Sinuses are the air-filled cavities inside the facial bones that open into the nasal cavity. Sinusitis is the inflammation of the mucous membranes of one or more of the paranasal sinuses.
Acute Sinusitis is common and is often associated with a viral or bacterial upper respiratory infection that spreads to the sinuses. When the sinus opening becomes blocked, the cavities fill with fluid producing deep pain and pressure. The pain is usually directly over the infected sinus and can be either stabbing or aching. It is often made worse by bending, straining, sneezing or coughing. Other symptoms of acute sinusitis are fever, fatigue and postnasal drainage.
Chronic Sinusitis is a sinus problem that usually follows a single attack or repeated attacks of acute sinusitis that last over 12 weeks. Discolored mucous draining out the nose and down the throat in addition to pressure over the sinuses, are the most common symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Nasal polyps are sometimes seen in chronic sinusitis.
Sinusitis is generally diagnosed by the medical history and physical examination and CT scans. Treatment of acute sinusitis is designed to prevent complications and to keep the acute process from becoming chronic. Oral antibiotics, decongestants and analgesics are prescribed. Rest, local heat and increased fluids are helpful in controlling symptoms. Surgery is sometimes a helpful solution in those patients who get frequent infections that do not adequately respond to medications alone. Surgery may also be indicated in certain acute cases when a patient develops a complication from a sinus infection.
The goal of surgical treatment is to return the nose and sinuses to normal function. A wide variety of surgical procedures are available. The choice of surgical procedure will depend on the particular sinus involved, previous therapy and the patient’s general state of health. The Otolaryngologists at ENTAA Care are experienced in both the conventional surgical approaches to the sinuses and the most modern, state-of-the-art, endoscopic procedures. In many cases, the more conservative endoscopic procedure may be used to eliminate the point of major blockage causing chronic sinusitis.
Sinusitis and its treatments cover the spectrum from a minor infection which responds to antibiotic treatment to the more serious infections which frequently need emergency or semi-emergent surgery. If you suspect that you have a problem with your sinuses, caution is the rule of thumb, and we encourage you to schedule an appointment so that appropriate treatment can be instituted.