Signs


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.


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.


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.


Helping Kids Understand Allergies and Asthma

kidsKids who suffer from allergies and asthma may not fully understand what is going on with their bodies, and that can be scary. They might wonder why it is happening to them and not their friends. On the other hand, they might see that their friend is suffering and not understand why.

As a parent, you want to comfort you child and assuage all their fears. However, finding a way to explain things in terms they’ll understand, especially regarding medical issues, can be difficult. To help you, we’ve compiled a few resources that will help you educate your child on what allergies and asthma are, and how to live happily with them.

  • Just for Kids.” On the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology site, Mr. Nose-It-All invites your child and their friends to learn about allergy and asthma through fun activities such as puzzles, games and coloring. There are plenty of free activities on the site as well as some that you can purchase.
  • Learning About Allergies.” KidsHealth is a fantastic resource for teaching kids and teens about anything health-related. On their allergies page, they answer questions such as: “Why Does My Nose Run,” “Do Allergies Cause Asthma” and “Why Do Some Kids Get Allergies?” They also explain the difference between colds and allergies as well as related medial language (immunotherapy, allergist).
  • The Mysteries of Life:Tim and Moby.” Your kids may be familiar with BrainPop’s favorite boy and robot educational team, Tim and Moby, who star in educational videos about pretty much everything. In this free clip, they are talking about asthma. For a small monthly (or yearly) fee, you can access all of the movies and activities on BrainPop, including ones spotlighting allergies.
  • Resources for Kids.” The Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) offers a program for children called “Be a PAL: Protect A Life™” designed to teach children about food allergies as well as “how to be a good friend to kids with food allergies.” It also introduces a section in which kids can send food allergy questions to “Alexander, the Elephant Who Couldn’t Eat Peanuts” that may be published and answered on the site.

At CT Sinus Center we specialize in treating allergies in both the adult and pediatric populations, and have everything you need to keep your child happy and healthy when allergies hit. When you first come in, our expert team will talk to both you and your child about their medical history and symptoms. Next, through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, we will pinpoint what is causing the problem and develop the right treatment for your child and your entire family. Through all of this, we will be using simple language that will help your child understand what they are going through and make them feel at ease.

We know you hate to see your child suffering, and so do we. Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices to give your child the comfort and .peace of mind you both deserve.

And for all ear, nose and throat issues, visit our sister office Westwood Ear, Nose & Throat.

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


Medical Allergies: Latex and Penicillin

LatexGoing to the doctor is supposed to make you feel better, but what happens when a trip to the office triggers an allergic reaction? Unfortunately, there are a number of medical supplies that  can do just that. In today’s blog, we are going to take a more in-depth look at two of those triggers: latex and penicillin.

Latex:

Natural latex is made from the sap of the rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis. When a person has an allergic reaction to latex, it is because of the proteins in the sap. Since this allergy has become so common, natural rubber latex is often replaced with synthetic rubber, especially in gloves. However, the synthetic latex is made up of chemicals, which can trigger a whole other set of allergies.

According to The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI): People who are at higher risk for developing a latex allergy include:

  • Health care workers and others who frequently wear latex gloves
  • People who have had multiple surgeries (for example, 10 or more), such as children with spina bifida
  • People who are often exposed to natural rubber latex, including rubber industry workers
  • People with other allergies, such as hay fever (allergic rhinitis) or allergy to certain foods

Symptoms include:

For more information and a helpful Latex Allergy Checklist, visit the American Latex Allergy Association site.

Penicillin:

The good news about this allergy is many people who think they have it actually don’t. Instead, they may be experiencing adverse reactions or side effects to the drug, which can be just as serious.

The symptoms of a penicillin allergy are just like those of a latex allergy with the addition of:

  • Fever
  • Itchy Eyes
  • Swelling of the lips,  tongue or face

Unfortunately, people with a penicillin allergy may unknowingly be allergic to other drugs as well. Mayo Clinic explains:

Penicillins belong to a class of antibacterial drugs called beta-lactams. Although the mechanisms of the drugs vary, generally they fight infections by attacking the walls of bacterial cells. In addition to penicillins, other beta-lactams more commonly associated with allergic reactions are a group called cephalosporins.

