Category: Sinus Infection

Three Useful Tips for Avoiding Sinusitis this Winter

Woman Blowing Her Nose in Winter Clothing

Sinusitis flare-ups are common in the winter due to a variety of factors, including changes in barometric pressure; increased exposure to allergens like dust and dander; dry air caused by furnaces, heaters and fireplaces; and cold and flu season. The good news? There are some things you can do to avoid sinusitis and stay healthy. Read on for a roundup of three tips aimed at preventing sinus infections and other sinus problems this winter.

1. Manage your allergies

Allergies are a leading cause of sinus pain in all weather. While spring and fall may be worse for some people due to high pollen counts, cold weather also comes with its fair share of allergens, including dust and danger, which can accumulate more quickly in cold weather when pets and people spend more time indoors and under blankets.

To avoid triggering your winter allergies, vacuum often and keep all bedding and blankets dry and dust-free. It can also help to set up a “pet-free zone” to keep dander at a minimum. Additionally, opening windows and doors — as the weather allows — lets air circulate, while HEPA filters can be used to remove tiny particles from the air. Over-the-counter remedies and corticosteroid nasal sprays can also be used to help relieve pain and prevent symptoms.

2. Lubricate dry sinuses

Between harsh winter air, the drying effect of furnaces and other sources of heat, and seasonal allergies, sinuses can become very dry and irritated during cold weather. This can lead to painful and debilitating sinus symptoms including stuffiness, congestion and infection.

There are several ways to offset the season’s lack of moisture, starting with paying attention to humidity levels in your home. If the air is consistently dry, a humidifier can work wonders. Additionally, while medications like antihistamines can relieve symptoms, they can also have a drying effect. If your OTC allergy medicine is making your sinuses dry, talk doctor about switching to a medication with fewer side effects. Nasal sprays, neti pots, and steamy showers are also effective at hydrating and lubricating your sinuses and nasal passages. You can also make your own nasal irrigation solution, which Harvard Health declares to be the “first line of defense against sinusitis.” Another simple way to keep sinuses hydrated? Drink lots of water.

3. Practice healthy habits

The healthier you are, the better your body is able to ward off colds and infections. The winter season can be a busy one; committing to healthy habits is an invaluable preventative measure.

For starters, getting an annual flu shot can also help you avoid flu-related complications, including sinus infections, according to the CDC. A well-balanced diet, regular exercise and plenty of sleep are all essential to keeping your immune system in optimal shape. If you smoke, meanwhile, kicking the habit can make all the difference. Lastly, don’t forget that viruses can linger longer on surfaces during cold weather to make sure to wash your hands frequently.

While these three strategies can help you reduce your risk of getting sinusitis, they’re not foolproof — especially if you’re living with chronic sinusitis.  If you’re suffering from severe and/or ongoing symptoms in the San Antonio, Texas area, book an appointment with American Sinus Institute today to learn about your sinusitis treatment and management options.


Sinusitis: What To Do If Antibiotics Don’t Work

Image of Various Tablets and Pills

Many people turn to antibiotics hoping for relief from their sinusitis symptoms. Unfortunately, this is a misguided pursuit by many of them: Research published in The Journal of Family Practice concludes that antibiotics are ineffective at treating sinusitis — even in extreme cases where symptoms are severe. Which begs the question: If antibiotics don’t work for your sinus problems, what can you do to ease your pain? Here’s a closer look.


Nearly 30 million Americans are diagnosed with inflamed nasal passages and sinuses, AKA sinusitis, every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That’s one out of seven adults! Sinus infection symptoms are uncomfortable, painful and debilitating. They include sinus pressure behind the eyes and cheeks; a runny, stuffy nose; headache; fever; cough; bad breath; thick yellow or green mucus; fatigue; and decreased sense of smell.

And while antibiotics are a common course of treatment, a growing body of evidence suggests that they do no more good than a placebo in terms of improving sinusitis. Not only that, but adverse events related to antibiotic use and escalating rates of drug resistance are also on the list of reasons to avoid antibiotics.

Instead, doctors recommend using a number of methods to accelerate the sinusitis recovery process, including drinking plenty of water; eating healthy, immune-boosting foods; keeping sinuses hydrated with tools like humidifiers, saline nasal sprays, and steam treatments; using warm compresses around the nose, cheeks, and eyes; and taking over-the-counter medications like aspirin and antihistamines.


While sinus problems will sometimes resolve on their own or with help from the treatment methods above, chronic sinusitis can last for months. If your symptoms last for more than 10 days or if they recur several times, you’re not without hope, however. Scheduling a consultation with an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist can help you understand your options.

