There are certain conditions that people try to power through with sheer will. Chronic sinusitis is one of those conditions, which you should not take the “wait and see” approach with. This disorder can last more than 12 weeks. If left untreated, symptoms like nasal obstruction, congestion, facial pain and tenderness, postnasal drainage, and sore throat will persist. Even worse, chronic sinusitis complications can arise.
Ignoring your symptoms is not your best option, especially if you are also foregoing rest and relaxation. People often take this kind of action when they believe that their symptoms are minor. The truth is, the longer you leave an illness untreated, the worse it can get. Prolonging treatment can have a lasting impact on your health.
The Threat of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
We’ve discussed the effects of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) before. Sinusitis causes obstruction and congestion due to inflammation. This can occur while you are awake but more importantly, when you are sleeping, leading to OSA. When the nasal passageways are blocked, this can interrupt your breathing, causing you to wake up sporadically in the middle of the night.
The constant interruption of sleep reduces the blood oxygen levels in your body. Prolonging treatment for this disorder can have serious consequences. People with obstructive sleep apnea have a 30% higher risk of heart attack or death. Many patients with the disorder have also been known to develop the following diseases:
- High Blood Pressure – This long term medical condition constantly elevates the blood pressure in your arteries, leading to a higher chance of heart failure in the future.
- Stroke – When your brain doesn’t receive enough blood flow, the cells can die. The onset of cell death can cause brain dysfunction.
- Diabetes – Diabetes mellitus is a disorder where you have high blood sugar levels. Your body can experience a stroke, foot ulcers, heart conditions and more.
- Depression – A depressed mood is a mental disorder where a person experiences a lack of energy, low self-esteem, and loss of motivation.
- Obesity – More than 3 million Americans deal with obesity. The disorder involves excessive body fat which can increase the risk of heart disease and arthritis.
Rare Chronic Sinusitis Complications
Many of the more extreme chronic sinusitis complications are rare. However, after 12 weeks of symptoms, you should risk your condition progressing. Here are a few complications that can occur if you don’t take care of your symptoms:
- Meningitis – A very serious and deadly condition. Viral meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes around the brain and spinal cord. Swelling in this area occurs and can cause a headache, neck pain, seizures, nausea, and severe fever. It’s important to see a doctor about this disease before hearing loss, memory troubles, brand damage and kidney failure occur.
- Osteomyelitis – When the infection spreads through the bloodstream or makes its way through an injury, it can affect the bones, causing osteomyelitis. Bones begin to swell and the affected person can experience fatigue. Pain also develops in the vertebrae, leading to back pain.
- Loss of Smell – With disorder like sinusitis and sleep apnea, a loss of smell is common. The longer inflammation of obstruction remains, the more of a chance it has to affect the olfactory nerve. Some people have been known to lose their sense of smell completely.
- Loss of Vision – With the sinuses so close to the optic nerve, an infection can put your vision in danger. If a sinus infection spreads to the eye socket, your vision can suffer. In the end, it can become blurry of lead to permanent blindness.
Treat Chronic Sinusitis With Balloon Sinuplasty
The sooner you treat any disease, the better chance you have at preventing complications from arising. There are several surgical treatment methods for resolving your disorder before chronic sinusitis complications have a chance to affect your health.
Traditional surgery, Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS), cuts the bone and tissue to expand the sinuses. This eliminates blockage and the chance of infection. A safer method is Balloon Sinuplasty surgery. This procedure is a minimally invasive method that uses an endoscopic balloon catheter to expand the sinus. It’s quick, does less damage to the sinuses and the affected area heals in less than a week.
If you live in New York and have experience sleep apnea or sinusitis issues, contact Dr. Eric Cohen. As one of the leading otolaryngologist in the city and practitioners of Balloon Sinuplasty, he can diagnose and treat whatever illness you are dealing with. Call his office today at (212) 600-9411.