Penicillins include:

  • Amoxicillin
  • Ampicillin
  • Dicloxacillin
  • Oxacillin
  • Penicillin G
  • Penicillin V
  • Piperacillin
  • Ticarcillin

Cephalosporins include:

  • Cefaclor
  • Cefadroxil
  • Cefazolin
  • Cefdinir
  • Cefotetan
  • Cefprozil
  • Cefuroxime
  • Cephalexin

If you believe that you may be suffering from a latex or penicillin allergy, stop the guesswork and find out for sure. Our expert allergists at CT Sinus Center have the most up-to-date testing methods to determine whether or not you do have an allergy and exactly what it is. Once the diagnosis is in, we will work with you to develop a plan to keep you safe from any follow-up reactions.

Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices today and be assured that a trip to the doctor will only end in health. Also watch for our blog “Medical Allergies Part 2: Other Medications and Adhesives.”

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


Am I Allergic to Milk?

AllergicOften times after drinking a tall glass of milk or eating a bowl of ice cream our bodies experience physical reactions that cause us discomfort. We immediately jump to the conclusion that we are allergic to dairy and worry about what that may mean for our health.

In reality, we probably are not allergic to dairy, or specifically milk, and our health is not in jeopardy. Although we may not feel great, we are likely experiencing intolerance. Intolerance to milk and milk products may be uncomfortable, but they are likely not severe. Actual allergic reactions, on the other hand, can be life-threatening

As it is easy to confuse an allergy with intolerance, it is important to understand the inner workings that separate the two. It is also important to know that when looking at a food’s ingredients, “milk” and “dairy” are not necessarily the same thing.

Allergies caused from cow’s milk range from mild to moderate to severe. The reaction occurs when the immune system mistakenly identifies the protein in milk as something harmful. Thus, causing a release of antibodies known as immunoglobulin E (IgE) to neutralize the allergy-causing food or substance.

Mayo Clinic lists the symptoms of a milk allergy as:

  • Hives
  • Wheezing
  • Vomiting
  • Signs and symptoms that may take more time to develop include:
  • Loose stools, which may contain blood
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes
  • Itchy skin rash, often around the mouth
  • Colic, in babies

According to Mayo Clinic, milk allergies are amongst the most common of food allergies. They differ from person to person and usually occur a few minutes to a few hours after consumption. If you are allergic, you should avoid milk completely. Luckily, however, many kids outgrow a milk allergy.

Intolerance to milk, on the other hand, is a condition that does not involve the immune system and is caused from not having enough of the enzyme used to break down lactose. The discomfort felt from lactose intolerance will not necessarily happen every time the milk-based food or beverage is consumed. Depending on the level of lactose intolerance you have, you may be able to eat small amounts without a reaction, and even a severe reaction is usually not life-threatening.

Symptoms of lactose intolerance include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Gas and bloating
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

If you experience discomfort brought on by milk or other dairy products it is important that you see a doctor in order to find out if you have intolerance or an allergy so you can start feeling better. 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. 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.

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


Tongue Swelling: Allergies or Illness

tongueThe tongue is typically about 10 centimeters long when measured from the back of the throat to the very tip. Most people know that it is a muscular organ responsible for chewing, swallowing, licking, tasting, breathing and articulating words. However, did you know that the color and swelling of the tongue can indicate a medical problem?

Angioedema (swelling in the deeper layers of skin and tissue) of the tongue can occur for a number of reasons:

If you suspect that the swelling is caused by allergies, our expert staff at CT Sinus Center can help you find relief. At your first appointment, we’ll talk to you about your symptoms and medical history. Next, through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, we will figure out if your reaction is caused by food allergies, insect stings, medication or something else entirely. Then, once we establish the cause, we’ll develop a treatment plan that is the perfect fit for your lifestyle.

So watch your mouth — especially your tongue — and if you notice swelling, call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices. (If it is an emergency, such as anaphylactic shock or trouble breathing, call 911 immediately.)

Read more blogs on sinus– and allergy-related conditions on the CT Sinus Center website.


How to Soothe a Sore Throat

sore throatSore throats are irritating and annoying, no matter how bad they are. The most common type of sore throat is called pharyngitis and usually occurs alongside a cold or flu virus. Allergies are another common cause of throat irritation.