One especially promising sinusitis treatment that has revolutionized sinus care? The Honrubia Technique for Balloon Sinuplasty. This minimally invasive technique involves minimal tissue removal with minimal pain thanks to the use of intravenous anesthesia for the patient’s comfort and safety. Not only does this in-office procedure take an average of just 20 minutes, but it also boasts quicker recovery times than conventional sinus surgery. In fact, most patients return to their normal activities within two days.

Since balloon sinuplasty surgery emerged as a sinus treatment, hundreds of thousands of patients have undergone the procedure with a staggering 95 percent of them reporting that it gave them the relief they needed and they’d choose it again in the future.

If you’ve been living with sinus problems there’s no reason to continue to suffer — especially if you’ve had bad luck with antibiotic treatments in the past. If live in the San Antonio, Texas are and you’re wondering whether you’re a candidate for balloon sinuplasty or are interested in learning more about the benefits of balloon sinuplasty, contact us today to book your consultation with the American Sinus Institute.

The Effect Smoking Has On Your Sinuses

Person smoking cigarette

Most people are aware by now that smoking is bad for their health. In damaging the airways and the lungs, smoking causes coughs, colds, wheezing and asthma as well as more severe issues like pneumonia, emphysema and lung cancer. Smoking also harms nearly every other organ of the body and is linked with heightened risk for everything from certain eye diseases to immune system problems to erectile dysfunction, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One lesser-known effect of smoking? Its impact on the sinuses. Here’s a closer look at how smoking damages the sinuses, along with what you can do to start breathing better if you’re a smoker afflicted by sinusitis.

Smoking and the Sinuses

According to a study conducted by the Sinus Center at Mass. Eye and Ear, smoking wreaks having on the sinuses in several ways. For starters, the chemicals found in cigarettes are toxic to the cilia of your nasal passages. These hair-like cells which line the sinuses defend against infection by trapping and expelling foreign passages. In impairing the movement of cilia, smoking leads to a buildup of mucus and the potential for blocked nasal passages. The resulting inflammation can also cause facial pain, headaches and even dental pain.

Furthermore, while cilia are usually able to clear passages effectively when exposed to moderate irritants, the high volume of smoke impairs their ability to perform. This means pathogens like bacteria and viruses have easier access to the body. The result? A weakened immune system and increase the risk of sinus infections. Wondering why you get sick so often? Smoking may be the cause.

Lastly, in immobilizing the nasal cilia, smoking leads to congestion. Not only is this annoying during the daytime, but it can also cause difficulty sleeping at night due to coughing caused by mucus buildup. According to a study published in the journal Sleep and Breathing, smokers also have higher rates of obstructive sleep apnea than non-smokers due to the restricted airflow.

Think you can avoid these issues by using e-cigarettes? Think again. While scientists are still determining the extent to which vaping is bad for your health, mounting research points to dangers ranging from “vape lung” to increased allergy sensitivity, nasal congestion, and sinus infections.

Managing Sinus Issues

If you are a smoker, add sinus issues to the list of reasons why quitting — both cigarettes and e-cigarettes — will improve both your health and your overall quality of life. Says Dr. Ahmad Sedaghat, who headed up the Mass. Eye and Ear study, “If patients tell me that they are smoking, I now have direct evidence to say that the same symptoms that are making them miserable are exacerbated further by smoking.”

On that front, there’s both good and bad news. First, the good: If you are a smoker with chronic sinus disease, you can expect to see your symptoms improve after you kick the habit. The not-so-good news? Data further shows that it takes 10 full years for the harmful effects of smoking on the sinuses to completely reverse.

This doesn’t mean you have a decade of suffering ahead of you, however. Today’s ENT specialists have more tools than ever to help manage sinusitis, including cutting-edge, minimally invasive balloon sinuplasty. If you live in the San Antonio, Texas area and are ready to take a giant step toward eliminating your sinus symptoms and breathing better, book your consultation with the American Sinus Institute today.

Why Your Sinus Infection Gets Worse At Night and What You Can Do About It

Person sick with sinus infection taking their medicine at night

If you suffer from sinus pain and congestion, you may find that your symptoms worsen at night. This can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep, which in turn can detrimentally impact both overall wellness and quality of life. Here’s a closer look at why sinus infections often flare up in the evening hours, along with tips for addressing the problem.

Your Sinuses and Sleep

A sinus infection, AKA sinusitis, occurs when the tissue lining the sinuses becomes inflamed. Unlike healthy sinuses which are filled with air, infected sinuses are unable to clear and may become blocked. They then become a breeding ground for germs, often resulting in uncomfortable and painful sinus infections. Several conditions are linked with sinus blockage, including the common cold, allergies, nasal polyps and deviated septa.

