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Bursting Beliefs About Balloon Sinus Dilation – CT Sinus Center

Balloon Sinus DilationIf you’ve experienced chronic sinusitis, you fully understand the debilitating impact it can have on your quality of life. Stop suffering! CT Sinus Center offers a non-invasive, in-house procedure called Balloon Sinus Dilation that can put a permanent end to your chronic sinusitis and get you back to enjoying life in just under an hour.  

What is chronic sinusitis?

There are two types of sinusitis: acute and chronic. Acute resembles a cold and will go away on its own unless it turns into a bacterial infection, for which antibiotics are necessary. Chronic, on the other hand, doesn’t respond to rest and medication, and as the name suggests, recurs regularly.

In order to be diagnosed as having chronic sinusitis, you must have at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat
  • Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste

What is Balloon Sinus Dilation?

The procedure is done in-office under local anesthesia. One of our expert physicians will slide an inflatable tube into your nasal passages. As this happens, you may feel a little pressure, but no pain. When the balloon is inflated, it provides your doctor with the opportunity to drain your nasal passages using a sterile saline solution. This balloon helps open the sinus passages, decreasing the risk of your condition returning.

What are the procedure’s benefits?

The benefits of Balloon Sinus Dilation include:

  • Long-term relief
  • Minimal downtime and recovery time
  • Increased airflow in nasal passages
  • Promotes draining and natural healing
  • Decrease in headaches
  • Non-invasive procedure done under local anesthesia

Want to know more? In this CT Style segment, Dr. Laughlin explains the full Balloon Sinus Dilation procedure and its benefits. But you don’t just have to take our word for it — the following patient testimonials say it all:

Am I a candidate for Balloon Sinus Dilation?

If you are experiencing the above symptoms, as well as the following, you are a perfect candidate for the procedure:

  • Chronic sinus headaches
  • Regular facial and sinus pain
  • Repeat sinus infections that don’t seem to respond to medication
  • Regular dizziness and disorientation as a result of sinus pressure

When you first come in, our team of sinus experts will thoroughly discuss your symptoms. Next, through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, we will pinpoint what is causing your sinus issues and develop the right treatment for your lifestyle. If you are a candidate for Balloon Sinus Dilation, we will do everything we can to make sure you are prepared, calm and comfortable throughout your whole experience.

Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices — Kent, Litchfield, Shelton and Waterbury — get the permanent sinus relief you’re looking for.  

For more information on sinus and allergy-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


Kent: New Place, Same Permanent Relief

KentHaving a sinus issue can be a burden, but we offer numerous procedures that can help at our four different locations throughout Connecticut. If you were a patient of our former CT Sinus Center office in Sharon, you may already know that it has moved to 27 North Main Street, Unit 7A, in Kent, CT! This new state-of-the-art office is taking appointments and offering patients the same sinus relief that has been changing lives for years. Trying to figure out if you should give us a call? Find out below.

Signs You Need Sinus Relief from Our Kent Office

Do you suffer from any of the following?

  • Facial pain
  • Facial pressure
  • Sinus headaches
  • Chronic sinus infections

If you’ve answered yes, we’ve got great news! We can help. Come to our newest office in Kent to see what we can do for you and find out if you are a candidate for balloon sinus dilation. This non-invasive, in-office procedure will reshape your nasal passages to promote drainage and natural healing, ending sinus issues permanently.

Meet Dr. Larry Marcus

Dr. Larry Marcus is the primary doctor of the new Kent office. With hours of operation of 8:30- 5:00 pm, don’t forget to get ahead and book your appointment as soon as possible. Schedule your appointment today at our Kent office by calling 860-BALLOON. There’s no need to suffer from sinus pain and pressure any longer.

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


Chiropractors: Cracking Sinusitis and Allergies – CT Sinus Center

Allergy symptoms aren’t to be taken lightly, we know this by now. About 50 million people in the US alone are affected by allergies; ranging from pollen, grass and mold, and even food. Another 29.4 million are affected by chronic sinusitis. People are constantly looking for ways to get to the root of their sinus problems and put an end to them, which includes taking over-the-counter medications designed to treat symptoms. Some folks, however, tend to take a more holistic approach with alternative medicine: They see chiropractors.

How do chiropractors and chiropractic medicine impact sinusitis and allergies?

