Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is a prolonged swelling and inflammation of the cavities around the nasal passages. It may be caused by an infection, mucus buildup, nasal polyps or a deviated septum. With chronic sinusitis you have difficulty breathing through your nose and may have tenderness around and under your eyes. It affects both children and adults.

At ENT Physicians, Inc., we provide hands-on specialized care for our patients to determine why the sinusitis is persistent and how best to treat it. Medical and surgical treatment options are available.

Possible causes

Sometimes mucus produced by a cold or allergies inflames the sinuses and leads to infection. Often, this stuffiness and pressure resolves itself. However, if symptoms last for more than eight weeks or recur several times a year, it’s time to make an appointment with one of our physicians for a thorough exam.
Sometimes chronic sinusitis is due to nasal polyps, which are small growths in the nasal passages. It also may stem from hay fever or a deviated septum, which can block sinus passages or allergies. Smokers are more prone to chronic sinusitis.


There are primarily four main symptoms of chronic sinusitis and doctors will check to see if you have at least two of them. The symptoms include:

  • Postnasal drainage with thick, discolored discharge
  • Difficulty breathing through your nose due to congestion, pain and swelling around your eyes, cheeks and forehead
  • A reduced sense of taste and smell.
  • In children, a cough may be present.

There are other signs of chronic sinusitis that can show up including ear pain, a sore throat, bad breath, nausea, coughing and an ache in your upper jaw and teeth.

Acute sinusitis sometimes shows similar symptoms, but usually is temporary and may come along with a cold.


If you suspect you or your child is suffering from chronic sinusitis, it’s important to consult one of our ENT specialists for a detailed physical exam. We’ll check your symptoms and possibly perform some tests that may include blood work, allergy tests, CT scans and cultures.

Once the diagnosis is made, treatments might include nasal sprays and decongestants. Persistent, chronic swelling may be treated with oral steroids. Antibiotics or antihistamines may be prescribed. Sometimes surgery is needed.

The doctor may also recommend using a humidifier, warm compresses around the nose and drinking more water (to help dilute mucus).
Our knowledgeable ENT specialists can provide long-term relief of your chronic sinusitis. These treatments may involve allergy medicines or quitting smoking. You also must avoid anything that triggers your symptoms.