Millions of Americans suffer from sinusitis with symptoms including facial pain or pressure, a runny or “stuffed up” nose, loss of smell, cough, and congestion. Other symptoms may include fever, bad breath, fatigue and dental pain.

While sinusitis is never pleasant, its symptoms can be worse at night for several reasons. For starters, allergies tend to be worse at night in general. And then there’s the fact that when you lie down, fluids no longer drain as they do when you’re standing or sitting. This can result in increased discomfort.

Manage Your Sinusitis to Sleep Better

The good news? There are some things you can do to alleviate sinus congestion and sleep better, including the following:

  • Taking an antihistamine in bed can help control allergy symptoms, like sneezing and runny nose. Antihistamines can also make you drowsy further helping you to fall asleep. If you use a nasal spray to manage your allergy symptoms during the daytime, it can also be used at night.
  • If your sinusitis is caused by allergens, reducing your exposure can reduce your symptoms. Keep your sleeping space free of all allergens by making it a pet-free zone. Additionally, consider investing in dust-proof bedding to further minimize your exposure to allergens.
  • Congestion occurs when your nasal passages don’t clear. “Mucus pools in your sinuses at night when your head is down, so have your head propped up during sleep,” advise the experts at Harvard Medical School.
  • Not only is it a myth that a nightcap before bed can make you sleepy, but alcohol is also linked with increased congestion. Plus, it can cause dehydration, another factor which can aggravate sinus issues. Refraining from drinking alcohol before bed eliminates both of these issues. The same applies for caffeine, which is a stimulant. The takeaway? Stick with water and decaffeinated beverages in the hours leading up to bedtime.
  • Adopting best practices for sleep hygiene is advisable for everyone, but can be especially helpful for people suffering from sinusitis. Keeping your bedroom cool and dark; maintaining regular sleeping and waking times; reserving your bedroom only for sleep-related activities; and avoiding stressful activities before bed can all support better sleep.

Additionally, several other strategies can help keep sinusitis at bay — day or night.

Despite your best efforts, sinus pain and congestion caused by sinusitis may continue to disrupt your sleep. In this case, it may require more aggressive treatment, such as cutting-edge, minimally invasive balloon sinuplasty. To learn more about your options, schedule an appointment with one of the American Sinus Institute’s Board Certified otolaryngologists today.

How Chronic Sinusitis Affects Your Health and Wellness

insomnia caused by chronic sinusitis

insomnia caused by chronic sinusitis

Approximately 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis. And while its symptoms are often perceived as merely annoying, the reality is that chronic sinusitis — sinusitis which continues beyond a few weeks — can have a serious impact on your quality of life, according to the results of a recent Qualtrics survey. Here’s a closer look at how chronic sinusitis detrimentally affects the health and wellbeing of afflicted individuals.

Debilitating Pain

Anyone who has experienced sinus problems knows that the pain can be debilitating. However, few people realize the extent to which living with chronic sinusitis is hurting them.

Also known as chronic rhinosinusitis, chronic sinusitis occurs when the cavities surrounding the sinuses become swollen and inflamed. Common sinus infection symptoms may include nasal congestion and difficulty breathing through the nose; thick, discolored discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat; facial pain, tenderness and swelling; and reduced sense of smell and taste. Additional signs and symptoms of this condition may include ear pain, aching in the upper jaw and teeth; a cough that may worsen at night; sore throat; bad breath; fatigue or irritability; and nausea.

Together and over an extended period of time, these symptoms are anything but trivial. In fact, they play out in a number of different ways — each with the potential to detract from your physical, mental, emotional and financial wellbeing.

Ongoing Impacts

Sleep is critical to human health, and is one of the major health issues posed by sinusitis. For starters, many people with chronic sinusitis struggle with falling asleep because of everything from runny sinuses to pain. Furthermore, untreated chronic sinusitis can increase your risk of sleep apnea, according to research published in Rhinology. In fact, sleep apnea was diagnosed in 64.7 percent of the chronic sinusitis patients who participated in the study. Many of them also reported daytime sleepiness, which is associated with increased risk of motor vehicle and work-related incidents. People with daytime sleepiness also have poorer overall health than their peers.

In addition to sleep disorders, researchers have also determined there to be a link between chronic sinusitis and other “comorbid systemic ailments,” including depression, anxiety, diabetes, and cognitive dysfunction.

Chronic sinusitis may also be interfering with your hobbies and personal relationships — both of which are essential to wellness. According to Qualtrics, 35 percent, 18 percent, and 36 percent, respectively, of people with chronic sinusitis report that their leisure activities, personal relationships, and sex lives have suffered.