A sore throat is pretty easy to diagnose and treat at home, although it is always a good idea to get a sore throat checked out by a physician in order to rule out bacterial infection or other medical conditions. The tell-tale symptoms of a sore throat include:

  • Pain in your throat
  • Itching in your throat
  • Increased pain when talking or swallowing
  • Inflamed tonsils or glands
  • Voice loss

For at-home treatments, you can try over-the-counter medications such as:

You can also try natural remedies:

  • Gargles:
    • Warm salt water
    • Fresh lemon juice, honey, hot water
    • Ginger, honey water
    • Cayenne pepper, water
  • Drinks:
    • Apple cider vinegar, honey, water
    • Herbal tea (chamomile, licorice root, marshmallow root, peppermint, clove)
  • Raw garlic (eaten, chewed, sucked on)

Unfortunately, even though these home remedies work well, they are only temporary, and if you suffer from allergies, you may be self-treating your sore throat much more often than you’d like. This can become inconvenient and expensive.

For a long-lasting solution, you’ll want to treat the cause of your pain: post nasal drip from allergies. At CT Sinus Center, we have the knowledge and means to do just that. Take the first step toward permanent relief by scheduling an appointment to speak with our expert physicians. When you come in,the first thing we’ll do is talk to you about your symptoms and listen closely to what you have to say. Next, we’ll use the most up-to-date diagnostic tools to find out exactly what is causing your suffering and then how we can end it. You may be eligible for Balloon Sinus Dilation, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing and consequently, relieving post nasal drip. Or perhaps you are a better candidate for Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, quickly increasing airflow and reducing post nasal drip.

Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices, and let us permanently soothe your itchy, sore throat.

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


Conjunctivitis: Not Pretty in Pink (Eye)

ConjunctivitisIt’s not difficult to diagnose conjunctivitis (pink eye) since the primary symptom is a pink (red) coloring in the white of the eye or the inner eyelid. The other symptoms are pretty obvious too — the Center for Disease Control (CDC) lists them as:

  • Swelling of the conjunctiva (the thin layer that lines the white part of the eye and the inside of the eyelid) and/or eyelids
  • Increased tear production
  • Feeling like a foreign body is in the eye(s) or an urge to rub the eye(s)
  • Itching, irritation, and/or burning
  • Discharge (pus or mucus)
  • Crusting of eyelids or lashes, especially in the morning
  • Contact lenses that do not stay in place on the eye and/or feel uncomfortable

One of the most concerning things about pink eye is that it is highly contagious. Or is it? Well, yes, if it is caused by a virus or bacteria, pink eye is extremely contagious and requires medical treatment. However, there is a non-infectious type of pink eye caused by allergies.

Allergic conjunctivitis can occur as a reaction to the same triggers that cause seasonal allergies (pollen, mold, pet dander, dust). WebMD explains that the layer of skin that covers your eyes and the inside of your lids is the same as the skin that lines the inside of your nose. It makes sense, then, that both areas can be irritated by the same substances. It also makes sense that this type of pink eye usually appears in both eyes.

Fortunately, allergic conjunctivitis will usually go away on its own, but why suffer if you don’t have to. When you make an appointment at CT Sinus Center, our expert physicians can help you keep from seeing red when allergies hit. When you come in, we will discuss your symptoms at length in order to find clues as to what is triggering your condition. Next, we will perform thorough testing to identify the actual cause of your allergies and develop an individualized treatment plan to get you back to seeing clearly in no time.

As we discussed in our blog “Should You Drop Your Allergy Eye Medications?” there are several ways to treat eye allergies with medications such as antihistamines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, corticosteroid anti-inflammatories, decongestants, and mast cell stabilizers. Immunotherapy (shots or SLIT) is another effective way of treating allergic conjunctivitis.

Also, because eye allergies are usually a sign of seasonal allergies and are accompanied by the same symptoms (congestion, runny nose, cough, sinus pressure), you may be eligible for one of our two outpatient procedures that can put a permanent end to sinus suffering altogether:

  1. Balloon Sinus Dilation, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
  2. 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

Isn’t it time you found relief? Call (860) BALLOON to make an appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices today. We promise you that our allergy team will be a sight for sore eyes.

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