permanent relief


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.


Are You Allergic to Exercise?

ExerciseHave you ever noticed that when you’re working out, especially with cardio activities, your nose starts to run? Or maybe after an exertive workout, you feel congested like you were just hit with a cold. If either of these scenarios sound familiar, then you must be allergic to exercise and now have an excuse to binge watch Netflix instead of going for that jog! No, just kidding. Exercise-induced rhinitis is a real thing, but while it’s inconvenient, it’s harmless.

Although the medical community (and many of us) know that this reaction exists, its exact cause is unknown. However, here are two popular theories:

  • Greater exposure to allergens. Of course if you are exercising outside, you are going to be surrounded by all of the things that usually trigger allergiespollen, grass, mold — and even things that cause nonallergic rhinitis such as cold air and car exhaust. In the same vein, if you are working out at a gym, it’s possible that you are allergic to something there, such as the chemicals they use to clean. It follows then that the harder you work out, the more your breathing deepens and speeds up, causing you to inhale more of the allergens.

  • Dilated blood vessels: The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) explains:

    Normally these blood vessels are in a half-constricted or half-open state. But when a person exercises vigorously, hormone (adrenaline) levels increase. Adrenaline causes constriction of the nasal membranes so that the air passages open up and the person breathes freely.

When you’re done exercising and less adrenaline and blood is flowing, your nasal passages expand again, which can make you feel congested.

Important note: Exercise-induced rhinitis is not to be confused with exercise-induced asthma and exercise-induced anaphylaxis (EIA), both of which need medical attention and treatment.

That said, if you are suffering from a runny or congested nose while exercising, it’s time to stop allowing it to keep you from fitness activities. After all, exercising is extremely important to your overall health and wellbeing. Schedule an appointment with CT Sinus Center to find out how we can help you put down the tissues and pick up your performance. Through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, our expert physicians will find the right treatment for your specific symptoms. 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 let us help you get back on that track and leave your exercise-induced rhinitis in the dust.

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


The Real Costs of Allergies: Medications

Medication CostsNot long ago, in our blog “The Real Costs of Allergies,” we examined the hefty price that people who suffer from allergies pay. This cost includes anything from copays, to lost wages, to depression. In fact, in our previous blog “Say ‘No’ to Lifelong Sinus Medication,’” we shared a study by the Academy of Allergy and Asthma in Primary Care stating that (combined) per year, sinus sufferers spend $17.5 billion on health costs, lose 6 million work and school days, and make 16 million visits to the doctor. Those statistics themselves are depressing, but let’s break them down a little further and talk about the specific costs of the typical medication used to treat allergy symptoms. Please keep in mind that these prices are averages per month (unless otherwise stated) and vary based on whether they are brand name or generic, prescription or over-the-counter, out-of-pocket or covered by insurance deductibles or copays.

Sure some of these costs aren’t bad if you only have symptoms once in awhile. However, if you are like most sufferers, you have them year-round, and those costs can really add up, even with insurance. And that is not even taking into account the rest of the costs you face when you have allergies as we mentioned above.

If you could, wouldn’t you want to put an end to your sinus and allergy suffering and the costs inherent in it? You may be able to at CT Sinus Center. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians to see what we can do for you. When you come in, we will sit down with you and discuss your symptoms before doing thorough diagnostic testing to see exactly what is triggering your allergies. Next, in easy-to-understand language, we’ll explain our findings and treatment options. Finally, we’ll develop an individualized treatment plan that will free you from your symptoms. You may even be a candidate for one of our two outpatient procedures, both of which will permanently 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 our four conveniently-located offices, and start spending your hard-earned money on things that you really want to buy.

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


Is it Time to Turn to Turbinate Reductions?

When allergy or sinus issues hit, you can blame all the usual suspects — pollen, mold, dust and pet dander — but you can also blame your turbinates. A turbinate sounds like something you’d find on an airplane, but what it is is mainly soft tissue structures within the nose that support your nasal passages and clean, warm and moisturize the air as it passes through your airway. When they become inflamed, due to respiratory infections or allergies (see image), it becomes difficult to breathe through your nose.

You can treat turbinate inflammation with the same prescription or over-the counter medications you use for your other sinus symptoms. Antihistamines, decongestants and nasal spray will all work, but they are all only temporary fixes. In addition, if you have long-term or chronic turbinate inflammation, medication may lose its effectiveness.

Turbinate Reduction

At Connecticut Sinus Center, we specialize in a same-day, in-house procedure called Turbinate Reduction that doesn’t just address the cause of the inflammation, but actually addresses the inflammation itself, clearing the passageway for air to flow more freely. The procedure involves decreasing the size of the turbinate by making a small incision in it’s lining and removing a small amount of bone.  

The benefits of turbinate reductions include:

  • Increased air flow
  • Decrease in common sinus ailments
  • Decrease in sinus headaches
  • Restoration of sense of smell
  • Often a reduction in post nasal drip
  • Minimal recovery time
  • No external scarring (this is an entirely internal procedure)

If you would like to know if you are eligible for the Turbinate Reduction procedure, make an appointment at CT Sinus Center today with one of our expert physicians. When you come in, we will take the time to thoroughly discuss your symptoms and your medical history. After, we will use a variety of diagnostic methods to examine your airways in order to determine what is keeping you from breathing freely through your nose. During the entire process, we’ll answer all of your questions and help alleviate any concerns.

