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Office Walkthrough with Dr. Shah – American Sinus Institute

office walkthrough

Dr. Shah shows off the new, conveniently located San Antonio office at 9150 Huebner Road Suite # 280, San Antonio, TX.


Video Transcript:

Dr. Anand Shah: Hi, I’m Dr. Anand Shah, San Antonio Texas. Welcome to our new office at the American Sinus Institute here on Huebner Road in the Medical Center area, 9150 Huebner Road. We like to think it’s very conveniently located and it’s brand new. So we have our administrative support offices. This is something we’re very fond of. We have a live viewing room for patient families to actually watch their procedure as it’s being performed live. It’s a live video feed and you can see it’s a nice place to comfortably watch the procedure. So we’ve organized a very ergonomic efficient office flow. These are our brand new exam rooms. We have all the latest equipment. So we have several different exam rooms to maximize patient flow and enhance the patient experience. This is our procedure suite. We specialize in doing the office balloon sinuplasty. We bring in an anesthesia provider. The patients have sedation, general anesthesia very comfortable. We have all the technology, all the equipment to make it a very comfortable safe experience for the patient.

Then after the procedure, we have a nice custom recovery area for the patients to recover. We also have our own in-office CT scanner. So we can just really get a diagnosis. We don’t have the patients bouncing all over the city getting imaging, things like that. We can just give them a diagnosis right from the get-go.

Common Causes of the Deviated Septum

causes of the deviated septum

Anyone who follows boxing or other forms of martial arts has likely seen occasions when a fighter is punched in the nose and winds up with a deviated septum. That’s one common way of getting a deviated septum that many members of the public are already familiar with. There are other causes of a deviated septum which have nothing to do with athletic activities.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a deviated septum, it’s a good idea to learn about why the condition may have occurred, with the idea that more information will be helpful in preventing or treating it. Causes of the deviated septum may surprise you, but gaining a little insight into this problem in your nasal passages can help you find a solution to breathe more freely.

About the Septum

The septum is made from bone and cartilage. It serves as a thin wall located in between your nostrils that separates the two nasal passages.

What Is a Deviated Septum?

People often hear the phrase “deviated septum” and know that it has something to do with the nose but are not quite sure what is happening that involves a deviation. Put simply, you have a deviated septum when the septum is knocked out of position to the left or the right side.

When You Should Visit a Doctor

A patient with a deviated septum should go in and see a doctor if he or she is experiencing blocked nostrils that fail to respond to current treatment, or if nosebleeds have been occurring on a regular basis.

Of course, a person suffering from a deviated septum who often experiences sinus infections should also consult with a doctor to find a lasting solution.

Common Deviated Septum Causes

We consult with a lot of patients complaining of a deviated septum, and with each patient come questions about how they got a deviated septum in the first place. As noted by the Mayo Clinic, common deviated septum causes include:

  • Patient was born with it: A deviated septum occurs during development in the womb
  • Injury, such as tripping and falling or running into another person
  • Contact sports including football, soccer, boxing and basketball
  • Automotive accident
  • The normal aging process can sometimes exacerbate a deviated septum

Help for Sinus Infections in Individuals Who Suffer From a Deviated Septum

People who have trouble breathing because of sinus problems, including sinus infections that have resulted from a deviated septum will want to know about a procedure called balloon sinuplasty, which is performed by our doctors here at American Sinus Institute.

For individuals who prefer to avoid going under the surgeon’s knife, balloon sinuplasty may be the answer. It’s a simple procedure where the doctor gently inflates a balloon that has been inserted into the sinus cavity to reshape it and make it easier to breathe. However, balloon sinuplasty may not be suitable for all patients with a deviated septum. If you have any concerns about causes or are interested in finding out more about balloon sinuplasty, we encourage you to contact us today.

What Are Tonsil Stones And How To Treat Them

Tonsil Stones American Sinus Institute Balloon Sinuplasty

Tonsilloliths, or tonsil stones, are lumps of calcified material that form within the crevices of the tonsils, which are fleshy pads located at the back of the throat. The tonsils contain lymphocytes, which are cells that the body produces to help fight and prevent infections from forming.

