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Sinusitis

Riviera Allergy Medical Center

Ulrike Ziegner, MD, PhD

Allergist & Immunologist located in South Bay, Redondo Beach, CA

Nearly 40 million people in the United States are afflicted with sinusitis every year. Sinusitis often results from a cold or other infection. If your stuffy nose doesn’t clear up on its own, or continually gets worse, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Ulrike Ziegner at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California.

Sinusitis Q & A

What is sinusitis?

The hollow air spaces within the bones surrounding your nose are your sinuses. Your sinuses produce mucus that drains into your nose. Sinusitis means your sinuses are inflamed. Inflamed sinuses cause pain and lead to an infection or another problem. There are four types of sinusitis:

  • Acute -- lasts up to a month
  • Subacute -- lasts between one to three months
  • Chronic -- lasts more than three months and can continue for years
  • Recurrent -- acute sinusitis that develops several times a year

Acute sinusitis usually starts as a cold and turns into a bacterial infection. Your nose responds to the virus by producing additional mucus and mobilizing white blood cells to the lining of your nose. This causes congestion and swelling in your nasal passages and the little hairs or cilia that move mucus and debris out of your nose function less efficiently. This creates an environment ripe for bacterial growth.

Allergies, nasal problems, and other medical issues also cause sinusitis.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

The most common symptoms associated with sinusitis are:

  • nasal congestion and discharge (stuffy, runny nose)
  • post nasal drip (mucus drainage in the back of your throat)
  • facial pressure or pain
  • decreased sense of smell
  • cough and fever

Sinusitis often begins with a viral upper respiratory infection and resolves on its own in under two weeks. A call or visit to Dr. Ziegner is in order if your symptoms are more severe than normal, worsen after a few days or last longer than 10 days.

How is sinusitis treated?

Dr. Ziegner diagnosis sinusitis based on your symptoms, a physical examination, and cultures from your nose. However, if you suffer from chronic or recurrent sinusitis, she sends you for a sinus X-ray or CT scan to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatments for sinusitis include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Decongestants
  • Pain relievers
  • Applying heat to the inflamed area
  • Saline nasal sprays
  • Using a vaporizer


If your stuffy nose doesn’t clear up on its own, or continually gets worse, call or make an appointment online today with Dr. Ulrike Ziegner at Riviera Allergy Medical Center in Redondo Beach, California.