Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinus passageways. It has several possible causes and is termed chronic when it lasts for more than 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis dramatically affects one’s quality of life, making many aspects of everyday life difficult. Thankfully, many treatment options exist, and it’s vital to seek help to determine the cause and treatment.
The most significant way chronic sinusitis affects the quality of life is by making it difficult to breathe correctly. It can feel like a constant stuffy nose. Those with sinusitis often find themselves having to breathe through their mouth because they can’t get a deep enough breath of air through their nose. Mouth breathing carries with it a whole other set of issues, contributing to the worsening of many of the symptoms of chronic sinusitis and other problems such as dry mouth.
Another symptom that comes along with chronic sinusitis is discharge from the nose. This can come in the form of frequent thick discharge from the nostrils and manifest as a postnasal drip. This is when nasal discharge drains to the back of the throat, causing a tickling or itching sensation in the throat, and can cause hoarseness or the feeling of needing to clear the throat constantly. It can be extremely bothersome and can contribute to bad breath.
Those with chronic sinusitis are also affected by poor quality sleep. The congestion brought on by sinusitis often causes snoring, affecting the ability to get a good night’s sleep. It can even cause relationship tension if the snoring is loud enough to disrupt a partner. Getting poor quality sleep night after night leads to fatigue, concentration issues, and focus issues.
Loss of smell and taste
A constantly stuffy nose impairs the ability to smell things, which affects our ability to taste. That’s because, in order to detect most tastes, our body relies on its sense of smell. Chronic sinusitis can affect the ability to enjoy food, causing it to taste bland and flavorless.
Chronic sinusitis is often very uncomfortable, but sometimes it can be painful. The inflammation in the sinuses can lead to swelling, which causes pressure and pain. Sinus pressure can reach the point of being painful, and this pain can be felt in the forehead, around the nose, temples and can even spread to the ears, jaw, or teeth.
Chronic sinusitis does not have one main cause, so it’s essential to visit an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist who can give you a proper exam and diagnose the cause. Once the cause is determined, there are many options available for treatment. If you’re living with chronic sinusitis, don’t let it affect your quality of life any longer. Visit Dr. Fisher for a diagnosis and customized treatment plan.