Chronic sinusitis often needs to be managed for a long period of time. Whether you’ve tried nonsurgical treatments or have undergone surgery, your symptoms may return. The ear, nose, and throat doctors at NYU Langone work with you to determine the most effective ways to prevent sinus infections from returning.
Nasal rinses, also called sinus washes, are easy to use, inexpensive, and can be purchased at local drugstores. A nasal rinse—for example, using a Neti pot—pushes fluid up through one nostril and down and out the other, flushing out mucus that may be clogging nasal passages. Nasal rinses are safe to use daily, and many people find them to be very effective in relieving symptoms of chronic sinusitis.
In addition to using nasal rinses, there are a variety of medications available that can keep symptoms of chronic sinusitis at bay. Over-the-counter options like decongestants can help to clear nasal passages and make breathing easier, and antihistamines are frequently effective for people who have chronic sinusitis due to allergies.
After sinus surgery at NYU Langone, most people return home on the same day and may miss one or two days of work while the sinuses heal. There is usually little pain after surgery, although your surgeon may prescribe pain medication in case you experience discomfort. No gauze or cotton packing in the nose or sinuses is required during recovery.
Sinus surgery at NYU Langone is minimally invasive, meaning no external incisions are made and there is no postoperative facial bruising or swelling. Your nose looks exactly the same after the procedure, even if the surgeon corrected a deviated septum.
Most people need about a week to heal before beginning to experience relief from their sinus symptoms, and four to six weeks to see additional improvement. After two months, you’ll feel the full benefits of sinus surgery, including less stuffiness, reduced pain and pressure in the face, a recovery of the sense of smell, and reduced postnasal drip. During this time, you’ll see your surgeon for several follow-up visits to make sure you’re healing normally.
Your doctor may recommend using nasal rinses and over-the-counter medications after recovery to prevent sinus infections from returning, ensuring that the relief achieved by surgery is long lasting.
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