Sinusitis is the inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. This interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up. Acute sinusitis often resolves within a week to ten days and is mostly caused by the common cold. Sinusitis that lasts more than 12 weeks, despite medical treatment is called chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis symptoms often include:
Nasal blockage or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose.
Thick, yellow, or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat (postnasal drainage).
Pain, tenderness, swelling and pressure around your eyes, cheeks, nose, or forehead that worsens when bending over.
Most cases of acute sinusitis get better on their own. Self-care techniques are usually all you need to ease symptoms. Common treatments to help relieve sinusitis symptoms include saline nasal spray, decongestants, and over-the-counter pain relievers.
Antibiotics are sometimes used to treat sinusitis if you have a bacterial infection. If allergies are contributing to your sinusitis, allergy shots that help reduce your body’s reaction to specific allergens may help.
Endoscopic sinus surgery
In cases resistant to treatment or medication, endoscopic sinus surgery may be an option. During this procedure, our providers use a thin, flexible tube with an attached light (endoscope) to explore your sinus passages. The provider may then remove tissue or shave away a polyp that is causing the nasal blockage. Enlarging the sinus may also help promote drainage.
Not all treatments, tests and services are available at all Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Check with your preferred location in advance.