- Hear muffled speech and muffled sounds
- Have difficulty distinguishing words from background noise
- Need people to speak more clearly, loudly and slowly
- Have trouble hearing consonants
- Tend to withdraw from conversations
- Avoid social situations
- An improved, more positive view of life
- Increased self-confidence and self-esteem
- Closer personal relationships
- Less depression
Has sinus pain become a daily occurrence? When over-the-counter and prescription medications just don't do enough to ease your pain, sinus surgery may be an option. Our Chicago, IL, otolaryngologist, Dr. Gordon Siegel of Midwest ENT, discusses chronic sinusitis symptoms and explains treatment options.
How do I know if I have chronic sinusitis?
You may have chronic sinusitis if your symptoms last three months or longer. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may include:
- Pain in your nose, eyes, cheeks and forehead
- Pressure in your sinuses
- Thick yellow or green nasal discharge
- Post-nasal drip
- Nausea, which may be worse in the morning due to post-nasal drip
- Sore throat
- Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth
What causes chronic sinusitis?
These factors may increase your risk of developing chronic sinusitis:
- Polyps in your nasal passages
- Deviated septum
- Enlarge turbinates
- Respiratory tract infections
- Certain diseases, such as asthma, GERD, cystic fibrosis or immune system disease, including HIV/AIDS
What are the treatment options for chronic sinusitis?
Medications that are helpful for acute sinusitis, which lasts less than 12 weeks, may not be quite as effective when your symptoms linger. If you don't experience enough relief by irrigating your sinuses and taking over-the-counter or prescription decongestants, corticosteroids and antibiotics, surgery may be helpful.
Endoscopic surgery relieves chronic sinusitis symptoms by removing inflamed tissue, scar tissue and blockages, and may also be used to straighten deviated septums. During surgery, a tiny probe that contains a camera is inserted into your sinuses via your nostrils. The camera transmits images to a digital monitor, allowing your ear, nose and throat doctor to clearly see and treat problem areas in your sinuses.
Balloon sinuplasty is another option for Chicago patients. Benefits of the minimally invasive procedure include less pain after the procedure, reduced risk of infection and less downtime. Both endoscopic surgery and balloon sinuplasty are performed under general anesthesia. During balloon sinuplasty, a small wire catheter that contains a deflated balloon is inserted into your sinuses. Once it's in position, the balloon is inflated, opening up blocked sinus passages.
Sinus surgery can help relieve your sinus pain. Call our Chicago, IL, otolaryngologist, Dr. Siegel of Midwest ENT, at (312) 988-7777 to schedule an appointment.
- Pain in your upper jaws or teeth, eyes, nose or forehead
- A yellowish-green discharge when you blow your nose
- Congestion caused from swelling in your sinuses
- Severe headaches and earaches
- A sore throat and persistent cough
- Use a humidifier, especially in your bedroom; this keeps the air in your house moist, which soothes your sinuses. Dry air irritates your nasal passages and can cause increased mucus production, resulting in congestion and a sinus infection.
- Try an over-the-counter nasal irrigation kit; these kits, when used daily, can keep your nasal passages clean and free of mucus so bacteria won’t have a place to breed, causing a sinus infection. The saline solution also works to soothe your nasal passages.
- Wash your hands often, and don’t touch your face, nose, mouth or eyes; this helps to prevent spreading germs and bacteria to other places of your body.
- Stop smoking, because it increases mucus production and irritates your sinuses, providing an environment perfect for bacteria.
- Avoid alcohol, because alcohol can make your sinuses irritated and swollen, resulting in a sinus infection.
- Eat healthy and take your vitamins, especially vitamin C, and get sufficient exercise to keep your immune system at its peak so you can fight off a sinus infection.
Head and neck cancer affects over 55,000 Americans each year. Many instances of head and neck cancer are linked to the use of tobacco products. Avoiding tobacco in any form can greatly reduce the risk of developing head or neck cancer. Further, cancer can be treated more effectively when detected early. Head and neck cancer can be diagnosed and treated by your otolaryngologist Dr. Gordon Siegel at Midwest Ear Nose and Throat in Chicago, IL.
There are several different symptoms that can be an indication of possible cancer in the head or neck. If you develop any of these symptoms, it is important that you see your otolaryngologist as soon as possible. Symptoms can include:
- A persistent lump in the neck lasting two weeks or more
- Voice changes lasting two weeks or more
- Difficult swallowing
- Constant ear pain, particularly when swallowing
- A growth or swelling in the mouth
Certain individuals are at a higher risk of developing head or neck cancer. The use of tobacco products is a major risk factor for head and neck cancer. This includes any type of tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, cigarettes, and cigars. Consumption of alcoholic drinks is also linked to head and neck cancer. Alcohol and tobacco products increase the risk of developing cancer in the throat, voice box, mouth and tongue.
Fortunately, when the cancer is caught early, treatment is often highly successful. Early detection is possible when you recognize the warning signs, such as the symptoms above.
If you have experienced any of the previous symptoms contact Midwest Ear Nose and Throat in Chicago, IL. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Siegel, call the office at (312) 988-7777.
- Taking over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants
- Irrigating your nasal passages with saline and water
- Trying linens and pillowcases that are allergy-proof
- Placing allergy or HEPA filters in your house, especially your bedroom
- Nasal congestion, a runny nose and watery eyes
- Coughing, wheezing or chest congestion
- A rash, itchy skin or eczema
- An itchy throat, nose or eyes
- Skin tests- during which tiny amounts of different allergens are injected just under your skin; you will know you are allergic to the substance if you see swelling or a rash within 20 minutes.
- Challenge tests- used to diagnose medication and food allergies, during which you inhale or ingest a tiny amount of allergen to test for a reaction
- Blood tests- a sample of your blood is sent to a laboratory where testing is completed
Remember it’s never too early to seek help from an allergist. Your allergist can help you get relief from allergies at any time of the year. Don’t wait! Call today and feel better tomorrow!
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