Chronic discomfort in the nasal and sinus passages can cause ongoing pain and pressure in the head, which can interfere with many aspects of daily living. If you are experiencing symptoms that indicate disease in the sinuses or nose, then the best thing you can do is schedule a consultation with an experienced ENT for diagnosis.
The Connection Between the Sinuses and Nasal Passages
Sinuses are located near the eyes and nose: in the forehead area by the eyebrows, and under the eyes (on either side of the nose). The sinuses are connected with openings to the nose, allowing mucus to pass through as needed.
The main function of the sinuses is to produce mucus to keep the inside of the nose moisturized. This mucus acts as a protectant against microorganisms, pollutants, dirt, dust, and other environmental compounds.
In a healthy person, the mucus moves through the sinuses and nose throughout the day, which is why you find it necessary to wipe or blow the nose occasionally. But certain diseases, illnesses, and structural issues can cause problems to develop. These issues can interfere with the normal function of the sinuses and nose, and lead to serious symptoms that require treatment.
Types of Nasal and Sinus Diseases
Symptoms affecting the nasal and sinus area can often be similar between various diseases. A thorough examination and modern medical testing can be used to identify the specific diagnosis, helping us create an optional treatment plan.
Here is an overview of common types of diseases in the nasal and sinus areas:
- Seasonal Allergies: Do you notice that sinus symptoms tend to flare during certain times of the year? Your body may be responding to the allergens in the air, such as pollen or grass. This allergic response can result in inflammation in the sinuses, which leads to symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, and fluid in the ears.
- Severe Nosebleeds: Recurrent nosebleeds are not only a challenge to deal with, but they could be an indication of an underlying health concern that needs to be addressed.
- Respiratory Infections: When the respiratory tract is infected, it can result in a variety of symptoms. The mucus thickens and the sinus membranes swell, making it difficult for the sinuses to drain. These infections are often caused by viruses, although they can lead to secondary bacterial infections.
- Sinus Infections: A buildup of mucus in the sinus cavities, which leads to the development of an infection. If the sinuses are inflamed, then they can’t drain properly. As a result, the sinuses can be the perfect environment for infection and disease.
- Sinus Headaches: One common indication of sinus infections is the development of headaches in the sinus areas. Even if you don’t have other symptoms of a sinus infection, a headache could indicate a problem that needs to be treated.
- Chronic Sinusitis: Millions of people in the United States suffer from recurring sinus problems. If you experience multiple sinus infections each year, then you likely have a chronic condition.
- Nasal Obstruction: Tissue, bones, and other elements within the nose and sinuses can block the drainage pathways. These areas may need to be removed to avoid infections and problems in the future.
- Deviated Septum: The septum is the wall that separates the nostrils. If this area is crooked, then it can block or restrict the sinuses and result in a worsening of symptoms.
- Nasal Polyps: Soft tissue growths can develop in the sinuses or nasal passages.
- Fungal Sinusitis: Sometimes, a sinus infection is caused by a fungal compound instead of bacteria. An overgrowth of fungus in the sinuses requires different treatments than those used for common bacterial infections.
- Tumors: The development of growths within the sinuses or nose can hinder airflow and block drainage. These growths can be either malignant or benign, which is why it is recommended that a sample is sent to the lab for testing.
- Fractures: Damage to the bones within the nose or the surrounding skull can impact the size and shape of the sinus cavities.
Identifying a proper diagnosis is the first step to help you find relief from the pain, discomfort, and other symptoms. If you are concerned about symptoms related to your ears, nose, or throat, then we encourage you to schedule a consultation to speak with an experienced ENT.
When to See an ENT for Sinus Problems
How do you know when it is time to talk to an ENT about your symptoms? It is recommended that you schedule an appointment if you are experiencing the following health concerns:
- Multiple sinus infections, and the condition is not responsive to standard treatments
- Sinus symptoms that last more than 10 days
- Frequent, severe nosebleeds
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
Immediate medical care might be needed if you have any of these symptoms:
- Redness or tenderness around the eyes
- Swelling in the forehead or other areas of the face
- Severe headache that doesn’t go away with medication
- Stiff Neck
- Vision changes
ENT Diagnosis of Your Condition
Our staff takes the time to listen to your concerns and evaluate the condition to determine an accurate diagnosis. Not only do we examine the current symptoms, but it is also important to discuss medical history, family medical concerns, and any previous records and images related to the condition. We offer state-of-the-art technology in our office, including an in-office CT scanner to capture detailed images when needed.
Our comprehensive clinic is here to help with a variety of treatments and procedures. The goal is to support your overall health, so you can stop spending time in medical clinics and get back to living a healthy, thriving life.
Our experienced team at Collin County ENT works hard to maintain a cutting-edge in the industry, offering a full range of treatment for a variety of diseases affecting the ears, nose, and throat. Patients in the Denton or Dallas areas can contact us to schedule an exam and learn about available treatments. Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat offers two clinics nearby, in Frisco or Plano, TX: (972) 596-4005