice and warm. Place it over your face to help relieve some pressure and discomfort.

Breathe in some steam. Take a hot shower, or breathe in steam from a steaming bowl of hot water. Steam vapors offer natural relief from congestion and swollen nasal passages.

Use a Neti Pot or other nasal saline solution. Nasal saline solutions are made of salt water and can be effective at putting moisture back in dry nasal passages. A Neti pot helps clear out mucus. 

Get plenty of rest. Your body needs as much sleep as possible to fight off a sinus infection.

Stay hydrated to thin out mucus and reduce blockages. Keep in mind, drinking alcohol will increase swelling and promote dehydration.

Visit Urgent Medical Center For Sinusitis

Visit Urgent Medical Center anytime at your convenience. We will identify the root cause of your sinusitis, no matter if that means taking X-Rays or performing an allergy test.

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