With wildfires making national news, it’s no secret that poor air quality can be detrimental to your health in many ways. Some research has indicated that regular exposure to poor air quality may lead to chronic sinusitis.
Chronic Sinusitis Overview
Chronic sinusitis or rhinosinusitis (CRS) is a sinus infection that lasts 12 weeks or longer. When you have a sinus infection, fluid builds up in your sinus cavities, causing inflammation and infection.
If you have a sinus infection, you may experience some or all of the following:
- Pain and pressure in your sinuses
- Severe nasal congestion
- Thick, green or yellow nasal discharge
- Postnasal drip
- Loss of smell
- General fatigue
Research on Chronic Rhinosinusitis and Air Pollution
Research published in 2021 examined 6,102 adults to determine how and if long-term exposure to particulate matter (PM) air pollution, also known as PM2.5, affected their risk of developing chronic rhinosinusitis.
PM2.5 is defined as inhalable particulates that are smaller than n 2.5 micrometers in size and include things like dust and smoke, among other particles.
The results showed that “CRS was more likely to be diagnosed in patients exposed to higher concentrations of PM2.5 across all windows of exposure.”
How To Reduce Air Pollution Exposure
You don’t have control over the air quality where you reside. However, you can take steps to protect yourself when you are in an area with poor air quality.
- Stay updated on daily air pollution levels in Southeast Pennsylvania or wherever you reside.
- Avoid outdoor exercise like jogging at Wentz Run Park when air pollution is high.
- Keep the windows of your home closed.
- Consider purchasing an air purifier for your home.
- Don’t be around indoor cigarette smoke or allow people to smoke in your home.
- Wear a particular respirator mask if you have to go outside.
Treating Chronic Sinus Symptoms
Many other factors can lead to chronic sinus infections, including nasal polyps, deviated septum, allergies and complications from other medical conditions. If you suffer from persistent sinus problems that are getting in the way of going about your daily life, make an appointment with an ENT specialist.
They can evaluate your symptoms and run additional testing if necessary to determine the cause of your chronic sinusitis and discuss treatment options that can bring you relief from your unpleasant symptoms.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, call Pinnacle ENT today.