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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sinusitis impacts about 11.9% of adult Americans annually. 

Sinusitis manifests as an inflammation of the sinus cavities. When these air-filled spaces connecting to the nose and throat are inflamed, they can disrupt normal mucus drainage and lead to pain and potential infections. 

At Kimball Health Services, we provide comprehensive diagnostic and treatment options for sinusitis to guide you toward relief.

What is Sinusitis?

The sinus is a vital component of your respiratory system, Sinuses are air-filled pockets within the facial skeleton that secrete mucus from their lining. 

This mucus is a fluid that cleans the air you breathe. The bacteria and other particles collected by the mucus are then propelled from your sinuses by tiny hair cells (cilia) through narrow channels into the nasal cavity. 

Open channels ensure your sinuses remain healthy and allow air to flow freely, facilitating mucus drainage. However, if bacteria or viruses infect the sinuses and multiply, it causes the sinus lining to swell. This blocks mucus drainage and causes pus to fill the nose and sinus cavities, resulting in sinusitis.

Sinusitis is also known as a sinus infection or rhinosinusitis. 

Causes of Sinusitis

Sinusitis is caused when viruses or bacteria invade your sinuses, causing swelling and impeding proper drainage. This creates a conducive environment for bacterial growth.

Other causes of sinusitis include:

  • Allergies
  • Nasal blockages
  • Deviations in nasal structure
  • Temperature changes
  • Certain diseases

Types of Sinusitis

There are four types of sinusitis:

  • Acute Sinusitis that lasts up to 4 weeks
  • Subacute Sinusitis that lasts 4 to 12 weeks
  • Chronic Sinusitis that lasts more than 12 weeks and can continue for months or even years
  • Recurrent Sinusitis causes several attacks within 1 year

Difference between Acute and Chronic Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis often starts as a cold, evolving into a bacterial infection. Symptoms may last for up to 4 weeks and can include discolored nasal drainage, congestion, facial pain, headache, dental pain, cough, fever, fatigue, and reduced sense of taste and smell.

However, chronic sinusitis typically persists for over 12 weeks and causes polyps, nasal congestion, facial pressure or fullness, thick discharge or discolored mucus, swelling (edema), and a reduced sense of smell and taste. 

Sinusitis Diagnosis

At Kimball Health Services, you will meet with one of our primary care providers or Dr. Dickey, for a sinusitis diagnosis and treatment.

During your consultation, the doctor will review your history, discuss your symptoms and current medication, and perform a physical exam. A nasal endoscope may be used during the physical exam. When needed, further testing, like CT scans, may be recommended.

A CT scan can help confirm your condition as acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis. Patients with acute sinusitis usually have bubbles indicating an acute infection, and those with chronic sinusitis usually have a generalized swelling along the sinus walls.

Sinusitis Treatment

Sinusitis treatments typically focus on reducing inflammation and restoring mucus drainage. This can be achieved using prescription and over-the-counter medications, such as:

  • Decongestant nasal sprays
  • Nasal antihistamines and corticosteroids
  • Nasal irrigation
  • Oral antibiotics and antihistamines

When medical management fails - surgical options can be considered. We tailor prescription medications to the severity of your symptoms and recommend follow-up appointments to assess the efficacy of the medications in alleviating your symptoms. 

Patients who have sinusitis caused by severe allergies may not see success with regular sinus medication. In such cases, allergy testing can help identify triggers and allergy shots may be recommended for long-term relief.

If medical treatments prove ineffective, your provider may recommend balloon sinuplasty, septoplasty, turbinate reduction, or polyp removal to alleviate symptoms and enhance nasal breathing.

Managing Sinusitis in Kimball, NE

At Kimball Health Service, our providers are dedicated to providing comprehensive care for sinus-related issues. Our board-certified ENT surgeon, William O. Dickey’s approach focuses on long-term improvements to your overall well-being. 

As one of the top critical access hospitals in the nation, we pride ourselves on delivering high-quality, patient-centered care. 

In case of an emergency, call 911 or walk into our emergency department anytime. For appointments, call ahead or fill out our online form. We're here for you whenever you need us. 

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