Information on Sinuses and Sinusitis

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS), sinus problems affect nearly 15 percent of adults in the United States. Sinusitis accounts for over 10 percent of all primary care antibiotic-related visits, and for more antibiotic prescriptions than nearly any other diagnosis.

A Look Into the Sinuses

The sinuses are hollow spaces in the skull (i.e. the frontal, ethmoid, sphenoid and maxillary) which serve to lighten the skull and give resonance to the voice. The purpose of the sinuses, which open into the nasal cavity, is to generate mucus to keep the nose from drying out during breathing and to trap unwanted materials so that they do not reach the lungs.

Chronic Sinusitis

When you have acute or chronic sinusitis, the mucous membranes of your nose, sinuses and throat become inflamed, possibly from a pre‐existing cold or allergies. Swelling obstructs the sinus openings and prevents normal mucus drainage, causing mucus and pressure to build up. The stagnant mucus becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which can cause a sinus infection that lasts for several weeks or months

Sinus symptoms include: drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat; nasal obstruction or congestion; tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead; and/or a reduced sense of smell and taste. The impact of chronic sinusitis on a person’s quality of life could include: throbbing facial pain or headaches, congestion, bad breath, irritability, fatigue or nausea.

sinus pressure location and sinus pain image

Sinus Treatments from Our Birmingham ENT Specialists

Sinus symptoms range from a runny nose to the severe pain of a sinus infection.

If you’re suffering from sinus pain, schedule a full ear, nose, and throat evaluation with Excel ENT of Alabama.

Sinus treatments depend on your diagnosed condition, and may include irrigation and/or antibiotics.

Minimally invasive sinus surgery is an effective option when your symptoms don’t respond to more conventional treatments.

Balloon sinuplasty is an in-office procedure that provides immediate relief from chronic sinus pain.

Do you suffer from sinus pain or congestion? Take our Sinusitis Quiz to assess the severity of your condition.

Nasal obstruction can impact the quality and quantity of air you’re able to breathe in.

A deviated, or bent, septum can cause breathing difficulties and sleep apnea.