Chronic sinusitis, unlike the common cold, isn’t the result of a viral or bacterial infection. It develops when something causes inflammation of the sinuses that persists for four weeks or longer. In some cases, your symptoms may go away, only to come back again.
Chronically inflamed sinuses are commonly linked to allergies. An allergy specialist can test you for allergies and help uncover the underlying issues behind your sinus symptoms.
At Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California, allergy specialist Dr. Ulrike Ziegner commonly sees patients who have chronic sinus issues related to allergies. With an accurate diagnosis and treatment, allergy-related chronic sinusitis symptoms often improve.
Take a moment to learn more about the connection between chronic sinusitis and allergies.
How sinuses can cause trouble
Healthy sinuses provide much-needed lubrication to the nose. Mucus plays a role in blocking and trapping pollutants and other irritants.
When chronic sinusitis develops, the sinus swells and mucus doesn’t flow freely. As a result, bacteria, viruses, and fungus can thrive in the sinus canals. In response, the sinuses produce even more mucus.
Before you know it, your sinuses are congested and you have trouble breathing through your nose, and you also deal with sinus pain and pressure. This can go on for weeks at a time and leave you feeling miserable.
How allergies can cause chronic sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis is commonly linked to respiratory allergies. This is known as allergic rhinitis. When you breathe in airborne allergens, the immune system overreacts and sets off a chain reaction that leads to persistent sinus inflammation. The most common offenders are:
- Dust mites
- Pet dander
In addition to chronic sinus inflammation, you may also experience coughing, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, and wheezing. Many people with chronic sinusitis also complain of fatigue and often have a reduced sense of smell and taste.
An allergy specialist can treat sinusitis
If you have chronic sinusitis or are prone to recurrent sinus infections, a visit to Dr. Ziegner can help. She investigates the underlying reasons for your sinusitis. You can get answers and assistance before the next episode strikes.
Allergy shots alleviate chronic sinusitis
Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy that retrains your immune system so it stops overreacting to a specific allergen. It’s an effective treatment for chronic sinusitis caused by respiratory allergens such as dust mites, molds, pet dander, or pollens.
Consistent immunotherapy treatment can also help to avoid the need for more invasive procedures like endoscopic sinus surgery.
Rather than treating the symptoms of allergic reactions allergy shots get to the source of the issue by preventing allergic reactions.
Allergen immunotherapy, similar to a vaccination, gradually exposes your body to extremely small quantities of an allergen, de-activating the immune system. Each time you get an allergy shot, the amount increases slightly, retraining your immune system to tolerate the allergen.
Most patients find relief from chronic sinusitis symptoms during the first few months of treatment. Allergen immunotherapy requires commitment. The typical treatment plan requires you to receive treatment for 2-4 years.
Chronic sinusitis can have a major impact on your daily life. From preventing a good night’s sleep to causing daytime fatigue, drowsiness, and irritability, chronic sinusitis can make you feel miserable.
Don’t hesitate to get help if you’re struggling with symptoms of chronic sinusitis. To get started, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ziegner by calling 310-438-6440 today or sending the team a message here on the website at any time.