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Dr. Flemings
Treatment for chronic sinusitis aims to relieve symptoms and eliminate the underlying cause of the condition. Captain Miller, can you tell us more about this treatment?

Captain Miller
Absolutely, Dr. Flemings. There are several types of treatment used to relieve the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. These include:

  • Saline nasal irrigation, which involves the use of nasal sprays or solutions to reduce drainage and rinse away irritants and allergens
  • Decongestants and expectorants, which are medications that relieve congestion and loosen mucus
  • Nasal corticosteroids, which are nasal sprays that help prevent and treat inflammation, and
  • Oral or injected corticosteroids, which are medications prescribed for severe inflammation and nasal polyps

Antibiotics may be prescribed if chronic sinusitis is the result of a bacterial infection. An antibiotic may be combined with other medications if the underlying cause of infection is unclear.

If allergies are contributing to sinusitis, treatment may include immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots. Gradually increasing doses of a diluted allergy extract are given over a course of three to five years in order to build the body's resistance to a particular allergen.

When medications are ineffective, endoscopic sinus surgery may be recommended. A thin, flexible tube with a camera at the end, called an endoscope, is passed through the nose to the sinuses. Various instruments can be passed through the endoscope to remove tissue or polyps, or to enlarge a narrowed passage.