Chronic rhinosinusitis is an inflammatory condition of the sinuses characterized by four predominant symptoms: facial pain/pressure, diminished or lost sense of smell, nasal drainage, and nasal obstruction1. Chronic rhinosinusitis is defined by the presence of two or more of the four predominant characteristics for 12 or more consecutive weeks1. Although these symptoms can be common, especially during winter months, chronic rhinosinusitis can significantly impact quality of life (1,2).
The goal for treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis is to control symptoms with minimal exposure to medical or surgical remedies (3). A first-line treatment would consist of a nasal spray or an intranasal steroid spray (1,3). Antibiotics could be prescribed if your physician suspects an active sinus infection. Individuals who don’t respond to first-line treatments should see an ENT specialist1.
If medical therapies fail, endoscopic sinus surgery can be a practical solution. This surgery is performed by an otolaryngologist, commonly called an ENT specialist. Endoscopic sinus surgery consists of inserting a small camera-tipped wand into the nasal passageways to remove whatever is obstructing the airway (3). Nasal polyps, bone, or soft tissues could be blocking airflow in the nasal passages. Endoscopic surgery is performed under general anesthesia, meaning you won’t be awake during the procedure and will require three to four days of recovery time. Pain can linger for a few days post-procedure, but it can take six to eight weeks to make a full recovery.
Endoscopic surgery for treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis is considered to be safe and effective. One study consisting of 42 patients with chronic rhinosinusitis who elected to have endoscopic surgery concluded that corrective surgery improved sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, nasal patency, and lowered risk for sleep apnea (2).
Dr. Octavio Carreño is an expert in the medical and surgical treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis and other ENT issues. Dr. Carreño and his team will gladly answer all your questions and guide you through available treatment options. If you are in the South Florida area, contact Dr. Carreño’s office to set up an appointment today at (305) 770-6483.