Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Causes Of Constant Sinus Drainage

What Causes A Sinus Infection

Causes of Constant Phlegmy Throat or Throat Mucus

In most cases, acute sinusitis is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, which means it usually develops after youve had a cold or the flu. Its possible for an acute sinus infection to develop into a chronic infection over time. However, most chronic sinus infections are caused by:

Certain health conditions are also known to accompany chronic sinusitis. These include:

  • Asthma
  • Primary immune deficiency disesase

Abnormal Growths Or Other Anatomical Abnormalities

The body is a mysterious and complex series of systems. Seemingly out of nowhere, tissues can thicken, cells can excessively multiply causing tumors, or small issues that didnt cause problems in the past can begin to cause you trouble. If your nasal passages or sinus cavities experience abnormal growths of any kind, they can usually be removed through surgery. If it is a tumor or mass, we will biopsy the tissue to make sure it is not cancerous.

Most anatomical abnormalities affecting the bony or soft tissues comprising the sinus cavities can be repaired via surgery, greatly eliminating the experience of recurrent sinus issues.

What Are The Symptoms Of Chronic Sinusitis

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may include:

  • Tenderness or pressure in the face .
  • Post nasal drip .
  • Nasal discharge or a stuffy nose.
  • Toothache, ear pain and/or headache.
  • Cough.
  • Loss of the senses of taste and smell.
  • Halitosis .

The combination of symptoms and the fact that they last for such a long period of time can make you miserable. You’ll probably have trouble sleeping through the night and may have dark circles under your eyes.

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What Is Allergy Testing

Allergy testing determines the substances to which you are allergic as well as how sensitive you are to each allergen. Although a blood sample from you can be analyzed, our allergy testing technique more commonly involves injecting small amounts of various allergies into your skin. A positive skin reaction indicates that you are allergic to that particular substance however, it does not mean that substance is causing your symptoms. We must always correlate your allergy test results with your type and timing of symptoms.

How Is Chronic Sinusitis Treated

Know the Diseases

Chronic sinusitis is not usually caused by a bacterial infection, but it can be. If your healthcare provider really thinks that you have a bacterial infection, they might give you a prescription for something like amoxicillin. Antibiotics only help for bacterial infections. Other ways to treat non-bacterial chronic sinusitis include:

  • Avoiding triggers .
  • Using intranasal corticosteroid sprays and leukotriene antagonists or antifungal medication to get rid of a fungus.
  • Treating the underlying condition, such as allergies, asthma, and/or immune deficiency conditions, with medications such as topical antihistamine, or steroid, sprays or antihistamine pills.
  • Having surgery . Fungal balls are clumps of fungal infection that block sinuses.
  • Having a procedure called balloon sinus ostial dilation, which inserts a balloon into a sinus cavity to open it further and make more room.

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What Does Sinus Drainage Feel Like

Allergies and sinusitis can often feel very similar stuffy nose, runny nose, wheezing, watery eyes, etc. If your sinus drainage is the cause of the cold, then you will not feel relief from this for days. If allergies are to blame for the sinus drainage, then you will experience relief when you are no longer around the trigger.

Can Sinusitis Cause Aching Body

Now, new research suggests that chronic sinus problems may be linked to body pain and fatigue. “People with chronic sinusitis have about 24 percent more bodily pain than the average personbodily pain very similar to those who are 35 years older those with arthritis and depression,” says Alexander C.

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How Do You Diagnose Chronic Sinusitis

One clue is a frequent need for antibiotics. If you have been on antibiotics four or more times during the past year, there is an increased likelihood that you may have chronic sinusitis. That likelihood is even greater if the antibiotics were appropriately prescribed for bacterial sinusitis, not simply colds, and if you had at least temporary improvement while on antibiotics. Admittedly, not all patients have this recurring sinus infection pattern. Some patients simply have continuous nasal congestion with some discolored postnasal drainage, perhaps a poor sense of smell, and possibly fatigue that’s reminiscent to sinusitis.Since it is difficult to make a diagnosis based simply on symptoms, a complete exam of your nasal cavity is important. Nasal endoscopes, which we have available in our office, are especially helpful. They allow us to see the type of secretions coming from the sinuses and detect problems inside the nasal cavity.

Another key diagnosis component is a CT scan, also known as a CAT scan. We usually obtain the scan after a prolonged course of medical therapy or at your baseline however, sometimes we decide to obtain it during a flare-up. This x-ray study determines if there is swelling blocking the opening between the sinuses and the nasal cavity.

Tips For Treating Chronic Sinus Infections

Two Reasons for Chronic Sinus Congestion Sinus Remedies by Dr.Berg

No matter the season, having a cold is never convenient. Its even worse when your cold turns into a sinus infection. A sinus infection will stick around long after symptoms of an upper respiratory infection are gone. You might even know its a sinus infection because you get sinus infections frequently. Perhaps your doctor diagnosed your sinus infection after you just couldnt seem to get better. After all, since almost 30 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, your doctor likely treats them a lot.

