top of page
Asian women in satin robes feeling unwel

Sinusitis / Sinus Infections

Here For You

What Is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis (sinus infections) affects millions of Americans each year. It is a highly symptomatic condition that has a dramatic impact on quality of life.

What Happens If A Sinus Infection Is Left Untreated?

Most sinus infections will resolve on their own, and you can’t be in a rush to throw antibiotics at them. After all, 90 percent of sinus infections are caused by viruses, which don’t respond to antibiotics. The other 10 percent are bacterial.

It’s usually recommended to wait from 7 to 10 days before seeing a doctor. Viral infections will usually burn themselves out in that timeframe. If your symptoms last beyond that period, the infection is likely bacterial. For these cases, antibiotics will help, and they can prevent the infection spreading to the eyes or brain. But those situations are very rare. Most bacterial infections will also run their course if you don’t have other underlying medical conditions.

Formerly, it was thought an untreated acute sinus infection would often turn into chronic sinusitis. That’s not the thinking any longer. Many people now believe that chronic sinusitis is more likely due to underlying issues such as allergies or immune system problems.

Causes Of Sinusitis

Similarly to the inside of your nose, sinuses are lined with a thin layer of tissue called the mucous membrane, which produces mucus. This mucous flows out through the openings of the sinuses into the nose. The mucous from our nose and sinuses is what helps protect us from pollens, pollutants, molds, dust and germs found in the air we breathe. When these openings become blocked, your sinuses may become infected and are often dramatically affected.

Sinusitis Symptoms

  • Nasal Discharge (drippy nose or drainage down the back of the throat)

  • Congestion

  • Facial Pain, Pressure and Fullness

  • Headaches

  • Sore Upper Teeth

  • Bad Breath

  • Fatigue

  • Low-Grade Fever

Anything that causes swelling in the nose can block the openings between your sinuses and your nose, including a cold, an allergic reaction such as hay fever, or a reaction to some chemical to which you’ve been exposed. The blockage causes air and mucus to become trapped within the sinuses, which may trigger painful symptoms.

Types Of Sinus Infections

Sinusitis is classified by duration:

  • Acute sinusitis — Lasts up to 4 weeks. This is the most common form.

  • Subacute sinusitis — Symptoms endure longer than normal acute timeframes, lasting between 4 and 12 weeks.

  • Chronic sinusitis — Symptoms persist, or continually return, after 12 weeks. Chronic sinusitis will likely require more invasive treatment approaches.

Causes Of Chronic Sinusitis

These are the common causes of chronic sinusitis:

  • Nasal polyps — When polyps grow in the nasal passages or the sinuses this can mucus drainage.

  • Deviated nasal septum — If a person has a crooked septum (the wall between the nostrils), this can block or restrict the sinus passages.

  • Respiratory tract infections — Respiratory tract infections, usually from the cold virus, can inflame and thicken the sinus membranes and block mucus drainage.

  • Allergies — When the body overreacts to allergens, the sinuses become inflamed and swollen.

  • Other medical conditions — Various immune system-related diseases can cause blockage of the nasal passages.

How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed?

In order to facilitate successful treatments, an accurate diagnosis is needed first. Too often, treatments are initiated without really knowing the cause of the patient’s symptoms. Treating the symptoms alone may alleviate them temporarily, but the symptoms will often return, over and over again.

A successful diagnosis may include:

  • A careful review of each patient’s medical history and symptoms

  • A Nasal Endoscopy

  • A CT Scan

  • An Allergy Test

The sooner an accurate diagnosis is made, the sooner we can initiate a treatment plan tailored for you. This allows us to correctly treat your problems right away and it can save you the time and expense of going to multiple places to have tests performed and taking medications that may not help.

Sinusitis Treatment

Today, many medications for the treatment of sinusitis are readily available over-the-counter while others are by prescription only. These medications are often taken in combination in an effort to achieve relief. These medications include:

  • Saline/Salt Water Irrigation

  • Pain Relievers (such as Tylenol or Motrin)

  • Mucus Thinning Agents (such as Guaifenesin)

  • Decongestants (either nasal spray or pill form)

  • Antihistamines (either nasal spray or pill form)

  • Antibiotics

  • Steroids (either nasal spray or pill form)

Simple, Proven Sinus Procedure

If you have tried many of the above listed medications, yet continue with routine sinus infections, it is time to see if Balloon Sinus Dilation is right for you. Balloon Sinus Dilation is designed to reverse the sinus infection cycle by widening blocked sinus passages. It’s a simple, proven, in-office procedure and is covered by most insurance plans!

Schedule your visit or telemedicine virtual visit today with smell specialist Dr. Wayne Hsueh. You can get a consultation from the comfort of your own home. Call (973) 973-2548 or email Dr. Wayne Hsueh (

Learn More
Sinusitis / Sinus Infections: Service
bottom of page