The tonsils, in general, play a huge role when it comes to immune system function because they are able to trap bacteria and virus particles that cause illness such as the common cold and flu. When the tonsils are not functioning properly, bacteria, dead cells and mucus can become stuck inside the tonsil pockets and become calcified, forming white stones that are difficult to cough up, have an unpleasant odor and taste.

Sometimes, these stones can cause soreness, dryness and itching in the throat along with redness and inflammation. Thankfully, there are ways to treat tonsil stones effectively with home remedies and over-the-counter oral care products.

What are some of the treatments for tonsil stones?

There are various treatments for removing the stones from the tonsils. One of the ways is by removing the stones physically with a cotton swab, if they are visible. Another remedy is salt-water gargles that help loosen the stones from the pockets so coughing the stones up is easier.

Some people find oral care products such as herbal oral rinses that are alcohol-free work well. Oral care products not only help loosen the stones so they come out of the tonsils more easily, but also most kill the harmful bacteria that cause the stones’ odor and cause bad breath.

Gargling with hydrogen peroxide can aid in bubbling tonsil stones out of soft tissue pockets and out of the throat so symptoms of this condition abate. In rare cases, surgery is sometimes required to remove large, painful stones that make it difficult to swallow.

How to prevent tonsil stones from forming

To prevent tonsil stones from forming, removing the tonsils completely through a procedure known as a tonsillectomy is sometimes performed. A tonsillectomy is a procedure performed by an oral surgeon, usually while a person is under general anesthesia.

After the surgery, all tonsil stones will be gone, along with the tonsils, but a sore throat and swallowing difficulties will occur for a few days until the throat heals. Some of the ways to help with faster healing after undergoing a tonsillectomy include:

  • Sucking on vitamin C popsicles and cough drops
  • Taking daily vitamin supplements
  • Sipping on warm herbal teas that soothe inflamed tissues
  • Taking a few tablespoons of raw organic honey each day
  • Snacking on cold foods such as fruits, yogurt, frozen yogurt and shaved ice
  • Drinking plenty of cool water
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Taking herbal supplements such as Echinacea to keep the immune system strong and promote faster healing
  • Restrict the amount of talking
  • Rinse with salt water gargles throughout the day

American Sinus Institute

One method that can help prevent tonsil stones from forming in the first place is by preventing sinus issues from occurring. Often, when sinus issues occur, it causes post-nasal drip which can lead to bacteria dripping down the back of the throat and into the tonsil pockets creating stones.

One of the ways to prevent sinus issues from occurring is by receiving a balloon sinuplasty treatment, as offered by the American Sinus Institute. To learn more about balloon sinuplasty and preventing tonsil stones read more at the ASI website, and use this sinus symptom checker.

Contact us for additional information.

A Cold Or A Much Larger Issue? How To Tell The Difference

American Sinus Institute Cold-or-Much-Larger

It’s that time of year. People everywhere are coughing and sneezing, suffering from stuffy heads and runny noses. Cold and flu season isn’t over yet, and allergy season will be hard on its heels. At this time of year it may be hard to know if you have a cold, allergies, a sinus infection, or even the flu.

While the symptoms of all these illnesses are similar, there are differences. Below is a simple guide to telling the difference between a cold and a more serious problem.

Is it the common cold?

Most people associate coughing and sneezing with the common cold, but the first symptom is usually a sore throat. This generally lasts a day or two, followed by the stereotypical runny nose, sneezing, and congestion, which also lasts a day or two.

Around the fourth or fifth day, a cough usually develops. By the seventh day, symptoms should start improving. A cold normally lasts from three to 14 days. Cold symptoms usually come on suddenly and resolve themselves suddenly, too. A fever, however, is uncommon – although children are more likely to develop a fever than adults – and may be a sign that something more serious is going on.

Is it the flu?

Influenza – “the flu” – hits suddenly, too. Unlike the common cold, in which symptoms build on each other, flu symptoms tend to happen all at once. Symptoms of influenza include fever, headache, coughing, head and chest congestion, and muscle or joint aches. Influenza symptoms are also much more severe than cold symptoms. A fever of 102 or possibly higher is common, and the headache can be incapacitating. Muscle aches are severe. Extreme fatigue is also a common symptom of the flu.

