Chronic Sinusitis Seattle
For most people, sinus issues are infrequent and pass quickly without problem. However, for a certain percentage of the population, chronic and recurrent sinus issues reduce their quality of life. When this happens, a specialist doctor known as an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist, needs to evaluate the condition. Dr. David Santos at Sinusitis In Seattle is an ENT with decades of experience and expertise. He can effectively treat your chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis In Seattle offers the most comprehensive and best treatment for chronic sinusitis Seattle provides.
WHAT IS CHRONIC SINUSITIS?
Chronic sinusitis is a condition where the sinuses become inflamed for three months or more. This condition usually is caused by consistent mucus buildup and congestion that cause swelling. By the time chronic sinusitis occurs, a bacterial or viral sinus infection is usually ruled out. While an acute sinus infection can cause the initial sinus problems, typically an underlying cause influences the development of chronic sinusitis.
The most common factors that increase the risk of chronic sinusitis and which may contribute to the condition are:
- Seasonal and year-round allergies
- Recurrent sinusitis or upper respiratory infections
- Weakened immune system
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps
- Cystic fibrosis
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Similar to chronic sinusitis, recurrent sinus infections can lead to a similar effect on a patient’s quality of life. Recurrent sinusitis is classified as when a patient experiences three or more acute sinus infections a year. Usually, there are at least eight weeks between episodes. While this does have the consistent symptoms of chronic sinusitis, it may require similar treatment. Additionally, recurrent sinusitis can also turn into chronic sinus problems in the future.
The symptoms of chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis are generally the same. One major difference is that people with chronic sinusitis rarely experience a fever. Their symptoms may occasionally be milder because they experience them daily. However, chronic sinusitis suffers often still experience major and uncomfortable symptoms. The symptoms may cause them to call out of work, stay in bed more, or even worsen mental health.
Among some of the symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:
- Nasal congestion
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pressure and pain (often around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead)
- Bad breath
- Changes or decreases in taste and smell
- Runny nose (discharge often discolored)
- Headaches and/or migraines
- Ear pressure
- Cough (usually worse at night or in the morning)
- Facial swelling and tenderness
- Sore throat
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis can come and go. However, generally, they will not get better in the long term with home remedies. Depending on the cause of chronic sinusitis, certain medications may not improve symptoms either. When your sinus symptoms do not improve and prolong for several weeks, it is time to seek out Dr. Santos.
Sinusitis–in all forms–is rarely life-threatening or a cause for major concern. While the symptoms can interfere with daily life, sinusitis patients usually do not require hospitalization. However, when left untreated or in certain cases, sinusitis can cause complications.
Certain types of fungal sinusitis are life threatening. This type of sinusitis is known as invasive fungal sinusitis. It usually occurs in an acute form with severe symptoms. Invasive fungal sinusitis is extremely uncommon in the United States.
Other complications possible from sinusitis usually stem from inadequate or no treatment. However, even considering this, worrisome complications from sinusitis seldom occur. The possible complications include the development of harmful infections like meningitis or vision problems.
PREVENTING CHRONIC SINUSITIS
It is not always possible to completely avoid a sinus infection or chronic sinusitis. Although, if you know are at a higher risk of chronic sinusitis due to having medical conditions or allergies, there are many steps you can take to reduce the chances that you will develop chronic sinus problems:
- Maintain good hygiene
- Treat your allergies
- Use a humidifier
- Stop smoking (if you do) and stay away from cigarette smoke
- Avoid air pollution when possible
- Get medical treatment when necessary for upper respiratory infections
CHRONIC SINUSITIS TREATMENTS
When you first come to Dr. Santos, he will review your symptoms and medical history. He will discuss your options including non-surgical and surgical treatments for chronic sinusitis. If you have tried all previous management techniques, he may recommend sinus surgery.
During your consultation, Dr. Santos may order additional imaging or testing to try and pinpoint the cause of your chronic sinusitis. With many cases of chronic sinus problems, the exact cause is not always clear. Dr. Santos will do his best to identify a probable cause so that he can adequately treat it.
When dealing with prolonged sinusitis symptoms, there are many options for managing and treating symptoms. Occasionally, this may allow patients enough relief to live their lives, or may even completely resolve their symptoms. If this is the case, patients can often continue daily or as needed treatments.
