Tuesday, September 24, 2013

So what is sinusitis anyways...

This time of year, I have many patients telling me that they have "sinusitis" and it runs in their family. I'm always a little shocked that people think it's normal to have a chronic runny nose, mucous runny down the back of their throat or sneezing every morning.  Trust me, you don't have to live that way!

In our face we have 4 sinus cavities that are lined with tissue that can become inflamed over time.

What are signs you may have sinusitis?
  • pain or pressure in your face
  • chronic mucous in your throat
  • bad breath
  • frequent sinus infections
  • nasal congestion
  • loss of smell or taste
Common causes of inflammation are:
  • allergies- pollens (ragweed and weed pollen this time of the year), dust mite, animals, and roaches are common causes
  • chronic infections
  • nasal polyps
Don't despair!  There is treatment for sinusitis and you don't have to live with all that mucous.  Allergies run in families and are incredibly common.  About 30% of the population in the US is allergic.

What are some treatments?
  • Depending on the cause, your doctor may recommend medications like a nasal spray or pill
  • It may be necessary to look in your nose with a small camera (nasal endoscopy) to see if there is an infection or polyp.
  • If symptoms don't improve they may recommend that you get imaging of your sinuses (CT Scan)
  • If allergies are the cause, they may recommend allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots).
If you have these symptoms, you should see your primary doctor, or an allergist to get checked to see what is driving your the inflammation in your sinuses.

Need help figuring out the cause of your sinusitis?  Please call the office for an appointment 212-679-3574. We are located at 205 East 22nd Street @ 3rd Ave, NY NY 10010.