Do you suffer from obstructed nasal breathing, obstructive sleep apnea, chronic drainage or recurring facial pressure? You may think you have a sinus infection, but antibiotics may not be the answer. In fact, it is incredibly common for people to suspect an infection when nasal inflammation, also known as rhinitis, is the cause of their symptoms. The ENT experts at Advanced Ear, Nose & Throat Associates in Atlanta, GA are well versed in effective sinus relief procedures, which work because they correct the root cause of your condition.
When sleep apnea, pain and difficulty breathing during the day are caused by a deviated or crooked septum, septoplasty is one of the most effective forms of sinus relief. Septoplasty, also known as septal reconstruction or submucous septal resection, is a corrective procedure which straightens a deviated nasal septum.
It is not uncommon for people to be born with a deviated nasal septum, which is the partition between their naval cavities. However, it can also occur during a rapid growth spurt in childhood or adolescence, as well as traumatic injury.
Besides reversing sleep apnea and helping you breathe during the day, septoplasty also alleviates chronic throat pain. When your nasal septum is straightened, your nasal passages drain more efficiently, mitigating your risk of sinus infection and reducing post-nasal drip.
When it comes to sinus relief from recurrent acute sinusitis, or recurrent acute rhinosinusitis (RARS), sinuplasty is held in high regard. If you suffer from RARS, balloon sinuplasty can improve your life immeasurably without general anesthesia and aggressive surgery. Gone are the days of endoscopic sinus surgery with a significant recovery time.
Balloon sinuplasty relieves sinus pressure, alleviates sore throats and helps you breathe better. It works by dilating one or more of the three major nasal sinuses so they can be cleared and drained. When the congestion causing the significant nasal blockages is flushed out or removed, usually with a saline solution, symptoms including insomnia, jaw ache and headache are also alleviated.
No-scalpel septoplasty, like septoplasty, corrects a deviated septum. This brief treatment is performed under local anesthesia via a numbing medicine. It is often used in conjunction with turbinate reduction to relieve many sinus symptoms, including chronic or recurring sinus infections, sinus headache, difficulty breathing and congestion.
In some cases, turbinate reduction can be the primary cause of sinus problems. Usually combined with septoplasty or no-scalpel septoplasty, this procedure removes excess turbinates so you no longer experience sinus headaches. It also reduces snoring and sleep apnea so you and your partner can sleep sounder throughout the night.
Sometimes, sinus problems are caused by allergies. If you suffer from recurrent acute sinusitis, you can greatly benefit from an allergy evaluation. Allergies can cause nasal swelling, which leads to infection. By taking a quick, effective skin allergy test, you can identify and avoid potential triggers. This can prevent more serious sinus issues from occurring in the future.
It is not advisable to take antibiotics whenever you feel like you have a sinus infection. The overuse of antibiotics can make them less effective in the future when they are actually needed. Keeping your nasal passages moist can go a long way in preventing nasal irritation. Among the most popular at-home remedies for preventing nasal irritation are:
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Breathing in steam
- Using a vaporizer or humidifier
- Using a homemade or OTC saline solution
- Using a nasal saline spray
- Avoiding chlorinated pools
- Using an extra pillow at night
Usually, the best over-the-counter medication for sinus relief is a decongestant. Decongestant medication can be purchased in caplet or nasal spray form and eases stuffiness and sinus pressure by reducing the swelling in your nasal passages. The most common types of decongestant sprays include phenylephrine (Sinex, Rhinall, Neo-Synephrine), naphazoline (Privine) and oxymetazoline (Vicks Sinus Nasal Spray, Afrin, Dristan and Nostrilla). In pill form, you most often find psuedoephedrine sold under the brand name Sudafed and phenylephrine, most commonly sold as Sudafed PE.
Antihistamines are another highly effective over-the-counter form of sinus relief. If allergies are triggering your sinus pressure and nasal congestion, treating your allergies will relieve symptoms. Sometimes, you may need to take an antihistamine in conjunction with a decongestant to treat sinus pressure most effectively. If you have trouble sleeping, look for a nighttime cold medicine which includes an antihistamine. This will treat all your symptoms at once.
Sometimes, sinus problems cause nasal drip-related pain. If you suffer from a sore throat and sinus pressure headaches, take an over-the-counter pain reliever like naproxen sodium, ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Just be sure to read all labels carefully and never exceed the recommended dose or combine medications that contain pain relievers.
Learn More About Sinus Relief Today
Sinus pain, pressure and discomfort can be caused by a number of sources. The cause of your symptoms will determine the most effective treatments for your unique situation. To discover the best sinus relief methods for you, contact the professional ENT experts at Advanced Ear, Nose & Throat Associates in Atlanta, GA today to schedule your initial consultation. We can’t wait to meet you and help you experience lasting relief from your sinus problems.