What is chronic sinusitis?

Sinusitis is a general term that refers to inflammation of the lining of the nose and sinuses. Because the sinuses are connected to the nose, specialists in sinus problems typically use the term “chronic rhinos sinusitis" (CRS). CRS is a common problem that affects several million people each year and is a leading cause of doctor visits.

What causes chronic sinusitis?

CRS is caused by different things in different people. Everyone is unique in terms of their individual exposures/habits, sinus anatomy, and immune system profiles. Some patients may have severe allergies. Others may have an abnormality of the internal nose/sinus, or an occupation or recreational activity that increases infection risk. Regardless of how the inflammation gets started, once the swelling of the lining of the sinuses develops, the problem can be hard to eliminate.

How do I know if I have chronic sinusitis (CRS)?

CRS can be diagnosed by symptoms and x-rays. Symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis include facial pain, facial pressure, nasal obstruction, post-nasal drainage, and ear pressure. When these symptoms have been present for more than three months or on a recurring basis, the condition of CRS is present. In the office, your Iowa ENT physician can perform a highly accurate examination of the nose and sinuses, using special non-invasive scopes to visualize the sinus openings. Specialized x-ray imaging of the sinuses, called a sinus CT scan, is a very accurate means of assessing this condition. Many patients assume they have allergies, when in fact the problem is chronic sinusitis.

What is the treatment for chronic sinusitis?

Iowa ENT Center offers a wide variety of treatment options for chronic sinusitis. There is no “one size fits all” cure for CRS, so our physicians will construct a very specific treatment plan for each patient aimed at the condition’s root causes. Potential treatments could include medications, homeopathic treatments, antibiotics, office-based procedures, and in some cases, surgery. Our treatment plans are highly individualized based on the condition we are treating, the assessment findings, and the patient's wishes.

To learn more or to speak to one of our ENT specialists, request an appointment below or call 515-223-4368.

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