For patients looking for sinus treatments due to suffering from sinus problems, including headaches and drainage, discomfort can be a daily challenge. Sinus problems can be made worse by allergies, and although they are technically separate diagnoses, their treatments may be interrelated.
Many people look for home remedies to sinus problems including over-the-counter medications, nasal sprays, nasal irrigation, humidifiers and more, but for the most effective sinus treatments, it’s best to meet with a otolaryngologist, often called an ear, nose, and throat doctor, to help diagnose the problem with the best treatment possible.
Sinus Problems and Conditions
The Sierra Nevada ENT team takes a comprehensive approach to resolving or managing nasal and sinus problems by creating an individualized treatment plan. Beginning with a physical exam and extensive interview about your sinus symptoms and history, our goal is to formulate a treatment plan to provide you relief from symptoms.
Many options exist for treating nasal and sinus issues. If they are a result of an allergic reaction, antihistamines or nasal sprays may be all that is needed. If allergy complaints are persistent or severe, a course of immunotherapy (allergy injections) and/or environmental control may be required.
Learn more about the following sinus conditions and how we treat them:
Allergic Rhinitis, commonly referred to as hay fever, is the chronic inflammation of the nasal lining caused by allergens. These allergens include dust, animal dander, or pollen. Symptoms may also occur after eating food you are allergic to. Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, congestion, itchiness, and watery eyes.
Atrophic Rhinitis is a chronic inflammation of the nasal lining caused by thinning of nasal membranes. It is often recognized by the formation of dry crusts in a nasal cavity that resulted from atrophy of the mucous nasal lining and underlying bone. Symptoms may include nasal crusting, widening nasal cavities, and loss of smell.
A Deviated Septum occurs when the septum –the wall that separates the nose into left and right halves– is severely shifted away from the midline. When a septum is deviated the bone and cartilage that divide the nose are crooked and can make breathing difficult. Deviated septum symptoms include blockage of one or both nostrils, nasal congestion–sometimes one-sided, frequent nosebleeds, frequent sinus infections, facial pain, headaches, postnasal drip and noisy breathing during sleep (in infants and young children).
Ear Infections, also called otitis media, occur when a cold, allergy, or upper respiratory infection leads to bacteria or viruses in the middle ear and blocks the Eustachian tube, causing accumulation of pus and mucus behind the eardrum. Common symptoms are ear pain, feeling of fullness in the ear, fluid draining from the ear(s), fever and hearing loss.
Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy
Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy is when the inferior turbinates are too large and cause an obstruction in one or both sides of the nose. On the inside of the nose, there are bony structures called turbinates covered by a spongy mucous membrane (the pink lining inside the nose). The turbinates are susceptible to allergy and dust irritation and can become swollen. Symptoms of inferior turbinate hypertrophy include difficulty breathing through the nose, chronic sinus infections and nosebleeds.
Inverted Papillomas are nasal tumors that originate in the mucosal membrane of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses. Papillomas are benign epithelial tumors that grow outward in fingerlike projections in the nose. Some can act like cancers. Symptoms: runny nose, nasal obstruction, sinus infections, headaches, and facial pain.
Nasal Polyps are soft, sac-like growths on the lining of the nose or sinuses. These painless, non-cancerous growths hang down like grapes or teardrops. Symptoms include runny nose, stuffed up nose, sneezing, feeling like your nose is blocked, loss of smell, loss of taste and headache and pain if you also have a sinus infection.
Most nosebleeds begin in the lower part of the septum, the semi-rigid wall that separates the two nostrils of the nose. The septum contains blood vessels that can be broken by a blow to the nose or the edge of a sharp fingernail. Other causes include dryness, allergies, clotting disorders, tumors or hemorrhagic telangiectasia. Symptoms include chronic bleeding from one or both nostrils.
Sinusitis, also called rhinosinusitis, generally occurs when viruses or bacteria infect the sinuses (often during a cold) and begin to multiply. It may also be caused by chronic inflammation. The body reacts by causing the sinus lining to swell, blocking the channels that drain the sinuses. This causes mucus and pus to fill up the nose and sinus cavities. Sinusitis symptoms include: chronic stuffy, congested, or blocked nose, chronic pain, pressure or fullness in the face, head, or around the eyes and thick nasal discharge.
Sinus and nasal passages can become inflamed with acute or chronic sinusitis, causing a sinus headache. Symptoms may include pain and pressure around the eyes, across the cheeks and the forehead – worsening with bending forward, achy feeling in the upper teeth, fever and chills, facial swelling, nasal stuffiness and yellow or green discharge.
Sinus pain happens when swollen nasal and sinus membranes cause pain and pressure in reaction to allergens, bacteria or viruses. Symptoms of sinus pain are pressure and pain in the midface, tooth pain, colored nasal discharge, and post-nasal drip.
Loss of Smell and Taste
Loss of or reduction in sense of smell and taste that may be caused by an upper respiratory infection, nasal polyps, dental issues, smoking, or radiation therapy. Symptoms: loss of or reduction in sense of smell and taste.
The noisy sounds of snoring occur when there is an obstruction to the free flow of air through the passages at the back of the mouth and nose. Snoring may be an indication of obstructive sleep apnea. Symptoms are witnessed episodes of breath pauses or apnea during sleep, daytime sleepiness or fatigue, high blood pressure, heart disease and history of a stroke.
Stuffy Nose and Congestion
Nasal congestion, stuffiness, or obstruction caused by infection, structural abnormalities, allergic, or non-allergic rhinitis. Nasal congestion may not always include a “runny nose”. Symptoms include stuffy nose, and trouble breathing out of the nose.
Book an Appointment
To meet with our highly-skilled team at Sierra Nevada Ear Nose & Throat, please give us a call to schedule an appointment at one of our three locations.