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How Do I Know If I Have Chronic Sinusitis?

If your sinusitis lasts very long or occurs very frequently, it may be chronic sinusitis. For someone that experiences chronic sinusitis, it’s often easy just to treat the symptoms as they come and not seek out further treatment to stop the actual cause. But chronic sinusitis can lead to further complications down the line if left untreated. In this blog, we’ll be going over the complications of untreated chronic sinusitis.

When is it chronic sinusitis?

Chronic sinusitis is defined as an episode of sinusitis that lasts longer than 12 weeks. Rather than being a temporary infection following an upper respiratory infection, chronic sinusitis lasts very long due to factors such as allergies, nasal structural deformities, nasal polyps, or other issues. 

Complications from untreated chronic sinusitis 

When a condition is chronic, it’s common for people to brush it off as their “new normal,” and many fail to seek treatment until it becomes very bothersome or develops further complications. Untreated chronic sinusitis can definitely develop into worse conditions. Here are some complications of untreated sinusitis:

Further infection: As with any infection in the body, leaving sinusitis untreated can lead to the infection spreading to other areas. These secondary infections often occur in the areas near the original infection. With sinusitis, these secondary infections can include infections of the eyes, skin, ear, or (in rare cases) bones or the brain. 

Nasal passage damage: Untreated chronic sinusitis leads to damage of the nasal passage. This damage leaves the sinuses vulnerable to recurring infections since the nasal passageways are responsible for helping to form a barrier against disease.

Loss of sense of smell: Chronic sinusitis can lead to anosmia, or loss of sense of smell. This also greatly affects your sense of taste as well since a big part of our ability to taste food comes from being able to smell the aroma of the food. 

Orbital cellulitis: One common secondary infection is orbital cellulitis. This is when the sinusitis infection spreads to the eye. Symptoms include pus and redness around the eye, and vision changes can occur as well. 

As you can see, it’s extremely important not to ignore chronic sinusitis. Fortunately, many treatments are out there to help treat it and prevent it from recurring. Dr. Fisher specializes in sinus treatments and can recommend the best course of action. Give our office a call to schedule a consultation and get started on the road to relief today. 

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