Sinusitis in the elderly - The New York Sinus Center

Sinusitis in the elderly

With aging, the physiology and function of the nose changes. The nose lengthens, and the nasal tip begins to droop due to weakening of the supporting cartilage. As a result the tip of the the nose is displaced downward forming what some people call a “hump” or a slight depression in the profile area between the eyes extending down to the end of the lower eyelid at the base of the eyelashes.

Elderly patients with symptoms such as repeated sneezing, and watery eyes, nasal obstruction with clear profuse watery runny nose, and soft, pale turbinates (top-shaped bones in the nose) may have allergic rhinitis. Rhinorrhoea is excessive discharge of mucus from the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract due to inflammation of the blood vessels of these membranes or from increased secretion by glands within these structures with subsequent congestion. Patients with chronic sinusitis will have a long history of thick drainage that is often foul smelling and tasting and is associated with nasal obstruction, headaches, and facial pressure.

Rhinitis induced by acute rhinosinusitus is of shorter duration and has fewer symptoms than patients with chronic disease but is commonly associated with sneezing and a runny nose for less than two weeks in uncomplicated cases.

Chronic rhinosinusitis in elderly patients is associated with an exaggerated neutrophilic proinflammatory response to pathogenic bacteria. Because age-related changes lead to decreased resistance to infection, it is conceivable that a decrease in antibacterial mechanisms contributes to the development of chronic sinusitis (CRS) in the elderly population. If your elderly love ones suffer from this condition we suggest to seek for help in order to give them proper care, you can visit or look into a senior assisted living community like The Chelsea at Bald Eagle residences to get assistance.


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