Examples of chronic sinusitis management include a combination of home remedies and medical treatments. Some ways you may be able to manage your sinusitis symptoms include:
- Nasal sprays
- Steroid treatments
- Nasal irrigation
- Allergy medications
For patients who do not see their symptoms get better or go away with non-surgical therapies, they may be a good candidate for sinus surgery. Depending on the cause of chronic sinusitis, Dr. Santos may also recommend other procedures such as septoplasty.
Dr. Santos is a premier and qualified sinus surgeon who has performed hundreds of sinus procedures. As a board certified otolaryngologist, Dr. Santos specializes in head and neck surgery and understands the nuances of sinus surgery.
TYPES OF SINUS SURGERY
There are three major types of sinus surgery: endoscopic, balloon, and stealth sinus surgery. Each procedure can relieve chronic sinusitis and may permanently widen the sinuses to prevent chronic sinusitis from forming again. Most sinus surgeries perform similar actions which include draining the sinuses, removing any allergens or pollutants that may have contributed to the inflammation, and sometimes widening the sinus cavities.
The best sinus surgery technique for you is best determined during a consultation with Dr. Santos. He will evaluate your symptoms, needs, and physically examine your anatomy to determine the best Seattle sinus surgery for you.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Over 300,000 people undergo endoscopic sinus surgery every year in the US, making it one of the most popular sinus surgeries. This procedure involves the use of a thin fiberoptic tube containing a camera and flashlight. Dr. Santos will insert this into the nostrils and gently glide it into the sinuses. The surgery may include small incisions in the nose, but requires no external incisions.
Once he reaches the sinuses, Dr. Santos will remove unneeded tissue, pollutants, and mucus from the sinuses. This will help relieve the inflammation. The tools and endoscope are then removed.
Balloon Sinus Surgery
Like endoscopic sinus surgery, balloon sinus surgery uses similar methods to access the sinuses without external incisions. The differences occur once Dr. Santos reaches the sinuses. During this procedure, Dr. Santos will insert a balloon catheter into the sinuses. This widens the cavities enough for Dr. Santos to drain them and remove anything that may contribute to the inflammation.
The balloon sinuplasty technique is one of the most advanced techniques in sinus surgery. The amount of balloon sinus surgery procedures has increased steadily every year. It is slowly becoming the gold standard of sinus surgery.
Stealth Sinus Surgery
Stealth sinus surgery involves using imaging technology to outline the unique layout of your sinuses. This allows Dr. Santos to enter into the surgery with a strategic plan. Otherwise, stealth sinus surgery works just like endoscopic sinus surgery, only utilizing different imaging technology.
Dr. Santos will clear away unnecessary tissues, allergens, and pollutants. He will also drain the sinuses to provide relief from sinus pressure and other symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Stealth sinus surgery also does use external incisions and requires only a minimal recovery.
BENEFITS OF SINUS SURGERY AND TREATMENT
Sinus surgery in Seattle comes with many benefits for patients suffering from chronic sinus problems. It is often the best and longest term solution for patients suffering from chronic sinusitis. Among the advantages and benefits of sinus surgery include:
- Reduced or complete relief from sinusitis symptoms
- Easier breathing
- Wider sinuses and airways
- Removal of nasal polyps
- Often covered by insurance
- May save money in the long run
- Improvement in sleep quality
- May provide relief from conditions like snoring that may be an effect of chronic sinusitis
THE BEST SINUS SURGERY FOR CHRONIC SINUSITIS IN SEATTLE
Sinus surgery requires a surgeon specializing in otolaryngology. Dr. Santos is a board certified otolaryngologist and has extensive experience and expertise in treating chronic sinusitis with sinus surgery. Along with sinus procedures, Dr. Santos also performed facial plastic surgery giving him a comprehensive understanding of facial anatomy. This allows him to provide the best treatment for chronic sinusitis Seattle offers.
At Sinusitis In Seattle, Dr. Santos treats many sinus related conditions including nasal polyps, chronic sinusitis, and a deviated septum. As one of Seattle’s best surgeons, Dr. Santos is also top rated for sinus surgery.
To learn more about chronic sinusitis and schedule a consultation, call us at (206) 242-3696 or contact us online.