Chronic Sinusitis: 4 Tips to Find Relief

May 10, 2023
Chronic Sinusitis: 4 Tips to Find Relief
If nasal stuffiness, pain around your eyes and cheeks, and other symptoms of chronic sinusitis infection are making your life miserable, our specialist can help. Read more about long-term sinus inflammation and how to find relief.

Board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Phillip T. Ho at Silicon Valley ENT & Sinus Center in Los Gatos, California, provides expert care for ear, nose, and throat conditions, including chronic sinusitis.

Read what Dr. Ho says about the symptoms and causes of chronic sinusitis and four tips for finding relief.

What is chronic sinusitis?

Chronic sinusitis is a medical condition in which the air-filled cavities (sinuses) located within the bones of the face and skull become inflamed and swollen for an extended period.

The inflammation related to chronic sinusitis can cause:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain or pressure that often worsens when bending forward
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Coughing
  • Reduced sense of smell or taste
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Jaw pain, often mistaken for a dental issue

Although the symptoms are like those you experience with acute sinusitis, chronic sinusitis lasts more than 12 weeks. Fortunately, chronic sinusitis is treatable once we’ve identified the underlying cause.

Four tips for relief from chronic sinusitis

While it can be a challenging condition to manage, Dr. Ho recommends trying these strategies for relief from chronic sinusitis symptoms:

1. Nasal irrigation

Nasal irrigation involves rinsing your sinuses with a saline solution to remove mucus and reduce inflammation. You can use a neti pot, squeeze bottle, or nasal spray to perform this technique.

Steam inhalation can also help loosen mucus and relieve congestion. Try inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water with a towel draped over your head. Or, take a hot shower, leaving the door closed so moisture can build in the bathroom.

2. Use a humidifier

A humidifier adds moisture to the air, helping alleviate dryness and irritation in the sinuses. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s cleaning directions carefully to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

3. Avoid triggers

Identify any triggers that may exacerbate your sinusitis symptoms, such as pollen, dust, mold, or other environmental irritants, and try to avoid them as much as possible.

4. Check in with our specialist

Unlike acute sinusitis, which is temporary and typically triggered by a cold or upper respiratory illness, chronic sinusitis may be caused by:

  • Asthma, allergies, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions that block airways
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Bacterial or fungal Infections
  • Deviated septum and other structural irregularities
  • Polyps (growths) in the sinuses or nasal cavity
  • A weakened immune system

During your evaluation, Dr. Ho identifies the underlying source of your chronic sinusitis before developing a treatment strategy that relieves your symptoms and addresses the cause.

Your treatment plan may include over-the-counter or prescription decongestants, antihistamines, allergy testing and treatment, and pain relievers.

If conservative therapies fail to relieve your symptoms, an in-office balloon sinuplasty or other minimally invasive sinus surgery may be called for, especially if you suffer from nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or other structural abnormalities.

You don’t have to live with chronic sinusitis. Instead, schedule an evaluation with Dr. Ho at Silicon Valley ENT & Sinus Center. Call the office or request an appointment online today.