Geriatric Sinusitis

With the ever-changing climate, sinuses are working overtime.  As overlooked as it is, geriatric sinusitis is very common. Patients with nasal obstruction or congestion, a runny, itchy, or even dry crusting nose may be experiencing geriatric sinusitis.[1]

What are the symptoms:

  • constant nasal drainage
  • chronic need to clear throat
  • sense of nasal obstruction
  • nasal crusting, more during the winter months and patients taking diuretics
  • vague facial pressure
  • decreased sense of smell or taste

The three types of sinusitis are allergic, non-allergic, and atrophic. When treating patients with geriatric sinusitis, knowing which type will increase the likelihood of success in treatment.

  • Allergic form of sinusitis is caused by a reaction to allergens. These can be pollen, mold, dust mites, or pet dander. This can be diagnosed by either skin prick or blood testing.
  • Non-allergic may have nasal congestion, runny nose, and post-nasal drainage. This type of reaction can be brought on by temperature, humidity, and exposure to irritants.
  • Atrophic form is the most common in older patients. It causes a decline in blood flow to the mucosal lining. In turn, this causes the tissues in the nose to shrink or dry out.

More than 20% of U.S. population will be 65 or older by 2030, with a staggering 14.1% reporting that they suffer from chronic sinusitis.

For more information and treatment options:,or%20nasal%20dryness%20or%20crusting.


Geriatric Rhinitis [Internet]. Boston Medical Center. Available from:,or%20nasal%20dryness%20or%20crusting.

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