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2.26.13

Sinusitis

Sinusitis is a common condition in which the spaces in the bones surrounding the eyes and nose are inflamed, causing pain and difficulty breathing.

If your nose is stuffy, you have thick, yellowish mucus, and you feel tired and achy, you may have sinusitis.  Sinusitis affects about 31 million adults annually, says Dr. Richard Bass, professor of otolaryngology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.  He describes some symptoms of the disease.

“Acute sinusitis is usually nasal congestion, drainage of the nose which is usually green or yellow, what we call purulent and pain over the sinus that is infected.  It is usually very tender and hurts – a lot of pressure.” 

Dr. Bass says chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the nose and sinus tracts that lasts for three months or longer.  Those symptoms may include nasal congestion and drainage down the back or front of your nose.  Or there may be some pressure in the face and the teeth may hurt.  He recommends some treatments for chronic sinusitis.

“... medical treatments would include the antihistamines, oral decongestants, occasionally antibiotics – only if it looks like there is an acute infection going on along with the chronic because that can occur.  Also would treat with the nasal steroids.”

Dr. Bass also suggests treating the condition with nasal saline irrigations.  Anyone who has chronic sinusitis should see their primary care physician, who may refer them to an otolaryngologist for further evaluation and possible treatment.

Ruth Slottag