Dr. Weeks describes chronic sinusitis and explains how it can be prevented.
Chronic sinusitis is basically a chronic medical condition, as the name would suggest. Sinusitis means infection of the sinus or inflammation of the sinus, and in a situation where somebody has been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis, it means they are suffering from a recurrent or a longstanding infection of their sinuses. That’s a very, very serious problem for many reasons.
Sinus infections can lead to serious complications, and more importantly, sinus infections can be a chronic medical disease. As we know, chronic infections in our body can cause fatigue; they can cause pain; they can cause facial pressure, headaches, irritability, all of which have an impact on our day-to-day lives and change the way we behave in our work environment. They can affect our moods and our ability to interact with our professionals, colleagues and our families.
More importantly, when we look at quality-of-life measures with respect to diseases, chronic sinusitis carries a higher quality-of-life index than diseases such as diabetes and congestive heart failure, meaning it has much more impact on a patient’s day-to-day life than those other disease processes that I mentioned.
Prevention with sinusitis is one of the most important factors in effective treatment. When we think about treating sinus we really have to look at the underlying factors that cause patients susceptibility to developing sinusitis–things like underlying allergy, exposures, work and home environment, and factors that can influence the way the sinuses work on a day-to-day basis.
One of the things that’s most helpful in understanding why patients develop sinusitis and that patients can do to prevent developing sinusitis, is to understand if they do suffer from allergy or if they have underlying factors that are making their nose not work as effectively. I really enjoy having patients to use nasal saline or nasal washes to flush out their nose and to keep their noses clean.
I also recommend a professional evaluation if a patient may be suffering from allergies, chronic congestion, itchy, dry, watery eyes. Those are all symptoms that really suggest that a patient may be suffering from allergy as well as a sinus condition, and I think preventing sinusitis is really based on making sure that you understand underlying disease processes.
In addition, it’s important for patients to understand some of the subtle differences between allergies and chronic sinusitis. Greenish or yellow drainage from the nose, facial pain or pressure, headaches, low-grade fevers, lack of energy all can suggest chronic sinusitis, which is a much more serious medical condition.
What I would suggest a patient is any time you have abnormal drainage from your nose or any sort of symptom that is worrisome, you need to contact your physician and let them know that you may need further assessment.
About Dr. Weeks, M.D.:
Dr. Brian Weeks specializes in diseases of the ear, nose, throat, as well as tumors of the head and neck region, including thyroid, parathyroid, and skull base tumors. He has advanced specialty training in endoscopic sinus surgery, and is a national/international leader in balloon sinuplasty surgery. Additionally, Dr. Weeks has expertise in minimally invasive surgeries of the head and neck, as well as head and neck reconstruction. His role in reconstruction of the head and neck includes management of skin cancers, facial defects and blemishes, and cosmetic imperfections. He also provides extensive knowledge in skin care, facial peels, and facial care products.