Diagnosing a Sinus Infection

Sinus infectionWhen you have acute sinusitis, otherwise known as a sinus infection, it’s pretty easy to recognize the symptoms. This is especially true if you have chronic sinusitis, which can happen a number of times a year.  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

In addition, you may also be experiencing:

  • Ear pain
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Aching in the jaw and teeth
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea

No matter if this is your first or your fiftieth sinus infection, it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a doctor just to be sure. Also if you’ve self-diagnosed correctly, you may need medication.

What should you expect when you go to the doctor?

First, your medical staff should take the time to discuss your medical history and specific symptoms. Next, your physician should do a thorough inspection of your sinuses for diagnosis, and may also check your eyes, ears and throat. To help determine the underlying cause, you may also undergo the following tests:

  • Nasal endoscopy, in which a thin, flexible tube with a fiber-optic light is inserted through your nose.
  • Imaging studies, in which a CT Scan or MRI can show details images of your sinuses.
  • Nasal/sinus cultures, though generally unnecessary, which might help pinpoint a bacterial or fungal cause.
  • Allergy tests, recommended if your doctor suspects the condition may be brought on by allergies.

A sinus infection is such a common thing that experts can often diagnose them without extensive testing. However, while the diagnosis is often correct, without testing, the physician could miss the real cause of the symptoms or prescribe a medication that isn’t actually needed. So if you are looking to get it right the first time, schedule an appointment at CT Sinus Center.

When you first come in, our expert team will talk to you about your symptoms and medical history. Next, through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, we will find 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 put an end to sinus infections once and for all.

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

4 Reasons Your Eyes Water

Eyes waterTears play an important part in eye health — it is their job to nourish and lubricate the eye, keeping it functioning (and feeling) properly. Tears are produced in the lacrimal glands in the upper eyelid and then drain out through tear ducts and into the nose. To see how the tear process works, watch this video from the American Academy of Ophthalmology. However, sometimes things go wrong and you produce extra tears, or the normal amount of tears you do produce doesn’t drain properly, and your eyes water.

What are some of the reasons eyes water?

  1. Weather. If you’ve ever walked outside during a blustery day or even gone for a jog, you know that wind and cold weather can make your eyes water. This is because these elements dry out your eyes and your body creates extra tears to keep them lubricated in order to protect them.
  2. Allergens. The same things that trigger your nasal allergies pollen, mold, dander, dust, smoke — trigger your eye allergies. When you suffer from allergies and your encounter any of these things, your immune system produces histamine, which causes numerous symptoms, including itchy and/or watery eyes.
  3. Infection. Your eyes will also produce more tears when you have an infection as an attempt to wash away the germs. Unfortunately no matter how hard the tear system works, an eye infection requires medical attention and is extremely contagious. Two examples of eye infections are conjunctivitis (pink eye) and blepharitis.
  4. Improperly functioning tear ducts. WebMD explains: “If a tear duct becomes blocked or fails to open, tears cannot drain from the eye properly. The duct may fill with fluid and become swollen, inflamed, and sometimes infected.” Babies under a year old are likely to have blocked tear ducts, but luckily it tends to clear up on it’s own without any long-term effects. For adults, this condition is usually due to injury or a medical condition and needs treatment.

What should you do if your eyes water excessively?

Whenever you have issues with your eyes, it’s best to see a doctor and we have just the right ones. Our expert physicians at CT Sinus Center are trained in all-things allergy-related and will take the time to sit down with you, discuss your symptoms and medical history, and perform a thorough exam in order to determine exactly what is causing your eyes to over-water. Once the results are in, we will develop a treatment plan that is right for you and your lifestyle.

Treatment may include any of the medications listed in our blog “Should You Drop Your Allergy Eye Medications?” or, if it is determined that you have allergies, one of our two outpatient procedures:

  • 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 today to schedule your appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices and turn those watery eyes into tears of joy.

And for all things related to sinus conditions, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.