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Problems related to chronic sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses that lasts longer than three months. This condition can be caused by a number of diseases that cause chronic inflammation of the sinal tissue. Sufferers from chronic sinusitis may experience a number of problems, such as congestion of the nose, facial pain and feeling of facial fullness that worsens when bending over, frequent headaches, worsening of minor or previously controlled symptoms of asthma, coughing at night time, general feeling of weakness and discomfort, aching teeth, thick green or yellow discharge, and some other symptoms. Sinusitis frequently leads to loss or decrease of sense of smell.

Treatment

A majority of cases of chronic sinusitis can be resolved without surgery, but there will be no other solution but surgery for some patients. Typical problem related to sinusitis is inability to drain the sinuses, and sometimes whatever is blocking the path needs to be removed physically. This can only be done by means of surgery. Or, in some cases, nonsurgical means of treatment fail to bring improvement within a certain time period. Cases that absolutely require surgery are complete obstruction of channels by polyps, spread of the infection to the vital organs such as brain and eyes or spread of the infection to the frontal sinus, sinusitis caused by fungi, tumor, leakage of fluid from the brain, and mucocele.

Surgery

Patients are typically not required to stay in the hospital after the surgery and most go home on the same day. It takes roughly four hours for the entire procedure, including both surgery and stay in the recovery room. Local or general anaesthesia is given, depending on the case, and you might discuss it with the surgeon. In general anaesthesia, the patient cannot breathe on its own and anaesthesiologist will use artificial lungs to keep the patient's lungs supplied with oxygen. In local anaesthesia, patients are unaware of the surroundings, but can breathe on their own. Surgeon will use a metal endoscope to see inside the nose while operating.

Postoperative treatment

Patients are typically followed for one to two months after the surgery to make sure that there is no scarring. Some surgeons put splints in the nose to keep it open after surgery. These are later removed. Formed crusts are also removed, which might be painful. It is general advice to avoid putting strain on your sinuses for some weeks after the operation. In example, it is recommended not to fly for a few weeks, not to lift heavy objects and not to blow your nose for a few days. Pain after surgery is common and often requires painkillers, but it will diminish after a few days. Most patients are back to normal within a fortnight.

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