Allergy and Sinus Problems - A Troublesome Combination

Everyone has sinuses, but not everyone is aware of them. If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, chances are you know exactly what and where they are. In healthy individuals, sinuses are empty pockets of air inside the head. In all, there are four pairs of sinuses. These pockets circulate air and lubricate the nose.

Special cells called “mucosa” generate mucus, which traps dirt from the air we breathe. Dust, pollen and bacteria are then expelled from the body through the nose, which is connected to the sinuses by small, tube-like openings. In most people, this normal drainage process may require an occasional tissue, or it may go entirely unnoticed.

Those who suffer from allergies, infections or physical obstructions have a completely different experience as a result of this process. Any of these situations can cause inflammation that blocks the drainage system of the sinuses, leading to facial pain, headache, fever, fatigue – and even a change in voice.

The first line of defense against sinusitis includes such common recommendations as the use of a humidifier, warm or cold compresses, allergy treatments to reduce inflammation, or antibiotics for infection. For patients whose sinusitis occurs again and again – chronic sinusitis – there is another option: sinus surgery.

Sinus surgery is very safe. At Georgetown Community Hospital, the InstaTrak imaging system is used with a CT scanner to provide a detailed look inside the sinuses during surgery. Using the InstaTrak, the surgeon can see exactly where his instruments are within the sinuses, allowing for extreme precision in the removal of polyps causing blockages, in enlarging the holes the sinuses drain through, or in creating new openings to improve drainage.

If you’ve suffered through one treatment after another, only to have your symptoms return repeatedly, it may be time to consider sinus surgery. The good news is, sinus surgery is safer and more effective with the high technology surgical equipment and highly trained surgical staff right here at Georgetown Community Hospital.