The Qualtrics survey also revealed that 33 percent of sinusitis sufferers spend up to $1,000 annually on over-the-counter treatments, doctor consults, and co-pays to treat recurring symptoms. Meanwhile, a full 34 percent of people with sinusitis said their work performance had been “significantly impacted” due to frequent missed days. While these issues may not directly impact your health, managing them can mean more stress — and its own dangerous effects — for people with chronic sinusitis.

Taking Control of Your Health

“This survey confirms our understanding that hundreds of thousands of Americans who suffer from chronic sinusitis each year fail to get relief of their symptoms even after several attempts at medical therapy,” says Brian Farley, CEO of medical technology company Entellus Medical, of the findings.

“Fortunately, today balloon dilation of the blocked sinus drainage passages is available to these patients as a fast and effective procedure that can be performed in the ENT physician’s office. Balloon sinus dilation is the only therapy proven to be as effective as traditional sinus surgery while allowing faster recovery. By enabling treatment in the doctor’s office, the approach requires less cost to the patient and the healthcare system,” Farley continues.

If you live in the San Antonio, Texas area and you’re ready to say goodbye to chronic sinusitis and its symptoms once and for all, balloon sinuplasty may be the answer to reclaiming your quality of life. Book your appointment at the American Sinus Institute today to take your first step toward breathing easier.

Six Tips to Avoid Sinus Infections

Person with sinus infection being taken cared of by his girlfriend

Sinus infections, AKA sinusitis, aren’t just painful. If left untreated, they can spread to the brain and its surrounding tissue putting you at risk for seizures, brain damage, and even death. We’ve got good news, however: There are some things you can do to promote sinus health. Read on for a roundup of six tips aimed at helping you avoid sinus infections, stay healthy, and feel your best.

Wash your hands frequently.

Viral respiratory infections, including the flu and the common cold, often lead to sinus infections. Frequent hand washing eliminates germs thereby minimizing the accumulation of infection-causing microbes in the nasal cavity and sinuses. Experts also recommend the flu vaccine as an invaluable initial line of defense against the germs that lead to sinus infections.

Keep nasal passages clear and moist.

The cilia inside the nose do their job best in a moist environment. Enter nasal irrigation. “One of the simplest, cheapest, and most effective ways to prevent and treat sinus problems is nasal irrigation. Using a homemade solution, you can often relieve sinusitis symptoms, reduce reliance on nasal sprays and antibiotics, and improve your quality of life,” proposes Harvard Health Publishing.

For best results, incorporate this practice into your daily hygiene routine. One mantra to remember? “Brush, then flush.”

Other tactics for keeping your nasal passages in good shape? Use saline sprays, drink plenty of water, inhale steam, sleep with your head elevated, blow your nose gently, and use a humidifier or vaporizer.

Avoid irritants.

Certain chemicals, such as perfume, cigarette smoke and pollution, can irritate nasal passages and lead to sinus problems. Limit exposure to these irritants to alleviate symptoms.

Manage your allergies.

Sinusitis can be triggered by allergies. Therefore, it’s important to manage your allergies in order to prevent sinus infections. However, it’s also true that antihistamines can make mucus harder to drain. Depending on your situation, your doctor may or may not recommend antihistamines or other medications to keep your allergies in check.

On a related note, use caution with decongestants. While these can help by shrinking membranes and opening nasal passages in the short-term, they can also lead to dependency. Plus, when the meds wear off, swelling may not only return, but may also worsen.

Consider oral probiotics.

Oral probiotics can help replenish and balance the sinuses’ natural biome. Avoid antibiotics and steroids, however, as these can detrimentally impact the body’s good, natural bacteria while allowing bad bacteria to thrive, according to Baylor College of Medicine associate professor Dr. Mas Yakashima.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The healthier you are, the healthier your sinuses will be. Practice healthy lifestyle habits –such as eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep — to bolster your immune system and keep sinus infections at bay.

One last thing to keep in mind? While these six tips may help prevent acute sinusitis, persistent nasal congestion and recurring sinus problems may indicate the presence of chronic sinusitis and the need for medical intervention, such as balloon sinuplasty. To learn more about how balloon sinuplasty can help you breathe better, book an appointment at San Antonio, Texas’s American Sinus Institute today.

Myths About Your Sinuses

Woman suffering with sinus problems on the sofa

Thousands of people in the San Antonio area suffer from sinus problems. These can take a huge toll — especially without prompt and proper treatment. If you have trouble breathing through your nose and think it’s something you just have to live with, think again. Understanding these five common misconceptions about sinuses can help you seek the treatment you need to breathe easier and feel better.