The question is, when do you need to see a specialist? If your sinus infection just isnt going away, or if you seem to get recurrent sinus infections, it may be time to see an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

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How Do I Stop Excess Sinus Drainage

There are a variety of reasons why someone may suffer from excess sinus drainage. Allergies as well as the common cold virus can lead to sinus drainage. The sinus cavities in your head are narrow passages. An excessive amount of drainage can be more than an annoyance. It can lead to painful sinus infections if the fluid builds up in these narrow passages and becomes infected.

You can use several techniques to reduce drainage. Some people believe that certain foods, such as dairy products, increase the amount of drainage that you produce. While there is little science to back this up, you may give it a try. Dairy products are one food product that many people are sensitive to, so cutting back may decrease the amount of drainage.

Drinking plenty of water is another cure that may help reduce sinus drainage. While the effectiveness of this is not proven either, in general, drinking plenty of water helps thin sinus secretions. This can lead to less noticeable drainage.

Complications Of Chronic Sinusitis

Some people are troubled by frequent sinus infections, or continuous infection. Chronic sinusitis can linger for weeks or even months at a time. This can sometimes lead to serious complications, including infections in the bones and tissue near to the sinuses. Very rarely this infection can spread to the brain and the fluid around the brain. The person will be very ill and have swelling around the eyes.People with chronic sinusitis may have other problems which affect the nose, throat and ears at the same time, including:

  • Middle ear infection and temporary deafness
  • Post-nasal drip , which can lead to constant coughing, a sore throat and bad breath.

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What Causes Constant Sinus Drainage

In adults, chronic sinusitis most often is linked to nasal swelling caused by allergies, especially allergies to inhaled dust, mold, pollen, or the spores of fungi. These allergies trigger the release of histamine and other chemicals that cause the inner lining of the nose to swell and block sinus drainage.

What Causes Sinus Drainage

Pin by Lex Lou on Health &  Fitness

One of the main causes of sinus drainage is simply being alive. Every day the human body produces several liters of sinus fluid and mucus, and all of that natural liquid must go somewhere. In the case of sinus drainage, fluid from the nasal passages and sinuses drains into the back of the throat, where it is swallowed several times a minute. Eventually, most normal drainage is eliminated through the kidneys as part of a person’s urine. Abnormal types of drainage, however, can be caused by factors such as bacterial infections, viral infections, allergens, acid reflux disease, irritating fumes or dehydration.

Some people may experience sinus drainage in the form of a runny nose after eating spicy foods or inhaling an irritating odor. Mucus-producing glands in the nasal area react to such irritants by increasing their production of a watery liquid similar to saliva in texture. By flooding the affected area, the body hopes to wash away the irritants and reduce the inflammation they trigger. This type of drainage is generally thin and clear, and flows freely down the back of the throat or out of the nasal passages. Once the irritant is gone, the drainage generally returns to normal.

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What Is Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis is a long-lasting sinus inflammation and infection. It can linger over a period of time, typically longer than 12 weeks. The sinuses are four paired cavities in the head. These spaces are connected by narrow channels. The four spaces are named for the bones they are near: ethmoidal, sphenoidal, frontal and maxillary. The sinuses make thin mucus that drains out of the channels of the nose. This drainage works as a filtration system, keeping the nose clean and free of bacteria.

The sinuses can become infected when they are blocked and filled with fluid. This is called sinusitis. There are several kinds of sinusitis: acute, subacute, chronic and recurrent. Unlike chronic sinusitis,acute sinusitis typically lasts only a few days, but can last up to four weeks, before going away with minimal or no treatment. Chronic sinusitis may require different types of treatment. Surgery is sometimes needed in severe cases of chronic sinusitis that do not respond to other methods.

Chronic sinusitis is different than recurrent sinusitis because chronic sinusitis symptoms never really go away for long periods of time. In recurrent sinusitis, you have 4 or more bouts of sinusitis in one year, but you also have symptom-free periods in between.

When Should You Talk To An Ent About Sinus Drainage

If you suspect that you might have a sinus infection or chronic inflammation in the sinuses, then schedule an appointment with a local ENT.

Usually, sinus problems are a secondary issue that happens after youve had another type of illness. For example, a common cold will stick around for 7 to 10 days before the symptoms clear up. If the cold leads to the development of a sinus infection, then the nasal symptoms will continue to persist, even after the other upper respiratory symptoms have subsided.

Another common cause of a postnasal drip sensation is silent reflux. When drainage down the back of the throat occurs, triggering increased coughing and throat clearing, if a patient has concurrent silent reflux of acid from below, both will lower the cough/throat clearing threshold, and long after the nasal symptoms subside, persistent cough and throat clearing can be from an unmasking of previously asymptomatic silent reflux. Certain blood pressure medications can trigger a cough. An ENT can help tease out a persistent etiology.

