Frequent Sinus Infections – Why Your Sinusitis Keeps Coming Back

Los Angeles residents who struggle with frequent sinus infections often experience nasal congestion, constant sinus drainage, general discomfort, and recurrent fatigue. There are reasons why your sinusitis might keep coming back, and it’s important to get to the root cause when figuring out a solution.

About Frequent Sinus Infections

About 1 in 8 adults in the United States will experience at least one episode of sinusitis, according to studies. Sinus infections are very common, leading to swelling, pain, runny nose, and more. If it keeps coming back, it can dramatically diminish your quality of life.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

Sinusitis occurs when you have swelling within your sinuses, meaning the internal chambers of your nose and nasal passages. This inflammation can lead to discomfort and difficulty breathing, and if often results  into a viral or bacterial infection.

Symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Inflammation/swelling in your nose
  • Thick discolored mucus
  • Pain or pressure in the face, cheeks, or around the eyes
  • Drainage down the back of your nose
  • Congestion and difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Inhibited sense of smell and taste
  • Headaches, ear pain, or jaw pain
  • Sore throat and coughing
  • Fatigue

Recurrent Sinus Infections Vs. Chronic Sinusitis

In most cases, sinus infections go away on their own. They most commonly result from viral infections such as the common cold, in which case you can typically expect it to go away after a few weeks. This is called acute sinusitis.

However, if your sinus infection lasts longer than 12 weeks, it’s classified as chronic sinusitis. If you experience the symptoms above for longer than a few months, it’s time to see a doctor.

In some cases, you might have acute sinusitis multiple times throughout the year. These recurring sinus infections are called recurrent sinusitis (or recurrent acute sinusitis). Both chronic and recurring sinusitis may result from issues within your nasal structure, in which case  your best hope of lasting treatment will come from an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor, or ENT).

What Causes Recurring Sinus Infections?

Recurring sinusitis can result from various factors. The most common causes and risk factors include:

  • Seasonal allergies
  • The common cold, or other viral/bacterial infections.
  • Asthma
  • Regular exposure to pollutants (often an issue in Los Angeles)
  • Soft nasal tissue abnormalities, including deviated septum, nasal polyps, or surgical scars
  • Immune problems, such as HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, etc.

These factors can lead to mucus buildup and/or blockages that make it difficult for your nose to ventilate and drain properly. Partial blockages make it more likely for viral infections to occur, leading to recurrent sinusitis.

Preventing and Treating Recurring Sinus Infections

If you get frequent sinus infections, it’s a result of an underlying cause that makes you susceptible to infection. There are a few treatment options you might try depending on the root cause of your recurrent sinusitis.

Preventive Measures

Some preventive measures can help, including:

  • Allergy management, as with medications or improving indoor air quality in your home
  •  Reducing exposure to viruses
  • Staying hydrated
  • Avoiding smoke
  • Using a humidifier

Medication Treatments

Some medical treatments can help, particularly if your recurrent sinus infections result from asthma, allergies, or similar issues. In other cases, doctors may prescribe corticosteroids to alleviate symptoms.

Note, however, that corticosteroid treatments may cause harm if used longer than advised by your doctor. If you find that you’re constantly relying on medication to manage frequent sinus infections, you may need a more permanent solution.

Surgical Treatment Options

Surgical options available from an experienced ENT are among the most effective ways to prevent sinus infections long-term. In fact, research indicates that surgical treatments like balloon sinuplasty trend toward better symptom management than medical options, making them more reliable overall.

Balloon sinuplasty (or balloon sinus dilation) is a minimally invasive treatment that uses a small instrument and an inflatable balloon to expand your sinuses, correcting partial blockages that may result from structural abnormalities. It is highly effective, has minimal recovery time, and is FDA-approved. Note that the balloon does not stay in, and is only used to permanently dilate the narrow sinus channels during the procedure,

In cases where balloon sinuplasty isn’t the right option for you, other surgical options may help you breathe again by opening up nasal passages for proper drainage and ventilation.

FAQs on Frequent Sinus Infections

Why do I keep getting sinus infections so often?

Common risk factors include allergies, asthma, immune problems, and abnormalities in your nasal structure.

How can I stop recurring sinusitis?

Common risk factors include allergies, asthma, immune problems, and abnormalities in your nasal structure.

How can I stop recurring sinusitis?

Recurrent sinusitis can be treated with various medical procedures, including those designed to correct sinus abnormalities.

Does chronic sinusitis go away?

Recurrent sinusitis can be treated with various medical procedures, including those designed to correct sinus abnormalities.

Los Angeles Treatments for Recurring Sinusitis

If you’re living in Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, or other cities in the area, or if you are able to travel to the area, Dr. Kayem and his practice can help you resolve recurring sinusitis. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact LA Sinus and Snoring today.