Nasal Passages


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.


Are Sinus Navigation Systems Necessary?

Sinus NavigationYou may have seen advertisements and news stories on the latest trend in sinus procedure technology: Fiagon Sinus Navigation. In this blog we are going to take a look at it and see if it’s as good as it’s made out to be.

First, what is it?

Think of Fiagon Sinus Navigation as a GPS for your sinus cavity that allows your doctor to see and maneuver through structures within the cavity and pinpoint the area of trouble. Designed specifically for procedures performed in an office, it can be integrated into a doctor’s existing surgical setup.

Sounds great, but what’s in the fine print?

In essence, the navigation system is an additional procedure. This means that when it’s used, it adds cost and length to the original procedure.

Does CT Sinus Center use Fiagon Sinus Navigation?

No, we do not. Our physicians are all certified in specialized fields, some holding multiple degrees, others having even used their extensive knowledge to author various publications in their particular areas of expertise. In other words, Dr.Loughlin, Dr. Spinella and Dr. Marcus have the know-how and experience to perform procedures without using an additional navigation system — and have proven so time and time again.

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Does this mean that my procedure at CT Sinus Center is less effective than one that uses the navigation system?

Absolutely not. As we mentioned above, our physicians have been successfully carrying out sinus procedures using their own navigation abilities for over 50 years combined. So at CT Sinus Center, not only are you getting expert care that leads to permanent relief of your sinus conditions, you are not being forced to undergo an unnecessary extra step that will increase your costs and procedure length.

Want to know more?

If you are looking to put an end to your sinus suffering and want to find out how CT Sinus Center can provide superior, affordable treatment in just about an hour, call us today. Whether your specific case calls for Balloon Sinus Dilation or Turbinate Reductions, our expert physicians will make sure they put you on the right path to sinus health.

Make your appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices by calling 860-BALLOON. Our sinus procedures may not be offering extravagant bells and whistles, but they are providing superior, non-invasive, permanent relief. So save the GPS for driving instructions.

For more information on all things sinus– and allergy-related, visit the CT Sinus Center webpage and blog.


Is Your Humidifier Making Your Sinus Condition Worse?

Is Your Humidifier Making Your Sinus Condition Worse?Fact: Dry air can cause sinus problems by drying out nasal passages and making mucus thicker. Thicker mucus leads to congestion, pressure and susceptibility to bacterial infections.

The good news:  A humidifier dispenses water vapor or steam, adding moisture to the air you breathe. When you inhale the air through your nose, the moisture helps decrease irritation, and therefore inflammation, of your nasal passages.  

The bad news: A humidifier that is not properly maintained can make your allergies and sinusitis worse.

So the question is: What must you do to keep your humidifier safe?

First, there are two types of humidifiers: cold and warm mist. While both are effective, it is recommended that homes with children avoid the warm mist units because if they are knocked over, there is a risk for getting burned. Cold mist units come in three types:

  • Evaporative models (most common) use a fan to blow air over a wet wick.
  • Ultrasonic humidifiers use a vibrating nebulizer to emit water.
  • Impeller models produce mist using a rotating disk.

All three types of humidifiers are beneficial; however, in order to keep them properly maintained and free from mold, bacteria and other allergens, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Humidity Level

Doctors recommend that the humidity level in your home stay between 30 and 50 percent. Any number below that results in dry air, and any number higher creates an atmosphere that is actually conducive to mold and bacteria. It also provides just the right climate for dust mites. If your unit doesn’t come with a gauge, you can buy an inexpensive hygrometer to use for monitoring your humidity levels.

Water

Use demineralized or distilled water in your humidifier tank. Tap water contains minerals that will settle in your tank’s reservoir and cause bacterial growth. Empty the tank and fill it with clean water for every use.

Cleaning

Wipe down the tank every day if possible. The Mayo Clinic suggests cleaning the entire unit every 3 days, removing “any mineral deposits or film from the tank or other parts of the humidifier with a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution, which is available at pharmacies.” Make sure to rinse well before using the humidifier.

Filters

Replace filters regularly per the manufacturer’s recommendation, or sooner if necessary.

Make sure you use the appropriate filter — using the wrong size or shape may cause leakage and will therefore be ineffective.

There is no arguing that humidifiers are an effective way of opening up your nasal passages and helping you breathe more easily. They are a useful complement to the perpetual cycle of allergy and sinusitis treatments involving decongestants, antihistamines, corticosteroids and nasal irrigation.

However, if you are ready to break that cycle, CT Sinus Center has a permanent solution.

When it comes to sinus and allergy relief, we are the leaders in our field. Our state-of-the-art, patient-centered care may be just what you need to get you back to feeling like yourself, minus your considerable sinus treatment routine. Schedule an appointment today to come in and speak with one of our expert physicians. We will take the time to talk to you about your symptoms and treatment options. You may be eligible for balloon sinus dilation, an in-office procedure that reshapes your nasal passages to allow increased airflow and natural draining and healing. In other words, it will put an end to your cumbersome (and expensive) sinus-care cycle forever — in as little as one hour.

Call (860) BALLOON today and take the first step to breathing easy.

For more information on all things sinus and allergy, visit our website and blog.