Chiropractors are health professionals who generally focus on adjusting and manipulating the spine, usually to relieve back pain for patients. Their belief is that adjusting the spine can do wonders for the body, nervous system and consequently, allergies. The medical, as well as overall, community is divided on the success of chiropractic treatment for sinus and allergy issues, but there are a few things that are certain:

Chiropractic care:

  • Does not target allergies specifically
  • Does not offer a one-time solution
  • Does not have science-based evidence for success
  • Poses risks for the patient, including:
    • A herniated disk
    • Compression of nerves in the lower spinal column
    • A certain type of stroke after neck manipulation

How can I permanently end sinusitis and allergies?

For some people, going to chiropractors are an integral part of self-care. However, if you are looking for a permanent relief from your sinus or allergy issues, consider a non-invasive, medicine-free solution that can be done in about an hour. Also, consider that when it comes to sinus conditions, there are no more knowledgeable doctors than those at CT Sinus Center.

When you first come in, our team of sinus experts will thoroughly discuss your symptoms. Next, through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, we will pinpoint what is causing your sinus issues and develop the right treatment for your lifestyle. You may even be a candidate for one of our two outpatient procedures, both of which will end your discomfort in around 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

Are you ready for sinus relief?

Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices — Kent, Litchfield, Shelton and Waterbury — and stop getting bent out of shape over sinusitis.  

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


Allergy Congestion: Brain Fog

Brain FogEveryone knows what it’s like to be congested; whether it’s from a bad cold, sickness or allergies. Either way, it does not feel great. What else doesn’t feel great? Brain Fog. For a while now, many people have been trying to explain this phenomenon that causes them to view everything so blurry while they’re suffering from their untreated allergies or illnesses. While many thought it was an unexplainable myth, it turns out there’s more evidence to prove it true. “It’s in your head but it’s not in your head” is how Mind Body Green (MBG) it. Let’s take a further look at the effects Brain Fog has on your everyday life.

Brain Fog occurs when the brain becomes fatigued and as a result, you become confused — “fuzzy” — and have decreased focus and mental activity. In this blog, let’s focus on how allergies contribute to the condition. Here are some common symptoms those with Brain Fog experience:

  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Forgetfulness and trouble remembering information
  • Trouble sleeping through the night

It’s extremely important to pay attention to the symptoms and see if any pertain to you. Brain Fog is not something that can be tested for or that will show up in any X-ray or scan, so it will be up to you to determine whether or not you are experiencing it. The awareness isn’t as difficult as it sounds — no one knows your body better than you do.

For a while now, doctors have been debating what the causes of Brain Fog are, how to treat it, and if it’s even a real thing. The answers are becoming clearer now.

Research has shown that children who have not treated their allergies are performing worse in school compared to those who have treated their allergies. Why? These untreated allergies can lead to lack of sleep and therefore, lead to increased fatigue and lack of concentration in class. These results can be applied to adults as well. Another factor is in our cytokines, molecules that regulate the immune system, that help fight infections in our bodies and affect how we think, function, and perform. These cytokines are released when inflammation occurs and cause the fuzziness and fog our brains feel.

So, if you think untreated allergies are no big deal, think again. And if you are not sure if you actually have allergies, there are non-invasive allergy tests that will tell you for sure. After all, no one wants to see the world through a big fuzz.

Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices and find out how we can help you permanently come out of the fog.

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


Making Sense of Losing Senses

SensesFall is a favorite season for many, especially Connecticut folks, with our senses being stimulated with the classic pumpkin and cinnamon flavors that fill both the air and our stomachs. Sadly, there are some people who don’t have the benefit of smelling and tasting these sweet fall flavors. This loss of two senses can be caused by a number of things, including sinus conditions — none of which are ever any fun.

Allergies and Sinusitis

Whether it’s the fall leaves, the back to school (or work) dust and mold, or even hay fever, fall allergens can be anywhere. Allergies, themselves, can present cold-like symptoms, such as congestion. For more information on fall allergies, check out our previous blog post, “What’s Up with Fall Allergies.” Over time, allergies can turn into a serious case of sinusitis,. which also presents cold-like symptoms when your sinuses (the area around your nasal passages) become swollen, clogged and infected. For more information, see “Sinusitis: Acute vs. Chronic.”

