Monthly Archives: February 2017


Nasal Polyps No More

nasal polypsSometimes, small growths form in the lining of the nose and sinus passages that can block normal drainage and create discomfort. These painless tear-drop or grape-shaped growths are called nasal polyps and are often caused by continuous inflammation brought on by allergies or asthma. The good news is that nasal polyps are almost always non-cancerous and can be easily treated. In fact, small polyps don’t usually have symptoms or need treatment at all.

 

What symptoms would large polyps cause?

According to WebMD, “Most people with nasal polyps have a runny nose, sneezing, and postnasal drip. About 75% have problems with their sense of smell.” The site also lists these additional symptoms:

  • Stuffy or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Facial pain
  • Loss of taste
  • Itching around the eyes
  • Infections (from mucus buildup)

Because these symptoms are so common, it’s best to see a doctor to pinpoint the exact cause of them. Also, why suffer when permanent relief may be just around the corner?

Our expert physicians at Connecticut Sinus Center will not only treat your nasal polyps, but they will also treat what is causing them. And with four conveniently-located offices across the state, getting the care you need is easier than ever.

When you come in for your appointment, we’ll sit down with you and discuss your symptoms and medical history. Next, we’ll conduct a series of tests, including allergy tests and a nasal endoscopy, that tell us exactly what is causing your discomfort so that we can come up with a individualized treatment plan that is right for you and your lifestyle.

Many times, nasal polyps can be treated with a corticosteroid, which will shrink them and open up the airflow. In some cases, endoscopic surgery is necessary. However, this outpatient procedure will have you breathing freely in no time, and the team at CT Sinus Center will have you feeling at ease throughout the entire process.

Once your polyps have been treated, we will work with you to keep them from coming back. As they are often a result of sinus and allergy issues, we’ll help to put a permanent end to those as well, making nasal polyps a thing of your past.

If you suspect you have nasal polyps, stop letting them affect your health. Call 860-Balloon today and schedule an appointment today.

For more information on all things sinus and allergy, visit the CT Sinus website and blog.


Nosebleeds: Is Your Home too Dry?

dryDo you suffer from frequent nosebleeds, especially during the winter? Before you Google this symptom and then panic over what you find, ask yourself: “Is the air in my house too dry?”

WebMD explains, “Because wintertime humidity is so low, what little moisture that is around is quickly sucked up into the air. Moisture also evaporates from your body, leaving your skin, nose, and throat parched.” The issue is compounded when the artificial heat is turned up higher because the higher the temperature, the lower the humidity.

The good news is that the resulting nosebleeds are more annoying than harmful, although if they are heavy, last longer than 20 minutes and/or occur frequently, you should call your doctor. Washington University Sinus Institute explains, “Nosebleeds, clinically known as epistaxis, occur when the membranes lining the inside of the nose are disturbed or irritated enough to cause bleeding.”

Aside from bleeding, there are a few problems that may accompany a consistently dry nose.

 

  • Less protection: As we discussed in our blog “Much Ado About Mucus,” mucus plays an important role in our health as a filter for things like dust, smoke, bacteria, viruses and other allergens, and it contains antibiotics and enzymes to attack these things when they do get in. So it follows that the less mucus that is produced, the more likely irritants can get in causing allergies or illness.
  • Discomfort: When your nose becomes so dry, the skin inside can become irritated and crack. It’s not a severe pain, but any discomfort, especially in the middle of your face, is something you’d probably rather avoid.
  • Infection: Less mucus and/or cracks the membranes of your nasal passages are an invitation for infection. Everyday Health tells us that there is an additional risk for infection when “someone’s nasal passages are already inflamed from allergies.”

So what can you do to stay healthy and comfortable when your house is too dry? Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to add moisture to the air in your home and your nasal passages.

  • Humidifiers. You can buy humidifiers of every shape and size that will not only humidify your room, but also look great doing so. That said, no matter which humidifier you choose, it is extremely important to keep it properly maintained and free from mold, bacteria and other allergens. Also be careful not to turn it up too high and creating too much moisture, which can bring mold.
  • Saline rinse. A little saline can go a long way towards keeping your nasal passages moisturized. These are sold over-the-counter and since they are non-medicated, are safe to use throughout the day.
  • Hydration. Here is yet another reason why drinking a lot of water is good for you. Stay hydrated, friends.

Dry nasal passages can also be the result of sinus and allergy issues. The best way to know for sure what’s causing it and how to treat it is to call CT Sinus Center and schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians. When you come in. we will take the time necessary to sit down with you and fully discuss your symptoms and medical history. Then we will do a series of tests to figure out exactly what is causing your discomfort and develop a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle and leaves your parched nasal passages out to dry.

Call 860-BALLOON today and schedule your appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices.

For all things sinus– and allergy-related, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.


Headaches: What’s the Difference?

46246917 - man having stress and headache migraine. health care concept.

With all of these cold and flu germs floating around in the crisp air this season, people should not need to worry about suffering from yet another common ailment: the headache. But unfortunately, for many people, especially those with sinus and allergy conditions, headaches are a part of life. But did you know that there are over twenty different kinds of headaches? When it comes to this ailment, not all things are created (or treated) equal.

