According to Medscape, 146 per 1,000 people in the United States suffer from chronic sinusitis. Dr. Akash Anand of GNO Snoring & Sinus has dedicated his career to helping patients relieve their chronic sinusitis symptoms so they can live comfortably. Dr. Anand is the only fellowship-trained ear, nose, and throat physician in Metro New Orleans with an exclusive focus on treating sleep and sinus disorders. Learn how GNO Snoring & Sinus can use their unique set of skills to help you find relief for chronic sinusitis.
What Is Chronic Sinusitis?
The underlying cause of chronic sinusitis is a result of inflammation and anatomic obstruction, causing a blockage of nasal airflow or sinus drainage – resulting in post nasal drip, nasal congestion/obstruction, sinus pressure, and lack of smell. Also known as chronic rhinosinusitis, this condition regularly affects children and adults.
Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis can vary depending on your situation, but some of the most common symptoms include:
- Pressure, tenderness around your cheeks, nose, eyes, and forehead
- Congested nose causing difficulty breathing
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
- Postnasal drainage
- Ear pressure
- Throat clearing
- Aching in your upper jaw and teeth
- Bad breath
While chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis have similar symptoms, acute sinusitis is temporary and is typically associated with a cold. In contrast, the symptoms of chronic sinusitis last at least 12 weeks. Additionally, fever is not a symptom of chronic sinusitis but is a common symptom if you are suffering from acute sinusitis.
“I used to suffer from chronic sinus pressure for years. Medications provided temporary relief and I took antibiotics multiple times per year. After undergoing a sinus procedure by Dr. Anand, I am nearly symptom free and no longer require the constant use of medications.” –MB
New Patient Visits for Sinusitis
During your initial visit to GNO Snoring & Sinus, Dr. Anand will conduct a focused review of your symptoms and medical history to arrive at a clinical diagnosis. Once Dr. Anand determines whether you are suffering from acute or chronic sinusitis, he will then move on to the workup stage of your new patient visit.
During the workup phase of your new patient visit, nasal endoscopy is performed in-office to check for chronic or recurrent sinus disease. For some patients, a previously undiagnosed deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, large turbinates, or other anatomic findings may contribute to your underlying issues. An in-office CAT scan of the sinus may also be recommended to characterize the anatomy of your sinus region further and arrive at an accurate diagnosis.
Chronic Sinusitis Treatments in Metro New Orleans
After Dr. Anand has arrived at an accurate diagnosis, he will create a recovery plan tailored to your specific symptoms. For those patients for whom medical therapy has not provided sustained relief and who suffer from recurrent or chronic sinus infections, a discussion of both in-office and surgical treatment options is carried out. At GNO Snoring & Sinus, we offer the following in-office procedures for chronic sinusitis relief for all of our patients in the New Orleans metro area.
Sinus Surgery (FESS)
Enlarges the natural sinus openings by removing tissue. Removes polyps and other anatomic obstructions to restore proper sinus ventilation and allow adequate sinus drainage. This surgery aims to reduce sinus pressure and the frequency and severity of future infections.
Dilates the natural sinus drainage openings to improve clearance for sinus secretions. This procedure aims to reduce sinus pressure and the frequency and severity of future infections.
Utilizes a balloon catheter to enter the eustachian tube via a trans-nasal approach. Dilation of the catheter opens the eustachian tube, alleviating symptoms of middle ear pressure.
Sinusitis CT Scans
GNO Snoring & Sinus regularly uses Computed Tomography (CT) scans to better understand the anatomic abnormalities that can cause a patient’s symptoms. Because GNO Snoring & Sinus has its own CT scanner, we can provide patients with high-resolution imaging of their sinus, middle ear, and airway structures. Our in-office CT scanner makes evaluating your chronic sinusitis more convenient because you no longer have to schedule a separate visit to the hospital radiology department or an imaging center. Additionally, our CT scanner is more comfortable than traditional CT exams because our unit allows you to stand, sit, or remain in your wheelchair during the exam.
Benefits of the CS 9300 CT scanner include:
- High-resolution CT scans available immediately: our doctors can view anatomical structures with unprecedented detail
- Less radiation: patient health and safety is our greatest concern
- Comfortable positioning: the open design makes exams more comfortable
- Patient convenience: our practice can perform CT scans in-office, saving you valuable time and resources.
Chronic Sinusitis FAQ
Are in-office treatments available for sinus disease?
Yes. For select patients with recurrent or chronic diseases not responsive to medication, in-office dilation of the natural sinus drainage openings is a successful means of treating symptoms. This is typically performed under local anesthesia in about 30 minutes, with little to no downtime afterward.
How do I know if I suffer from recurrent sinusitis or chronic sinusitis?
Recurrent sinus infections last for only a few weeks and usually respond to medication; however, they tend to recur multiple times per year. Chronic sinusitis can last anywhere from 8-12 weeks despite medical treatment.
How extensive are surgical treatments for sinus disease?
Sinus surgery (functional endoscopic sinus surgery) is performed under general anesthesia in about 30-45 minutes. This is reserved for patients with extensive sinus disease noted during your physical exam and CAT scan. Such patients have not achieved relief with medical therapy. The goal is to enter the sinus cavities and remove the sinus disease, followed by enlarging the natural pathways for proper sinus drainage.
What medications are used to treat sinus infections?
Several medications exist for managing sinusitis. We break these down into abortive medications that handle an acute flare-up (antibiotics, steroids) and maintenance medications to control re-emergence of symptoms for those patients suffering from recurrent or chronic disease (saline washes, steroid nasal sprays, compounded nasal sprays, leukotriene inhibitors, and antihistamines).
What symptoms are associated with sinus infections?
Facial pain/pressure, nasal congestion, lack of smell, dental pain, headache, ear stuffiness, and post nasal drip are some of the symptoms routinely associated with sinus infections.
Why do I have dental pain along with my sinus infection?
The teeth on the upper gum line can interact with the floor of the cheek (maxillary) sinuses. It is not uncommon for inflammation of those sinus cavities to cause dental pain.
Will I require packing after surgery? Will I have bruising on my face?
At GNO Snoring & Sinus, we DO NOT use nasal packing after sinus surgery. We believe it does not enhance the post-operative result and only provides significant discomfort for the patient. Surgery is performed with telescopes and small instruments; therefore, there is no visible bruising on the patient’s face or any visible evidence of surgery for that matter.
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Contact the Experts at GNO Snoring & Sinus
GNO Snoring & Sinus serves the entire Metro New Orleans community from St. Bernard Parish to the Westbank and everywhere in between. Proudly accepting Medicaid, Medicare and private insurance options, our team of specialists is ready to help you find relief for chronic sinusitis. Contact us today to request an appointment at our Metairie, LA office.