Sinus pressure, headaches, postnasal drip, congestion and cough are key indicators of sinusitis, and without proper treatment, symptoms can go on for weeks – and sometimes indefinitely.
For those with chronic sinusitis, the treatment plan is traditionally one antibiotic after another, and many experience minimal relief. Before taking another pill, consider the difference between relieving symptoms and modifying the cause of the disease.
There are different options available to relieve sinusitis symptoms, but they don’t get at the cause of repeat infection. Without disease modification, sinusitis can occur over and over again, and symptom relievers will be needed with each flare up.
Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for sinus infections, but because up to 80% of sinusitis cases are due to allergy – not bacteria – antibiotics are often ineffective.
Over the counter products
Decongestants, nasal sprays, saline rinses, and pain relievers can all be purchased at your local pharmacy, but the effects won’t be long-lasting. These products may make you feel less congested, but they don’t treat the source of the underlying inflammation that causes the symptoms.
Different surgeries – including nasal endoscopy and balloon sinuplasty – have been used to open the nasal passages in hopes of preventing infection. While they may help some patients feel better, with long periods of allergen exposure, sinusitis is still possible.
How can you get to the bottom of what causes the infection? Think allergy! Research shows that up to 80% of sinusitis cases are due to an allergy to fungus (or mold!).
Allergy testing and treatment
When you inhale an environmental allergen, your body can either identify it as harmless or harmful. When detected as harmful, your body fights back by activating allergic symptoms and inflammation. After months of congestion and inflammation, infections – whether it be sinus, ear, or respiratory – are common.
The first step toward relief is identifying the specific allergens that cause your body to fight back. An allergy skin or blood test can identify which molds or pollens you react to, and a treatment plan can be determined, including immunotherapy. We advocate for allergy drops – a safe, effective, treatment that is easily integrated into daily life.
Allergy drops work to build tolerance by slowly increasing doses of your of your offending allergens in liquid drops placed under the tongue. A bonus side-effect of treatment is that many find their related conditions – like sinusitis, asthma, and eczema – to also be relieved after successful treatment.
Because immunotherapy modifies the disease, tolerance is long lasting. Looking at treatment through an allergy lens can allow you to break the antibiotic cycle safely and effectively.
If you’re struggling through frequent sinusitis, find a provider near you offering custom allergy drops as an option.
By Taylor Pasell, Allergychoices