Influenza usually lasts about seven to 10 days. Unlike the common cold, flu symptoms improve gradually and the fatigue can persist for up to three weeks after the virus has run its course.

Is it allergies?

It’s fairly easy to tell the difference between a cold and the flu. Cold symptoms and allergy symptoms, however, have much more overlap and are more difficult to differentiate.

A cold usually causes a runny nose, sneezing, a cough, and a sore throat. Allergies often cause sneezing and a runny nose, and may also cause a cough or a sore throat due to sinus drainage.

Another common symptom of allergies is itchy, watery eyes, although this isn’t always present. Unlike those of colds, allergy symptoms don’t dissipate after a week or two. Allergy symptoms continue for as long as a person is exposed to the substance they’re allergic to, such as mold or pollen. If cold-like symptoms persist for more than two weeks, there’s a good chance its allergies.

Is it a sinus infection?

Sinus infections – or sinusitis – can be caused by either viruses or bacteria. When you have a stuffy nose, it means your sinuses aren’t draining. And when they can’t drain, they become the perfect breeding ground for these bacteria and viruses.

Classic symptoms of sinusitis include pressure behind the eyes and cheeks or in the forehead, a headache, and a stuffy nose that lasts more than a week. Sinusitis can cause a fever, a cough, decreased sense of smell, and even bad breath. Postnasal drip – mucus draining down the back of the throat – is a common feature of a sinus infection, and may sometimes cause a sore throat.

If it’s due to a virus, sinusitis may sometimes resolve itself on its own, and antibiotics will usually clear up bacterial infections. Sometimes, however, sinusitis can last for weeks or even months. If this is the case, or if it recurs often, it’s called chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis may require sinus surgery. Balloon sinuplasty, as offered by the American Sinus Institute, can help with chronic sinusitis.

American Sinus Institute

Still not sure if it’s a cold or something more serious? Take the sinus symptom quiz. For more information, contact the American Sinus Institute today, and start breathing easier.

What You Need To Know About Post-Nasal Drip

American Sinus Institute Post-Nasal-Drip

Chronic sinus issues have a tendency to lead to post-nasal drip. The causes of sinus issues include allergies, bacterial and viral infections, pregnancy, medications, environmental factors, spicy foods, cleaning products, perfumes, smoking, and autoimmune diseases related to the respiratory tract.

There are treatments that are useful for treating post-nasal drip, but knowing what post-nasal drip is can help with treating it, too.

What is post-nasal drip?

The post-nasal drip condition occurs when too much mucus is present in the sinuses and begins not only running out the nasal passages continually, but it drips into the back of the throat as well. This can cause coughing, throat irritations and sinus infections. Sometimes a hoarse voice can occur from this condition, making talking difficult. It can also cause an extremely painful ear infection that usually needs pain medication and antibiotics to treat it.

With post-nasal drip, mucus is noticeable because it mixes with saliva that the body produces and forms a watery substance. That watery substance is capable of washing harmful substances from the respiratory tract. Some of those substances are dust, dander, pollen, cigarette smoke, chemical fumes from beauty care and cleaning products and mold spores.

Without the mixture of saliva and mucus, irritating or even harmful substances can wreak more havoc on the body, causing serious health issues and respiratory illnesses that can lead to long term chronic disorders. Some of those respiratory conditions are asthma and COPD.

Thankfully, there are treatments that are effective at treating this nasal condition. Some of them are natural home remedies while others are prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs.

At times, all it takes to relieve post-nasal drip is removing particular irritants from an environment if possible. Consider installing an air-purifying machine for your home or workplace that cleanses the air of allergens and fumes that cause irritation to the respiratory system. Humidifier and vaporizing systems can help, too.

How to stop post-nasal drip

There are many medications and home remedies that can help relieve post-nasal drip. What works best for one person, may not work best for another, so you may have to do some experimenting to see what brings you relief.

