Sinusitis

Dr. Robert A. Ehrhard, MD

Otolaryngology located in Jasper, IN

Sinusitis can cause intense, prolonged head pain and nasal congestion, making life miserable if you have the infection. If it becomes chronic, the pain is continual and hard to relieve with medication, but Dr. Robert A. Ehrhard, MD, of Jasper, Indiana, specializes in treating patients afflicted with sinus problems and provides effective treatment solutions, including balloon sinuplasty. Call Dr. Ehrhard’s office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more.

Sinusitis Q & A

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the inside of the cavities behind your nose, called sinuses. Normally, your sinuses are empty hollows that contain only air, but when they fill up with fluid, an infection can set in. The infected fluid causes an increase in pressure inside your face, which results in discomfort and pain.

An acute attack of sinusitis lasts between two and four weeks, but may persist and even become a regular or ongoing problem.

What causes sinusitis?

Sinusitis is most frequently seen following a cold, when your sinuses and nasal passages fill with mucus produced by your body as a result of the illness. Other causes include:

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • A deviated septum

Additionally, sinusitis is more likely to affect you if you’re a smoker.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

Acute sinusitis usually causes facial pain, particularly across the center of your face behind your eyes and nose, and a feeling of pressure in the same area. Other symptoms include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • A runny nose
  • Loss of smell
  • Coughing
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Fatigue
  • Dental pain
  • Earache
  • Sensitivity to sound

You may also have a thick green or yellow discharge from one or both nostrils.

If your symptoms come back regularly, you have recurrent sinusitis, and symptoms persist for more than 12 weeks, you have the chronic form of the condition.

What treatments are available for sinusitis?

As sinusitis symptoms may occur due to other causes, it’s important to seek an accurate diagnosis from an ear, nose, and throat specialist like Dr. Ehrhard. For acute sinusitis, he may prescribe decongestant treatment and the use of saline washes, plus antibiotics or steroids in some cases.

Self-care such as steaming your face and applying warm compresses can help ease the symptoms. Over-the-counter decongestants should never be taken for longer than three days, as they can then make you even more congested.

For chronic and recurrent sinusitis, surgery may be necessary. Dr. Ehrhard offers balloon sinuplasty at his clinic, which is a less invasive, nonsurgical alternative to traditional sinus surgery.

To learn more about the most effective treatments for sinusitis, call the office of Dr. Robert A. Ehrhard, MD, or book an appointment online today.