A stuffy, plugged-feeling nose is common with colds and allergies. For most people, nasal congestion is a temporary annoyance and inconvenience. It can impair your sense of smell, alter the taste of foods, and cause facial pain. However, acute nasal congestion usually resolves on its own. 

Some people's stuffy noses persist even after other symptoms have subsided. Chronic sinusitis occurs when your sinuses remain swollen and inflamed for three months or more despite treatment.

Our specialists at Southern ENT Associates evaluate and treat a range of sinus issues, including acute and chronic sinusitis. We offer trusted, effective treatment for sinusitis. If you’re dealing with persistent sinus issues, it’s wise to see an ENT specialist. 

Acute sinusitis overview

Acute sinusitis is short-term sinus inflammation. Issues like the common cold are often the culprit. 

Under normal circumstances, sinuses have a thin lining that produces small amounts of mucus. Air flows through the sinuses without resistance, allowing you to breathe easily through your nose. 

When you have acute sinusitis, the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed and produces more mucus. The swelling of the lining also interferes with the normal drainage of mucus, making your nose stuffy. 

Sinusitis can be the result of an infection, sinus growths such as nasal polyps, or swelling of the sinus lining due to conditions such as allergies.

Symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Mucus 
  • Thick discharge
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sinus pressure
  • Reduced taste
  • Reduced sense of smell

These symptoms resolve once the cold or other underlying issue clears up. 

Chronic sinusitis overview

Chronic sinusitis is a long-term type of sinusitis that is diagnosed when symptoms last more than three months. 

If you have had sinusitis more than once, have infections that do not respond to treatment, or have sinusitis symptoms that last more than three months, you may have chronic sinusitis.

Nasal polyps, a deviated nasal septum, recurrent respiratory infections, and allergies commonly cause chronic sinusitis.

When to seek evaluation

If your symptoms do not improve with conservative treatments, consult an ear, nose, and throat specialist like those on our team at Southern ENT Associates. We diagnose and treat ear, nose, head, and neck disorders. 
Our team can perform a comprehensive evaluation to accurately diagnose your sinus problem. 

Treating chronic sinusitis

If medical treatments have failed to improve your condition, we may order a CT scan of your sinuses. If allergies are causing your symptoms, allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, may help. 

If you have nasal polyps, which are growths in your nose and sinuses, you may be a candidate for biologic agents, which we administer as a regular injection. This treatment can help shrink nasal polyps and relieve congestion.

If you are allergic to aspirin, aspirin desensitization therapy may help with your sinusitis and nasal polyposis. If your symptoms persist despite several of the measures listed above and your condition is resistant to medical treatment, surgery may be an option for you.

Sinus surgery

Our Southern ENT Associates team offers a minimally invasive endoscopic approach, which involves inserting a small camera into your nose. There are no external incisions.

We use various instruments to open the natural sinus passages, allowing for better mucous drainage and nasal spray and irrigation penetration. By removing inflamed tissue and shaving away nasal polyps, we clear the source of the blockage within your sinuses.

During surgery, we may also use image guidance. This allows us to see the surrounding anatomy and instrument placement, avoiding damage to critical structures such as the eye, skull base, and major blood vessels. 

Following surgery, most of our patients report they experience no significant pain and get relief from their chronic sinusitis symptoms.

Don’t put off getting help if you’re having bothersome sinus symptoms. To get started, call our closest office to schedule a consultation. Our clinics are located throughout southern Louisiana, in Thibodaux, Houma, Raceland, Morgan City, New Iberia, and Youngsville.

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