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Sinus Problems Linked to Depression and Low Productivity [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 15, 2017 09:43 PM EDT

A study found that people with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) may be suffering from depression due to missed days at school or work because of their condition.

CRS is one of the more prevalent diseases in the United States. It is known to be detrimental to normal daily activities, particularly those that suffer from severe symptoms like obstructed nasal passages and ear and facial pain.

According to the Reuters, CRS refers to a lasting swelling of sinuses, often caused by infections or nose injuries that affect the quality of living. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 12 percent of American adults have CRS.

Apart from obstructed breathing and facial pains, CRS also causes sleep disturbances and affects emotional functions. Subsequent studies reveal that disturbed sleep and ear and facial pains are most associated to poor quality of life.

A study that was published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that productivity losses associated with CRS runs to billions of dollars per year. It also revealed that an average of 12 days of work or school is missed in one year because of CRS.

Researchers asked 107 individuals diagnosed with CRS to fill out surveys about their conditions and how it affects their attendance in school or on the job.

Despite the detrimental physical symptoms of the disease, researchers were surprised that none of them were the dominant reason respondents gave for missing out school or work. The WebMD reported that it was mainly severe depression symptomatology, according to Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, a sinus surgeon at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and assistant professor of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School and senior author of the study.

Sedaghat said that their findings can be used to design specific treatment approaches for persons suffering from CRS. It also raises awareness that aside from visible symptoms, CRS patients may be battling depression as well.

Meanwhile, Jess Mace, a senior research associate at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, told Reuters that while it is not yet known if CRS causes depression, the symptoms and diagnosis may affect a patient's emotional status. Mace is not part of the research team.

Mace further stated in an email that understanding the symptoms and proactively working with healthcare professionals can lessen the detrimental effects of CRS in daily life.

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