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See a Sinusitis Doctor in St. Louis, Missouri

See a sinusitis doctor in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Sonia Cajigal is a board-certified allergist and immunologist that can help you find relief from your sinus problems, including chronic sinusitis. Schedule your visit to St. Louis Allergy & Asthma today to discuss sinusitis!

“I’ve struggled with asthma and allergies for 15 years and thought that I was just going to have to struggle for the rest of my life. Dr. Cajigal has completely turned that around for me and came up with a plan on how to treat me. She listens and truly cares. I no longer struggle every day. She’s amazing and I highly recommend her and her awesome staff!”

– Sam, June 2023

Sinusitis Doctor Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri
Sinusitis Doctor Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy review badges and affiliations

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis Overview
Sinusitis Symptoms
Sinusitis Diagnosis
Sinusitis Treatment
Intense facial pressure, nasal congestion, cough, and thick nasal discharge are common signs of sinusitis. The sinuses are hollow cavities around your eyes, behind your nose, and in your cheekbones that contain mucus to warm, moisten, and filter the air you breathe. Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) occurs when the sinuses become inflamed or infected, or when something blocks your sinuses from draining, causing painful pressure that can be felt in the cheeks and the forehead. Sinusitis can be caused by allergies, asthma, a bacterial infection, a fungus, a deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, or an immune system deficiency.

Acute Sinusitis

Acute sinusitis refers to any case of sinusitis that lasts less than four weeks. Acute sinusitis is often caused by a bacterial infection that develops during a common cold, when something blocks mucus from draining from the sinuses. A common cold usually goes away within 7 to 10 days, but sinusitis can persist until treatment is prescribed.

Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis, also called chronic rhinosinusitis, refers to any case of sinusitis that lasts for 12 weeks or longer despite attempted medical treatment.

Individuals with nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis) or asthma are much more likely to suffer from chronic sinusitis, because the airways are more likely to become inflamed when allergic rhinitis or asthma are triggered.

Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps (CRSwNP)

Roughly one in five individuals with chronic rhinosinusitis have nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are benign (non-cancerous) growths in the nasal cavity and are typically present in both sides of the nasal cavity. Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is most common in adults in their 30’s or 40’s. It’s also rather common for individuals with CRSwNP to also have asthma.
See a Sinusitis Doctor

in St. Louis, Missouri

Woman with sinusitis symptoms in St. Louis, Missouri

Sinusitis Symptoms

Sinusitis usually develops after a cold or during times of severe or ongoing allergic rhinitis symptoms. Symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Painful pressure in the cheeks and the forehead
  • Thick yellow-green nasal discharge
  • Phlegm in the back of your throat, also called postnasal drip
  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Toothache
  • A fever may develop in the case of acute sinusitis

Fever, pain, swelling in the face or eye, redness on the cheeks or around the eye, severe headaches, confusion, or stiff neck can indicate a serious infection. If you have any of these more severe symptoms, we recommend seeking a doctor immediately.

Sinusitis Diagnosis

Dr. Cajigal, a sinusitis doctor in St. Louis, can help you determine the cause of your sinusitis, determine immediate treatment options, and identify strategies to prevent sinusitis in the future.

Allergy Testing

Allergy testing can identify if any allergic triggers might be behind your chronic or recurring sinus infections. Allergy testing typically consists of a thorough medical history, skin testing, and sometimes blood testing.

Endoscopy

In chronic or severe cases, your doctor may also examine your nasal passages using a technique called rhinoscopy or nasal endoscopy. Referral to an otolaryngologist (an ENT) may be necessary for this diagnostic technique. In this procedure, a thin, flexible instrument is inserted up the nostril to view the sinus passages and look for blockages.

Imaging

Your doctor may also order an MRI or CT scan to look for abnormalities in the sinuses. An MRI or CT can reveal narrow drainage passages, polyps, or a deviated septum, all of which make sinusitis more likely.
See a Sinusitis Specialist

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Allergy testing to diagnose causes of sinusitis

Sinusitis Treatments

Up to 70 % of people with acute sinusitis recover without any prescribed medications. The conventional advice for recovering from sinusitis is to get plenty of rest and to keep your body hydrated by drinking several glasses of water per day. Some individuals find relief from sinusitis symptoms by breathing hot moist air, using hot packs, or washing the nasal cavities with a saline rinse.

Sinusitis Medications

Sinusitis often resolves on its own, but for cases that persist, medical treatment varies by cause and duration.

Acutie Sinusitis Medications

If the cause of your sinusitis is a bacterial infection, treatment with an antibiotic can shorten the duration of acute sinusitis and can also reduce the severity of symptoms.

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol) or ibuprofen (e.g. Advil or Motrin) may be beneficial. Parents should not give aspirin to children under the age of 18.

Decongestants or nasal sprays might help relieve your symptoms and promote drainage of the infection.

Chronic Sinusitis Medications

In contrast to acute sinusitis, antibiotics typically aren’t effective in chronic sinusitis because chronic sinusitis typically isn’t caused by a bacterial infection.

Allergy management is one of the most effective means to help prevent recurrent sinusitis. If you struggle with chronic or recurring sinusitis, we recommend getting a formal allergy diagnosis and avoid allergy triggers. Allergy medications and allergy shots may also be appropriate.

Intranasal corticosteroid sprays may be also appropriate for recurrent sinusitis, but only under the care of a physician. If your sinusitis diagnosis involves a fungus, your physician may also prescribe an antifungal medication.

If you have CRSwNP, biologic therapy (dupilumab) is also an option.

Sinusitis Surgery

Endoscopic sinus surgery may be an option for chronic sinusitis if medications fail, though patients should be aware that sinus surgery is not a quick fix, and most patients who undergo sinus surgery still require medications to prevent the return of chronic sinusitis. Surgery should always be viewed as a last resort in children, and the decision to operate should not be made lightly.

If you have CRSwNP, surgical removal of polyps may help to relieve symptoms. Drug eluting stent implants are also an option.

References

[1] American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: https://acaai.org/
[2] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: https://www.aafa.org/
More Specialties

Asthma

Drug Allergies

Eye Allergies

Food Allergies

Nasal Allergies

Skin Allergies

Allergy Shots

Allergy Testing

Biologic Therapy

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Visit Sinusitis Specialist Dr. Sonia Cajigal of St. Louis Family Allergy in St. Louis, Missouri

Sinusitis Specialist
Dr. Sonia Cajigal

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"Dr. Cajigal was friendly, professional, and informative. She took the time to explain the tests and what was going on with my allergies. She is so knowledgeable and really cared about how I was feeling. I would highly recommend this practice if you suffer from allergies and asthma."

- Sue D, July 2020

“Dr Cajigal is a great listener. She trusts her patients instead of treating them as if they are not the experts of their own bodies. I really appreciate that (many doctors do not have that quality). She also immediately treats the symptoms instead of waiting to see if things clear. I use her for my children and myself. We have never left her office feeling as if it was a waste of time.”

– Stephanie, August 2020

"Great Allergist!"

- Ann H, December 2018

"She is the best."

- Stephen W, June 2020

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