Sinus issues 101
The sinuses consist of air spaces in your skull and facial bones, specifically within your forehead, inside your cheekbones and behind the nose. These air spaces make up the upper part of your respiratory tract from your nose into your throat.
Many issues can occur within your sinuses and can cause long-term problems that impact quality of life. At SIU Medicine, we treat many different sinus issues. Common sinus symptoms include decreased sense of smell, post-nasal drip, discolored drainage, congestion and facial pressure.
Medical treatment often includes nasal sprays and saline rinses. In some situations, surgery may be recommended to widen passageways to improve sinus drainage and allow for delivery of medicine into the sinuses.
Sinus and nasal issues range from mild to severe.
Allergies happen when the body reacts abnormally to an otherwise normal stimulus. These reactions commonly include sneezing, congestion, runny nose and itchy eyes. Rarely, allergies can present as gastrointestinal or respiratory distress, or even more severe ailments. The three main approaches to allergy treatment includes identifying and avoiding allergens that trigger symptoms, medication therapy to control symptoms, and immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is also known as allergy shots or allergy drops and both decrease the body’s sensitivity to allergens over time.
Chronic sinusitis is a common condition in which the cavities around nasal passages (sinuses) become inflamed and swollen causing symptoms that last for at least 12 weeks, despite treatment attempts.
Nasal polyps are a type of chronic sinusitis and are common, noncancerous, teardrop-shaped growths that form in the nose or sinuses and can lead to congestion and decreased ability to smell and taste. Treatment includes both medical and surgical management.
Sinus tumors can be noncancerous or cancerous. Sinus cancer is very rare. Symptoms of a sinus tumor can be similar to other sinus symptoms and include congestion and pressure. Additional symptoms include nose bleeds, recurrent ear infections, blurred or double vision, and loose teeth. Treatment options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
If you are suffering from sinus issues, call us at 217-545-8000.
For treatments requiring surgery, Dana Crosby, MD, MPH is the only fellowship-trained endoscopic sinus and skull base surgeon based in central Illinois. She specializes in endoscopic surgical treatment of sinus diseases including sinusitis, nasal polyps and sinus tumors. She has significant experience treating patients with complex sinus issues or multiple prior surgeries.