Chronic Rhinosinusitis-What is it? How do allergies contribute to it? How do you treat it?
Chronic Rhino-sinusitis (CRS) describes a persistent swelling of the sinus and nasal pathways that prevents normal drainage, leading to a build-up of mucus, infection, and the painful symptoms associated with sinusitis. Over 30 million adults in the U.S. have been diagnosed with at least one form of CRS and the disease is responsible for approximately 12 million visits to physician offices yearly. The many causes of CRS include anatomic variation, environmental allergies, immune system deficiencies, and medication effects.
Proper treatment of CRS requires an accurate and complete diagnosis. The diagnosis is based on a patient history, complete physical exam including nasal endoscopy, and evaluation for other causes. Physical exam findings are used in correlation with imaging, such as low radiation CT scans of the sinuses to determine problematic areas. Initial treatment is medication therapy, including anti-inflammatories, decongestants, and antibiotics. For those who suffer from frequent episodes, surgery may be an option.
There has been a recent revolution in the treatment of CRS with in-office procedures becoming commonplace. Medical therapy remains the mainstay of treatment in CRS. When medications fail, or are inadequate, endoscopic procedures are frequently recommended. These procedures are performed without external incisions and are typically not painful. The goal is to re-establish natural flow from the sinuses by relieving obstruction. Many patients are candidates for in-office procedures eliminating the need for an operating room facility. One such technique is balloon sinus dilation, a simple office procedure that gently expands the natural sinus openings to fix chronic drainage problems. Success rates for these procedures are very high and patient tolerance is excellent.
If you suffer from nasal obstruction, facial pain and pressure, chronic post-nasal drip, or frequent allergy symptoms, call The Sinus Center of South Carolina to schedule a consultation customized for you. We are your local experts in sinus care.