Sinusitis affects up to 14% of Americans. Traditionally, most patients with sinusitis are evaluated and treated by either primary care physicians or otolaryngologists. In order to gain information regarding the characteristics at presentation and the outcome of treatment of sinusitis by an allergist, the records of 200 consecutive patients seen at the Institute for Asthma and Allergy at the Washington Hospital Center for chronic sinusitis were reviewed. The most common presenting symptoms were nasal congestion, postnasal drip, purulent rhinorrhea, headache, cough, facial pressure, anosmia or hyposmia, hypogeusia, and throat clearing. Initial abnormal physical exam findings included abnormal transillumination, purulent secretions, nasal mucosal swelling, nasal polyps, and nasal crusting. Treatment included 4 weeks of oral antibiotics, nasal corticosteroids, nasal lavage, and topical decongestants. All of the presenting symptoms (23–75% of the patients) and signs (50–84% of patients) improved with medical management. Patients have been followed for 1 to 27 months, with a mean of 6 months, and 6% have required surgery, with one complication of cerebrospinal fluid leak. These findings indicate that medical management of chronic sinusitis in an allergist's office is effective.
Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.
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