You’re all too familiar with the dread that sweeps through you at the first sign of yet another sinus infection. “Oh no, not now, not again!” Soon the stuffy nose sets in…the painful, relentless pressure building behind your eyes…the briny mucus waterfall in the back of your throat…and the headaches, well they're just debilitating.
Sinus infections steal your thunder and make you want to hibernate under the covers, but you can’t rest well because you can't breathe well. And the over-the-counter nasal sprays, medications, and even prescribed antibiotics aren't helping. It feels like you're trapped in a maze you can't escape.
What are the risks of untreated chronic sinus infections?
If you allow a sinus infection to go untreated, you could be signing up for months of stuffy nose, headache and sinus pressure, nasal drip that gives you embarrassingly bad breath, poor sleep, and no energy. And that’s not the worst of it, sinus infections hamper your everyday living and keep you from living your best life.
In rare cases, neglected sinus infections can lead to serious complications like vision problems4, meningitis5, or fungal infections6. It’s crucial to seek treatment.
Not all ear, nose and throat doctors treat sinusitis the same way. Luckily though, treatments can be very simple if you see a specialist who’s sole focus is treating issues in The Breathing Triangle® with the purpose of getting to the root cause of the issue.
Chronic Sinusitis Treatments
If you can’t break free from a cycle of one sinus infection after another, there’s good news. Relief is not as difficult as you think. At ADVENT, we help you uncover the root cause of your misery so you can experience simple sinusitis treatments that work.
Simple in-office solutions, such as Balloon Sinuplasty and Turbinate Reduction open blocked nasal and sinus passageways, restore proper drainage, and improve air flow.
3 simple steps to live without chronic sinusitis:
1: Get Your Breathing Triangle Evaluation
First, we listen. At your new patient appointment, you’ll discuss your symptoms and goals with a Sleep & Sinus Specialist. You’ll also get a thorough Breathing Triangle Evaluation to help identify any underlying issues related to your sinus infections.
2: Uncover the Root Cause
Depending on your symptoms you may get an in-office CT scan or home sleep study to better understand the source of your sinus infections.
3: Treat Your Sinus Infections with Simple Solutions
We offer several simple in-office treatment options to ensure you have a healthy Breathing Triangle. Depending on your diagnosis, you may be a candidate for: Balloon Sinuplasty, Turbinate Reduction, Nasal Cryotherapy, Polypectomy, Septoplasty, or Allergy Drop Immunotherapy
Sinus infection FAQs:
There are many reasons for sinus infections. One very common cause is sinus passages that are too tight to drain properly. This results in a backlog of mucus causing swollen and inflamed sinus lining.
Other possible causes for chronic sinusitis include: nasal polyps, asthma, a deviated nasal septum, tumors, dental infection, regular exposure to pollutants, and immune system disorder.
Viruses and bacteria can cause sinus infections. Allergens may also cause sinus infections, and research shows that those who live in the Midwest and the South1 experience higher rates of sinusitis.
Sinusitis symptoms drove 2.7 million Americans to doctor’s offices and 234,000 sufferers of chronic sinusitis to emergency departments in 20182. Economic research reveals the direct impact of chronic sinusitis ranges between $10–13 billion per year in the U.S., and work productivity loss exceeds $20 billion per year3.
Research shows higher rates of sinusitis in women and people who live in the Midwest1—and this is why ADVENT has locations throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota.
Common symptoms of a sinus infection can include headache, facial pressure and pain, stuffy nose (nasal obstruction), postnasal drip, fatigue, bad breath, reduced sense of smell, fever, cough, headache, and possible ear or dental pain.
Acute sinusitis can come on suddenly and the misery can last for up to one month; luckily, the runny, sneezy, achy, tired slew of symptoms should resolve completely. Subacute sinusitis can endure for up to 12 weeks. If your sinus infection symptoms drag on for longer than 12 weeks, you may have chronic sinusitis.
While some sinus infections may go away on their own, if you let a sinus infection drag on for months without symptom improvement, you could set yourself up for chronic sinusitis.
Although rare, an untreated sinus infection could lead to serious issues like vision problems4 if the infection spreads to your eye sockets, meningitis5, or a fungal infection6 (particularly in those with compromised immune systems).
