Sinus Infection Symptoms
Enjoyment of outdoor activities or even simply breathing with ease will require effort and cause unnecessary pain when your sinuses are acting up. Sinus problems make you congested like the common cold, and they can even turn tasks such as breathing and sleeping into difficult, energy-draining chores. Sinus problems are extremely painful conditions that plague both adults and children alike. It is suggested that at least 20% of Americans, or 37 million people, suffer from some type of sinus problem every year. Sinusitis, an inflammation and/or infection of the sinuses, is the most common of these conditions causing acute or chronic congestion and achiness in the naval cavities of suffers. Unfortunately, many sinus problems are often left untreated or are misunderstood and cared for improperly, leading to further irritation and complications. Nose bleeding, snoring and breathing constrictions are further effects of sinus problems, which may be interfering with your life.
Consulting a specialist is your first step to successful and lasting relief from sinus pain. Dr. Michael Sherbin is committed to providing you the best medical and surgical treatments currently available for all of your sinus concerns.
Dr. Michael Sherbin offers the leading treatment options both medically and surgically to treat your sinus problems accurately. Your treatment options will be unique on your specific diagnosis, and will depend upon what your doctor identifies as the cause underlying your sinus problems. If a medical route is chosen, a variety of medical treatments are offered, which may include nasal washes, steroid sprays, nasal sprays, antibiotic therapy and the use of x-rays and cat-scans. Alternatively, if a surgical treatment is suggested, your treatment options include endoscopic surgery with the latest technologies in XPS and balloon sinuplasty.
Your doctor may recommend nasal washes for the treatment of your sinus problems. Nasal washes have been recognized for their effectiveness in treating sinus problems for years and may in fact become a very useful routine in maintaining your healthy lifestyle. Nasal washes are helpful because they allow for mucus, allergens and irritants to be cleared from your nose. This, in turn, allows certain medications to be more effective and may actually lead to a decrease in any physical swelling you have in your nose. Remember, you should never put anything in your nose without your doctor’s instructions. There are various methods and techniques of nasal washes, so it is important to allow a medical specialist to guide you in this process. Small children may require different nasal washes than will adults, and the proper technique for your needs is best identified by your doctor. Working with a specialist will allow you to accomplish the best results from nasal wash treatments.
When properly used, steroid sprays can be very effective options for patients with nasal problems. A steroid spray is a prescription treatment option your doctor may offer to prescribe. You may recognize some brand names of these sprays from advertisements, such as Nasonex® (mometasone) which is marketed to treat both indoor and outdoor nasal allergy symptoms. Currently, several steroid nasal sprays are available, to make your treatment specific to your needs. Steroid sprays work by both reducing the amount of mucus that your nose is producing and also by decreasing the inflammation of your nose. They are useful in allowing your sinuses to drain, which will reduce your nasal congestion. Short-term or long-term use of steroid sprays may be recommended by your doctor, based on your unique condition. Steroid nasal sprays are generally tolerable to most patients, with most common side effects resulting in nasal bleeding or irritation, however relief from the sprays may take many days to show. Your doctor can discuss with you all of the benefits and risks steroid sprays could provide for your sinus problems.
Other types of nasal sprays are available and work without the use of steroids, which some patients actually prefer. Saline (salt water) nasal sprays are one type of spray that may be recommended by your doctor. Saline nasal sprays work by rinsing out your nasal passages so as to reduce the chance of congestion or other sinus problems.
Another option of nasal sprays available is called a nasal spray decongestant. Decongestants can help to sufficiently relieve sinus pain and pressure. A decongestant nasal spray is usually only suggested for short-term use. Some common types of nasal spray decongestants include Neo-Synephrine® (phenylephrine) and Afrin® (oxymetazoline). Only a doctor can determine the best nasal spray treatment for your needs, so it is important to always have a doctor advise you in your treatments options before beginning use of any type of nasal spray.
Sometimes, antibiotics are prescribed for treatment of sinus problems, namely when a bacterial infection is the underlying cause of the problem. Antibiotics can be incredibly helpful in treating sinusitis, however sinusitis symptoms can mimic a regular cold, which requires different treatment because it is a virus. Your doctor can determine the cause of the sinus problems you are experiencing in order to determine if antibiotic treatment would be effective for you.
X-rays of the sinuses, or paranasal sinus radiology, is a non-invasive test often recommended when signs of sinusitis, sinus pain or other sinus symptoms are present. X-rays work by passing electromagnetic rays of high energy through your body, which then form an image on film after these rays pass. An X-ray image will look much like a large picture from a black and white camera, with the darkness and lightness dependent on density. Denser structures, such as bones, will appear white, other structures in your body will appear as shades of gray and finally air will look white. Your medical specialist is trained to read medical tests such as X-rays and will explain any X-ray results specifically to you. As with any type of medical test, it is important to inform your doctor or the technician of any existing or past medical conditions. With X-ray testing there is a low amount of radiation exposure to the patient so it is imperative that women who are or could be pregnant discuss alternative medical testing options with their doctor. Nonetheless, in general, X-ray testing will serve as a relatively fast, very safe and convenient medical test to address your sinus concerns.
CT or CAT Scans
CT (computer tomography) scans, which are sometimes called “CAT scans”, provide more detailed images to your medical specialist through a non-invasive medical test. CT or CAT scans combine computer imaging and X-ray equipment, which together produce several images of the inside of your body. These tests can be incredibly useful in diagnosing sinus problems since they can produce images of the inside of your sinuses simply from one scanner. CT and CAT scans are often used to in the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of sinus problems, especially in diagnosing sinusitis, detecting inflammation and filled sinus membranes, and to prepare for surgery. These scans are normally effortless, relatively quick and painless tests, only requiring that you sit very still for several minutes. Your doctor will review with you in detail the CT or CAT procedure and discuss all risks and benefits if you and your doctor conclude that this would be an appropriate test for you.