Sinus Infection Treatment
As a sufferer of chronic sinus pain, you know just how painful infection in the sinuses can get. You also understand that dealing with a chronic condition isn't just dealing with a stuffy nose; in fact, it can start to wear you down and cause fatigue. If you have tried all of the different over-the-counter medications and at-home treatments, it's time to turn to the professionals.
Finding the right sinus and nasal health specialist can seem like a daunting task, but our team at Sinus and Nasal Specialists of Louisiana is well equipped to give every patient the care they deserve. We never treat our patients like just another number; we take the time to explain our diagnosis and suggest treatment options that fit your health goals and lifestyle.
Unsure of how bad your sinus problems are?
Is Sinusitis The Same As A Sinus Infection?
Yes, sinus infection and sinusitis (also known as rhinosinusitis) are essentially the same. We have several sinus cavities in the nose, above the eyes, and in our cheeks. Our sinuses include:
- Paranasal sinuses
- Ethmoid sinuses
- Frontal sinuses
- Maxillary sinuses
- Sphenoid sinuses
When the sinuses become inflamed or swollen, sinus drainage can't occur, and the foreign substances in the mucus can't drain out. This is what leads to a sinus infection or sinusitis. Two types of sinusitis include acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis.
Acute sinusitis can be easily cured and doesn't come back too often, but it becomes a chronic condition when you suffer from sinusitis for more than 12 weeks.
Why Do I Suffer From Sinus Infections All The Time?
If you have been suffering from chronic or recurrent sinusitis, then you know how much of a damper it puts on life. Solving your chronic condition usually means figuring out the underlying cause that creates the inflammation in your sinuses or nasal cavity that allows for the infections to occur. The best way to do this is by visiting an ENT specialist like the ones here at Sinus and Nasal Specialists of Louisiana. Some underlying health conditions or complications we will check for when you come in may include nasal polyps, allergies, immunocompromising conditions (e.g. cystic fibrosis), and more.
In general, sinusitis symptoms can feel like common cold symptoms that stick around for way longer than you want them to. Common symptoms include :
Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms To Look For
- Sinus pressure
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Facial swelling
- Facial pain
- Difficulty breathing through one nostril
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
So what are my options?
The best way to get treatment for your chronic rhinosinusitis or sinusitis that will last is by visiting an ENT specialist that can diagnose and treat your underlying condition, whether it be a common complication or something more challenging to treat. We develop a treatment plan alongside every patient based on their needs. Our long-term treatment plans can include a combination of the following:
- Home Remedies
Home remedies can be an effective treatment for people who only suffer from an acute sinus infection once or twice a year. Home remedies can help reduce the symptoms of sinus infections by clearing out blockages and swelling so that the nasal passage and sinus cavity can heal. You will probably need something other than home treatments if you typically suffer from a more severe and long-lasting condition. However, home remedies can be an effective way to resolve minor symptoms. Some standard at-home treatment options include:
Staying hydrated - Since our bodies are mostly water, they work at their peak when appropriately hydrated. So make sure to drink plenty of fluids when feeling under the weather.
Using mist or steam - Using a humidifier, hot pot water, or taking a hot shower are a few good ways to get steam into the nasal passages. Steam can enter the nasal blockage and work to loosen up mucus and reduce inflammation. Be careful around hot liquids, and always place containers of hot water on steady surfaces when using them for steam inhalation.
Using a Neti pot or sinus rinse - A Neti pot or sinus rinse is a nasal irrigation tool that can wash out the sinus blockages, causing inflammation and infection. However, you should be extremely careful and always follow the manufacturer's instructions so that you don’t make your symptoms worse or cause an injury.
When it comes to rapidly getting the symptoms of sinusitis under control, medications are a highly effective short-term solution. However, if you need a long-term treatment plan, medications can still be used as part of the plan. Medications we use as part of our treatment plans may include over-the-counter medication and prescriptions:
Antibiotics - Antibiotics are a prescription medication that is only effective against bacterial infection or bacterial sinusitis. Antibiotic treatment is not an effective treatment option for a viral or fungal infection. They are also not recommended for long-term use.
Decongestants - Decongestant nasal sprays and oral decongestants are medications that can be effective at reducing inflammation. This reduction in inflammation can help mucus drain so that the infection can begin to clear up. However, using decongestants long-term brings on risk factors, so they are only recommended for short-term use.
Corticosteroids - Corticosteroids are just as effective as decongestants at relieving inflammation to help clear up infections. They come in pill form(oral steroids) and as a nasal spray(intranasal steroid). Unlike decongestants, some corticosteroids are safe for long-term use.
- Traditional Sinus Surgery
Traditional or endoscopic sinus surgery is for someone who wants a long-term solution for their chronic sinus infections. Endoscopic sinus surgery has been used in the past when someone's a chronic infection caused by a nasal obstruction of some kind, including a deviated nasal septum, a closed sinus passage, or nasal polyps.
Sinus surgery has been an excellent long-term solution in the past; however, it involves cutting and removing bones and tissue. It also has a long recovery time and can be painful to recover from.
We now have better ways!
Say Goodbye To Conventional Treatments
At Sinus and Nasal Specialists of Louisiana, we offer modern in-office procedures that can help eliminate your nasal blockages and chronic sinusitis. Our in-office procedures are effective, safe, and won't cause you much downtime. Two of our minimally invasive procedures include
Balloon sinuplasty - balloon sinuplasty is an effective long-term treatment for opening up the sinuses. A small balloon is placed through the sinus openings and gently inflated, opening up the nasal cavity. Once it is removed, you should see immediate results. There is no cutting or removal of bone.
VIVAER - Like balloon sinuplasty, VIVAER doesn't have any long recovery times, and it is a great long-term chronic sinusitis solution. During the VIVAER procedure, we use radiofrequency energy to reshape your nasal passage permanently and gently. You will see a noticeable improvement in your breathing right after the procedure.
We Give Every Patient The Medical Care They Deserve
We don't treat our patients like just another number we take out time in performing a thorough examination to diagnose your sinus condition. Then, we take you through every step of the process and work with you to develop a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle and health goals.