Nose & Sinus

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Trust Us with Your Nose and Sinus Care

About 31 million people in the US experience chronic sinusitis, accounting for more than 16 million outpatient visits on an annual basis. Those affected by ongoing sinusitis experience reduced productivity, difficulty going about their daily routine, and a decreased quality of life.

Struggling to breathe through your nose due to a sinus infection or other type of sinus disorder, is a serious matter that makes living your day-to-day life challenging and can contribute to other serious health concerns.

Most sinus-related conditions go away on their own within a few weeks, but when it is ongoing, your best solution for sinus challenges rests in the experienced hands of the ENT specialists at ENT Consultants of East Tennessee.

Sinus treatment by Ear Nose & Throat Consultations of East Tennessee

Common Nose and Sinus Disorders

There can be many reasons that make breathing through your nose a struggle, but our team of otolaryngology specialists have the expertise and advanced equipment available to diagnose your condition and customize a plan of treatment to address your specific needs. The most common nose and sinus disorders include:

Allergic Rhinitis

Also referred to as hay fever, allergic rhinitis includes inflammation of the nose or nasal passages as it overreacts to allergens, often pollen or airborne toxins, that are in the air. Depending on the allergen, symptoms can be ongoing or seasonal, and include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes, and swelling around the eyes.

Avoiding the allergen, mite-proof covers, air filters and reducing the intake of certain foods are some effective means of escaping allergic rhinitis. Medical treatments typically include intranasal corticosteroids, antihistimines, decongestants, cromolyn, leukotriene receptor antagonists, nasal irrigation and allergy shots/drops (immunotherapy).

Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis differs from chronic rhinitis in that it involves an ongoing inflammation of the sinuses that lasts for more than 12 weeks. It diers from Recurrent Sinusitis in that it is ongoing without a pause while a recurrent condition involves 4 or more episodes of sinusitis within a year, but periods without the condition in between.

Symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:

  • Tenderness or pressure in the face (nose, eyes and forehead)
  • Post nasal drip (mucus drips down the throat)
  • Nasal discharge or a stuy nose
  • Toothache, ear pain and/or headache
  • Cough
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Halitosis (bad breath)

Chronic sinusitis can include polyps or polyps may be absent. Medical therapies are available to slow the growth of polyps and they can be removed using various surgical procedures.

When polyps are not a contributing cause, there are a variety of other factors that contribute to chronic sinusitis, like asthma, allergies or cystic fibrosis, bacterial, viral or fungal infections, immune deficiency or abnormal nasal structures. Treatment for non-polyp sinusitis involves treating the cause of the condition using various forms of therapy like:

  • Avoiding triggers (allergies and environmental factors)
  • Intranasal corticosteroid sprays and leukotriene antagonists (to reduce inflammation) or antifungal medication
  • Treating contributing conditions, such as allergies, asthma, and/or immune deficiency topical antihistamine, steroid, sprays or oral antihistamine
  • Balloon sinuplasty, or sinus ostial dilation, which inserts a balloon into a sinus cavity to open it and make more room

Deviated Septum

A deviated septum is among the most common types of abnormal nasal structures that contribute to recurrent or chronic sinusitis as well as other breathing difficulties. The condition is characterized by an unequal or imbalanced division of the nasal cavity, which makes it difficult to breathe.

Although 80% of people demonstrate some form of nasal cavity imbalance, only the most severe misalignment causes breathing problems that require treatment. Individuals struggling with a deviated septum usually experience frequent nosebleeds, facial pain, headaches, postnasal drip, or loud breathing and snoring during sleep.

Medications can provide relief in some cases, but a surgical procedure called septoplasty may be necessary in order to repair the condition and improve breathing.

Nasal and Paranasal Tumors

Nasal and paranasal tumors (including inverting papilloma) are abnormal growths within the nasal cavity that can be noncancerous or cancerous in nature. Nasal tumors begin in the nasal cavity, but paranasal tumors form in air-filled chambers around the nose, or the paranasal sinuses.

