Sinus inflammation that lasts for 8 weeks or longer is considered chronic. Normally the sinuses drain freely through hollow spaces inside the nose. 

In cases of chronic sinusitis, however, inflammation prevents the sinuses from draining normally, so mucus builds up and infection can set in. Symptoms can make daily life a struggle.

At Riviera Allergy Medical Center, allergy and immunology specialist Ulrike Ziegner, MD, PhD, sees patients in Redondo Beach, California, who are dealing with a wide range of immune system conditions, including chronic sinusitis

Relief from chronic sinusitis requires a thorough evaluation to get to the root of the problem. Take a few moments to learn how we diagnose and treat chronic sinusitis to ease your symptoms so you can get back to enjoying life.

What causes chronic sinusitis?

Chronic sinusitis is often linked to respiratory allergies. This means your body overreacts to normally harmless triggers floating in the air, such as pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust mites.

In people who have respiratory allergies, the body releases histamine and other immune-related substances that cause the lining of the sinuses to swell. You have a higher chance of developing chronic sinusitis if you have asthma or another allergic condition. 

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis

The swelling in your sinuses can cause the following symptoms:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Diminished sense of smell
  • Facial pressure
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Problems sleeping
  • Runny nose
  • Ear pain
  • Upper jaw soreness

Chronic sinusitis symptoms can have a major impact on your quality of life, affecting work productivity, making it difficult to concentrate or get restful sleep. 

Chronic sinusitis treatment

The treatment approach for chronic sinusitis involves addressing the underlying cause. If Dr. Ziegner suspects allergies, she performs allergy testing. If an infection is present, she may prescribe antibiotics. The following are treatments used to relieve symptoms.

Saline irrigation

Nasal saline washes flush the nasal passages. This helps to clear the sinuses of allergens and irritants, debris, and thick mucus. Using saline to flush the sinuses is not only soothing, but also relieves inflammation. 


These medications block histamine, which can help relieve nasal symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, and also itchy eyes. 

Nasal corticosteroids

Corticosteroids have powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Nasal corticosteroids, both over-the-counter and prescribed, help shrink swollen nasal passages, which restores proper nasal drainage and provides relief.

Getting relief from chronic sinusitis

Dr. Ziegner and the team at Riviera Allergy Medical Center work closely with you to get relief from chronic sinusitis symptoms. If sinus symptoms persist she will consider rhinoscopy or imaging studies to evaluate the extent of the sinusitis and look for anatomic abnormalities leading to blockage of the sinus drainage, such as nasal polyps or nasal septum deviation, which are treatable conditions.

To get started on the path to feeling better, schedule a visit with Dr. Ziegner for a comprehensive evaluation by calling 310-504-3242. Our knowledgeable team members are ready to help.  

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