In both conditions, the major pressure and inflammation around your nose and head can seriously affect your sense of smell and taste. But, how does it effect these senses? The olfactory nerves (which allow us to smell) can become blocked by that inflammation. You’ve probably noticed that even with a small cold, your sense of smell is lessened as result of a stuffy nose. When you experience long-term sinusitis or allergies, that sense of smell can be diminished for months, or even longer. The American Rhinologic Society explains: “[T]he chronic inflammation from [sinusitis] can also permanently affect smell by damaging the special cells and nerves of the smell pathway.” Since smell and taste going hand in hand, that means your sense of taste is gone as well.

Nasal Obstruction

The loss of taste and smell can be structural as well. Both nasal polyps and deviated septums can cause a blockage that blocks the “smell nerves,” lessening those senses.

Treatments

There are a few different temporary methods for treating the loss of these senses. These include:

There are also a series of tests that can pinpoint the exact cause of your congestion, whether it be an allergy test or a sinus examination. Knowing your triggers will help you better prepare for your next reaction.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution, let our expert physicians at CT Sinus Center help. We offer two cutting-edge, non-invasive procedures that are done in our office, in about an hour, that will open up the nasal passageways that are blocked and inflamed:

Once your nasal passages are cleared, your sense of smell will begin to come back, and so will your sense of taste, restoring your sense of happiness.

Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices. After all, the old adage goes: “All’s well that smells well.”

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


Sinusitis: Acute vs. Chronic

SinusitisSinusitis is a common condition in which the area around your nasal passages – the sinuses – become swollen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites that:

  • Number of adults with diagnosed sinusitis: 29.4 million
  • Percent of adults with diagnosed sinusitis: 12.1%

Having sinusitis is miserable: the mucus, the facial pressure, the congestion and runny nose, not to mention the possible ear pain, coughing, jaw pain, fatigue, sore throat and nausea that can accompany all of it… Quite frankly, it’s horrible and can really put a cramp in your lifestyle. On top of that, sinusitis can last for a while, whether it’s acute or chronic. Let’s look at the differences between the two.

Acute

Acute sinusitis is sometimes referred to as rhinosinusitis, and almost always begins with a common cold or seasonal allergies. The increase of mucus and its inability to drain due to inflammation can cause infection leading to sinusitis.

The good news is that not all acute sinusitis involves bacterial infection; some may be viral. In these cases, over-the-counter remedies, fluids and rest are all you need to feel better after a couple of days. However, if your condition lasts for over 10 days with no improvement, the infection may be bacterial and you’ll need an antibiotic for relief.

Chronic

Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, can last for more than 12 weeks even with treatment and is often reoccurring. In order to be diagnosed with chronic sinusitis, you must have at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat
  • Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste

There are various causes of chronic sinusitis listed by Mayo Clinic as:

  • Nasal polyps
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Other medical conditions (such as cystic fibrosis, gastroesophageal reflux, or HIV and other immune system-related diseases can result in nasal blockage)
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Allergies
  • Asthma

If you are suffering from either acute or chronic sinusitis, make an appointment at CT Sinus Center to discover the underlying cause and end sinus issues permanently. When you first come in, our expert team will sit down with you to discuss your medical history and sinus symptoms. Your physician may have you undergo the following tests:

  • Nasal endoscopy
  • Imaging studies
  • Nasal/sinus cultures
  • Allergy tests

Once the root of your problem is discovered, we will work with you to find the best solution for your sinus issues. You may eligible for one of our non-invasive, suffering-ending procedures:

  • 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 CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices and say “see ya later” to your sinusitis.

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


The Dangers of Ticks During Fall

TicksTicks lie somewhere between the two categories of completely harmless bugs and very dangerous bugs. While it’s true that people are more exposed to ticks during the warmer months, it’s possible to be exposed to them as the months get cooler too.  

Most people immediately associate ticks with the horrors of Lyme disease. However, it’s important to note that not every tick is infected with a disease, and that Lyme is not the only possible risk. In fact, the list on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page “Tickborne Diseases of the United States” is a bit unnerving.

Luckily, these cases are rare, but you should still be cautious when it comes to these creepy critters. Some ticks are as tiny as a poppy seed and you may not even feel their bite, so always inspect your skin (and your pets) after being outdoors, especially if you’ve been in a wooded area or grassy area.