1. A runny nose is the primary symptom of sinus problems.

While a runny nose” is one of the most well-known symptoms of sinus problems, it’s far from alone. Other main signs of sinusitis include facial pain or pressure, loss of smell, and cough or congestion. Fever, bad breath, fatigue, and dental pain are less common symptoms of sinus problems.

Because many health issues can cause these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor to determine if sinusitis or another issue is to blame.

2. All sinus symptoms indicate sinus infections.

Many sinus symptoms indicate sinus infections, AKA acute sinusitis. This inflammation of the cavities around your sinuses can be caused by several types of infections, including upper respiratory infections, bacteria, and even the common cold.

However, when this inflammation lasts for longer than three months, lingering sinus symptoms — or symptoms which recur multiple times throughout the year — may indicate chronic sinusitis. This is usually caused by another culprit, such as asthma, allergies or nasal polyps, and mandates a visit with an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor). Approximately 12.5 percent of the US population has been diagnosed with sinusitis, according to the CDC.

3. Surgery is the sole treatment for sinus problems.

There are many different treatments for sinus problems. In some cases, rest, hydration, decongestants, OTC pain medication, nasal sprays, and antibiotics are effective treatments for acute sinusitis. In other cases, allergy treatments, steroids, and alternative therapies can offer relief.

The type of treatment depends on the symptoms and their degree of severity. Your doctor will recommend the best treatment for your particular situation.

4. Chronic sinusitis surgery is invasive and requires extensive healing time.

Approximately 500,000 chronic sinusitis surgeries are performed in the United States every year, according to Knowable Magazine. And while patients seeking lasting relief from painful sinusitis had only one surgical option in the past, today’s patients have more choices, including innovative balloon sinuplasty. (On that note, sinuplasty and rhinoplasty, AKA a “nose job,” are not the same thing.)

One particularly revolutionary type of balloon sinuplasty? The Honrubia Technique, created by Dr. Vincent F. Honrubia of San Antonio’s American Sinus Institute. Involving less pain and minimal tissue removal, this procedure is more comfortable because it’s performed under anesthesia. The Honrubia Technique also supports a quicker recovery than traditional sinus surgery, and patients are spared unpleasant surgical side effects, such as swelling, black eyes, facial bruising, and a gauze-packed nose.

5. Sinus symptoms will eventually go away on their own.

While some sinus symptoms will resolve on their own, this means living with unnecessary pain and discomfort until they do. In rare cases, dangerous complications can result from untreated sinusitis, such as meningitis, bone infections, and brain abscesses. As such, seeing a doctor for sinusitis symptoms is imperative.

One last thing to keep in mind about sinus surgery? While it doesn’t mean you’ll never get sick again, it does mean your sinuses will drain more easily if you do. The result? Fewer, less severe symptoms in a shorter duration.

The key to optimizing your sinus health — and overall quality of life — ultimately relies on understanding your symptoms and the available treatment options. Book an appointment with the American Sinus Institute today to take a big step toward breathing easier.

Common Symptoms of Sinus Infections

learn the common symptoms of sinus infections

learn the common symptoms of sinus infections

When you wake up with sniffling, sneezing and other respiratory symptoms, it can be difficult to pin down the cause. Is this an allergy symptom, or is it caused by a cold? Or, could it be a sinus infection causing your problems? Knowing why you are dealing with these symptoms can help you find the right remedy, whether you need allergy medicine, pain relief or antibiotics. A few of the symptoms that can indicate a sinus infection:

Pain and Pressure

There are sinus cavities behind your nose, above your top teeth and behind your forehead. During a sinus infection, these areas are prone to inflammation. You can experience pain and pressure in any of your sinuses when you are dealing with sinusitis. A sinusitis headache is characterized by pain and pressure in the face and forehead. You may also see swelling or redness in the area.


When the tissue inside your sinuses becomes irritated and inflamed, it is harder for fluids to pass through the sinus passages. Congestion is the result. You may feel it as a heaviness in your head or as an inability to breathe freely through one or both nostrils.

Post Nasal Drip

Sometimes, your body will create extra mucus in order to wash away viruses or bacteria that are responsible for a sinus infection. However, when you are congested, you will often find that this contributes to post nasal drip.


If you have a cough, that’s a sure sign the problem is a cold or flu, right? Not necessarily. The post nasal drip associated with a sinus infection can irritate the delicate tissue in your throat, leading to a cough or a sore throat.

What to do about a sinus infection

A sinus infection can pass on its own within a few days. Staying hydrated and taking decongestants or allergy medicine can help ease symptoms. You may also get relief from congestion by using nasal irrigation tools like neti pots.