Its normal to have a bit of sinus drainage and mucus production. But if you notice any of the following symptoms, then your best choice is to schedule an appointment for diagnosis and treatment:

  • Chronic cough
  • Dull pressure in your head or face
  • Pressure increases when leaning over
  • Nasal discharge that is thick and yellow/green
  • Symptoms get worse or dont subside after 10 days

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Diagnosis Of Sinus Drainage

Your physician will begin by asking what your symptoms are and what seems to trigger them. The physician will also feel around for any tenderness and look inside of your nose. If symptoms tend to be brought on by allergies, then your physician will recommend allergy testing. Allergy testing will allow you to know what to avoid. Imaging tests, nasal endoscopy, or sinus cultures will all help to see any other underlying conditions that may be the cause of sinus drainage.

How Is Chronic Sinusitis Diagnosed

Chronic Post Nasal Drip Explained By Dr.Berg

Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when symptoms of a sinus infection have continued for more than 12 weeks. In some cases, your doctor may use an endoscope .

A CT scan or MRI could also be used to look for structural issues. Structural problems usually include a deviated nasal septum or polyps .

In very few cases, your provider might order a biopsy to see if the infection has spread. Biopsies involve taking tissue or bone samples to example under the microscope.

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Managing Your Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms

If you have chronic sinusitis, your doctor may ask you to see an allergist, an ENT, or both.

They can help you get started with treatment, but there is a lot you can do to manage sinus problems on your own:

  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep your mucus thin and flowing
  • Use steam or hot compresses to loosen up thick mucus secretions
  • Keep you environment moist by using a clean humidifier
  • Use over-the-counter saline nasal sprays or irrigations to open nasal and sinus passages
  • Avoid overuse of over-the-counter decongestant sprays that can cause rebound congestion

Remember that sinusitis symptoms could be due to a sinus infection, but they also might be the result of an allergy or fungus.

Your doctor can help you find out the true cause and get you to the right specialist for treatment.

Can Respiratory Problems Contribute To Throat Clearing

Yes, problems with various parts of the respiratory tract can cause a need for excessive throat clearing. Asthma and chronic bronchitis can both cause throat clearing along with the more common symptoms of cough and difficulty breathing. In addition, the vocal cords and larynx can be irritated by voice overuse or reflux from the stomach, leading to throat clearing as well as hoarseness. The uppermost part of the respiratory tract can be affected by post-nasal drip, usually due to allergies or a respiratory infection. In this case, irritation of the throat triggers throat clearing.

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Accurate Sinus Diagnosis And Treatments Is Essential

The only way to stop recurring sinus infections once and for all is to have an evaluation by a specialist who has the specialized training and experience to accurately diagnose their cause. Once you have an accurate diagnosis, we can discuss the options. The goal is always to provide the patient with all the available options, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each, and help you find the best treatment plan for you.

Can Surgery Cure Chronic Sinusitis


Doctors are reluctant to talk about cures because this implies a guarantee that the condition will completely go away and never come back after treatment. Instead, scientific studies concentrate on ‘outcome’measures’. These studies focus particularly on symptoms and whether or not they improve after treatment. In the case of chronic sinusitis, for example, such symptoms would include sense of smell, nasal obstruction and any associated condition such as asthma. In one large study, 8 out of 10 people said their symptoms improved after sinus surgery.

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How To Treat Chronic Sinusitis

There are a number of treatment options that can be used to get rid of chronic sinus inflammation. Some of the most common ones include:

  • Nasal irrigation: Irrigation with a saline solution can help minimize nasal drainage and rinse away irritants that are contributing to chronic inflammation.
  • Nasal corticosteroid sprays: These sprays contain steroids, which help reduce and prevent inflammation — some doctors recommend combining these with nasal irrigation.
  • Oral or injected corticosteroids: These medications can be used to relieve severe inflammation, especially in people whose sinusitis is caused by nasal polyps.
  • Aspirin desensitization treatment: If you’re sensitive to aspirin but need to take it, your doctor may recommend this type of treatment to increase your tolerance and minimize the symptoms of sinusitis.
  • Antibiotics: If your sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics can help eliminate the infection and get rid of your symptoms
  • Immunotherapy: For people whose sinusitis is caused by allergies, allergy shots can help minimize reactions to known allergens and improve symptoms

Sometimes, doctors will also recommend lifestyle changes to help patients manage the symptoms of chronic inflammation. Some simple lifestyle changes you can make to find relief from your condition include:

Overview Of Sinus Drainage

Sinus drainage is also frequently known as acute sinusitis. This occurs when the cavities that is around the nasal passages become swollen and inflamed. This area is also called the sinuses. When this occurs, then there is a problem with drainage and mucus will begin to build up in this area. Sinus drainage is usually caused by a cold or an allergy. The sickness usually goes away within 10 days.

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