When Do You Need To Call A Sinus Doctor
A runny nose or sinus congestion happens to everyone, often occurring when a person gets sick with the common cold. Even though these illnesses are uncomfortable, they often clear up on their own within a few days. But if home remedies and rest dont help you heal, then it might be time to talk to a doctor.
When health symptoms arise, its common for people to call their general physician for an appointment. These visits can be helpful for basic diagnosis and medical care. But dont underestimate the importance of talking to a specialist when needed.
For example, an ear, nose, and throat doctor has more experience treating conditions relating to these areas of the body. This experience can improve your treatment, resulting in faster relief from your health concerns.
How Do You Diagnose And Treat Sinusitis
Acute sinusitis is usually diagnosed clinically on the basis of a history and examination findings. Treatment with antibiotics and nasal decongestants help to reduce the swelling of the nasal and sinus lining and improve nasal airflow. Many patients find steam inhalations and/or salt water douches to be helpful in clearing out mucus.
Chronic sinusitis often requires longer-term treatment, to include nasal decongestants, antibiotics, intranasal steroid sprays/drops and antihistamines in patients with allergies. Often antibiotics will need to be given for several weeks before symptoms fully resolve.
Symptoms may persist despite the regular and persistent use of medical therapy. In such cases, surgery may have a role. Your GP will probably refer you on to an ENT specialist with an interest in rhinology, who may advise further investigations including allergy testing and possibly a CT scan of the sinuses, which will help your specialist decide if surgery may be necessary.
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Common Causes Of Sinus Infection
Sinus infections are caused by either viruses or bacteria, but they can be caused by fungi as well. Although sinusitis is a very common condition, some people are at higher risk of developing the infection. They include people who:
Have abnormalities in the nasal passages, such as nasal polyps or a deformity
Have a weakened immune system
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What Is An Otolaryngologist
An Otolaryngologist is a physician trained in the medical and surgical care of head and neck disorders. Commonly referred to as an ear, nose and throat doctor, an Otolaryngologist must complete 4 years of medical school and then at least 5 years of head and neck surgical and medical residency training to be eligible for the American Board of Otolaryngology exam. To become board certified, the otolaryngologist must pass a written examination as well as a rigorous oral exam. Board Certified Otolaryngologists have demonstrated the required competency in otology , rhinology , allergy, head and neck surgery , pediatric ear, nose and throat disorders, laryngology and facial plastic surgery. Otolaryngologists serve as community resources for public health issues including hearing impairment, oral and skin cancer prevention, obstructive sleep apnea and air quality.
Is It Time To Consider Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
Functional endoscopic sinus surgery is a procedure that your ENT surgeon can use to treat moderate to severe sinus surgery. If youre no longer responding to treatments like nasal irrigation, antibiotics, and decongestants, then you may be a candidate for sinus surgery.
During the procedure, Dr. Davis uses an endoscope to locate and remove bone and tissue in the sinuses that are preventing drainage. Sinus surgery creates larger drainage pathways to reduce the chances of mucus buildup after recovery. In addition, medicated sinus rinses can better penetrate the opened sinuses to help reduce inflammation. Patients will need to undergo general anesthesia for the procedure, which usually takes between one and three hours. However, recovery is typically quick, with very little pain.
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Sinus Infection Treatment At Home
It isnt possible for you to tell at home if sinusitis is caused by a bacteria, virus or fungus, but there are some steps you can take to help relieve sinus infections symptoms. They include:
Moisturizing the room air with a humidifier or vaporizer
Increasing your fluid intake to ensure you are well hydrated
Using saline sprays or nasal irrigations
Using nasal spray decongestants for 2 or 3 days at the most
Applying warm compresses to your face to help relieve pain and pressure
Sleeping with your head elevated. If sleeping on a pile of pillows isnt comfortable, place blocks under the two legs at the head of your bed to elevate it.
Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
When To See An Ent Specialist For Your Sinuses
Article written by Dr. Samuel Ross Patton MD
Sinusitis is one of the most common medical conditions affecting adults in the United States. Americans experience nearly 29 million sinus infections per year. Stuffy nose, fever, facial pain, headache, discolored drainage and post-nasal drip can be all-too-familiar as most people get sick with an upper respiratory or sinus infection once or twice a year. Many of these infections can be successfully treated with over-the-counter medications. Some sinus infections, however, require a prescription from your primary care provider for antibiotics. So, when should you see an ENT/Sinus specialist?
