What You Were Never Told About Sinus Infections

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Image of the Sinuses

Sinusitis is an inflammatory condition of the air cavities (a.k.a. your sinuses) in the bones around your nose and eyes. It affects about 30 million people each year. Symptoms include headaches, facial pain, runny nose, and nasal congestion. If you experience these symptoms, you may need to visit a sinus center. The physicians at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers are experts in diagnosing this condition. We are here to provide you with all the information you need to know about sinus infections.

There Are Two Types Of Sinus Conditions

The two types of sinusitis are called acute and chronic sinusitis. With acute sinusitis, symptoms are present for about two weeks but can last up to four weeks. Chronic sinusitis is when your symptoms last for twelve weeks or more. As the name implies, chronic sinusitis is more persistent and requires more advanced treatment than acute sinusitis. Your physician will be able to determine what the best treatment is for your condition.

Allergies Can Trigger A Sinus Infection

Allergic rhinitis, nasal inflammation caused by an allergen such as pollen or pet dander, can lead to a sinus infection due to the swelling of the lining of the nose from the excess mucus production. This excess mucus can result in a sinus blockage preventing the natural clearance of bacteria and secretions, increasing the chance of developing a sinus infection. In this case, an allergist can help you control your allergies to reduce your risk of developing an infection.

Antibiotics Aren’t Always Necessary for Sinus Infections

Most people believe that the only way to get rid of a sinus infection is by taking antibiotics. However, often times, symptoms of acute sinus infections will resolve on their own without antibiotics. So for those that suffer from a drug allergy, you can recover from this condition without the fear of having an allergic reaction. Many doctors prescribe amoxicillin to treat sinusitis, so this may not be an option for those allergic to penicillin. Ask your physician for alternatives to antibiotics if possible.

A Sinus CT Scan Is An Easy Way To Diagnose A Sinus Infection

In some cases, your doctor may need to perform a CT scan to confirm your sinus infection. An upright CT scanner creates an instant image of your sinuses without exposing you to a lot of radiation. It takes less than a minute to produce your results. At NY Allergy & Sinus Centers, we have a private CT scanner that uses cone beam technology to focus just on the sinuses. This eliminates the need to refer you to a nearby hospital for a scan. As a result, we can provide you with a quicker diagnosis with less radiation exposure.

Sinus Infections Can Lead To Further Complications

An untreated, a severe sinus infection can spread and lead to meningitis or a bone infection. It’s important to visit a sinus center if you suspect you have a sinus infection to reduce the chances of the condition resulting in a further complication.

Meet The Physician Collaborator

Dr. Marc Braunstein is a physician specializing in Allergy and Immunology. He is board certified with the American Board of Allergy and Immunology and The American Board of Pediatrics. He works with patients and their families in the evaluation and treatment of hay fever, asthma, food allergies, sinusitis, hives, and drug allergies. He is currently accepting new patients and would be happy to help you feel better quickly.  You can schedule an appointment with Dr. Braunstein by calling (718) 416-0207.