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Patient Education: Flight and Scuba Precautions

Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is the inflammation of the lining of the nose and sinuses. This inflammation causes the blockage of the natural drainage pathways of the sinuses. Patients with chronic sinusitis may have:

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Facial pressure or Sinus headaches
  • Nasal discharge
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Decreased smell and taste

Chronic sinusitis is similar to nasal allergies and asthma in that they are all chronic illnesses involving inflammation of the body's airways. Chronic sinusitis sometimes involves recurrent or chronic infection of the sinuses. The majority of patients with chronic sinusitis can be successfully treated with a variety of medications. These may include nasal steroid sprays, nasal saline rinses, oral antibiotics, oral steroid pills, nasal steroid rinses, anthistamines, and decongestants.

In a small percentage of patients, medications do not sufficiently alleviate the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. These patients may be candidates for Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique to widen the natural sinus drainage pathways and remove infection and inflammation from within the sinuses. The majority of patients have great improvements in their quality of life after undergoing Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive technique to dilate the natural sinus drainage pathways with a balloon and may be used by itself or in conjunction with Endoscopic Sinus Surgery to treat some patients with chronic sinusitis.

If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms, you may benefit from an evaluation by an Ear, Nose, & Throat surgeon.

Gene C. Liu, M.D., Inc.


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