It is normal to get sick with an upper respiratory or sinus infection a couple times per year. We all get sick from time to time unfortunately, its part of the human condition. Experiencing sinusitis four or more times per year is more than usual. This is especially a problem if each infection requires antibiotics to treat it. Although antibiotics are quite safe and effective, frequent use of antibiotics can lead to trouble. Antibiotics, like all medications, can have side effects and using too many antibiotics puts you at risk for developing resistant bacteria.
If you think it may be time to see an ENT/Sinus specialist, or call 795-5343 to schedule an appointment today.
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Who Can Benefit From Ent Care
If you experience any of these symptoms and they persist beyond seven to 10 days, talk to your primary care doctor and ask if you might benefit from specialty ENT care. A referral usually will be necessary.
- Chronic sinusitis and/or postnasal drip
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain in your face, upper teeth or ears
- Persistent sore throat and/or voice hoarseness
- Problems with balance and/or dizziness
- Recurring ear, adenoid or tonsil infections
- Ringing in your ears
- Voice problems
Why Choose Advanced Ent & Allergy Center
Dr. Menachof was one of the first surgeons in the United States trained in endoscopic sinus surgery and has performed over 10,000 successful sinus surgeries in his career. By evaluating your symptoms, history, and long-term goals, our team will work with you to create a treatment plan. This may include medication, minimally-invasive office procedures, or sometimes surgical intervention.
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Whos A Good Sinus Doctor In Los Angeles County
Top-tier sinus doctors like Dr. Alen Cohen, Founder and Director of Los Angeles premier sinus center, the Southern California Sinus Institute, also become board-certified. Dr. Cohen is board-certified in ENT/Head & Neck Surgery by the American Board of Otolaryngology and is a fellow both of the American College of Surgeons and American Rhinologic Society . He also maintains a full membership in the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery .
What Our Patients Say About Us
Meeting Dr. K was completely life-changing experience. I had terrible problems with my sinuses, choking on everything I ate, constantly throwing up. When I met Dr. K my life has changed 100%. Actually, I should have seen him sooner. It’s been over a year now. I don’t have any sinus pressure, no postnasal drainage. It’s like a miracle. I am so glad I met Dr. K
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Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.
What Is Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion occurs when the sinus cavities become inflamed and swollen. Breathing through the nose becomes difficult and can be blocked entirely. Often the result of a sinus infection, congestion is identified by sinus pain, mucus build-up, and a stuffy or runny nose. Most nasal congestion can be treated with home remedies and over the counter medication. Chronic congestion will likely need antibiotics.
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Treatment Options To Help You Feel Better:
Sinusitis medications can reduce swelling in the nose and provide relief. Combinations of these often need to be taken regularly in order to keep the sinus openings from swelling closed. They include: antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, decongestants , mucus thinners, nasal irrigations, topical nose sprays, oral steroid pills and antibiotics .
Sinus rinses can temporarily improve symptoms and offer short term relief without the use of medications. Rinses thin out mucus and help flush it from the nasal passages.
Performed in-office, this balloon sinuplasty procedure is non-invasive and works by dilating any of the three larger sinus passages using a tiny balloon to open blocked sinus ducts.
A minimally invasive medical technique, this is an image-guided sinus surgery that enlarges the sinus openings to improve drainage from the sinuses into the nose.
When To See A Specialist For Recurrent Sinus Infection
The symptoms of a sinus infection are known to many of us. Headaches and having pressure and pain behind our cheekbones and around our eyes are but a few of them. Most of the time these sinus infections go away with proper home care. When they dont go away or keep coming back, here is the recommendation for when to see a specialist for recurrent sinus infections.
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Offering The Latest In Rhinology Treatments
Our rhinology specialists have access to the latest treatments and technologies, including minimally invasive endoscopic surgery and high resolution CT computer guidance. Advanced endoscopic sinus surgery is used for a variety of nasal and sinus conditions. Endoscopic surgery is most often done through the nose, resulting in less pain and faster recovery times for patients.
CT image guidance is a new surgical approach to allergy treatment where 3D images of the sinuses can be seen in real time during surgery. This technology allows our surgeons to more accurately localize sinus abnormalities and treat them appropriately, resulting in safer, more effective surgical procedures.
When Should You Go To A Sinus Specialist
1. Im sick and tired of being sick and tired– Sinusitis, particularly chronic sinusitis can severely impact a persons overall quality of life. Common symptoms include: discolored drainage, headache, change in sense of smell/taste, fatigue, poor sleep, facial pain/pressure, and an overall reduced sense of wellbeing. Many people dont know that sinusitis is more common than heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and COPD and has a similar impact on quality of life. We understand how much sinusitis impacts you and your family.