If you do not qualify for the turbinate procedure, we will work with you to find the right individualized treatment plan for sinus relief. Call us today at 860-BALLOON to see what we can do for you. With our four offices offering services, you are sure to find one convenient to your neighborhood.

And for all things allergy and sinus related, visit the CT Sinus website and blog.


Food for Thought: Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance

Food IntolerancePeople often say that they can’t eat certain things because they are allergic to them, but in many cases, what they mean is that they have an intolerance to it. However, it is very important to understand the differences between a food allergy and a food intolerance, because that knowledge can literally save your, or someone else’s, life.

According to WebMD, the two conditions share the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

But that is where the similarities end.

Now let’s take a look at the differences.

This chart from the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital breaks them down clearly:

Food Intolerance

What causes food intolerance?

A food intolerance occurs when there is a problem in properly breaking down food in the digestive system. The most common intolerance is to lactose, and there are a few conditions that can provoke an intolerance reaction. Mayo Clinic cites the following triggers:

  • Absence of an enzyme needed to fully digest a food
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Food poisoning
  • Sensitivity to food additives
  • Recurring stress or psychological factors
  • Celiac disease

What causes food allergies?

A food allergy takes place in the immune system and, like seasonal allergies, occurs when your body determines something is harmful and produces antibodies called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) explains, “These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, causing an allergic reaction. Each type of IgE has a specific ‘radar’ for each type of allergen.”

According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE):

  • Researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans have food allergies and the number of sufferers is on the rise for no known reason.
  • This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S.
  • The economic cost of children’s food allergies is nearly $25 billion per year.

The following is a list of the most common allergens, with links to their descriptions on the FARE website. The site also discusses some of the less common, but equally as dangerous, food allergy triggers.

If you have a reaction, whether severe or mild, it is extremely important that you see a doctor in order to find out if you have an intolerance or an allergy and what has caused it. Through patient-centered care, our expert physicians at CT Sinus Center will use up-to-date diagnostic knowledge and tools to find out exactly what is triggering your reaction. And once that is determined, they will set up an effective, individualized treatment plan to keep you safe and feeling great.

To make an appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices, call 860-BALLOON today. Food is one of the great pleasures of life; you deserve to enjoy it without anxiety.

For more information on food allergies, download the National Institution of Allergies and Infectious Diseases helpful guide for families.   

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


CT Sinus Center comes to Fairfield County

CTSinusCenterShelton

For years, CT Sinus Center has been bringing permanent allergy and sinus relief to Connecticut, securing our position as the leader in our field. Now, in response to our proven success, we are proud to announce that we’ll be opening a brand new office on Corporate Drive in Shelton. By August 4, Fairfield County residents will be able to seek superior sinus treatment in an office conveniently located in their own neighborhood.

This fourth location will allow us to bring sinus relief to every corner of the state. Meanwhile, we will continue to provide the state-of-the-art treatment that you’ve come to expect from us, including balloon sinus dilation, a non-invasive, innovative procedure that may put a permanent end to your sinus problems in less than an hour.

Are you interested in learning more about what CT Sinus Center is all about? Watch this brief introductory video to see what we can do for you.

Then, when you are ready to say goodbye to your chronic sinus suffering, call us and book an appointment at one of our four offices: Waterbury, Litchfield, Sharon, and soon, Shelton. When you come in for a consultation, our expert physicians will thoroughly discuss your individual symptoms and the available treatment options. They will have you back on the path to feeling like yourself in no time.

For more information on CT Sinus Center, visit our website and our blog.

Make an appointment and get a jump start on putting an end to your seasonal allergies forever. With four CT Sinus Center locations, sinus relief is nearby — no matter where you live.


When Will It End? How to Stop Chronic Sinusitis for Good

Woman Holding Cup of Water and Lemon

Nobody likes getting a cold. However, when it’s happening all the time, it becomes a bit much. Sinus infections can be more than annoying—they can leave earaches, headaches, and many things beyond the more obvious runny nose in their wake. With chronic sinusitis, some people are left wondering, “When will it end?” Chronic sinusitis can last several weeks for any one case and the postnasal drip can linger thereafter. In some people, it will keep coming back for years.

While there isn’t one single cause of chronic sinusitis, certain things are known to bring it on more frequently. The initial inflammation of the nasal passages when one has a cold or allergies tends to trigger it easily. Especially with people who have compromised immune systems, sinusitis almost feels inevitable once they start to get even a little bit stuffy. Sometimes, chronic sinusitis results from birth defects in the structure of the nasal passages, breathing in mold spores, or developing a nasal polyp—anything that can irritate or block the sinuses and prevent them from draining. The symptoms below may be very familiar to you if you have this recurring condition and have been wishing that you could just stop chronic sinus infections for good:

  • Facial pressure and pressure
  • Cough and congestion
  • Thick, discolored mucous
  • Inability to breathe through the nose

If you’re searching for a way to stop chronic sinus infections for good, your search ends here. Having reached this blog, you have already taken the first step. Countless people have been coming here and putting a stop to their chronic sinus infections. Why are these people beaming with delight? You would be too if you signed on for one of our simple, non-invasive procedures. Since we provide permanent relief, patients typically never even have to come in again. Wouldn’t you like to be one of our patients? You can be! Just reach out.