  • Antibiotics
  • Decongestants
  • Antihistamines
  • Nasal Sprays
  • Nettle Pots
  • Steamy Showers or Baths
  • Echinacea
  • Goldenseal
  • Sting Nettles
  • Butterbur
  • Herbal Teas
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Drinking More Water
  • Sipping Hot Broths and Soups
  • Spices such as Cinnamon
  • Raw Honey
  • Manuka Honey
  • Antiviral Medications
  • Steroids
  • Allergy Shots

Are there ways to help prevent the condition?

Again, installing an air-purifying machine and/or humidifying system to a home or business can help not only relieve post-nasal drip, but it can also help prevent it. Keeping homes free and clean from dust particles and dust mites helps as well. In order to keep homes free of mites and dust, regular washing of bedding needs to occur often as well as vacuuming and dusting.

Other ways to help prevent post-nasal drip include switching beauty care products as well as household cleaning products to organic, all-natural ones that do not contain perfumes or harsh chemicals. Quitting smoking is helpful, too, and to your health in general.

American Sinus Institute

When post-nasal drip conditions are severe and none of the above treatments are helpful for finding relief or solving the health issue, balloon sinusplasty – as offered by the American Sinus Institute – may help. For more information on balloon sinuplasy or post-nasal drip, please visit ASI.

What Are Nasal Steroids?

American Sinus Institute Nasal-Steroids

Nasal steroids are corticosteroids similar to the cortisol produced naturally by the body. People with nasal allergies may not produce enough cortisol to combat the effects of pollen, dust and other particles that cause sneezing, itchy eyes and coughing. Nasal steroid products can help to relieve these allergy symptoms.

Medical experts estimate that one out of five people experiences allergies at some time in their lives. Many people have chronic sinus conditions stemming from allergies.

Corticosteroids sprays relieve swelling in the sinus passages. They help to control mucus and congestion so that particulates in the air are less irritating. Particulates include animal dander, pollen, mold, mildew and dust.

Allergies are most common in the spring when trees, flowers and grasses pollinate. The invisible particles float through the air and they can find their way into nasal passages in seconds. These pollens can trigger allergic reactions in people. Changes in the weather can also affect people sensitive to air pressure.

Nasal steroid use

The corticosteroids are sprayed directly into the nose. Fluticasone propionate, known as Flonase, and triamcinolone, known as Nasacort, are available over the counter at pharmacies. Stronger nasal steroids require a prescription. A doctor should be consulted before purchasing even over-the-counter steroid products.

Users of these nasal steroids must follow the enclosed directions. The spray has to stay in the sinus passages to be effective. It should not drip down the throat.

Most doctors do not consider nasal steroids to be harmful, if used according to directions. They may be used along with antihistamines and decongestants. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics for a severe sinus infection and recommend that the steroids not be used until the problem has cleared.

Causes of allergies

An allergic reaction such as a stuffy nose and sinus pressure usually occurs when a particulate or other substance interacts with the immunoglobulin E (lgE) proteins in the body. Circulating granulocyte cells bind with the lgE and release histamines, sending a message that they don’t like the intruder.

Allergies related to pollen and grass can happen at any age. While most people become aware of their hypersensitivity to allergens before the age of 10, it is not unusual for adults to find they have allergic reactions as well. Each person is different. A body may not react to pollen and other particulates at a certain level. Allergy symptoms start when the level of airborne particles increases above the body’s ability to absorb them without reactions.

A very wet spring in some areas may produce above average pollen causing more people to experience allergic rhinitis. Location and exposure to the elements play an important part in these allergies, also called “hay fever.”

People moving from dry to damper locations may experience allergy symptoms based on increased pollen count or the presence of mold spores. The reverse is also possible. People living in a damper climate may react to a dryer, dustier climate with nasal allergies after a move.

Airborne particulates are the major causes of sinus allergies, but other factors can also cause problems. Certain animals may have dander that irritates the nose. Nitrates in food and sulfites (SO2) in wine and some dried fruits can cause nasal membranes to swell in some individuals. Others are allergic to insect stings or to insect droppings. Dust particles are the droppings from dust mites. Getting rid of the mites solves this problem.

Certain nuts and seeds can trigger allergies in some people. These reactions may be more severe than just sneezing and sinus pressure.

