WHAT ARE SINUSES?
The paranasal sinuses are hollow chambers in the bones around the cheeks, nose, and eyes. The sinuses help to filter, moisten, and warm the air that you inhale, and also allow us to make certain sounds. Nose and sinus health is important and can have larger effects on the body.
WHAT IS SINUSITIS (SINUS INFECTION)?
The inflammation of the paranasal sinuses is called sinusitis, and may be due to infection, allergy, or autoimmune disorders. It causes symptoms in the nose, ears, and eyes, and can last for long periods of time if left untreated. Our allergy clinic will perform the allergy tests that are necessary to determine if your symptoms are related to pollen allergy or allergy to dust mites, mold or animals. The tests will also help us determine if you need to see an ear, nose and throat doctor for further evaluation.
Acute sinusitis can develop as a complication several days after the first symptoms of a viral or bacterial respiratory infection.
Chronic sinusitis is most often a recurrent inflammatory disorder, but can also be caused by bacterial infection.
POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS OF SINUSITIS
- Thick, colored, and/or profuse nasal drainage
- Post-nasal drip, often foul-tasting
- Facial fullness or swelling
- Fever, occasionally
Symptoms of sinusitis can vary depending on the severity of the inflammation and the sinuses involved – all of the symptoms listed above may be present, or only a few.
POSSIBLE CAUSES OF SINUSITIS
A viral respiratory disease (a “cold”) is the most common cause of acute sinusitis.
Allergies can also trigger sinusitis. When your sinuses are inflamed, bacteria may be allowed to linger, putting you at an increased risk of developing secondary bacterial sinusitis.
Structural abnormalities in the nose – polyps, tumors, narrow drainage pathways, or a nasal septum deviation – can also cause sinusitis.
SINUS INFECTION TESTING
Sometimes, symptoms of allergies can mimic sinusitis, so your NY doctor may recommend allergy testing to help identify the true cause of your symptoms. This will enable us to give you the best and most appropriate treatment.
Also, your allergist or your ear nose and throat specialist may order a sinus CBCT scan using our Minicat™ CT scanner. NYASC has the only low-radiation in-office Minicat™ CT scanner in NYC. Our scanner is used to accurately diagnose sinus conditions such as a deviated nasal septum, concha bullosa, acute sinusitis, chronic sinusitis, or nasal polyps.
SINUSITIS VS RHINITIS
While many of their symptoms are similar, sinusitis and rhinitis are two different medical problems. Rhinitis is the inflammation of the mucous membranes found in the nose – not the sinuses. However, poorly-controlled rhinitis can easily lead to sinusitis.
TREATMENT FOR SINUSITIS
There are several over-the-counter medications and treatments that may help relieve your symptoms. In many cases, these products are sufficient to help you recover from sinusitis or a sinus infection. In severe cases and in cases where a bacterial infection is suspected, your allergist may recommend antibiotics.
For patients with structural abnormalities in their sinuses, surgery may be recommended to correct the structural problems and possibly prevent future symptoms. This type of surgery is performed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT).
If you are diagnosed with allergies, your allergist at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers can recommend medications to control your allergy symptoms, reducing the likelihood that you will develop any future infections. People with allergies or sinus problems should try to avoid airborne irritants like strong chemical vapors and tobacco smoke because they can exacerbate your symptoms.
Patients with sinusitis can have multiple factors that predispose them to infection. In these cases, concentrating on only one factor (just your allergies, for example) may not completely resolve the problem. Treatment options are best discussed on an individual basis and with an allergy doctor in NYC.
Sinus infections often are often misdiagnosed as tooth pain, resulting in extractions of back teeth, which are located below the maxillary sinus. A sinus lift is a procedure to augment the bone to lift the sinuses. An alternative option to replace missing back teeth is a graftless zygoma implant which will use the cheekbone to support the dental implant bridge. Often times, the implants can be placed and within the same day the prosthesis can be created as a procedure called Teeth in a Day or Smile in a Day where and immediate load restoration is placed over the dental implants without any bone grafting.
If you are experiencing vague tooth pain, it is very important to see a dental implant specialist (or implant dentist) AND an allergy specialist to be sure of the root cause before taking action.
Sinusitis Frequently Asked Questions
If you would like us to evaluate your sinusitis, the allergy specialists & doctors at NYASC are here to help. We have the latest treatments and testing, & we have convenient allergy and asthma clinics throughout the NYC metropolitan area: Murray Hill, Midtown, Upper West Side, Chelsea, and Queens. Also, we will help you find relief for any nasal and sinus problems, asthma, ear, nose, and throat (ENT) symptoms, skin conditions, and respiratory allergies. NYASC has pediatric and adult patients from all around the NYC area, including Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Manhattan. To make an appt, call NY Allergy & Sinus Centers at 212-686-4448.