However, if you suffer from sinus infections frequently, you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis symptoms that last for four weeks or more are considered chronic. In some cases, these are caused by narrow or blocked passages in your sinuses. In cases when there are problems like these, fluids are less able to flow freely, contributing to breathing problems and more frequent sinus infections.

Medications can help reduce symptoms, they cannot offer a cure for sinus problems. However, many patients have experienced a reduction in sinus problems or complete relief after getting balloon sinuplasty. Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that helps open up sinus passages so you can breathe more freely. Most people experience relief right away and find that they are able to avoid frequent medication and life without sinusitis symptoms.

Do you suffer from frequent sinus infections? We can help. Contact us today, we can help find the root cause behind your sinus infections and create a plan of care to get you relief.

Are You Getting Sick Or Is It Just Allergies?

Woman with allergies

Sniffing, sneezing, aches and pains… do you always seem to develop these symptoms around the same time every year? While many people always assume that respiratory symptoms are the sign of a seasonal cold, there’s a chance it is allergy related instead. Many people have allergic reactions to plants that bloom at a certain time of year, for instance. Others may have mold allergies that flare up each year when weather conditions align perfectly for spores to grow. Understanding the source of your respiratory symptoms can help you get the right treatment so that you can breathe better and enjoy better health.

It Might Be a Cold If…

Colds are caused by exposure to viruses. Often, if you are getting sick right around the time others in your school or office are, this can point to the problem being a cold. You may also be suffering from a cold if you have general aches and pains throughout your body. Colds are sometimes accompanied by fevers, as well, while allergy attacks aren’t. A sore throat and a cough can sometimes be suffered by people who have allergies; however, these symptoms are far more common with colds.

Signs That It Might Be Allergies

Allergies are a reaction to irritants in your environment. Pollen, animal dander, mold, and dust are common triggers. If you suffer from respiratory symptoms after exposure to any of these, allergy reactions can be to blame.

Symptoms of allergies typically include sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose with clear fluid. You may also experience fatigue, and a stuffy nose, but these are also common cold symptoms.

If you find your symptoms improve when taking allergy medicine such as antihistamines, there is a good chance your problems are caused by allergies. Antihistamines block the production of histamine in your system, which interrupts the signals that bring on allergy symptoms.

The Best Ways to Deal with Colds and Allergies

The good news about the misery of a cold is that it does not last long. In most cases, you should feel better within 7 to 10 days. While you are still suffering, you can ameliorate symptoms by taking over the counter pain relievers and decongestants. Drink plenty of fluids and get rest while you recover. If a cold progresses into a sinus infection, treatment from your doctor may be needed.

Allergies, however, are an ongoing issue. They will occur each time you are exposed to the allergens that are causing you grief. Thankfully, there are many good allergy treatment options available today. Many people find relief with over the counter antihistamines. However, if you have severe or frequent allergies, it may make sense to seek a longer-term treatment such as allergy shots or allergy drops.

Many people find their allergy or cold symptoms are exacerbated by sinus issues. If you have narrow or blocked sinus passages, a procedure like balloon sinuplasty can help.

Here, at American Sinus Institute, we can diagnose the source of your symptoms and help you find relief. Get in touch today for a consultation.

Causes of Summer Sinus Infections

causes of summer sinus infection

Many people think of colds and respiratory infections and winter maladies. However, sinus infections and other respiratory problems can happen any time of year. For some people, summer brings together many factors that can make this the worst time of year for them. Do you find that you suffer sinus infections more frequently in the summer? These could be some of the causes.

Allergies and Sinus Infections

In some cases, sinus infections are a complication of summer allergies. This is a time of year when common allergens, such as grasses, are in bloom. Summer rain and humidity means that mold spores have time to grow and spread. Also, many people are just outdoors more often in the summer, which means they are more likely to be exposed to their allergens, whether they are pollen, outdoor mold and mildew or even dander from dogs at the park.
When you are exposed to seasonal allergens such as pollen, your sinuses may become inflamed. This inflammation, irritation and congestion mean it is harder for irritants and fluids to move through and out of your sinuses. The result can be a sinus infection.

If summer allergies are causing your symptoms, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce the incidence of allergy attacks. Some people are able to find relief with the use of over the counter antihistamines. Others find inhaled steroids can reduce inflammation and symptoms. For others, treatments like allergy shots or sublingual allergy drops or procedures like balloon sinuplasty can provide lasting relief without the need for daily medications.
Summer Heat and Humidity

Texas is known for its summer heat.

Hot weather can lead to dehydration. This dehydration can affect all tissue in the body; however, the delicate mucous membranes of your nasal passages and sinuses are especially vulnerable.
Sometimes, the ways we battle the heat can be the problem. Indoors, air conditioning cools the air, but it also dries it. This drying effect can also make the insides of your nose and sinuses drier, as well.

