For some people, allergy, throat, and sinus problems are minor inconveniences. But if these symptoms get out of hand, they can quickly disrupt every aspect of your life.
When the symptoms get worse, then most people turn to their primary care doctor for medical support. While a general doctor can offer specific services, their treatment options are limited. A better solution is to talk to an ENT who can help you achieve lasting relief.
When the sinus problems are recurring and chronic, it’s essential that you talk to a specialist. An ENT focuses on the sinuses, nasal passages, and throat specifically. As a result, you are working with a doctor who understands the upper respiratory system’s intricacies and treatments.
What Does an ENT Specialist Do?
Not only has an ENT completed medical school, but their education and training continue – explicitly focused on diseases affecting the ears, nose, and throat region. Five years of training, plus successful completion of the certification examination through the American Board of Otolaryngology, results in a provider who has the specific skills and services needed for your health concerns.
Often, ENTs continue their training to prioritize subspecialty areas of this medical field. For example, you can find a ENT with extensive training in:
- Pediatric care
- Ear, hearing, and balance
- Throat, voice, and swallowing
- Nasal and sinus areas
- Head and neck surgery
- Reconstructive and plastic surgery
- Sleep medicine
When you visit an ENT, the first step is to complete a thorough examination and learn more about your medical history. Through a conversation, new patient paperwork, and testing, your ENT can determine an accurate diagnosis for the symptoms you are experiencing.
Then, the ENT uses this diagnosis and symptom information to customize a treatment plan that will help you feel better. This process involves immediate care for relief from the current symptoms. An experienced ENT also looks at solutions to help with ongoing results to minimize the long-term complications from diseases that affect the ears, nose, and throat.
When to Call an ENT
How do you know that it’s time for services from an ENT instead of a general doctor? Here are a few signs that you will benefit from a visit with an ear, nose, and throat specialist:
- Balance issues
- Chronic sinus problems
- Injury to the throat, nose, or ears
- Ear infections
- Swimmer’s ear
- Breathing issues
- Sleep apnea
- Hearing impairment
- Nerve problems affecting the ears, nose, or throat
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Postnasal drip
- Voicebox problems
- Deviated septum
- Cleft palate
- Nose bleeds
- Lack of smell
- Sore throat
- Ruptured eardrum
When to Talk to a Sinus Specialist
While many of the above issues can be treated by an ENT, one of the most common reasons to visit an ENT is because of sinus issues. Here are a few signs that your sinus issues need to be treated by an ENT specialist:
- Length of Time: Everyone gets a stuffy nose from time to time, but it’s not normal to have congestion that lasts for more than a few weeks. If your sinus symptoms persist for longer than three months, then it’s time to call an ENT.
- Repeated Infections: How often do you experience sinus infections each year? When the sinus symptoms recur at least three or more times a year, you need to talk to a sinus specialist about possible treatment options.
- Lack of Results: Have you tried different medications and treatments through your primary care provider with minimal results? If the symptoms aren’t improving with nasal sprays, medications, and antibiotics, then it’s likely you have a chronic issue requiring specialized care.
- Underlying Conditions: Often, underlying reasons are causing the recurrence of sinus issues. An ENT can help you address the root cause, such as cystic fibrosis, nasal polyps, or sarcoidosis.
When you are experiencing ongoing sinus issues, it makes sense to talk to someone who has extensive experience with these types of treatments. There’s no reason to work through your primary care physician. Instead, book with an ENT directly to learn more about available treatment solutions.
Available Sinus Treatments from a Frisco ENT
What treatments will an ENT recommend for your sinus issues? These are some of the most common solutions to address chronic sinus symptoms:
- Nasal Spray: A saline solution helps by rinsing the nasal passages to avoid infections and congestion. Another option is to use a nasal corticosteroid that treats inflammation.
- Decongestant Medications: If you are experiencing chronic congestion, decongestants can reduce the congestion and minimize the risk of sinus infections. Usually, decongestants are only recommended for shorter treatment periods, not long-term treatment plans.
- Antibiotics or Antifungals: Is there a bacteria or fungus causing the development of infection in your sinus passageways? An ENT can complete tests to determine the underlying cause, then prescribe medication to fight off the offending pathogens.
- Sinus Surgery: Endoscopic sinus surgery is the most common procedure for patients with chronic sinus issues. This treatment can help remove nasal polyps, improve breathing passageways, or correct a deviated septum.
- Balloon Sinuplasty: This treatment involves a catheter with a small balloon inserted in the nose to reach the blocked sinus. The balloon is gently inflated to dilate the sinus opening. As a result, future sinus infections are reduced because the wider space allows normal drainage in the sinus passages.
Typically, a sinus doctor will start with minimally invasive treatment options. Then, if your sinuses aren’t responding to these treatments, it might be necessary to move on to surgical treatment methods.
What to Expect When Visiting CCENT in Frisco, TX for Sinus Issues
What should you expect when you book an appointment with a sinus specialist? The first order of business is for the ENT to complete a diagnosis and identify the underlying cause of your symptoms. An examination and testing provide relevant information so our Frisco ENT team can create an effective treatment plan.
You can expect several elements as part of the diagnostic process:
- Patient Information: Your doctor will ask for medical history, current symptoms, and any other related information. Share as much detail as possible about the timeline and symptoms so the doctor can get a clear picture of your health condition.
- Examination: An ENT can use specialized tools to look in your ears, nose, and throat. This physical examination is helpful in determining a diagnosis.
- Imaging: Sometimes, digital imaging is needed to see what is happening inside the sinus cavities. Our team offers in-office imaging services for the convenience of our patients.
- Testing: Other types of tests are required on occasions, such as a nasal swab, allergy testing, or an endoscopy.
The goal is to determine the most accurate diagnosis possible. Then, your doctor will discuss available treatment options to create the ideal treatment plan for your unique needs.
Collin County Ear Nose and Throat Location Information
8380 Warren Pkwy, Suite 504 Frisco, TX 75034
Monday to Thursday*: 8 AM to 4:30 PM
Friday: 8 AM to 2 PM
*Closed for Lunch between 12 PM – 1 PM M-Th.
Schedule an Appointment Online with Collin County Ear Nose and Throat in Frisco, TX
Is it time for you to visit with a Frisco ENT about your sinus problems? Then our team is here to assist. We offer quality services for patients in the Collin County and Dallas areas. Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat is one of the leading providers, with nearby Frisco and Plano, TX offices. Please request an appointment using our online form. Or call our office at (972) 596-4005.