Tag: sinusitis

Spring into allergy and sinus relief

There are so many things to enjoy about the spring season. Baseball season, gardening, and just being able to spend more time outdoors are just a few of the things that make the spring season amazing!

But, want to know one thing that doesn’t make spring so great? The wonderful pollen that falls from the sky and onto our cars and clothing, causing us to sneeze, cough and feel just plain awful.

Fortunately, our team at ExcelENT of Alabama wants you to know that your spring season can still be an enjoyable one—even if you do suffer from spring allergies, and here’s how:

 

But First—What Are Allergies?

 

It is very common for allergies and sinus infections to be mistaken for one another. As a result, it is important if you are unsure whether your symptoms are related to allergies or a sinus infection that you seek medical treatment from an ENT specialist to ensure you are given the right treatment plan for your condition.

Check out our blog here on how you can tell the difference between allergies and sinus infections.

Many times allergy symptoms can turn into a sinus infection if not treated properly. Therefore, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with allergies, it is important to schedule an appointment with an ENT to prevent your condition from turning into a more serious problem like sinusitis (sinus infection) or chronic sinusitis.

 

Take Action Against Allergies

 

Of course, the best way to treat allergy symptoms is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Let’s take a look at some ways you can reduce your risk of suffering from allergies this spring, starting with:

  • Avoiding exposing yourself to things you know will cause allergy symptoms.
  • Getting exercise on a regular basis.
  • Making sure you wash your hands frequently.
  • Quitting smoking if you are a smoker.
  • Showering when you are home for the night.
  • Taking over-the-counter allergy medications like Xyzal, Zyrtec, Claritin, etc.
  • Trying a humidifier at night to assist with any congestion.
  • Using nasal spray (saline solution) or a neti pot.

However, if symptoms are still strong after trying these home remedies and over-the-counter allergy medications, it is time to seek treatment from a knowledgeable and experienced ENT specialist.

 

When to See an ENT for a Sinus Infection

 

Sinus infections can happen from time to time, especially when allergens are at their worst (i.e., spring and summer). But, there is a difference between a sinus infection here and there and constant sinus infections (also known as “chronic sinusitis”) that last for months.

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:

  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Discolored nasal discharge
  • Facial pain (including pressure and/or fullness)
  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Thick nasal discharge

If you have been fighting off sinus infections for more than three months, it is time to seek medical attention to regain your quality of life. Especially if antibiotics have been of no relief, it is time to discuss other treatment methods available.

 

We Are Here to Help!

 

Depending on the severity of symptoms, sometimes avoiding the allergens that cause you problems and a prescription nasal spray or other sinus medication can be helpful. However, if your symptoms turn into chronic sinusitis, surgical procedures like balloon sinuplasty might be a better option.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment so you can find relief sooner rather than later to start enjoying a wonderful spring season!

 

Discover how the team at ExcelENT of Alabama in Birmingham, AL, can help you find allergy and sinus relief!

Are you having sinus issues? Contact the team at ExcelENT of Alabama today to schedule an appointment for a medical evaluation to receive the proper diagnosis and treatment plan when it comes to chronic sinusitis.

Am I a good candidate for sinus surgery?

Headache, runny nose, nasal congestion, oh my!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 26 million Americans are diagnosed with sinusitis. Are you one of them?

What Is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis, also known as a sinus infection, occurs when the nasal passages become inflamed. There are two main types of sinusitis—acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis.

Symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Bad breath
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Loss of smell
  • Nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Teeth pain

Depending on the type of sinusitis, treatment options vary.

For acute sinusitis, treatment includes saline nasal washes, over-the-counter medications (like a decongestant), and a possible antibiotic. However, if despite treatment, your symptoms continue for 12 weeks or more, chronic sinusitis is most likely the culprit.

In this case, sinus surgery might be the best answer for relief.

Will Sinus Surgery Help?

In most cases, physicians will give patients time for other treatment methods to work to improve your sinus infection symptoms.

However, if after three months, pain and other symptoms continue, chances are great that there is an obstruction of the sinuses. Therefore, sinus surgery might be recommended.

“If other medications for sinusitis leave the patient without relief, surgery is the next best option,” says J. Christopher Davis, MD, FACS, an otolaryngology (ear, nose & throat) specialist at Excel ENT of Alabama. “Sinus surgery, including balloon sinuplasty, can help patients find relief from their condition, as well as lower their risks of suffering from sinus infections in the future.”

Good candidates for sinus surgery include patients who have:

  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Deviated septum
  • Nasal or sinus polyps
  • Sinus disease due to a fungal infection

When Sinus Surgery Is an Option

Fortunately, if your condition calls for a medical procedure, there are a number of sinus surgery options available. Balloon sinuplasty is one option.

“During a balloon sinuplasty, a catheter with an inflatable balloon attached to it is inserted into the patient’s sinuses and a balloon is inflated to widen the sinus outflow tracts,” Dr. Davis explains. “Since balloon sinuplasty is a less invasive treatment option than the traditional endoscopic sinus surgery, it is beginning to be the method of choice in mild to moderate cases of chronic sinusitis.”

Another sinus surgery option includes a functional endoscopic surgery. It’s important to talk to an ENT to decide which option is best for you and your medical condition.

 

Are you tired of suffering from chronic sinus infections? Contact the team at Excel ENT of Alabama today to schedule an appointment to discuss your treatment options, including sinus surgery.