Inside the nose and sinuses, there are tiny hair-like structures known as cilia. These structures sweep excess mucus out of your nose and sinuses. However, they can’t do their jobs when hot conditions make mucus thicker and stickier. As a result, mucous can linger in the area, trapping bacteria and viruses that can lead to infections.
Work on staying well hydrated when you are outside in the Texas summer heat or inside in the air conditioning. Carrying a water bottle with you everywhere can help. Many people find they are more likely to drink water when they set an alarm on their phone to remind them. It also helps to limit outdoor activity to the cooler parts of the day.

If you find you suffer frequent sinus infections, advanced treatment may be needed. Balloon sinuplasty, for instance, can help permanently open up narrow sinus cavities and provide lasting relief from sinus issues. Looking for relief? Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Uncommon Causes of Sinus Infections

causes of sinus infections

If you suffer from frequent sinus infections, you are far from alone. Around 37 million people are struck with this condition every year. While the most obvious cause of sinus infections involve blockages in your sinus cavities, there are many unusual sinus infection causes that can linger underneath. Could any of the following be the cause of your sinus woes?

Swimming in Chlorinated Pools

Swimming as exercise is great for your health. However, spending a lot of time in chlorinated pools can make sinus infections more likely. The chlorine can irritate nasal passages, leading to inflammation and susceptibility to infection. This becomes even more likely when you dive into the water. The pressure can push chlorinated water deeper into your sinuses, irritating delicate tissue.

sinus infections swimming


People with diabetes typically have higher blood glucose levels. Those elevated levels can make it more likely that you will develop infections, particularly ones in the sinuses and other delicate areas.

These infections are not limited to the common viral and bacterial invasions that typically lead to sinus infections. People with diabetes can also develop oral yeast infections, which can spread to the nasal cavity. This unusual sinus infection type can sometimes be harder to detect and treat than more common infections.

Dry Air

Here in Texas, we rarely have to worry about a lack of humidity. However, if you spend a lot of time in air-conditioned buildings or fly regularly, dry air can be causing problems. When the air is too dry, it can dry out your sinuses and thicken mucus trapped in your nasal passages. When this happens, bacteria and viruses can get trapped, too, leading to infection.

Staying well-hydrated when you are indoors can help. Avoid caffeine and alcohol and drink plenty of water. You can also irrigate your sinuses with a neti pot or a saline nasal spray to cut down on dryness and irritation.

Nasal Sprays

Nasal spray decongestants can be a lifesaver when you are dealing with the pain of a sinus headache or infection. However, overusing this medication can wind up making sinus pressure and sinus infections more likely. When over the counter sinus sprays are used too much, your body becomes less sensitive to the medication. This can, in turn, lead to tissues becoming swollen again, which is known as rebound nasal congestion. As a result, fluids can become trapped, making infections more likely.

When a sinus infection causes pain and pressure, do not automatically reach for an over the counter spray. These sprays should be used sparingly so that they do not lead to rebound congestion.

nasal spray sinus infections

Issues with Your Anatomy

Some people have nasal abnormalities that make them more prone to sinus infections. These can include deviated septums that make it hard for your sinuses to drain properly. Other causes can include cleft palate, narrow sinus passages and even tumors.

No matter what is causing your sinus misery, balloon sinuplasty can help. The procedure helps open up your sinuses, making future sinus infections less likely. Are you suffering from frequent sinus infections? Give us a call today to learn whether balloon sinuplasty is for you.

Salt Water Rinse with Dr. Shah – American Sinus Institute

salt water rinse

Dr. Shah, of American Sinus Institute, explains the benefits of a salt water rinse and how to do one.

Video Transcript:

Dr. Anand Shah: Alright, Dr. Anand Shah here in San Antonio, Texas. I’m board certified in ear, nose, and throat. Just wanted to take a few minutes and talk about salt water rinses. This is a system that I like. So you can see comes with a bottle and it comes prepackaged with the mixture and you add distilled water. What’s important to consider is you put it on one side and you yourself will find your sweet spot, where you want to angle your head, a little bit of positive pressure which is one benefit of this system. Then the water should come out the other nostril because the nostrils are connected in the back. That way you just assure yourself of a nice flush, all the debris, all the particulate matter coming out of the nose.

Surviving Sinusitis with Pet Allergies

sinusitis pet allergies

You love spending time with your pet, but does it seem like it’s causing an allergic reaction? It can be difficult to live with pet allergies, especially when you love pets. You’re not alone. Approximately 31 million individuals experience sinusitis or sinus infection every year, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Of course, you don’t want to have to give up your beloved animal companions, but you also can’t stand to see anyone in your home suffering from sinusitis with pets. The trick is in seeing if you can find reliable relief for pet allergies before sinusitis forces you to part ways with the animal.

