Poor air quality doesn’t just make it hard to go outside and enjoy your day, but it can lead to various health problems as well, including chronic sinusitis.
What Is Chronic Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is another term for a sinus infection. These infections occur when the tissues in your sinuses become inflamed. Chronic sinusitis is simply a term for a sinus infection that lasts longer than 12 weeks. Common symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Pain and pressure in your sinuses
- Severe nasal congestion
- Thick, green or yellow nasal discharge
- Postnasal drip
- Loss of smell
- General fatigue
The Connection Between Air Quality and Sinus Health
A recent study looked at 6,102 adults to determine the ways in which long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution (also known as PM2.5) affected the risk of developing chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). PM2.5 refers to inhalable particulates that are smaller than 2.5 micrometers in size. This includes dust, soot and smoke, among other particles.
The results of this study found that “CRS was more likely to be diagnosed in patients exposed to higher concentrations of PM2.5.”
Ways To Protect Yourself from Poor Air Quality
Obviously, as one person, you only have so much control over the air you are exposed to, as we’ve seen with wildfires that have wreaked havoc on the air quality in many parts of the country over the last few months. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself, including:
- Check the air quality in your area to see if it’s in a healthy or unhealthy range.
- Stay indoors as much as possible when air quality is poor.
- Avoid working out or doing anything strenuous outside during periods of poor air quality.
- Keep the windows of your home closed and consider investing in an air purifier.
- Consider wearing a particular respirator mask if you have to go outside.
Visit an ENT Specialist for Chronic Sinus Infections
While chronic sinus infections aren’t life-threatening, they can absolutely affect your quality of life. Dealing with constant congestion and feeling unwell can make it harder to sleep, work and spend quality time with your loved ones.
If you’ve been dealing with sinus symptoms that don’t respond to rest or other at-home treatments, make an appointment with an ENT specialist. You may have risk factors that are contributing to your chronic infection, like nasal polyps or a deviated septum. Treating those can bring long-term relief to your symptoms.
For more information about sinusitis, call the experts at Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists today.