Sinusitis / Sinus Infections
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis (sinus infections) affects millions of Americans each year. It is a highly symptomatic condition that has a dramatic impact on quality of life. Sinusitis is often confused for allergies as symptoms can be similar. Common symptoms of sinus infection include:
- Nasal Discharge (drippy nose or drainage down the back of the throat)
- Facial Pain, Pressure and Fullness
- Sore Upper Teeth
- Bad Breath
- Low-Grade Fever
Sinuses are four pairs of hollow spaces found in the facial region around the nose and eyes. Sinuses include:
Like the inside of your nose, sinuses are lined with a thin layer of tissue called the mucous membrane, which produces mucus. This mucous flows out through the openings of the sinuses into the nose. The mucous from our nose and sinuses is what helps protect us from pollens, pollutants, molds, dust and germs found in the air we breathe. When these openings become blocked, your sinuses may become infected and are often dramatically affected.
Anything that causes swelling in the nose can block the openings between your sinuses and your nose, including a cold, an allergic reaction such as hay fever, or a reaction to some chemical to which you’ve been exposed. The blockage causes air and mucus to become trapped within the sinuses, which may trigger painful symptoms.
In order to facilitate successful treatments, an accurate diagnosis is needed first. Too often, treatments are initiated without really knowing the cause of the patient’s symptoms. Treating the symptoms alone may alleviate them temporarily, but the symptoms will often return, over and over again.
A successful diagnosis may include:
- A careful review of each patient’s medical history and symptoms
- A Nasal Endoscopy
- A low-dose MiniCAT Instant CT Scan
- An Allergy Test
The sooner an accurate diagnosis is made, the sooner we can initiate a treatment plan tailored for you. This allows us to correctly treat your problems right away and it can save you the time and expense of going to multiple places to have tests performed and taking medications that may not help.
Today, many medications for the treatment of sinusitis are readily available over-the-counter while others are by prescription only. These medications are often taken in combination in an effort to achieve relief. These medications include:
- Saline/Salt Water Irrigation
- Pain Relievers (such as Tylenol or Motrin)
- Mucus Thinning Agents (such as Guaifenesin)
- Decongestants (either nasal spray or pill form)
- Antihistamines (either nasal spray or pill form)
- Steroids (either nasal spray or pill form)
If you have tried several of these medications and symptoms continuously return, it is time to see if Balloon Sinus Dilation is right for you. It’s a simple, proven, in-office procedure and is covered by most insurance plans!