Sinus Disorders

Sinusitis

Sinusitis is a common condition that involves an infection or inflammation of the sinuses, causing aches and pains, tenderness and swelling in areas of the face. This condition can be chronic or acute and may develop as a result of a cold, bacterial infection, allergies or for unknown reasons.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

  • Sinus infection that persist for week of months
  • Discolored nasal drainage
  • Mouth breathing
  • Lack of energy
  • Headache
  • Inability to breathe through one or both sides of your nose
  • Facial Pain
  • Sore upper teeth

While acute sinusitis can often be treated with antibiotics and decongestants, more severe chronic cases may require surgery. Dr. Kimmel uses the latest surgical techniques including Balloon Sinuplasty surgery or Endoscopic Sinus surgery. Surgery improves sinus drainage and reduces blockage of the nasal passages. After sinus surgery, most people experience a great relief in their symptoms and are able to enjoy a higher quality of life.

 

 

 

Deviated Septum

The nasal septum is the partition between the nostrils that separates the two nasal passages. It supports the nose and directs air flow. The septum is made up of thin bone and cartilage. A deviated septum occurs when the bone or cartilage is not straight. A structural abnormality caused by trauma or anatomical deformities of the septum may lead to breathing problems, chronic stuffiness, post-nasal drip and/ or snoring.

Symptoms of Deviated Septum

  • Congestion
  • Snoring
  • Recurring sinus infections
  • Chronic nosebleeds
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Headaches

Medications will not cure a deviated septum but can be used to ease symptoms. When symptoms no longer respond to medications Dr. Kimmel may recommend surgery to straighten the septum called Septoplasty.

 

Sinus/Nasal Polyps

Sinus/nasal polyps are grape-like growths of the sinus membranes that protrude into the sinuses or into the nasal passage. When polyps block nasal passages, they make it difficult for the sinuses to drain and for air to pass through the nose. When the sinuses are unable to drain, bacteria can build up and result in sinusitis. Although we don’t know exactly why and how sinus polyps form we do know they are associated with inflammation, allergies and often asthma.

Medications used to treat the inflammation can help can reduce the size and symptoms of your polyps. Sometimes sinus/nasal polyps are so large and obstructive that the medications are ineffective. In such cases, Dr. Kimmel may suggest an endoscopic surgical procedure to remove the polyps.

 

Inferior Turbinates Hypertrophy

Turbinates are bony structures inside your nose covered by mucous membranes. They act as radiators in your nose by adding warm moist heat to the air passages as we breathe. The turbinates are very susceptible to allergy and dust irritation.

There are three pairs of turbinates. The inferior, middle and superior turbinates. Enlarged inferior turbinates are often the source of breathing problems. When they become enlarged it is referred to as inferior hypertrophy.

Nasal steroids, nasal antihistamines and decongestants can be used to treat inferior turbinate hypertrophy. If you do not respond to the medications Dr. Kimmel may recommend turbinate surgery to improve the nasal airway. He often combines turbinate surgery with a Septoplasty to completely address nasal obstruction.

 

Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches are headaches or facial pain/pressure usually due to increased pressure and decreased drainage from the affected sinus cavity. The first step in diagnosing sinus headaches is to clear up and control your sinus problems.

Treatment is directed at decreasing inflammation within the sinus passages, allowing them to drain, and decreasing the pressure that is the cause of the headache. Medical care may be necessary if the pain does not respond to over the counter medications or if the symptoms last longer than two weeks. Many prescription medications used to treat sinus headaches are the same ones used to treat sinusitis.

For the patients who don’t find relief from medication and whose headaches are caused by swelling of the structures of the nose or blocked sinuses Dr. Kimmel has found great success using Balloon Sinuplasty Surgery (or sometimes other types of surgery) to help relieve their sinus headaches.

 

Nasal Allergies

Allergic reactions occur when the immune system encounters and overreacts to substances that are not generally harmful. When the body comes into contact with something to which it is allergic, it produces histamine, a chemical that causes swelling and inflammation. If allergies are severe, chronic conditions such as rhinitis, sinusitis, or asthma can result.

Nasal allergies are airborne allergens that come into contact with the mucus lining in the nose and sinuses. Common airborne allergens are pollens from plants and trees, mold spores, dust mites and animal dander.

The symptoms of uncontrolled allergies, leading to chronic sinus infections and discomfort are:

  • Congestion
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Irritation in the nose and throat

In this part of Pennsylvania, allergies are very common due to the large number of pollen-producing plants.