Most likely there has been a time in your life when you had some sort of sinus problem. Sinus problems are common in both adults and children.
Northeast Atlanta ENT will talk to you about sinusitis, its symptoms, treatment options, and prevention tips.
If you have ever had the common cold or if you suffered an allergy attack that would not go away, there is a good chance you had sinusitis.
Sinusitis is actually one of the most common health conditions in the United States. Approximately 37 million people get diagnosed with sinusitis every year. Actually, that number might be higher because its symptoms often are similar to those of allergies or colds. Consequently, many people do not take it upon themselves to seek proper diagnosis and treatment from an ENT doctor.
Under normal circumstances, the mucus that collects in the sinuses will drain into the nasal passages. If you experience a cold or an allergy attack, the sinuses will become inflamed and would be unable to drain. If this happens, it can lead to congestion and/or infection.
At this point, if you experience up to 4 weeks of purulent nasal drainage along with nasal obstruction, facial pain/pressure/fullness, or both, then your ENT doctor would diagnose acute sinusitis.
If your symptoms last longer than 10 days, or if the symptoms worsen after an initial improvement, the sinus infection is most likely bacteria-related.
The short answer is yes. As a matter of fact, for those patients who suffer frequently from sinusitis, or if the sinus infection lasts 3 months or longer, you may have chronic sinusitis.
Chronic sinusitis symptoms can possibly be less severe than those of acute sinusitis. However, if left untreated, chronic sinusitis can cause significant damage to the sinuses, which may eventually need surgery to repair.
There are 3 type of treatment options available for sinus infections and sinus problems:
If you have bacterial sinusitis, the appropriate antibiotics should be prescribed. When looking at the chart on this page, if you have 3 or more symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your ENT doctor for proper diagnosis.
He or she may recommend an oral spray, a nasal spray, or a drop decongestant. They will help to relieve congestion. It is also advised that you only use non-prescriptive nasal sprays or drops for a short period of time. Lastly, inhaling steam or using saline nasal sprays or drops can provide relief for your sinus discomfort.
Becoming resistant to antibiotic treatment means that some of the infection-causing bacteria will be immune to the effects of antibiotics. This makes it more challenging and difficult to treat common infections, including sinusitis. However, there are ways you can help prevent antibiotic resistance, including:
Our ENT surgeons can perform this minimally invasive procedure to open up the sinus passages. We use a small, flexible balloon catheter guided through the nostril into the blocked sinuses. When we inflate it, the balloon will gently restructure and open the sinus passages. This process restores normal sinus drainage and function.
This type of sinus surgery is recommended for certain types of sinus disease. During this procedure, we will use an endoscope to look directly into the nose, while removing the diseased tissue and polyps and clearing the narrow channels located between the sinuses.
A child’s sinuses do not fully develop until the age of 20. It is possible for children to suffer from sinus infection. The maxillary (behind the cheek) and ethmoid (between the eyes) sinuses are present at birth even though they are very small.
Unfortunately, sinusitis in children is difficult to diagnose. This is due to the fact that respiratory infections are more frequent and its symptoms can sometimes be subtle. Unlike a cold or an allergy, bacterial sinusitis requires a doctor’s diagnosis. Also, him or her will provide treatment (typically an antibiotic) to prevent future complications.
If your child or yourself has a sinus infection, the following symptoms may occur:
If your child receives medical therapy, but the symptoms still last, your doctor should determine the underling cause. This will help to determine if allergies or frequent upper respiratory infections are playing a role.
Preventing a medical condition is very important. In order to avoid developing sinusitis while you have a common cold or an allergy attack, it is recommended to keep your sinuses clear by:
Since the symptoms for sinusitis are similar to those of colds and allergies, you may dismiss the fact that you should see a doctor. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned on this page, it is advised that you see an ENT doctor to get evaluated. Actually, if you have 3 or more symptoms, definitely schedule an appointment.
You can call any one of our Northeast Atlanta ENT offices. We are conveniently located in the Suwanee & Johns Creek area, Dacula, and Lawrenceville, GA. Our doctors look forward to helping you feel better soon.