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Leah McCabe

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About Author — Leah likes writing about health and science subjects. Through her writing she hopes to help people of all backgrounds have equal access to information and quality healthcare.

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog.

What is Chronic Sinusitis?

Your sinuses are walnut-sized pockets of air that help ventilate and produce mucus around your nose, eyes, forehead and cheeks. Chronic sinusitis occurs when your sinuses get infected and remain inflamed, irritated and swollen for at least 12 weeks, even after undergoing treatment.

Causes of Chronic Sinusitis

Your sinuses work to lubricate and protect your airways, such as your nasal cavity and throat. The mucus produced by the sinuses acts as a protective layer for these areas, catching and keeping out harmful particles that may enter the mouth and nose. Some things your sinuses help protect against include:

  • Allergens
  • Pollutants
  • Dust
  • Dirt
  • Microorganisms

Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis

You have four major groups of sinuses:

  • The maxillary sinus, one located in each cheek
  • The ethmoid sinuses, six to twelve located on each side of the nose and
    between the eyes
  • The frontal sinus, one located on each side of the forehead
  • The sphenoid sinuses, located behind the ethmoid sinuses

Depending on which sinuses are infected and how long they are infected, you will feel pain and pressure of varying degrees in different parts of your face, ears, jaw and teeth.

It is normal to get a sinus infection every now and then, especially if you’ve just had an upper respiratory infection, a cold or suffer from seasonal allergies. However, if your sinusitis does not get better after 12 weeks despite undergoing treatment, you are suffering from chronic sinusitis.

Chronic sinusitis typically affects young and middle aged adults, though in rare cases it can effect children as well.

Unlike acute sinusitis, which goes away with treatment in a matter of days, chronic sinusitis lingers and can even worsen as time passes.

In some cases treatment may initially make improvements just to be setback after a few days.

If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms and have been
unresponsive to treatment for at least 12 weeks, see a doctor and ask about chronic sinusitis treatments.

  • Pain on either side of your nose, around your eyes, between your eyes, in
    your forehead, in your upper jaws and teeth
  • Sinus headache, pressure and tenderness in the forehead, nose and around
    the eyes, sometimes described by the feeling of having something sitting on
    your face.
  • Earaches
  • Dental pain
  • Nasal discharge, cloudy, green, or yellow in color
  • Post nasal drip (mucus dripping from the back of the nose down the throat)
  • Sore throat
  • Cough (may get worse at night)
  • Hoarse voice
  • Nasal congestion (having a stuffy nose)
  • Lack of smell and taste

Chronic Sinusitis Risk Factors

The following conditions can make you more prone to chronic sinusitis:

  • If you suffer from allergies
  • If you suffer from frequent colds and/or upper respiratory infections
  • If you have a deviated nasal septum
  • If you have narrow sinuses and sinus canals
  • If you suffer from sinus sensitivity

Chronic sinusitis is uncomfortable at best, and painfully debilitating at worst.

If you are suffering from prolonged sinusitis symptoms and are not responding to treatment, talk to your doctor or a PlushCare doctor about a different treatment method for you. Some options may include:

Before moving forward with a treatment plan it is crucial that your doctor diagnose the underlying cause of your chronic sinusitis.

Think you may be experiencing chronic sinusitis? Book an appointment with a PlushCare doctor and get a prescription today.

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