Chronic sinusitis is a persistent sinus infection that lasts longer than twelve weeks. It is caused by an inflammation of the sinuses, often the result of allergies. When the immune system encounters a threat it produces antibodies known as histamines to defend against attack. These chemicals cause swelling of the nasal tissue lining, which prevents fluid from draining – a process that can lead to infection.
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis include runny or stuffy nose, sinus pain and pressure, coughing, headache, fever and bad breath. Pollen and dust mites are the most common offenders, but a variety of other allergens can trigger symptoms. Mold, smoke or pollution, pet dander, chemicals, certain foods and medications can all contribute to chronic sinusitis.
Home remedies can often bring relief. A warm, moist compress such as a washcloth pressed to the face can alleviate sinus pain and pressure, and help reduce swelling. Fluids, rest and a humidifier are all recommended, as well as avoiding the allergy trigger if at all possible. When medications are ineffective, long-term treatment with immunotherapy may be a good solution.