A new study offers some surprising answers to offering chronic sinusitis treatment. According to the study, those with this condition may find great relief in quality of life with nasal sprays and other nonsurgical treatments. For those with chronic sinusitis, this is great news because surgery may not be the best way to treat this infection. The general rule is: the less invasive treatment is the best response to most conditions.

Chronic sinusitis treatments can include nasal sprays and antihistamines may be as effective as surgery in helping some patients achieve a better quality of life, the small study found.

The study was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health and published online Oct. 29 in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. Dr. Jordan Josephson, a sinus specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said, “Chronic sinusitis is the number one cause for chronic fatigue and is closely associated with snoring and sleep apnea.

Thirty-eight patients with chronic sinus infections were given medical therapy rather than having surgery. “Patients who have relatively minimally reduced productivity at work and minimally reduced quality of life from their underlying chronic sinusitis can avoid getting worse by continuing with medical

therapy,” said lead researcher Dr. Luke Rudmik, a clinical associate professor of endoscopic sinus and skull base surgery at the University of Calgary in Canada.

The decision to choose medical therapy versus surgery for chronic sinusitis should be based on patient preference, and the decision for each treatment should involve an honest conversation between the doctor and patient so that the patient understands the expected outcomes and potential risks.

Surgery, however, can be a good option too for people with severe sinus infections. Surgery is just an aide to the necessary long-term medical plan that is required to improve the quality of these patients’ lives. Surgery can be minimally invasive, performed with local anesthesia. During surgery, the doctor uses probes and a laser to remove tissue and bone and polyps that have developed during the infection and are narrowing the nasal passages.

With newer surgical techniques, these procedures allow most patients to be free of black-and-blue marks, with most going home the same day. After surgery, patients still need their medical treatment because the procedure doesn’t stop the running nose. The best chronic sinusitis treatment is designed for each patient.

The best news here is that traditional treatments, alternative treatments, and surgical techniques that have failed patients in the past have been renewed and improved so that for them new medical and surgical treatments may offer significant improvements for their quality of life.