Are you experiencing nasal congestion, facial pain, or pressure? Maybe you’ve noticed a loss of smell, discolored nasal drainage, or a constant postnasal drip. If you’re also dealing with a cough and regular headaches, it could be a sign of a sinus infection or sinusitis.
Possible Causes of Sinus Infection
At WNYENT, we take the time to understand why a patient is experiencing their specific symptoms. Sinus infections can often be caused by a common cold or seasonal allergies. However, if you experience recurring sinus infections, there may be an underlying issue contributing to your symptoms, including:
- Structural or cartilage abnormalities of the nasal passage: Patients with a history of nasal surgery may still experience problems due to bone abnormalities that obstruct the drainage of sinuses.
- Nasal polyps: These are sac-like growths of inflamed tissue that can be found in the nose or sinuses. While they can be removed, they sometimes grow back. They can also be linked to aspirin sensitivity and asthma, which can make managing sinus issues more complicated.
- Environmental allergy: Allergies to things in your environment are quite common and can play a big role in the development of chronic sinusitis.
What Are Sinuses?
Sinuses are the empty air spaces in your bones between your eyes, in your forehead, and behind your cheekbone. They’re responsible for producing mucus to keep your nose moisturized and protect it against allergens, pollutants, and dust in the air you breathe. Normally, your sinuses are empty and allow air to flow freely. However, if they become blocked or filled with fluid, they can become susceptible to bacterial infections. This can happen due to chemical irritants or bacterial infection, leading to severe inflammation, which we call sinusitis.
If your sinus condition does not respond to your doctor’s care or antibiotics and other treatments only provide temporary relief, you may have a sinus condition that is easily fixable through medical interventions and, in some cases, minor surgical interventions.
If your chronic sinusitis isn’t responding to antibiotics, it might be caused by a specific bacterium. Our ENT specialists can easily culture this bacterium from your nasal cavity during an office visit, which will help determine the most effective antibiotic for your treatment. To detect any underlying sinus problems, we use diagnostic tools like CT scans or nasal endoscopy (a small camera to look inside your nose). Evaluating for allergies can also be useful in managing chronic sinusitis. Once we identify the problem, we can create a personalized treatment plan.
At WNY ENT, our surgical team specializes in minimally invasive and highly advanced sinus procedures, including:
- Balloon Sinuplasty: certain patients who have minimal sinus disease but narrowing of the sinus drainage passages are candidates for in- office ballooning of the sinuses. This is performed using local anesthesia and pre procedure pain medication given orally. This prevents the need for general anesthesia, blood work and excessive cost associated with outpatient surgery. While not all patients are candidates for this procedure, this is an option for many patients. This also allows for quick return to work or other activities. Learn More
- VivAer for treatment of nasal airway obstruction – Learn More
- RhinAer for treatment of chronic runny nose – Learn More
- Clarifix for treatment of chronic runny nose – Learn More
- Latera Implant for treatment of nasal airway obstruction – Learn More
At WNY ENT your ENT doctor will tailor your treatment based on the type of sinus issue and the severity. Schedule your appointment today.