Anyone who has chronic sinusitis is quite familiar with the pressure behind the eyes, headaches, constant dripping nose and coughing that go hand in hand with the condition. While there are many effective methods for treating the symptoms, those who suffer from this illness could experience other serious health effects because of their condition.

Here are some things to look out for if you are affected by chronic sinusitis:

  • Asthma: Sufferers of asthma might find their symptoms worsen as a result of this condition. This might require asthma control medicines other than a rescue inhaler during sinus flare ups.
  • Adult Onset Asthma: While asthma is typically diagnosed in children, it is possible for adults who do not suffer from asthma to develop asthma due to chronic sinusitis. If you start to experience asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath or ongoing cough, consult your doctor.
  • Pneumonia: Chronic chest congestion can lead to serious secondary complications, like pneumonia.  Pneumonia can be life threatening and may require treatment in the hospital.
  • Ear Health: Because the sinuses are connected to the ears; a chronic condition can lead to ear maladies like infections, pressure in the ears due to increase of fluid and in extreme cases hearing loss. Pay careful attention to symptoms like loss of balance or pain in the ears during sinus flair ups.
  • Eye and Brain Health: Sinus cavities are also connected to the eyes and the brain. Due to this close proximity, eye infections could be another health side effect. More serious conditions like meningitis can also occur. Treatment can prevent vision loss and other serious side effects.

The good news is that there are a variety of methods that can correct chronic sinusitis.  These techniques are very safe and can help patients live a life free of sinus pain. Having these procedures performed to correct a chronic sinus condition can decrease or eliminate other negative health effects.

By Ramie A. Tritt, MD, President, Atlanta ENT