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Allergy and Asthma Specialists of Greater Washington

Allergy and Asthma Specialists located in Winchester, VA & Chantilly, VA

Having sinus symptoms whether yearround or in spring and fall can be miserable. Our experts at Allergy and Asthma Specialists of Greater Washington offer individualized diagnostic and treatment plans so that you can take control of your sinus issues. Call or schedule an appointment online today with our providers at one of our locations in Fairfax, Gainesville, Vienna, Warrenton, Culpeper, or Front Royal.

Sinusitis Q & A

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is a condition where your sinus cavities are inflamed. Sinuses are hollow cavities located in the facial bones and are directly connected to the nose.

Sinusitis can be acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is when your symptoms begin as a common cold and last for fewer than four weeks. Chronic sinusitis is when your symptoms last longer, are resistant to medical treatment, or occur more than 3 times a year.

If you have asthma or allergic rhinitis, you are at a higher risk of developing sinusitis and other upper respiratory infections.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

Sinusitis causes a variety of symptoms including:

  • Pressure in the cheeks, forehead, and behind the eyes
  • Thick yellow or green mucus
  • Constant nose stuffiness
  • Dripping in the back of the throat
  • Bad breath
  • Coughing
  • Toothache or jaw pain

What causes sinusitis?

Sinusitis often develops after a prolonged upper respiratory infection or cold that causes persistent inflammation of your sinus cavities; inflammation leads to thickening of your sinus mucus membrane (as pictured above) and blockage of the normal drainage of mucus resulting in a backup. Allergies rhinitis (hay fever) and asthma have similar inflammation and drainage issues.

Triggers of sinusitis include environmental allergens (like pollens, dust, animal dander, molds), exposure to pollutants (like cigarette smoke), and physical conditions (like nasal polyps or a deviated septum).

How can I manage my sinusitis?

Your provider at Allergy and Asthma Specialists of Greater Washington will first confirm a diagnosis of sinusitis. Tests may include environmental allergy testing, blood tests, and imaging studies, such as x-rays or CT scans.

Sinusitis treatment has several objectives. First, your doctor works to reduce inflammation in your sinuses and encourage proper sinus drainage. In addition, your doctor offers an individualized treatment plan to address the cause of the sinusitis and to reduce future episodes. Treatments, like nasal irrigation and corticosteroid sprays, can reduce inflammation and rinse away irritants and allergens. You might also find your symptoms reduced with a course of oral steroids. If you have an infection, your doctor may suggest antibiotics. In some severe cases, you may need a surgical procedure to open the sinus cavities or remove obstructions like polyps.

If your sinusitis is because of environmental allergens, like pollen, dust, molds, or animals, you will benefit from allergy immunotherapy (shots) to reduce and prevent the recurring problems of frequent sinus infections. 

Because sinus inflammation can significantly impact your daily life, schedule your evaluation today with the allergists at Allergy and Asthma Specialists of Greater Washington. Book your visit by calling the most convenient location or using the online scheduler.