2. Time – Its gone on too long. If your symptoms have lasted longer than 12 weeks or occur multiple times a year, it may be time to see a specialist. A specialist visit may be needed if you have no improvement with treatments that have been given by other health care providers.
3. Treatment Options – Ive been on antibiotics too often. As a team, we work with patients to incorporate their individual needs and concerns to develop the best, most effective treatment. Some of these treatment options include irrigations, antibiotics, nasal sprays, or surgery, and are often times a combination. Chronic sinus problems are often not caused by a bacterial infection, but instead by uncontrolled inflammation.
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Why Is Dr Cohen The Best Sinus Specialist In Los Angeles
Dr. Cohen has a combination of stellar education and extensive subspecialty expertise that makes him stand out among sinus specialists in Los Angeles and nationwide. His expertise has led him to be a renowned sinus expert, earning multiple awards and recognized as a Los Angeles Magazine Super Doctor since 2013 and a Castle-Connolly Nationally Recognized Nose and Sinus Surgeon since 2017. He trains the next generation of sinus experts as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at University of California, Los Angeles .
His head and neck surgical residency was completed at UCLA Medical centerone of the top five programs nationally, where he completed two years of general surgical training and four years of specialized ENT/Head and Neck surgical training, and served his final year as chief resident of this top program.
The Benefits Of Nasal Irrigation
Your nose is like a filter that uses layers of mucus to trap particles so that they dont get to your lungs. Unfortunately, dryness and inflammation make it harder for the sinuses to drain properly. Using nasal irrigation, also called a nasal rinse, can help thin the mucus so that it flows out of the nose, rinsing bacteria and irritating particulates away with it.
Using a saline rinse is simple, especially if you use a premixed solution like NeilMed. You should mix distilled water and a NeilMed sterile packet to create a saline solution. Lean your head over the sink and flush the saline into one nostril. The water will flow through your sinuses and out the other nostril, taking allergens and bacteria with it.
You can perform nasal irrigation daily, as your cold, allergy, or chronic sinusitis symptoms warrant it.
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Do You Always Need Antibiotics For Sinus Infections
Not always, and with the rise of superbugs that are resistant to antibiotics, this is not necessarily the best option for treatment. In fact, 85 percent of sinus infections go away on their own after one-to-two weeks, according to information from Harvard Medical School.
However, if your infection falls into the remaining 15 percent that do not get better, antibiotics are needed.
According to information from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, antibiotics may also be needed if:
There is a thick, colorful discharge coming from the nose.
Youve experienced facial pain for more than 10 days.
Your condition improved but then got worse.
You have facial tenderness .
You have dental pain.
If you have been experiencing any of these symptoms for more than a week, we encourage you to schedule an appointment.
When To See A Sinus Doctor
You should see a doctor if you have a fever or if you have a sinus infection that has lasted more than a few weeks. While sinus infections are common, there are many solutions that can be provided so that you can find relief from your symptoms. In general, we recommend that you seek medical attention for any lingering sinus issues or any sudden onset of symptoms that you find uncomfortable so that you can be treated as soon as possible before the problem worsens.
At the University of California Irvine Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, our group of scientists and physicians are board-certified and trained to treat any number of issues affecting the sinus cavity. Additionally, we see patients for issues relating to allergies, thyroid and parathyroid conditions, breathing problems, balance and hearing, and facial and aesthetic surgery. Contact our offices today to learn more about how one of our sinus specialists can help you find relief.
UC Irvine Department of Head & Neck Surgery
101 The City Drive South Pavilion II
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What Are The Symptoms Of Sinusitis
You have acute sinusitis when you have had cloudy or colored drainage from your nose for up to four weeks, plus one or more of the following symptoms:
- Stuffy, congested, or blocked nose
- Pain, pressure, or fullness in the face, head, or around the eyes
- Long-lasting cold symptoms
- Symptoms that do not improve within 10 days of getting sick, or initially get better then worsen again
You might have chronic sinusitis if you have at least two of the four symptoms note below for at least 12 weeks. An ENT specialist would also need to see polyps, pus, or thickened mucous in nose, or get a CT scan, to fully diagnose chronic sinusitis. Possible symptoms include:
- Stuff congested, or blocked nose
- Pain, pressure or fullness in the face, head or around the eyes
- Thickened nasal drainage
Sore Throat And Hoarse Voice
Postnasal drip can leave you with a raw and aching throat. Although it may start as an annoying tickle, it can get worse.
If your infection lasts for a few weeks or more, mucus can irritate and inflame your throat as it drips, resulting in a painful sore throat and hoarse voice. Frequent coughing and throat clearing can make a hoarse voice worse.
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