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 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 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.

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.

Nasal Polyps No More

nasal polypsSometimes, small growths form in the lining of the nose and sinus passages that can block normal drainage and create discomfort. These painless tear-drop or grape-shaped growths are called nasal polyps and are often caused by continuous inflammation brought on by allergies or asthma. The good news is that nasal polyps are almost always non-cancerous and can be easily treated. In fact, small polyps don’t usually have symptoms or need treatment at all.


What symptoms would large polyps cause?

According to WebMD, “Most people with nasal polyps have a runny nose, sneezing, and postnasal drip. About 75% have problems with their sense of smell.” The site also lists these additional symptoms:

  • Stuffy or blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Facial pain
  • Loss of taste
  • Itching around the eyes
  • Infections (from mucus buildup)

Because these symptoms are so common, it’s best to see a doctor to pinpoint the exact cause of them. Also, why suffer when permanent relief may be just around the corner?

Our expert physicians at Connecticut Sinus Center will not only treat your nasal polyps, but they will also treat what is causing them. And with four conveniently-located offices across the state, getting the care you need is easier than ever.

When you come in for your appointment, we’ll sit down with you and discuss your symptoms and medical history. Next, we’ll conduct a series of tests, including allergy tests and a nasal endoscopy, that tell us exactly what is causing your discomfort so that we can come up with a individualized treatment plan that is right for you and your lifestyle.

Many times, nasal polyps can be treated with a corticosteroid, which will shrink them and open up the airflow. In some cases, endoscopic surgery is necessary. However, this outpatient procedure will have you breathing freely in no time, and the team at CT Sinus Center will have you feeling at ease throughout the entire process.

Once your polyps have been treated, we will work with you to keep them from coming back. As they are often a result of sinus and allergy issues, we’ll help to put a permanent end to those as well, making nasal polyps a thing of your past.

If you suspect you have nasal polyps, stop letting them affect your health. Call 860-Balloon today and schedule an appointment today.

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

Nosebleeds: Is Your Home too Dry?

dryDo you suffer from frequent nosebleeds, especially during the winter? Before you Google this symptom and then panic over what you find, ask yourself: “Is the air in my house too dry?”

WebMD explains, “Because wintertime humidity is so low, what little moisture that is around is quickly sucked up into the air. Moisture also evaporates from your body, leaving your skin, nose, and throat parched.” The issue is compounded when the artificial heat is turned up higher because the higher the temperature, the lower the humidity.

The good news is that the resulting nosebleeds are more annoying than harmful, although if they are heavy, last longer than 20 minutes and/or occur frequently, you should call your doctor. Washington University Sinus Institute explains, “Nosebleeds, clinically known as epistaxis, occur when the membranes lining the inside of the nose are disturbed or irritated enough to cause bleeding.”

Aside from bleeding, there are a few problems that may accompany a consistently dry nose.


  • Less protection: As we discussed in our blog “Much Ado About Mucus,” mucus plays an important role in our health as a filter for things like dust, smoke, bacteria, viruses and other allergens, and it contains antibiotics and enzymes to attack these things when they do get in. So it follows that the less mucus that is produced, the more likely irritants can get in causing allergies or illness.
  • Discomfort: When your nose becomes so dry, the skin inside can become irritated and crack. It’s not a severe pain, but any discomfort, especially in the middle of your face, is something you’d probably rather avoid.
  • Infection: Less mucus and/or cracks the membranes of your nasal passages are an invitation for infection. Everyday Health tells us that there is an additional risk for infection when “someone’s nasal passages are already inflamed from allergies.”

So what can you do to stay healthy and comfortable when your house is too dry? Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to add moisture to the air in your home and your nasal passages.

  • Humidifiers. You can buy humidifiers of every shape and size that will not only humidify your room, but also look great doing so. That said, no matter which humidifier you choose, it is extremely important to keep it properly maintained and free from mold, bacteria and other allergens. Also be careful not to turn it up too high and creating too much moisture, which can bring mold.
  • Saline rinse. A little saline can go a long way towards keeping your nasal passages moisturized. These are sold over-the-counter and since they are non-medicated, are safe to use throughout the day.
  • Hydration. Here is yet another reason why drinking a lot of water is good for you. Stay hydrated, friends.

Dry nasal passages can also be the result of sinus and allergy issues. The best way to know for sure what’s causing it and how to treat it is to call CT Sinus Center and schedule an appointment with one of our expert physicians. When you come in. we will take the time necessary to sit down with you and fully discuss your symptoms and medical history. Then we will do a series of tests to figure out exactly what is causing your discomfort and develop a treatment plan that works with your lifestyle and leaves your parched nasal passages out to dry.