Over-the-counter medications, nasal sprays or saline, decongestants, steam, a neti pot, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of rest are home remedies for sinus infections. However, if you have chronic sinusitis, these band-aid solutions will not fix the root cause and offer long-term relief. You’ll be left to live life hampered by the agony of your sinus infection symptoms.
Anyone can get chronic sinus infections. People with sinus passages that are too tight, nasal polyps, asthma, a deviated nasal septum, allergies, regular exposure to pollutants, or who have an immune system disorder, have a greater risk of chronic sinusitis.
If you’re prone to getting sinus infections, our best advice is to see an ear, nose, and throat doctor for an exam. At ADVENT, we’ll give you a comprehensive Breathing Triangle evaluation and will work with you to uncover the root cause of your sinus infections. You'll get a customized treatment plan unique to you. Our simple, effective, in-office procedures can help fix sinus issues in less than 30 minutes, with little downtime.
Absolutely. If you can’t breathe well, you can’t sleep well. There’s a reason the decongestant market size is estimated to reach $21.3 billion by 2027. An IndustryARC® report suggests that ingredients in decongestants offer the same amount of sinus congestion relief as a placebo—which means none7.
Viruses cause most sinus infection cases. If your symptoms don’t go away in a few weeks, you may have a bacterial sinus infection. In this case, you should visit a medical provider for further testing and possible antibiotics. If sinus infections continually come and go over months or years, they may caused by issues within your Breathing Triangle. In this case you should also see a medical professional who’s singular focus is in this area, like the ENTs at ADVENT.
Chronic sinusitis endures longer than an acute sinus infection, which is temporary and often caused by a cold. In some cases, chronic sinusitis symptoms may go away but come back shortly after they subside, and may drag on for months in this cycle.
The best way to see exactly what is going on with your sinus is with an in-office CT scan. This scan only takes 22 seconds and creates a ‘blueprint’ of your sinuses, allowing you and your provider to discuss possible treatment options.
In-office Balloon Sinuplasty will open your nasal passages allowing them to drain properly which will calm the lining of the sinuses so you can regain your sinus health.
What can happen if a person lets a sinus infection go untreated?
"If sinus infections are left untreated they can cause inflammation and swelling of the lining of the sinuses that in turn will cause narrowing of the sinus openings. The sinuses are not able to drain and this can cause pain and pressure in the forehead, cheeks, nose and behind the eyes as well as thick drainage."
Hillary Hinkson, PA-C
How does ADVENT diagnose a sinus infection?
"We use our thorough clinical evaluation, including history and physician examination, as well as ancillary diagnostic studies such as a nasal endoscopy (examining inside the nose with a telescope) as well as in-office CT scan (3-D reconstruction of our nasal cavity and sinuses) to determine what could be causing your symptoms and the best way to treat it."
Pratik Patel, MD
Real patient reviews:
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- Battisti AS, Modi P, Pangia J. Sinusitis. [Updated 2023 Mar 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK470383/
- Chronic Sinusitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Reviewed 2023 Jan 27. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/sinuses.htm
- Rudmik, L. Economics of Chronic Rhinosinusitis. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep 17, 20 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11882-017-0690-5
- Lapusneanu, Lucian, et al. "Orbital cellulitis-complication of an untreated rhinosinusitis: Case report." Romanian Journal of Rhinology 13.50 (2023): 83-89. https://sciendo.com/pdf/10.2478/rjr-2023-0014
- A.H.A. Figueiredo, M.C. Brouwer, M.W. Bijlsma, A. van der Ende, D. van de Beek, Community-acquired pneumonia in patients with bacterial meningitis: a prospective nationwide cohort study, Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 26, 4 (2020) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1198743X19304860
- Vinodkumar Velayudhan, Zeshan A. Chaudhry, Wendy R.K. Smoker, Roman Shinder, Deborah L. Reede, Imaging of Intracranial and Orbital Complications of Sinusitis and Atypical Sinus Infection: What the Radiologist Needs to Know, Curr Problems in Diagnostic Radiology, 46, 6 (2017) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S036301881630113X
- IndustryARC, Decongestants Market Forecast (2023–2028), 2023 May 31. https://www.industryarc.com/Report/17413/decongestants-market.html