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Sinusitis_stamford,CT_stamfordENTcenter
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SINUSITIS | TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC SINUS INFECTIONS

Sinusitis (a sinus infection) occurs when the cavities around the nasal passage become swollen or inflamed. Acute and chronic sinus infections are a common condition treated at the Ear, Nose, & Throat Center in Stamford, CT. Read on to learn more about the causes of sinus infections, the symptoms of sinusitis, and available treatments like sinus surgery.

SINUS INFECTION SYMPTOMS

Common sinus infection symptoms include:

  • Nasal inflammation
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Nasal congestion
  • Tenderness around the eyes, nose, forehead, or cheeks
  • Headache
  • Reduced sense of taste or smell
  • Ear pain
  • Thick discharge from the nose
  • Sore throat or cough
  • Bad breath
  • Nasal inflammation
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Nasal congestion
  • Tenderness around the eyes, nose, forehead, or cheeks
  • Headache
  • Reduced sense of taste or smell
  • Ear pain
  • Thick discharge from the nose
  • Sore throat or cough
  • Bad breath

When the symptoms of a sinus infection last for less than 10 days, the infection is considered acute and often resolves on it’s own. When symptoms last 12 weeks or longer, despite medical intervention, it is considered chronic sinusitis.

WHAT CAUSES SINUSITIS?

Several conditions may cause sinusitis. These include:

  • Nasal Polyps – growths of tissue that obstruct the sinuses or nasal passages
  • A deviated or crookedz septum (the wall between the nostrils)
  • Respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold. Viral, bacterial, or fungal infections of the respiratory tract can inflame the sinus membranes, blocking mucus drainage.
  • Allergies – inflammation caused by inhalant allergies, such as hay fever, can block the sinus

CHRONIC SINUSITIS TREATMENTS

There are several different treatments for chronic sinus infections. At the Ear, Nose, & Throat Center, our ENT’s thoroughly evaluate you to determine which treatment is best. Your ENT will take a detailed medical history and may use other diagnostic tools. These tools may include:

  • cultures from nasal drainage
  • imaging with a CT scan or MRI to detect inflammation within the sinuses
  • endoscopy (a small video camera used to investigate the nasal cavities)
  • allergy testing.

Considering the cause of your sinus infection, your doctor may prescribe medication such as Corticosteroids to alleviate sinus inflammation. Immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be prescribed if inhalant allergies cause your sinusitis. If your ENT determines a nasal obstruction causes your sinusitis,  they may recommend sinus surgery to remove the blockage.

SINUSITIS SURGERY

When chronic sinus infections resist less-invasive interventions or result from nasal obstructions, sinus surgery may be the best route for improving on-going symptoms.

After determining the cause of your obstruction, your ENT will recommend a specific sinus surgery, such as endoscopic nasal surgery or a balloon sinuplasty.

Endoscopic Nasal Surgery

Endoscopic nasal surgeries physically remove or reduce nasal obstructions. The surgery is performed under general or local anesthesia.

During the procedure, your ENT inserts an endoscope into your nose through your nostrils. An endoscope consists of a thin, flexible tube equipped with a small camera. The camera provides a non-invasive way to view your sinus passages. Next, your ENT surgically removes the nasal obstruction.

Common obstructions include nasal polyps, excess tissue, bone growths, or scar tissue. Your ENT may also straighten the septum (septoplasty) and/or reduce the turbinates’ size. Turbinates are nasal structures made of bone and soft tissue known as mucosa. They are located along the sides of the nasal cavities and regulate airflow and humidity.

With endoscopic nasal surgery, there is no cutting through the skin to access the nasal cavities. Patients may go home the same day of surgery.

Balloon Sinuplasty

During a balloon sinuplasty, your ENT inserts an endoscope equipped with a balloon into the nasal cavity via the nostrils. Once locating the blockage, your ENT slowly inflates the balloon to widen the passage(s) to the sinus(es). With the balloon fully inflated, your ENT easily flushes out the debris causing the nasal congestion using a saline solution.

Similar to endoscopic nasal surgery, there is no cutting of skin with a balloon sinuplasty. Patients may go home the same day of surgery.

ENT NEAR ME

If you suffer from symptoms of chronic sinus infections, the medical professionals at the Ear, Nose, & Throat Center can help. Contact the Ear, Nose & Throat Center in Stamford, CT, to schedule a consultation. Reach out online by completing the form below or call 203-353-0000 to schedule your appointment.

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SOURCES:

Wen, X., Zhao, Y., Wang, H., Cheng, J., Wang, Z., & Yang, J. (2015). Lin chuang er bi yan hou tou jing wai ke za zhi = Journal of clinical otorhinolaryngology, head, and neck surgery29(16), 1463–1466. LINK.

Raghunandhan, S., Bansal, T., Natarajan, K., & Kameswaran, M. (2013). Efficacy & outcomes of balloon sinuplasty in chronic rhinosinusitis: a prospective study. Indian journal of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery : official publication of the Association of Otolaryngologists of India65(Suppl 2), 314–319. LINK.

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