The symptoms of nasal and paranasal tumors include:

  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Loss of smell
  • Nosebleeds
  • Discharge from your nose
  • Facial swelling or pain
  • Watery eyes
  • Sore or lesions on the roof of your mouth
  • Vision problems
  • A lump in your neck
  • Difficulty opening your mouth

Those most at risk of developing nasal or paranasal tumors include smoking or second hand smoke, breathing air pollution, long-term exposure to chemicals or irritants (wood dust, fumes from glue, rubbing alcohol and formaldehyde, dust from flour, chromium and nickel), and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.

Surgical procedures to remove the tumor are the most common treatment options for nasal and paranasal tumors, which may be followed up by radiation or chemotherapy for cancerous forms.

Cerebrospinal Fluid Leaks

A Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) leak is caused by a tear or hole in the membranes surrounding the brain or spinal cord, which allows the clear fluid that surrounds and cushions those organs to leak out. CSF leaks are caused by an injury, surgery, epidural or spinal tap, or a tumor, and can lead to an increased risk of meningitis.

Symptoms associated with CSF leaks include:

  • Drainage from the nose (rhinorrhea)
  • Salty or metallic taste in the mouth
  • Post nasal drip
  • Drainage from the ear (otorrhea)
  • Cutaneous sinus tract drainage
  • Loss of sense of smell (anosmia)
  • Change in hearing or ringing in the ears

If bed rest and other conservative treatment options are not successful in treating CSF leaks, surgical procedures (including low invasive nasal endoscopy), an epidural blood patch, and/or the insertion of shunts to drain away excess fluid are among the solutions for treatment.

Nasal Fractures

A nasal fracture, or broken nose, involves breaking or cracking the nasal bone above the bridge of the nose due to a fight, contact in sport, an accident or fall. Profuse bleeding, pain, along with swelling and bruising around your nose and under your eyes as well as altered cosmetic appearance of your nose and trouble breathing are among the symptoms of a broken nose.

Treatment usually includes procedures to realign your nose and protect it while the fracture heals, but surgical procedures are rarely necessary to treat a nasal fracture.

Triad Asthma

Triad asthma, also called aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), or ASA triad is a type of comorbid asthma in which asthma, aspirin sensitivity and nasal polyps exist at the same time. This triad of combined conditions usually shows up in patients between the ages of 20 and 40.

Common symptoms include coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, nasal congestion, headache, sinus pain and sneezing, but can also include rashes, flushing of the skin, abdominal pain, and diarrhea or vomiting. Aspirin desensitization therapy or the avoidance of aspirin and other NSAID medications is the most common treatment solution, but leukotriene-modifying agents and cutting back on foods containing salicylic acid can also help reduce symptoms.

What to Expect During a Nose and Sinus Consultation

Not knowing what to expect when you visit an ENT specialist for the first time can be intimidating, so here is what you can expect during a nose and sinus consultation with an ENT Consultants of East Tennessee otolaryngoligist during your visit.

We begin by taking the time to listen to you while we compile a thorough patient history and review your previous medical records. We will followup our initial conversation with a detailed physical head and neck exam, which includes the use of a nasal endoscope to evaluate your nasal and sinus cavity as well as your larynx.

To identify an infection, we may draw a culture from your sinuses and we are able to biopsy a polyp or mass in the office using the endoscope as well. Additional diagnostic measures may include a CT to provide us with a more complete picture of what is causing the nasal or sinus condition that is causing your discomfort.

Once we have identified the underlying cause of your symptoms, we will have an honest conversation with you about the treatment options available, allowing you to have input into determining the plan of treatment we decide to follow.

Meet Your Providers

Schedule an Ear, Nose and Throat Consultation

Your nose and sinuses play a critical role in smell, taste, breathing, swallowing, and other vital body functions. Functional limitations and disorders involving your nose and sinuses can contribute to additional, ongoing health concerns.

If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms related to various negative nose and sinus conditions, get the help you need by scheduling an ENT consultation with one of our ear, nose, and throat specialists by submitting the form.

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