Chronic sinusitis is one of several examples of inflammation of the sinuses. With this condition, the inflammation is not recurring; instead it is constant and tends to not respond well to some of the medications and treatments that work with other forms of the condition. There are a number of factors that can contribute to the development of this type of sinusitis, making it difficult to identify one single treatment that works in all situations.
The causes for chronic sinusitis are not fully understood and often involve more than one factor that leads to the development of the disease. The sinus inflammation may be a result of the presence of bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus or staphylococcuanaerobes combined with smaller nasal passages and airborne irritants such as pollen, dust mites, or some agent that is fungal in nature.
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Some of the symptoms of chronic sinusitis include a constant feeling of congestion in the nasal passages, often accompanied by a general sense of pain or discomfort in the area of the face surrounding the nasal cavity. Often, a headache is also present, along with a low-grade fever. It is not unusual for the individual suffering with this condition to also feel listless and run-down in general. As the condition progresses, a yellow or green discharge from frequent sneezing or coughing is likely to appear. There may be some instances of blurry vision or lightheadedness as well.
As the condition worsens, chronic sinusitis may begin to negatively impact related systems, resulting in complications such as an acute respiratory condition and the development or increase in the size of polyps. As these other conditions place an additional strain on the body’s natural defenses, the sinus problems continue to become stronger, sometimes to the point that hospitalization becomes necessary.
Confirming the presence of chronic sinusitis usually involves the use of a CT scan along with a nasal endoscopy. Once the diagnosis has been confirmed, it is possible to begin administering treatment, based on the particular set of factors involved. In some cases, a combination of antibiotics and nasal irrigation will be sufficient to relieve the symptoms and initiate the process of healing. Advanced situations may call for nasal surgery to remove polyps, clear out the nasal passages, or make some change in the structure of the nasal cavities. In most cases, surgery is considered the final option and is utilized only when all other current treatment options have failed to successfully deal with the infection.