Sinus infections can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable. Pains across your cheeks, forehead and eyes, a constantly runny or congested nose, headache and jaw ache are all symptoms of sinusitis. For many people, a simple cold can often develop into something much more difficult to tolerate.Â Â But why?
The four pairs of sinuses in your head control the temperature and water content of the air reaching your lungs. When the sinuses become infected and inflamed, the sinus opening that habitually drains mucus through your nose into the back of the throat becomes blocked. Infections become trapped as the drainage pathway of the sinuses is obstructed and tissues swell.
Your sinus doctor will talk you through all of the available surgery options
Acute Sinusitis and Chronic Sinusitis
There are many causes for and symptoms of sinusitis, but the disease generally falls into two categories. Acute or Chronic.
Acute sinusitis is the more common of the two conditions and is generally the result of viral or bacterial infections, the weakening of the immune system and the damage caused to the lining of the nose following a cold or flu. The symptoms above are all consistent with acute sinusitis but you may also suffer lethargy, a temperature, sore throat, pressure in the ears and headaches.
Acute sinusitis is treated with painkillers, decongestants such as nasal sprays and sometimes antibiotics. In most cases, the symptoms will clear up within a few weeks of treatment.
Other causes of sinusitis include reactions to disinfectants and detergents, pollution, untreated allergies, nasal polyps or trauma to the nose.Â Dental infections can also trigger sinusitis.
Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when an infection has lasted as long as 12 weeks and can last for months or years if not treated properly.Â Â You may also experience loss of smell, nasal discharge and halitosis at this stage.Â Your doctor may suggest scans and examinations to determine the cause of your persistent condition.
Is Surgery Right For Me?
If you are experiencing painful and persistent sinusitis and medication so far has failed to resolve your problems, then surgery might be the next step.Â Although a last resort, surgery will result in sinus drainage and improved ventilation. Your doctor may suggest that you see an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist if you continue to suffer despite extensive examinations and prescriptions.
If your symptoms persist beyond the antibiotics, steroids and further examinations that are sometimes prescribed at this stage, itâ€™s likely your doctor will suggest seeing an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist to discuss sinus surgery.
Advances in surgery technology now mean that processes can take place with fewer complications and superior outcomes. Rather than operate by cutting through the skin or inside the mouth, functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS)Â is a keyhole surgery that takes place through the nostrils, allowing the sinuses to continue to function normally
The right fellowship-trained specialist Endoscopic Sinus Doctor will be able to assess which methods of treatment are appropriate to your symptoms based upon the severity of your sinus infection.Â Surgery is a recommended step towards helping your sinuses to function properly.