If you have nasal congestion, a thick nasal discharge, and pressure around your sinuses, chances are you have sinusitis. Srinagesh Paluvoi, MD, FAAP, FACAAI, at Allergy & Asthma Affiliates, frequently treats sinusitis because it’s often caused by allergies. When you have a sinus infection that doesn’t seem to clear up or that returns often, it’s time to schedule an appointment for an allergy evaluation. Call one of the offices in Lansdowne or Gainesville, Virginia, or use the online booking feature.
You have eight sinuses tucked into air-filled spaces in your facial bones. Each sinus is lined with membranes that produce mucus. The mucus then leaves the sinus through a small opening and travels into your nose.
Sinusitis begins when the membranes become inflamed. As the swollen tissues block the opening, mucus is trapped in the sinus and an infection develops.
The top causes of sinusitis include:
Seasonal and year-round allergies are notorious for causing nasal congestion that leads to sinusitis. Pollen from grasses, ragweed, and trees cause seasonal allergies, while mold, dust mites, and pet dander are the source of year-round allergies.
Sinusitis is caused by a virus more frequently than bacteria. Viral infections typically heal within 10 days. If your symptoms last longer, you may have a bacterial infection.
When sinusitis lasts 12 weeks or longer, you have chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is not caused by an infection. Rather, it develops due to ongoing inflammation without the presence of an infection. If you have chronic sinusitis, you should be evaluated for allergies.
Recurrent sinusitis exists when you have three or more episodes of acute sinusitis over the course of a year. If the symptoms disappear between each period of sinusitis — and each episode lasts less than two weeks — you have a recurring infection rather than chronic inflammation.
Patients with recurrent sinusitis should have allergy testing to determine if that’s the cause of their infections.
If you have allergic sinusitis, you’ll experience one or more of these symptoms:
Patients with viral or bacterial sinusitis have all the same symptoms except they don’t develop sneezing and itching.
The first step is to determine whether your sinusitis is due to allergies. Dr. Paluvoi assesses your medical history and symptoms, then performs a physical examination and allergy testing.
Your treatment for allergic sinusitis may include a plan to avoid your specific allergens, antihistamines and nasal sprays to relieve symptoms, and immunotherapy, depending on the severity of your symptoms.
If you suffer from sinusitis, comprehensive care is available at Allergy & Asthma Affiliates. Call or book an appointment online.