Posts for tag: Sinusitis
Is it a sinus infection, allergies or a cold?
It isn’t always easy to tell a sinus infection apart from other respiratory illnesses. Still, it’s essential to recognize the signs and symptoms, so you know what medical professional to turn to. Especially if you are dealing with persistent or severe sinus problems, you must turn to an ENT doctor, who specializes in treating acute and chronic infections and issues that impact the nose and sinuses. Want to learn more about sinusitis? You’ve come to the right place.
What Is Sinusitis?
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, sinus infections affect over 31 million Americans. Sinusitis causes swelling of the nasal passages, which can lead to difficulty breathing through the nose or even a complete nasal blockage (in more severe cases). Some people mistake their sinus infection for the common cold since many symptoms are the same.
What Are the Common Symptoms of a Sinus Infection?
Wondering if you could be dealing with sinusitis? Some of the warning signs include,
- Nasal congestion
- Green nasal discharge
- Postnasal drip
- Facial pain or fullness
- Referred pain in the upper teeth
What Causes Sinusitis?
In many cases, a bacterial infection is typically to blame. Of course, viruses and fungi can also cause sinus infections, particularly in those with compromised immune systems.
How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed?
Since distinguishing your symptoms from other conditions can be challenging, it’s always best to see one of our ENT doctors for a proper diagnosis. Treating your disease sooner can prevent health complications or symptoms from worsening.
How Is It Treated?
The cause of your sinusitis and whether you have an acute or chronic form will determine the type of treatment we recommend. In most cases, using an over-the-counter antihistamine or decongestant spray can reduce swelling within the sinuses to help improve drainage. Of course, these medications should only be used for a few days. If you aren’t finding relief after a few days, it’s time to talk to us.
For those with bacterial sinusitis, antibiotics are usually the best course of treatment. In some situations, a nasal steroid spray may be used to reduce swelling and inflammation of the tissue within the nasal passages.
If you are dealing with a sinus infection that isn’t going away or improving with rest and home care, you owe it to yourself to turn to an ENT doctor for treatment.
Do you find yourself dealing with persistent sinus infections? Have nasal congestion and facial pressure become the norm? If so, then it’s time to turn to an otolaryngologist who can provide you with the relief that you need! While acute sinusitis is usually nothing to worry about and will go away fully after a few weeks of treatment, chronic sinusitis often needs a more proactive solution. If you have been battling a sinus infection for over 12 weeks and it’s not responding to treatment, then it’s time to consider other treatment options. Read on to learn more!
How to Treat Chronic Sinusitis
One of the ways to treat chronic nasal inflammation and blockages is through a simple endoscopic sinus procedure. Unlike traditional surgery, this procedure is minimally invasive and doesn’t require major incisions or removal of bone or tissue.
While this procedure isn’t necessary for patients dealing with acute bouts of sinusitis, if you are someone dealing with a true chronic form of sinusitis, then it might be time to consider endoscopic sinus surgery.
When you come in for a consultation, an ENT doctor will perform a physical exam and talk to you about your symptoms. Common symptoms of chronic sinusitis include,
- Nasal drainage
- Nasal obstruction and congestion
- Facial pressure or pain
- Post-nasal drip
- Frequent headaches
- Reduced smell or taste
Along with a physical exam, an otolaryngologist will insert an endoscope (a small tube with a camera) into the nostrils to look for drainage, blockages, or signs of infection or inflammation. Sometimes a CT scan is necessary to diagnose your infection.
When it comes to treating chronic sinusitis, your doctor will first turn to non-surgical treatment options like prescription steroids, antibiotics, nasal sprays, or allergy treatments (e.g. antihistamines).
If these treatments aren’t giving you the symptom relief that you need, then we will talk to you about whether minimally invasive sinus surgery is the right way to treat your chronic sinus symptoms.
How Minimally Invasive Sinus Surgery Works
During this procedure, an ENT specialist will insert an endoscope into the blocked or inflamed nostril and guide it gently through the sinuses. There are different methods involved in this type of sinus surgery. Sometimes at the end of the endoscope is a camera, which allows us to carefully remove enlarged tissue to improve breathing. Any pus or signs of infection are also drained out. Once this procedure is performed, certain medications are prescribed for long-term management.
Balloon sinuplasty has become another popular minimally invasive sinus procedure because it does not require any tissue removal. Instead of a camera at the end of the endoscope, there is a deflated balloon that is inflated once it’s placed into the blocked or inflamed nasal cavity. As the balloon is inflated, it opens up the blocked passageway so it can properly drain. Then the doctor will clean out the sinuses with a saline solution to remove any remaining pus or bacteria.
Give Us a Call!
Minimally invasive sinus surgery is extremely effective at treating chronic sinusitis. If you are dealing with this condition, then it’s time to talk to your otolaryngologist about whether this procedure is right for you.