Ear, Nose & Throat: Sinuses

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Healthy sinuses are filled with air. When the tissues lining the sinuses become swollen, inflamed, blocked and filled with fluid, a sinus infection can occur. Sinus infections are very common. Seeing your family physician and get a referla to a Otolaryngologists who can help you.

Types of Sinus Infections

There are four different types of sinusitis:

• Acute sinusitis. Symptoms are similar to cold symptoms, but can last 2-4 weeks. 
• Subacute sinusitis. Lasts longer than acute sinusitis (4 to 12 weeks). 
• Chronic sinusitis. Your symptoms last more than 12 weeks. 
• Recurrent sinusitis. You get sinus infections several times a year. 

Causes of sinusitis include:

• The common cold 
• A deviated septum 
• Smoking 
• Medications that suppress the immune system 
• Chemical irritation 
• Nasal polyps (growths in the lining of the nose) 
• Allergic rhinitis 

Symptoms & Treatment of Sinus Infections

It’s important to see your primary healthcare provider if you think you might have sinusitis, especially because sinus infection symptoms can be similar to those of a cold. Sinusitis symptoms include:  Seeing your family physician and get a referla to a Otolaryngologists who can help you.

• Runny or stuffy nose 
• Green nasal discharge 
• Fever 
• Facial tenderness or headache 
• Cough 

Sinusitis treatment depends on the type and severity of the sinus infection. If you have bacterial sinusitis, your physician will usually prescribe antibiotics. In many cases, your physician will recommend you use a decongestant, saline nasal washes and over-the-counter (OTC) medications. Sinus surgery is reserved for patients who have failed maximum medical management. Currently the gold standard for treating sinuses is computer-assisted sinus surgery - called functional sinus surgery or functional endoscopic sinus surgery.  Seeing your family physician and get a referla to a Otolaryngologists who can help you.

Using a head frame, the surgeon can track his or her instruments on a three-dimensional CT scan in real-time, so they can see exactly where they are in the patient's head to an accuracy of less than one millimeter. Because the surgeon is working very close to the eyes, optic nerves, brain and pituitary gland, he or she will work in a box that is an inch and a half by an inch space, spending three or four hours cleaning out the areas, flushing the sinuses, getting the disease out and getting the drainage pathways open to restore function. Seeing your family physician and get a referla to a Otolaryngologists who can help you. 

Talk to your family physician if you'd like more information on sinus infections.

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Print this Action Plan and check off items that you want to discuss with your healthcare provider

  • There are four different types of sinusitis: acute, subacute, chronic and recurrent.

  • Causes of sinusitis include the common cold, a deviated septum, smoking, medications that suppress the immune system, chemical irritation, nasal polyps and allergic rhinitis.

  • Sinusitis symptoms include runny or stuffy nose, green nasal discharge, fever, facial tenderness or headache and cough.  Seeing your family physician and get a referla to a Otolaryngologists who can help you.

  • Sinusitis treatment depends on the type and severity of the sinus infection. If you have bacterial sinusitis, your physician will usually prescribe antibiotics. In many cases, your physician will recommend you use a decongestant, saline nasal washes and over-the-counter (OTC) medications.

  • Sinus surgery is reserved for patients who have failed maximum medical management. Currently the gold standard for treating sinuses is computer-assisted sinus surgery - called functional sinus surgery or functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Seeing your family physician and get a referla to a Otolaryngologists who can help you.

Adherence:
Adhering to your medications, prescribed exercises or lifestyle changes (such as dietary changes, smoking cessation, reduced alcohol consumption, etc.) is essential to improving health outcomes successfully. Compliance to any prescribed treatment is the number one thing you can do to ensure positive changes and optimal treatment outcomes.

Many people experience sinus problems, including acute sinusitis, chronic sinusitis and allergies. Find local ear, nose and throat specialists who can help with sinusitis and sinus problem diagnosis and treatment.

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