Allergic reactions

The reaction may start with a sneeze, but it can lead to coughing. This can also lead to swelling in the sinuses, throat and chest. The frontal sinuses in the forehead, maxillary sinuses in the cheekbones and under the eyes can swell and throb. The Eustachian tubes can become clogged. Itchy eyes can lead to conjunctivitis. Nasal polyps that block the flow of air and mucus can also develop over time.

Asthma, mucus in the lungs, is an allergic reaction that often accompanies sneezing and sinus congestion. Inhaled aerosol corticosteroids, similar to nasal steroids, are often used to contain asthma. Albuterol inhalers are used for quick asthma relief.

Treatment

Many doctors specialize in treating allergies and sinus conditions as they are very common. Nasal steroids or other sprays that shrink sinus membranes temporarily are often recommended as the first line of treatment. More intense treatments are available for chronic sinus conditions.

The American Sinus Institute offers the Honrubia Technique for Balloon Sinuplasty. This is a minimally invasive technique for relieving chronic sinusitis. A tiny balloon catheter is used to open the blocked sinuses and allow mucus to drain. The sinuses remain open when the balloon is removed.

Contact the American Sinus Institute for further information on nasal steroids and other sinus treatments.

Causes Of Nasal Inflammation

American Sinus Institute Sinusitis Pain

Nasal inflammation is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue which lines the sinuses. Also known as sinusitis, this ailment blocks the air passageways, causing mucus to increase and potentially cause an infection. This type of ailment is rather common and can be caused by something as simple as the common cold. Allergic rhinitis or the swelling of the lining of the nose can also be a progenitor of nasal inflammation. A deviated septum or a shift in the nasal cavity is also one of the ways that this agitation can begin.

Types

There are four different types of nasal inflammation:

  • Acute
  • Sub-acute
  • Chronic
  • Recurrent

Acute nasal inflammation comes very suddenly and includes pain that does not go away after 10-14 days. The acute type typically lasts four weeks or less. Sub-acute lasts four to eight weeks. Chronic shares the same characteristics as the first two types and lasts eight weeks or longer. Recurrent inflammation consists of several repeated attacks, which happen within the time frame of one year.

Causes

Nearly 37 million Americans suffer from at least one episode of acute nasal inflammation each year. For those who suffer from conditions like the blockage of drainage ducts, nasal polyps, narrow drainage ducts, nasal mucous membrane swelling or those whose medications compromise the immune system could be at greater risk for this condition. Children who are subjected to second-hand smoke may also be more likely to have an attack.

Treatments

Because causes of nasal inflammation are so varied, the treatments are as well. Acute onset sinusitis comes on rapidly and healthcare professionals may diagnose it as such, simply prescribing a nasal decongestant. They may also give an over-the-counter type of nasal spray or nasal drops depending upon the severity of the condition.

If the issues lean more towards the chronic side, a doctor may suggest a vaporizer or steam machine to help soothe the nose. Antibiotics or oral steroids may also be prescribed.

For those with chronic and recurrent conditions, a more aggressive approach may be required. First, it is important to promptly identify and remove any triggers that may be setting off the attacks. For more severe cases a doctor may be able to prescribe some stronger antibiotics. It is even common to go after lifestyle changes, make definite changes to diet or environment. Some have even gone so far as to pick up and move to another locale, climate or elevation if that is something that may be setting off agitated sinuses.

Balloon Sinuplasty

Another treatment for nasal inflammation is Balloon Sinuplasty. This procedure does not cut any of the nasal bone or tissue, as is the case with traditional sinus surgeries.

A tiny balloon catheter is placed into the blocked nasal passages. The balloon is then inflated, which opens up the restricted airways from blockages. Saline is then sprayed into the opened passage, which helps to remove the remaining mucus, pus and any other infected material.

When a patient receives a Balloon Sinuplasty treatment, the integrity of the inner lining of the sinuses is maintained, therefore many people have little to no recovery time. So there is no extended hospital stay involved, or extended time off work required.

At the end of the day nasal inflammation is a condition we would all like to avoid and get relief from when we do experience it. For more information on balloon sinuplasty, contact The American Sinus Institute for a consultative appointment with an industry-leading Otolaryngologist. This treatment is available at all three Texas locations in San Antonio, Houston and Edinburg.