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What are the Different Treatments for Sphenoid Sinusitis?

By Alex Terris
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The initial treatment for sphenoid sinusitis is usually a course of antibiotics. Painkillers and decongestants are also sometimes prescribed becuse these can reduce the discomfort associated with the condition. Alternative treatments, such as steam inhalation, may also provide relief from congestion. If medical treatment fails to resolve the condition in a reasonable time frame, surgery is often required. The goal of surgery for sinusitis is to increase drainage by making a small hole in the sinus.

Early diagnosis and treatment of sphenoid sinusitis is important because the acute form of condition can rapidly get worse. The symptoms, at least initially, are relatively minor, which is why the problem is difficult to diagnose in the early stages. Once a doctor has identified the condition, treatment is conservative, with surgery only required if other treatments fail to make a difference in an adequate time frame.

The first treatment for this type of sinusitis is often a course of antibiotics. A doctor usually prescribes antibiotics that affect a range of bacteria because this increases the chance of successful treatment. As the acute form of condition can quickly become worse, antibiotics may only be given a short time to take effect before other treatments are needed. Chronic sinusitis is often treated with a longer drug regimen because this provides more time for the bacteria in the sinus to be addressed.

Other medical treatments for sphenoid sinusitis include decongestants and inhalation of steam. These treatments can provide relief from congestion, which is a common symptom of the condition. Painkillers are sometimes taken to reduce discomfort while other treatments are ongoing. Antihistamines may also be prescribed in some cases.

If antibiotics have not resulted in adequate improvement after a short period of time, surgery for acute sinusitis may be required. Patients who show signs of deterioration or complications might need urgent surgical intervention. There is always some risk associated with an operation of any sort, which is why less invasive treatment is often attempted first.

Surgery for sphenoid sinusitis involves increasing drainage in the sinus. This is achieved though making a small hole. The type of surgery performed depends on a variety of factors, but a ethmoidectomy is common. This is usually performed as a outpatient procedure, which means the patient doesn’t have to stay overnight in the hospital. The surgery is usually performed under a general anesthetic, and involves passing a small tube, with a camera, into the nose.

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Discussion Comments

By anon997890 — On Mar 13, 2017

I have had three sinus operations; the first was for a deviated septum before the pain got real bad. The next ones were because they diagnosed me with trigeminal neuralgia. Pain from around my eye, eye protruding, down my neck, back, top of head, down my arm with numbness in hand, more pain on the top of my head. Now it is sphenoid sinus disease.

By anon348532 — On Sep 17, 2013

I have post nasal dripping bleeding from the right side of my sphenoid sinus. After I checked with my Lung doctor, then four different ENT doctors, they said I needed sphenoid endoscopy surgery. I took two kinds of antibiotics for 20 days but they not help -- even the first antibiotic.

The ENT doctor said I need surgery to take out the fungus. I know the sphenoid surgery is extremely dangerous, but my ENT doctor said it is outpatient. Has anybody had sphenoid surgery for taking a fungus out?

By burcidi — On Mar 04, 2013

@literally45-- I have had it and no, it wasn't painful. But I still think that you should try some other treatments before getting surgery.

When I decided to have surgery, I had exhausted antibiotics, steroids and treatments like steam inhalation and irrigation.

Have you received steroid treatment yet? If not, you should speak to your doctor about it. Steroids might improve your condition since it relieves inflammation. You should also do saline irrigation and steam inhalation regularly.

Give yourself some more time. If none of these reduce your sphenoid sinusitis symptoms, you can always get surgery.

By literally45 — On Mar 03, 2013

I think I'm going to have to get an ethmoidectomy. I've used three different antibiotics so far and my sphenoid sinus infection is not going away. My latest MRI showed that my condition hasn't changed.

I'm still thinking about it, I think surgery should be my last option. But I'm also tired of being dizzy and having headaches all the time.

Has anyone had an ethmoidectomy? How was it? Is it very painful?

By stoneMason — On Mar 03, 2013

Can acupuncture treat sphenoidal sinusitis?

My friend keeps telling me to go to acupuncture. She claims I will be treated in maximum three visits. I'm not so sure.

By anon306215 — On Nov 28, 2012

Thank you for this information. It's very helpful for my recent diagnosis!

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