Acute sinusitis may be the result of chronic allergic rhinitis, non-allergic rhinitis, or frequent upper respiratory infections. If there is sufficient inflammation of the sinus membranes to cause obstruction of the natural drainage ports into the nose, then bacterial colonization can follow leading to subsequent acute sinusitis. Symptoms can include facial pain and swelling, green or yellow discharge, persistent stuffiness and headache. Acute sinusitis is treated with antibiotics and other supportive medications including nasal sprays and mucous thinners. Your ENT physician will make the diagnosis of sinusitis by your clinical history and using sophisticated tools like a fiberoptic nasal endoscopy to directly visualize the nasal anatomy.
Chronic sinusitis can result from persistent allergic rhinitis, recurrent unresolved acute sinusitis, or structural blockage. If chronic sinusitis is severe enough, it will require surgery. Surgery can be as limited as a nasal polypectomy; however, usually endoscopic sinus surgery is required.
Nasal polyps can be the result of allergic rhinitis or recurrent infection. They sometimes can be controlled by topical nasal steroids. Frequently, polyps require surgical removal under general anesthesia.