Not only does Fall bring cooler days, turning leaves, and crop harvesting, but unfortunately it also brings cold and flu, allergies, and sinus infections.
What is Sinusitis?
Sinus infections, also called sinusitis, occur when the lining of the sinuses become inflamed. These infections often occur after a viral cold, allergy flare-up or anything causing inflammation within the nose. This inflammation leads to swelling and congestion of the sinus lining preventing ventilation and drainage of the sinuses which leads to an infection.
Common symptoms of sinusitis include:
- Runny Nose
- Stuffy Nose
- Facial pain or pressure
- Post-nasal drip (mucus dripping down the throat)
- Bad Breath
- Sore throat and cough
- Decreased sense of smell and/or taste
Sinus infections often resolve on their own, but in some cases, they do not. Certain over-the-counter regimens such as nasal saline rinses and intranasal steroid sprays can reduce inflammation and relieve symptoms and are often a first-line recommendation. Other medications such as antihistamines and leukotriene inhibitors may reduce symptoms by blocking the chemicals released by your body which cause the inflammation and symptoms. Other over-the counter medications, such as decongestants, are used to alleviate the stuffiness in the nose, but can affect your blood pressure. Additional treatment options for some cases may include your doctor prescribing antibiotics.
When medical treatments fail, surgical options may be considered. The goal of sinus surgery is to improve the anatomy of the sinuses in order to restore ventilation and drainage of the sinuses. Sinus surgery is most often performed endoscopically with small cameras working through the nose which avoids incisions on the face or nose. Depending on the severity of disease, traditional endoscopic sinus surgery techniques may be suggested. This procedure involves using instruments to enlarge the natural openings of the sinuses. In many circumstances, we are able to achieve this utilizing small balloons which are used to dilate the narrow, obstructing portions of the sinus. This minimally invasive technique allows people to have less downtime and return to normal activities sooner.
Prairie Lakes Ear, Nose & Throat
The Prairie Lakes Ear, Nose, Throat & Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic provides diagnosis, treatment, and medical procedures for conditions affecting the head, neck, sinuses, ears, nose, and throat. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 605-882-7740. No referral is necessary.