Posts for: July, 2018
Let’s help you figure out how to finally get those severe sinus symptoms under control.
At some point, most people will end up dealing with sinus problems. Luckily, they often just go away on their own without needing more than an over-the-counter medication to manage symptoms. Unfortunately, millions of Americans aren’t as lucky. They deal with severe and uncomfortable sinus symptoms that last more than 12 weeks. If you are dealing with chronic sinusitis or other sinus problems, our Sun City West and Sun City, AZ, otolaryngologists are here to tell you the warning signs that it might be time to consider surgery.
Okay, we know that no one wants to undergo surgery and luckily most people dealing with sinus problems won’t ever have to. Our Sun City West and Sun City ENT doctor offers a lot of different ways to help get your symptoms under control. If medication is able to manage your symptoms than no other course of action is necessary; however, if medication (either over-the-counter or prescription) isn’t working for you then it’s time to come in for further testing.
Further testing will often include imaging tests such as a CT scan to look for signs of a sinus blockage or other symptoms that might require surgery in order to alleviate the issue. You may require sinus surgery if:
- You have chronic sinusitis that isn’t responding to treatment
- You have severe sinus polyps
- There is an abnormality within the structure of the nose or sinus that requires repair (e.g. deviated septum)
- An infection has spread to the bone
- Cancer is detected within the sinus cavity
What kinds of sinus surgery are available?
Sinus surgery is often performed endoscopically, meaning that a small flexible scope is placed into the nose to remove, repair or treat the problem you are dealing with. It’s a common way to treat chronic sinusitis. Of course, balloon sinuplasty is a nonsurgical procedure that often provides patients with the relief they need from chronic sinus symptoms without having to undergo traditional surgery. Balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive and requires far less recovery time.
However, sometimes traditional surgery may be necessary to repair structural deformities, remove diseased tissue and even reconstruct certain areas of the sinuses.
Arizona ENT in Sun City West and Sun City, AZ, wants to help you finally get the relief you need from nagging, miserable sinus symptoms so that you can go out there and enjoy that breath of fresh air. We want you to be able to stop and smell the flowers. Call us today to learn more.
For those who deal with sinusitis, or a sinus infection, symptoms usually go away in a week or so. Unfortunately, sometimes this infection can last 12 weeks or longer, resulting in chronic sinusitis. If you are dealing with severe or chronic sinusitis and symptoms don’t go away with at-home treatment then it might be time to discuss with your otolaryngologist whether you could benefit from balloon sinuplasty, a simple non-surgical treatment.
Balloon sinuplasty is a great option for someone dealing with chronic sinusitis that isn’t responding to other treatment options but doesn’t want to immediately turn to traditional sinus surgery. Balloon sinuplasty treats the symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis without incisions or needing to cut the bone or tissue within the nasal cavity.
Instead of making an incision, your ENT doctor will place a small flexible tube with a deflated balloon at the end into the sinus cavity. Once inside, the balloon is carefully inflated until it opens up the inflamed or blocked sinus, allowing it to properly drain. A special saline solution will also be sprayed into the nasal cavity to remove any mucus buildup. Once the sinuses are completely clear your doctor will remove the system. Even once the system is removed the once inflamed and blocked cavity will stay open. This procedure can be performed right in your ENT specialist’s office and you can go home right after.
Unlike traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive and doesn’t require extensive downtime. In fact, most patients were able to return to work and their daily activities within 2-3 days. Since there is no cutting or incisions required with balloon sinuplasty, you will also experience less bleeding and fewer post-treatment side effects.
So, how do you know whether or not balloon sinuplasty is the right way to handle your chronic sinus issues? If you’ve been dealing with a sinus infection that has lasted more than 12 weeks and isn’t responding to other treatment options then it might be time to weigh the pros and cons of treatment. You may want to consider this sinus treatment if you are dealing with severe or persistent:
- Facial pain and pressure
- Nasal discharge
- Loss of or reduced smell
Those dealing with recurring sinus infections throughout the year should also consider getting balloon sinuplasty to reduce the likelihood for future sinus infections. Many people who’ve gotten this sinus treatment are still experiencing relief two years after their balloon sinuplasty. If you are dealing with chronic or severe sinus infections regularly it’s time to turn to an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Ear infections can be quite the nuisance, particularly if it’s something that your little one deals with often. While anyone can develop ear infections, babies and young children are at an increased risk for ear infections. Since children’s Eustachian tubes (a structure that connects the middle ear with the pharynx, the cavity that lies behind the nose and mouth) aren’t fully developed it makes it easier for factors such as a common cold to lead to blocked Eustachian tubes and ear infections.
If there is a family history of ear infections, if your child is exposed to secondhand smoke or if your child develops colds and flus regularly then they may be at an increased risk for an ear infection. The most common types of ear infections are a middle ear infection, swimmer’s ear (which affects the outer ear canal), and labyrinthitis (causes inflammation of the inner ear or nerves of the inner ear).
Of course, babies and toddlers won’t be able to tell you that they are experiencing ear pain; however, there are other signs to look out for, including:
- Tugging or pulling at the ear
- Drainage coming from the ear
- Increased irritability or crying more often
- Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep
- Increased fussiness or clinginess
- Lack of energy
If your child is displaying any of these symptoms it’s a good idea to take them in to see their pediatrician. Of course, if your child is often dealing with recurring or severe ear infections, visiting an otolaryngologist might be the best medical professional to help you figure out what’s causing these frequent infections and how to put a stop to them.
Of course, adults may also face ear infections. You may wake up in the middle of the night with an ear that is throbbing and painful. If this is the case, turning to an ENT doctor can help alleviate your symptoms. Depending on the type and severity of you or your little one’s ear infection, an ENT specialist will tell you whether or not antibiotics will be necessary for fighting the infection.
Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and applying a warm compress to the ear can also help you manage your discomfort until the ear infection goes away. Leaving an ear infection untreated is never a good idea, as it can lead to complications such as hearing loss. This is why it’s important that you or your child receive the proper medical attention necessary if you suspect an ear infection.