Sinusitis

Rhinosinusitis Treatments in Charlotte NC & Rock Hill SC

Sinusitis or rhinosinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses due to the obstruction of the openings of the sinuses. It can be due to infection, allergy, nasal polyps or autoimmune disorders.  When the openings to the sinuses become obstructed and fluid gets trapped in the sinuses, germs (viruses, bacteria and fungi) may grow in the mucus causing an infection.  Sinusitis can be further classified into acute sinusitis, chronic sinusitis and recurrent acute sinusitis depending on the frequency of infections and the disease pattern.

Symptoms:

  • Facial pain and pressure      
  • Nasal Stuffiness/Congestion
  • Yellow or green nasal drainage
  • Headache
  • Loss of smell
  • Cough/Postnasal Drip

Diagnosis:

At Carolina Sinus center, our physician reviews your symptoms and performs a physical examination. The exam will most likely include performing a nasal endoscopy and obtaining a culture of infected mucus if present. An allergy evaluation and CT scan are also usually warranted to complete a thorough and comprehensive work up of patients suffering from sinus problems.

Nasal Endoscopy:

A nasal endoscope is a special telescope-like instrument equipped with tiny lights and cameras used to examine the interior of the nose and sinus opening.  This allows us to view the accessible areas of the sinus drainage pathways. Your nasal cavity will first be numbed using a local anesthetic and a rigid or flexible tube is then advanced into the nose to look for signs of obstruction, nasal polyps and other abnormalities not visible on the routine nasal examination. During the endoscopic exam, we also looks for structural abnormalities that would cause you to suffer from recurrent sinusitis.

Treatment:

Viral infections typically resolve without treatment.  Antibiotics will be used to treat acute sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection because it is less likely to clear up on its own and may lead to chronic sinusitis or to complications in which the infection spreads beyond the sinuses. Nasal discharge that contains pus and gets worse after 5 days or persists for more than 10 days is usually a strong sign of acute sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection.  Nasal steroids, saline, decongestants and antihistamines may also be used in the treatment of sinusitis.

Our physician recommends Balloon Sinuplasty for patients with recurrent acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis that have failed medical management.  This in-office procedure uses a small balloon catheter to widen narrow sinus openings or to open up blocked sinus passageways and facilitate drainage of the mucus that builds up in the sinuses.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is reserved for patients with chronic (long-term) sinusitis usually caused by a bacterial or fungal infection refractory to previously mentioned methods of treatment. These infections may be difficult to treat and, it may be necessary to use small specialized cutting instruments to remove polyps and create openings to the sinuses. Our physician typically performs sinus surgery under general anesthesia.

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