Woman with SinusitisThickened discolored mucus from your nose for up to four weeks may be a sign of acute sinusitis and may be associated with other symptoms:

  • Feeling of a blocked nose, nasal congestion, stuffed feeling
  • Headaches, sinus pressure, the feeling of fullness in the face, around the eyes, or behind the eyes
  • Feeling like you always have a cold
  • If symptoms last longer than 4-6 weeks you may have chronic sinusitis. Typical symptoms included: same as above, loss of smell. Feeling sick for 12 weeks.  Findings on Princeton ENT exam may include: nasal polyps, yellow drainage, or thickened mucous in the nose, sinus CT may be used to fully diagnose it as chronic.

Sinusitis Causes

Viruses cause 98 percent of acute sinus infections, usually last less than 10 days, or bacteria acute sinusitis.  In acute bacterial sinusitis symptoms do not improve within 10 days or you get worse within 10 days after beginning to get better.

Prolonged inflammation is associated with chronic sinusitis, rather than having a long infection.

Treatment Options

Acute viral sinusitis may be treated using over-the-counter acetaminophen, ibuprofen, steroid nasal sprays, or saltwater irrigation in the nose.

These treatments are also good options for acute bacterial sinusitis. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed.

Chronic sinusitis is due to inflammation more than infection alone and is often associated with allergies, nasal polyps, asthma.   The treatments are to try and reduce inflammation. Saltwater nasal irrigation, nasal steroid sprays,  Antibiotics are not always helpful.

Other factors, and problems with the body’s ability to fight infections, can go along with sinusitis and make it worse unless they are also treated.

CT scans of the sinuses are recommended if you have repeat episodes or prolonged sinus symptoms

When conservative medical treatment does not work, the most common type of sinus surgery is called endoscopic sinus surgery which opens the natural drainage pathways between the sinuses and the nose.

Balloon sinuplasty dilation is a newer minimally invasive treatment option where an endoscope is also used, but instead of carefully removing the bone and tissue that may be blocking a sinus, a balloon is used to make the sinus openings bigger. Ask Dr. Goldfarb about Balloon dilation to see if you're a candidate.  While balloon sinuplasty dilation is not used for every type of chronic sinusitis and cannot be used on all of your sinuses, it may be helpful depending on your condition.

Princeton Ear, Nose & Throat
842 State Road  •  Princeton, New Jersey 08540


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