Saturday , March 6 2021

Sinus Infections: When to See an ENT and Why

Sinus Infections: When to See an ENT and WhyPostnasal drip, clogged nasal passages, sneezing, and mucus are all signs of a sinus infection. Whether the sinuses are irritated from allergies, a cold or flu will predict which treatment should follow. Many people find relief from flushing the sinuses with a saline wash, using nasal sprays or decongestants, and others opt to take allergy medication or antibiotics initially, but this rarely is a good long term plan, as chronic sinus issues are sometimes hard to get rid of with these methods alone. When it comes to chronic sinus infections, an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor will accurately diagnose and plan a treatment protocol to help clear the nasal passages long term.

• Sinus pain and pressure
• Inflammation of nasal passages
• Difficulty breathing
• Nasal Discharge
• Postnasal drainage
• Reduced sense of smell and taste
• Jaw pain
• Earache
• Throat clearing
• Coughing
• Fatigue

Many patients suffer from various types of sinus conditions; therefore, getting a proper diagnosis is critical to finding long-term relief. An ENT specialist will provide one or more of the following tests, a physical examination of the nasal passages with a fiber-optic light. Cultures can be taken to determine the cause of the sinus infection, i.e., bacterial or viral. Allergy testing can be done to rule out and pinpoint what’s triggering any allergic rhinitis symptoms. An MRI or CT scan of the sinuses may be necessary to show detail as to polyp sizes, inflammation, and anatomy irregularities or obstructions.

Conservative Treatment includes nasal drainage devices like neti pots or other flushing mechanisms can help to decrease the constant build-up of mucus. Nasal Corticosteroid sprays can help to stop the build-up as well, and Allergy immunotherapy or allergy shots are beneficial to garner antibodies to alleviate the cause of the allergic reactions.

ENT specialists can perform minimally invasive surgery via a nasal endoscope to surgically repair sinuses or remove polyps and damaged tissue or blockages. They also use a treatment method that opens up the sinuses with a balloon, which is similar to an angioplasty in the venous or arterial cardiovascular system that is blocked with plaque.

A balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure used to treat chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the lining within the paranasal sinuses. Once inflamed, the sinus cavities become a fertile ground for viruses, bacteria, and occasionally fungi to grow, resulting in infection. If it becomes chronic there may be a structural problem in the nose or sinuses. In those cases, a balloon sinuplasty may be recommended.

After years of highly regarded balloon angioplasty procedures were established in the cardiovascular field, this technique was developed for the otolaryngology specialty to work in much the same way to open the sinus passages. The balloon is placed with a tiny catheter into the sinus opening and then into the narrowed or blocked passageway. It is inflated with saline to dilate the sinus passages for approximately 10 seconds. After this takes place, the sinus pathway is enlarged six-fold, allowing for proper drainage and ventilation.

Keeping in mind that some patients will require traditional surgery depending on the severity of their symptoms or anatomical issues, most chronic sinusitis sufferers will significantly benefit from balloon dilation’s minimally invasive procedure. Once they have undergone the procedure, their need for decongestants, nasal sprays, and the standard treatments are usually no longer needed. This treatment is safe, highly- efficient, and long-lasting, so patients can rest assured that they will be able to live a quality-filled life with the ability to breathe naturally once again. If you’ve suffered from sinus disorders, you will understand the joy that patients experience once they can breathe normally.

Traditional sinus surgery to remove polyps, tissue or boney growths might be necessary in some cases.

Our physicians and staff strive to provide superior Ear, Nose, and Throat care for your entire family. For more than 40 years, our practice has been serving the Tampa Bay area with comprehensive, state-of-the-art services and care.

The ear, nose and throat specialists (otolaryngologists) at Florida E.N.T. & Allergy are pleased to welcome you to our practice. With a total of thirteen locations, 25 physicians, and same-day appointments available, we are now the largest ear, nose and throat practice in Tampa Bay here for you and your entire family.


We know how hectic life can be and are committed to making our practice convenient and accessible. We want you to feel confident that when you choose Florida E.N.T. & Allergy, you’re working with doctors and professionals who are qualified, experienced and caring.

To request an appointment or ask a question, we invite you to call any of our thirteen offices using our one convenient number, 813-879-8045.

Florida E.N.T. & Allergy
(813) 879-8045

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