Web Q&A: Sinus Treatment
Want Sinus Pain Relief?
Treatment Advances for Sinusitis
March 28: Free "Want Sinus Pain Relief?" lecture from 6-7:30 pm at the Village at Duxbury, 290 Kings Town Way, Duxbury, MA. Call 800-2JORDAN to register.
Bernard J. Durante, MD, Otolaryngologist, Jordan Hospital
Anit T. Patel, MD, Otolaryngologist, Jordan Hospital
We've all experienced sinus discomfort— a "runny nose," nasal pressure and congestion-- usually after a cold, allergy attack or irritation from environmental pollutants. The symptoms often run their course in a few days, but sometimes a bacterial infection or acute sinusitis may develop. In some cases, sinusitis becomes a chronic problem.
Thirty-seven million Americans suffer from chronic sinusitis: blocked sinuses, loss of sense of smell, recurring headache, and a feeling of pressure on the face. Sometimes symptoms interfere with daily life, leading people to discuss surgery with specialists.
We asked Jordan Hospital Otolaryngologists Dr. Bernard Durante and Dr. Anit Patel to share their best advice on keeping sinuses clear.
Q: How do I know I have sinusitis?
Dr. Patel: If you’ve had a cold, allergies, or nasal irritation, sinusitis could follow. You might experience facial pain or pressure, nasal congestion, or difficulty breathing. Yellow or green mucus, tooth pain, sore throat, and a diminished sense of smell or taste are all common. Headache, fatigue, and bad breath following illness or irritation could indicate sinusitis has set in.
Q: What is the first step to get relief?
Dr. Durante: Try inhaling steam or topical decongestant nasal sprays (for no more than 6 days.) Be sure you sniff-- do not “blow”-- your nose, which may trap air in the sinuses and make your pain worse. If that doesn’t help, see your doctor. They may prescribe antibiotics or topical nasal steroid sprays, which often reduce swelling, fight infection, and clear the sinus opening. In 80% of cases, these treatments do the trick.
Q: What if my sinus discomfort just won’t go away?
Dr. Durante: There are two surgical options. Conventional sinus surgery removes bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening. It is effective, but now we have less invasive modalities.
Dr. Patel: Balloon Sinuplasty is a less invasive option. It uses a small balloon that is inflated in the sinus passageway to gently restructure and open it, often without tissue or bone removal. This is a safe, effective procedure with a quick recovery time—some people bounce back to normal in 24 hours.
Next steps? To make an appointment to see a specialist, call Plymouth Ears, Nose & Throat at 508-746-8977. Learn more about sinus care at http://www.jordanhospital.org/sinuscare or at http://www.plymouthent.com.