You know the symptoms of sinusitis — nasal congestion and discharge with pain around your sinuses — but what you won’t know when the infection first appears is how long it might last. Whether you suffer from acute or chronic sinusitis, Richard Herrscher, MD, at AIR Care is the expert you need to relieve your symptoms and stop chronic sinus problems. To schedule an appointment, call one of the offices in Dallas or Plano, Texas, or use the online booking feature.
Your sinuses are lined with membranes that produce mucus. Then the mucus drains through a small opening into your nose, where it fills important jobs, like keeping your nose moist and filtering dust out of the air you breathe.
When the opening is blocked, mucus accumulates inside the sinus and becomes infected. That’s when you have sinusitis.
Sinusitis is frequently caused by allergies, a viral infection, or enlarged structures in the nasal passageway that block the opening. While possible, it’s not common for a bacterial infection to be the culprit.
An acute case of sinusitis usually heals within four weeks. When inflammation in the sinus persists after the infection heals, and your sinusitis lasts 12 weeks or longer, you have an ongoing condition called chronic sinusitis.
Nasal congestion, discolored discharge from your nose, and pain or pressure around your sinuses are the classic symptoms of sinusitis.
You may also experience:
If your sinusitis is caused by a viral infection, you may also have a fever.
Your treatment depends on whether you have acute or chronic sinusitis and the underlying cause of your sinus infection. Acute viral infections run their course, so Dr. Herrscher may recommend medications to relieve your symptoms.
When allergies are responsible for your sinusitis, you may need allergy testing followed by immunotherapy. As your immune system stops reacting to the allergens, your sinusitis improves.
Treatment for chronic sinusitis begins with therapies like nasal irrigation and corticosteroids to reduce ongoing inflammation. If your chronic sinusitis doesn’t improve, Dr. Herrscher may recommend an in-office procedure called balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is done in the office using a flexible endoscope that’s equipped with lighting, a high-definition camera, and a medical-grade balloon. Dr. Herrscher inserts the endoscope through one of your nostrils, guiding it to the blocked sinus. After placing the endoscope at the blocked opening, the balloon is inflated.
Gentle pressure from the balloon clears the opening, allowing Dr. Herrscher to clean the sinus, then deflate and remove the balloon. The inflated balloon restructures the sinus opening, a change that restores normal drainage and produces long-lasting results after the balloon is gone.
To get relief from acute or chronic sinusitis, call AIR Care or schedule an appointment online.