Sinus Infections (Chronic Sinusitus)

Recurrent episodes of acute sinusitis are an indication for aggressive medical and occasionally surgical treatment. Possible complications of sinus disease includes invasion of the orbit with involvement of the eye and loss of vision. Other possible complications of sinusitis include invasion from the sinuses to the tissues around the brain resulting in meningitis and/or brain abscesses with strikes or death. While these complications are rare in this day of good antibiotic therapy the possibility of these complications should be understood by patients suffering from this diseases.

Antibiotic therapy is frequently given as seven to ten day duration; however, for more serious infections, such as infection in the bone, patients are kept on antibiotic therapy for several months and, on occasion, a year or more. Most patients who are experiencing recurrent acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis would benefit from a trial of oral antibiotics for a month or six weeks. Additional helpful treatments include topical nasal decongestant steroid sprays which help decrease swelling and drainage of the sinuses.

Nasal Polyposis is a condition which results in growth of abnormal benign tissue in the nose. It is responsive to topical nasal steroids and systemic steroid therapy. In the event that the condition cannot be medically controlled surgery to remove the polyps is indicated.

Endoscopic sinus surgery is a major advance in the treatment of inflammatory and infectious disease of the sinus. Many times sinus disease can now be controlled with surgery that is performed entirely through the nose, eliminating the need for incisions on the outside of the face.

Risks exist with any surgical procedure. However, patients who have received the surgical treatment of infectious and inflammatory sinus diseases have experienced significant relief from the episodes of recurrent sinusitis or sinus infections.

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