Let’s take a look at the most common ticks found in the United States:

  1. Deer ticks (blacklegged ticks). Deer ticks are most commonly found in North America. They come from, you guessed it, deer, and are able to transmit many of the diseases listed on the CDC site. They are mainly found in forests and wooded areas, so take extra precautions such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to cover your skin when you’ll possibly be exposed to them.
  2. American Dog tick (wood ticks). These guys are no friend of man’s best friend. Dogs and cats are susceptible to getting this type of tick wherever they go outside, so it’s very important to inspect your fur babies every time they come back in. Unwanted tick guests can cause harm to you and your pet, including illness and tick paralysis. If you do happen to find a tick on Fido, there is a specific, safe way to remove it. Visit PetMD to learn more about the dangers ticks pose for cats and dogs.
  3. Lone Star tick. Have you heard the buzz going around for these suckers? One bite from them can cause you to become allergic to red meat, as well as to possibly contract a disease. When this tick bites, your immune system may be activated if a carbohydrate named “alpha-gal” is transferred into your body. This molecule is found in most mammalian cell membranes except for human cell membranes — its foreignness is what triggers the allergic reaction. So if you are bitten, there will be no more steak for dinner, but at least poultry and seafood (which are non mammalian meat) are still okay.

If you happen to find any type of tick on you or your pet, remove it immediately. It can take up to 24 hours to fully pass on Lyme or any of the other diseases, and if you spot any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately to seek proper treatment and testing:

  • Bullseye rash
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Neck stiffness
  • Muscle pains
  • Rash
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Trouble breathing

If you notice a tick, or that you are having a reaction after consuming red meat, make an appointment with us at one of our four conveniently-located locations. We have up-to-date diagnostic tools that will figure out what’s causing your your discomfort and expert physicians that will develop an individualized treatment plan for you.  

Call CT Sinus Center at 860-BALLOON and tick off “finding relief” on your to-do list.

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


Tips for Treating Allergies When Traveling

TravelingThe holidays are right around the corner and for you and your family, this may mean hitting the road. Traveling can be stressful enough without having to worry about an allergy attack, especially because you never know when a trigger will strike. Fortunately, if you are traveling with allergies, there are precautions you can take to be prepared if something does hit. In this blog, we’ll look at six of them.

  1. Bring a first-aid kid. It’s always smart to bring a first-aid kid when you travel. Fill yours with remedies for common ailments such as cuts, stomach aches, minor aches and pains, allergies and colds. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides this comprehensive list of items to include in your travel health kit.
  2. Pack all necessary medications. Make sure you won’t run out while you are away. You can check the pollen counts for your destination (and everywhere along the way), and if you see that your triggers pose a threat, ask your doctor to prescribe a higher dosage of your medication or suggest an additional treatment for the short period you’ll be away.
  3. Prepare an allergy-free menu. Not only will this ensure that food allergy triggers will be avoided, it will also save you money that could otherwise be spent on restaurants and novelty snacks. The Food Allergy Research and Education site offers extensive tips on traveling with food allergies.
  4. Know airline regulations. If you are flying, check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations on traveling with medication to ensure you are following their rules. The last thing you want is to have to leave important medications at the security checkpoint.
  5. Book an asthma- and allergy-friendly hotel. There are some hotels that offer this type of accommodations, which include no pet policies and hypoallergenic linens. WebMD also recommends that you ask for a sunny room away from the pool if mold allergies are a concern. You can also bring your own dust-proof, zippered pillow covers whether you are staying at a hotel or with friends/family.
  6. Have an in-case-of-emergency plan. Make sure that everyone on the trip is aware of the allergy issue and knows how to react accordingly, whether that be with an antihistamine, an EpiPen, and/or a call to 911. You should also research cell phone reception where you are going and know where to find the closest emergency center just in case.

When you are ready to pack away your allergies for good, call CT Sinus Center at 860-BALLOON to make an appointment. When you first come in, our expert team will sit down with you to discuss your medical history and allergy symptoms. Next, through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, we will pinpoint what is causing your suffering and develop the right treatment for your lifestyle. With our four conveniently-located locations, this destination is definitely worth the trip.

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


What is Involved in Allergy Testing?

allergy testingIn our blogs, we always talk about how at CT Sinus Center we have the most up-to-date diagnostic tools for pinpointing the exact cause of your allergies. In today’s blog, we are going to discuss what is involved so that you know what to expect when you come in for your allergy testing appointment.

