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Nasal and Sinus Disease

Chronic sinus and nasal disorders result in significant decreases in quality of life and lost productivity in affected patients. Symptoms such as nasal congestion or obstruction, nasal discharge, post-nasal drainage and sinus pressure often indicate an underlying anatomic, functional or inflammatory problem. At Advanced Otolarygnology Associates, we are experienced at identifying and treating the underlying causes of these disorders.

Chronic rhinitis, or inflammation within the nasal cavities can be allergic, non-allergic, or a combination of the two. A detailed history and thorough physical examination often indicate which type of rhinitis is occurring, and which types of medical therapies are useful for reducing or eliminating symptoms. Allergy testing may also be helpful in the evaluation of chronic rhinitis, especially when first- and second-line therapies have failed to adequately reduce symptoms.

Deviated nasal septum means that the nasal septum, the wall separating the right and left nasal cavities, has become dislocated or misshapen to the point of impairing air flow through one or both nasal cavities. When severe, a septal deviation can cause obstruction of the sinuses as well. Nasal septoplasty, a common ambulatory surgical procedure to straighten the septum, is generally very successful at relieving symptoms. This can be performed by itself, but is often done at the same time as other procedures to reduce nasal congestion or relieve sinus obstruction. Septoplasty is also frequently performed along with functional or cosmetic rhinoplasty.  For more information, click here.

Acute sinusitis occurs when the air spaces in the bones of the face that communicate with the nasal cavities have become blocked by inflammation or swelling with the retention of secretions which then become a breeding ground for bacterial infection. Underlying causes may include nasal allergies or viral upper respiratory infections, and symptoms include nasal congestion or obstruction, discolored nasal discharge or postnasal drainage, facial pain, fever and/or just feeling poorly overall. Medical therapy most commonly is successful at treating these infections, and surgery is not usually needed for an isolated acute infection.

Chronic sinusitis means that the air spaces in the bones of the face that communicate with the nasal cavities have become obstructed or infected over a prolonged period of time, or an acute infection that has persisted for longer than 3 months. Chronic sinusitis can cause patients to suffer from frequently recurring bouts of acute sinusitis, or more chronic symptoms including nasal congestion, nasal discharge and/or postnasal discharge and diminished sense of smell, with or without diminished taste. Medical therapy is sometimes successful at restoring normal drainage and ventilation to the sinuses, but surgery to drain infection, remove diseased tissue and restore drainage and ventilation is frequently needed in other instances. In some patients, nasal and sinus polyps, the most severe form of inflammation of the nasal lining, can cause severe obstructive symptoms.

For more information on sinusitis, click here.

For information on "sinus headache," click here.