Call 860-BALLOON today and schedule your appointment at one of our four conveniently-located offices.

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


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 Ibuprofen Right for a Sinus Headache?


Sometimes when you suffer from allergy or sinus congestion, you also have a headache that manifests as pain and pressure in your eyes, nose, cheeks and forehead. The pain may get worse upon bending over or lying down, and you may have additional symptoms including: runny nose, sore throat, cough and fatigue.

A sinus headache can be relentless and keep you from doing the things you need to do. So usually when people experience one, they seek relief as soon as they can. Often that relief comes in the form of ibuprofen, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). WebMD explains, “It works by blocking your body’s production of certain natural substances that cause inflammation. This effect helps to decrease swelling, pain or fever.”

You can purchase generic and name-brand ibuprofen (ex., Motrin and Advil), but you can also find it in a number of medications used for treating a variety of ailments, allergy– and sinus-related and otherwise. For an extensive list of medications that contain ibuprofen, visit this page on

There are also a high number of risks associated with using ibuprofen. Some of the minor side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach aches
  • Nausea
  • Gas or bloating
  • Heartburn
  • Dizziness
  • Nervousness
  • Sun sensitivity

If you experience any of these reactions severely and/or prolonged, stop taking the ibuprofen and seek immediate medical attention.

Equally important, Everyday Health alerts users to the two black-box warnings on the ibuprofen bottle:

  1. Ibuprofen can increase the risk of heart trouble and has been linked to heart attacks, strokes and blood clots, all of which can be deadly.
  2. Ibuprofen can damage the lining of your stomach, putting you at risk for stomach ulcers and heartburn.

With all this in mind, you may wonder why anyone would use ibuprofen for a sinus headache at all. Well, the truth is, it is a very effective medication, and the side effects are rare.

However, at CT Sinus Center, we offer a different solution.

Let our expert physicians perform thorough testing in order to identify the underlying causes of your sinus headache and then work with you to choose the most effective treatment. You may be a candidate for Balloon Sinus Dilation, an in-house process in which a small balloon is inflated in the nasal cavity under local anesthesia, or Turbinate Reductions, an outpatient surgical process in which soft tissue is removed during an outpatient surgical process — both of which will allow air to flow freely through your sinus cavities and keep further problems from developing.

The next time you reach for that bottle of ibuprofen, consider calling CT Sinus Center at (860) BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of our three conveniently-located offices. There is enough pressure in your life; there’s no need for it in your sinuses too.

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

How Balloon Sinus Dilation Can Improve Your Life


When you suffer from chronic sinus infections, the smallest tasks can seem impossible. The debilitating pain and tenderness around your eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead combines with bothersome congestion to make breathing difficult and daily activities a lot less fun. You feel as if you can’t get anything done when the symptoms of your chronic sinusitis are so disruptive. If you’re tired of putting up with chronic sinus issues, you may be interested in CT Sinus Center’s Balloon Sinus Dilation procedure.

This treatment option is a non-invasive procedure that offers patients long-term sinus relief. To start, our physicians will administer a local anesthetic to your nasal passages so they can insert an inflatable tube. Next, the balloon is inflated, which provides your doctor with the opportunity to drain your nasal passages using a sterile saline solution. This balloon helps open the sinus passages, which decreases the risk of symptoms returning.

We see many sinusitis cases come in, ranging from mild to severe. If the problem is serious enough, you could be a candidate for our balloon sinus dilation procedure. If you suffer from chronic sinus headaches, regular facial and sinus pain, experience repeat sinus infections that don’t respond to medication, or are regularly dizzy and disoriented as a result of sinus pressure, then this procedure is for you. The experts at CT Sinus Center can drain your nasal passages, reduce the recurrence of ailments, and provide you with long lasting, much-needed relief.

This procedure doesn’t simply treat your symptoms, it helps reshape your nasal passages, effectively eliminating the chances of continued problems. By reshaping them, it will help drainage for your sinuses while increasing airflow. This procedure also decreases the number of headaches due to sinus issues, and will give patients the long-term relief they need. Since the procedure is non-invasive, there is minimal downtime and recovery time associated with it. Many patients are back to doing the things they love the very next day.

If over the counter and prescription sinus medications are unable to provide you with effective sinus pain relief, balloon sinus dilation may be the solution for you. Schedule a consultation with the experts at CT Sinus Center to see what treatment options are available. To learn more about this procedures and others, visit our website and check-in to our blog.