For mild seasonal allergies and allergies to pet dander, avoidance is the most effective course of action. Unfortunately, not all allergens can be avoided and year round exposure to certain triggers may be unavoidable.
Some self-help and pharmaceutical remedies are:
- Saline nasal sprays rinse your nasal passages and may provide some relief.
- Inhaling steam may reduce nasal congestion.
- Decongestants (over-the-counter products are available) may provide some relief.
- Corticosteroid nasal sprays may reduce inflammation.
- Desensitization through allergy shots (exposure to the allergen) may benefit children with pollen sensitive allergies.
- Over-the-counter pain relievers can provide relief (Caution: do not give acetylsalicylic acid (i.e. Aspirin) to children).
- For severe bacterial infections, antibiotics may be required.
When self-help and prescription medication measures are insufficient and the allergic sinusitis symptoms interfere with one's quality of life, chronic allergic sinusitis may be treated with:
Balloon Sinuplasty - Similar to balloon angioplasty used to break up blood clots in the arteries in the heart, balloon sinuplasty utilizes small balloons to expand the openings of the sinuses. This procedure is less invasive than traditional surgery to restore normal sinus drainage and the benefits may include less pain, bleeding and swelling with a quicker return to normal activities.
Surgery - When treatments or medications aren't effective, endoscopic sinus surgery may be an option. A flexible tube is inserted into the nasal passages and fiber-optic light allows the doctor to see the smallest of abnormalities in the sinuses and problem tissue or polyps that may be causing the nasal blockage can be removed.