The National Headache Foundation’s link above is a great resource for all the symptoms, precipitating factors, treatment and prevention of every type of headache. The list itself is extensive and includes (among many others):

  • Arthritis
  • Caffeine Withdrawal
  • Cluster
  • Eyestrain
  • Hunger
  • Hypertension
  • Migraine
  • Tension

In this blog, we are going to focus on sinus and allergy headaches, both of which occur when your sinus cavities become inflamed, blocking airflow and drainage, and causing pressure to build up. That pressure, in turn, causes pain, which can be in your face, including your cheeks and eyes, and as well as around your head.

In a sinus headache, the pain may be localized over the particular sinus area that is clogged. It’s usually caused by an infection and is accompanied by a fever. In order to treat this type of headache, you have to treat the underlying infection through medical attention. It will be up to your doctor to determine which route to take and whether or not you need an antibiotic.

On the other hand, allergy headaches are triggered by the common seasonal allergies: pollen, and mold, dust, pet dander, etc. While with this type of headache you do want to treat the allergy itself, you usually have to treat the headache separately.

For more information on the differences between sinusitis and allergies, visit our blog: Is It Sinusitis or Is It Allergies?

There are certain tricks that can be done at home to help prevent and reduce sinus and allergy headaches:

  • Stay indoors when pollen counts are extreme.
  • Wear (sun)glasses to help prevent pollen getting into your eyes. Plus, it will help keep the sun out of your eyes, which can cause a different kind of headache.
  • Don’t leave windows open or use window fans that have the chance of pulling the pollen and mold into the house.
  • Clean air conditioners, air filters, and humidifiers regularly
  • Use a dehumidifier in rooms that contain more moisture than others, for example, your basement.
  • Clean your floors with a mop instead of sweeping or “dry-dusting”; this will help get rid of the dust instead of pushing it into a different corner.
  • Drink lots of fluids (more than normal); it will help get rid of some of that mucus.
  • Place a warm washcloth on your head multiple times a day.
  • While in the bathroom turn on the shower and try to inhale some of the steam.
  • Use nasal irrigation to flush away irritants.   

For a medical approach (over-the-counter or prescription), try:

While all of these tips are great, if you are looking for a more permanent solution, the best thing you can do is call CT Sinus Center and schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians. When you come into one of our four conveniently-located offices, we will sit down with you to discuss your symptoms and medical history and perform a thorough exam in order to determine exactly what is causing your headaches. Once the results are in, we will develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your lifestyle. You may even be eligible for one of our in-house procedures that will help relieve sinus pressure and pain:

  • Balloon Sinus Dilation, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
  • Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, decreasing the size of the turbinate and quickly increasing airflow

Call us today at 860-BALLOON to see what we can do for you.

For more information, all things sinus and allergy, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.

 


Much Ado About Mucus

much ado about mucusMucus. We all have it. In fact, our bodies produce between 1 to 1 ½ liters of mucus every day. Admittedly, mucus is pretty gross, but it does play an important role in our health as a filter for things like dust, smoke, bacteria, viruses and other allergens, and it contains antibiotics and enzymes to attack these things when they do get in. Mucus also acts to lubricate; WebMD explains:

Mucus-producing tissue lines the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. Mucus acts as a protective blanket over these surfaces, preventing the tissue underneath from drying out.

Sinus issues show their true colors

When everything is normal, the mucus slides right down your throat so you may not even notice it’s there. That said, when your sinus or allergy issues start acting up and mucus production kicks into high speed, you know it. When this happens, you’ll not only notice that the color and consistency of the mucus has changed, you won’t feel your best either.

There’s an old wives’ tale that says that if you have an infection, the bacteria turns the mucus green or yellow. In part this is true, but you can have a sinus infection with all of the typical symptoms, but perfectly clear mucus. This is because what causes the color change isn’t the irritant, but the flood of neutrophils, or white blood cells, that contain a greenish-colored enzyme. In addition, the thicker the mucus, the greener it appears.

Mucus can also be a dark red or brown, which indicates blood. A small amount of blood is harmless is common and usually, indicates dry or irritated nasal passages. However, if you are seeing a large amount of blood in your mucus, you should call your doctor.

In the thick of things …

The other telltale sign of illness is the consistency of the mucus. Everyday Health explains:

  • Mucus exposed to bacteria or allergens contains histamine, which “causes the tissue in your nasal passages to swell and produce more, thinner mucus. This usually leads to a runny nose, as well as sneezing, itching, and nasal stuffiness.”
  • The thicker and stickier the mucus is, the less it’s able to slide down your throat, causing congestion and possibly difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Thick mucus can lead to post-nasal drip.
  • The inside of your nose may feel crusty/stuffed when the mucus thickens.

How to be free and clear of mucus

Well, as we said above, mucus is an essential component of health, but thickened mucus is a sign of illness. Like with other sinus ailments, treatment can include either prescription or over-the-counter methods such as antihistamines, decongestants, corticosteroids, antibiotics, nasal sprays, saline irrigation, and humidifiers.  

Or, if you are looking for a more permanent relief, you can make an appointment at CT Sinus Center. Before anything else, our expert physicians will get to the root of what is causing your sinus and allergy issues by taking the time to talk to you about your symptoms and medical history — even before they start their thorough testing. Once the cause is discovered, they will create an individualized treatment plan that is right for your lifestyle. You may even be as candidate for one of our two outpatient procedures that can end sinus and allergy suffering in about an hour:

  • Balloon Sinus Dilation, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
  • Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, decreasing the size of the turbinate and quickly increasing airflow

Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices, and what your symptoms lighten up.

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions and treatments, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.