You know the drill when the common cold hits. There may be as many home remedies as there are families. The inflammation and swelling that stuffs you up during a cold is called sinusitis, and those home care remedies are generally all you need, because sinusitis usually has a lifespan of 7-10 days.
However, there are times when a bacterial infection takes hold, and these stuffy conditions continue. Acute sinusitis becomes persistent, leading to more serious complications and infections, and when it extends past 12 weeks, it’s considered chronic.
Symptoms of acute sinusitis
Virtually everyone is familiar with the symptoms of the common cold. The effects on the respiratory system define acute sinusitis. You’ll likely experience:
- Breathing difficulties due to blockage of your nasal airways
- Pressure, swelling, and pain around your face — including cheeks, eyes, forehead, and nose — that usually intensify if you bend over
- Mucus drainage that’s thick with a yellow or green color, from your nose and/or down your throat
Other symptoms may accompany acute sinusitis. These include:
- Aching in your teeth and jaws
- Coughing, which may get worse when you lie down
- Pressure in your ears
- Mild fever
- Reduced ability to smell and taste
Medical attention isn’t usually required for acute sinusitis accompanying a cold. If, however, you develop a persistent and high fever, or if your symptoms don’t seem to improve in a few days, a doctor’s visit may be a good idea.
A chronic sinusitis diagnosis
The symptoms of acute and chronic sinusitis are virtually identical, with the biggest exception being duration. Chronic sinusitis lasts longer and generally wears you down more, but you probably won’t have fever, as is possible with acute sinusitis.
A continuous bout of sinusitis isn’t necessary for a diagnosis of the chronic version of the condition. You could have several shorter episodes in close succession, where symptoms last longer than seven days and don’t respond well to treatment.
If you’ve seen a doctor about your sinusitis, followed their instructions, and symptoms persist, it’s likely you’ve developed chronic sinusitis.
Causes of chronic sinusitis
While acute sinusitis is most often caused by the cold virus or allergies, chronic sinusitis may have some additional problems that aggravate these reasons or cause the condition on their own. Proper drainage of the sinuses is important for the natural healing process for sinusitis, so anything that obstructs your nasal airways could contribute to the condition.
Other causes of chronic sinusitis include:
- Respiratory tract infections other than from the cold virus, such as bacterial and fungal infections
- A deviated septum, which could restrict nasal breathing normally, can aggravate a case of sinusitis
- Nasal polyps may also present a physical barrier to normal sinus drainage
- Complications of other medical conditions, such as immune system disorders, cystic fibrosis, and gastroesophageal reflux
With five locations in Eastern Michigan, Lakeshore Ear, Nose & Throat Center has a team of specialists conveniently located when it’s time to address your chronic sinusitis symptoms. You can contact your nearest office by phone or request an appointment using the convenient online booking tool.
There’s no reason to live with ongoing sinusitis symptoms. Contact us today.