Let us begin by saying that we don’t jump into the actual testing. First, our staff will sit down with you and thoroughly discuss your medical history and symptoms. Next, before we start any type of test, we will explain to you what we’re going to do because our top priority — next to making you feel better — is making you feel at ease.

Once you are ready, we will begin the actual allergy testing process, which can involve a skin and/or blood test. Here are the different types with descriptions from Mayo Clinic:

Skin Prick Tests

  • May be called puncture or scratch test
  • The test is painless and barely penetrates the skin
  • Done on forearm (adult) and back (child)
  • Process: Site is cleaned with alcohol and marked, and then a drop of allergen extract is applied and pricked into the skin with a tiny needle
  • Histamine and Glycerin or saline are applied to site
  • After 15 minutes, doctor checks site for reaction
  • Can test up to 40 allergens at once, including pollen, mold, pet dander, dust mites and foods

Skin injection test

  • Done on forearm
  • Process: Small needle injects the allergen into skin
  • After 15 minutes, doctor checks site for reaction
  • Usually used to detect allergy to insect venom or penicillin

Patch test

  • Tests for contact dermatitis
  • Done on arm or back
  • Process: Allergen is applied to patch and then patch is placed on skin
  • After 48 hours, doctor checks site for reaction
  • Can test 20 to 30 allergens at once, including latex, medications, fragrances, preservatives, hair dyes, metals and resins

Blood test

According to the College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), a blood test is usually done if:

  • The patient is taking a medicine that can interfere with skin testing, but cannot be stopped for a few days
  • The patient suffers from a severe skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis
  • Testing with a strong allergen might cause an extra large positive reaction
  • A single needle stick for allergy blood testing may be better than several skin tests, especially for babies and very young children

Now that you know what to expect, schedule an appointment for allergy testing at CT Sinus Center and take the first step in finding permanent relief. Our patient-care administered by expert physicians will have you feeling at ease from the moment you walk through the door and feeling relief shortly thereafter.

Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices today.

To learn more about CT Sinus Center, allergies and sinusitis, visit our website and blogs.


What’s Up with Fall Allergies

FallWith fall weather approaching — or, as we are in New England, coming and going and coming and going — it’s time to think about this season’s allergies. In our blog “The Truth About Fall Allergies,” we stated that the most common triggers for this time of year are ragweed and pollen. In this blog, we are going to take a closer look at each one.

Ragweed, is described by Allergic Living as the “super-villain of allergy plants.” There are at least 17 different species of ragweed in the United States, however the two most common types are common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) and giant ragweed (Ambrosia trifida). Ragweed season usually runs from August through October and it can be found pretty much everywhere. Even if it isn’t growing in your immediate area, its pollen might be. According to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America:

  • One plant can produce up to 1 billion pollen grains.
  • The light pollen is easily carried by the wind and has been found in the air 400 miles out to sea and 2 miles up in the atmosphere.

When is ragweed pollen at its worst? That depends on where you are. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of AmericaⓇ (New England Chapter) explains:

  • Warmth, lowered humidity, and active breezes after sunrise create the ideal environment for pollen release.
  • Near the plants, pollen levels are highest shortly after dawn. The amount of airborne pollen peaks in many urban areas between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • Rain and/or low morning temperatures (below 50° F) can block or slow pollen release on that day.

Mold can also be found everywhere, including inside, so there is little escaping it during the fall season. The Center for Disease Control and and Prevention (CDC) has cited the following as the most common types:

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium

Outdoor mold thrives in damp, humid environments and in our part of the world, triggers allergy symptoms from summer to fall. Indoor mold also flourishes under those conditions, however, if the circumstances are right, can last year-round. For more information on keeping mold, and your mold allergies at bay, visit our blogs:

If you are suffering from mold and/or ragweed allergies — or think you may be  — you can do one of two things:

1. Check the pollen and mold count daily and take allergy medications.

-or-

2. Make an appointment at CT Sinus Center and put a permanent end to your suffering.

We highly suggest the second option. When you first come in, our expert team will talk to you about your medical history and your symptoms. Next, through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, we will pinpoint what is causing your discomfort and develop the right treatment for your lifestyle. You may even be a candidate for one of our two outpatient procedures, both of which will end your suffering in around 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 CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices and watch your allergy symptoms be gone with the fall wind.

To learn more about CT Sinus Center, allergies and sinusitis, visit our website and blogs.