How to Handle Sinusitis Symptoms Caused by Pets

Whether you have recently welcomed a new pet into your home or have been putting up with pet allergy symptoms for some time now, getting relief for allergies is going to be a high priority. People who experience pet allergies while sinusitis symptoms are occurring would be right to wonder whether they can continue to live at home with animal companions.

Unlike seasonal allergies, where you experience sinusitis during periods when the plants are putting out their allergens, pet dander can provoke allergic reactions throughout the year, underscoring the importance of tackling pet allergies inside your home.

You options to address sinusitis from pet allergies include:

  • Antihistamines and corticosteroids can temporarily help to reduce inflammation in sinusitis provoked by pets. In some cases, patients may get allergy shots to address the problem.
  • Get a hypoallergenic cat or dog. This is for people who do not have an allergy-provoking pet now and who do not want to chance having an allergic reaction. However, you cannot guarantee that a so-called hypoallergenic animal will not provoke an allergic response in every person it encounters.
  • Use a saline wash (irrigate your nasal passages with a gentle solution) to eliminate the thickening and accumulating secretions.
  • Steam treatment will also help to irrigate your sinus passages. Try doing it at least 3 times a day when symptoms arise.
  • Install a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) air filtration system to be used with your home’s ventilation, air conditioning and heating equipment. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions about how often you should clean reusable filters or replace single-use filters and mark a reminder in your calendar for best results.

What to Do When These Remedies Don’t Help Your Sinusitis

If anyone in your family has been struggling with pet allergies that lead to painful sinusitis, consider coming in for treatment with balloon sinuplasty.

The American Sinus Institute specializes in balloon sinuplasty, offering sinus relief for patients in San Antonio and the greater Houston, Texas area. This procedure is safe and less invasive than traditional sinus surgery. It requires a doctor inflating a balloon inside your sinuses to correct the shape of the passages. To request an appointment, call us today.

10 Chronic Sinus Headache Symptoms

fever sinus headache

The symptoms of different kinds of headaches may overlap a lot, but the causes can be very different. If you’ve been having frequent pain in your head and face, you may be surprised to learn that the issue may be your sinuses. Figuring out the source of your pain can help you find lasting relief from your sinus headache.

What is a sinus headache?

Your sinuses are open structures inside your head that help humidify the air that you breathe and enhance your voice. These cavities are lined with soft, pink tissue that is known as mucosa. When inflammation or infection occurs in the mucosa, a sinus headache can result.

“Many people mistake sinus headache symptoms for migraines or even infected teeth,” says Dr. Shah. “Properly diagnosing the cause can help us find a lasting solution for you.”

Common Signs It’s Really a Sinus Headache

If you’ve been having repeated headaches, issues with your sinuses may be the cause. Look for these telltale signs that what you have is a sinus headache:

  1. Pain in your cheeks, forehead and brow
    A tension headache or migraine is typically felt around the back of your head. A sinus headache, by contrast, is felt mostly in the face.
  2. A stuffy nose
    Congestion is a frequent symptom of a sinus headache.
    stuffy nose sinus headache
  3. A runny nose
    If your sinus headache is associated with a bacterial or viral infection, a runny nose can result.
  4. Pain that gets worse when you bend down
    Bending adds pressure, which adds pain.
    pain sinus headache
  5. Aching in your upper teeth
    The lowest set of sinuses may be up against the roots of your upper teeth. If you know that you have healthy teeth, your sinuses are a more likely culprit for tooth pain.
  6. Fatigue
    Pain can put a lot of stress on your body. It may cause you to miss sleep or make you feel drained all on its own. Feelings of fatigue often result from sinus headaches.
    fatigue sinus headache
  7. Pain when you lie down
    Gravity can allow more pressure when you are in a lying position. You may find that pain is worse after lying down to sleep overnight. Try putting multiple pillows on the bed to elevate your head.
  8. Nausea
    If your headache is accompanied by postnasal drip, nausea can result. Taking a decongestant and being careful to spit out any mucus can help you avoid this symptom.
    nauseous sinus headache
  9. Swelling in your face
    The inflammation of sinusitis may be apparent in your face, particularly around your cheeks and your eyes. This swelling may become less severe when you take a decongestant or an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen.
  10. Fever
    If the cause of your sinus headache is a chronic sinus infection, your body may fight it off with a fever. You may also see discolored mucus. Any high fever or a fever that lasts more than a few days is a reason to consult with a doctor.
    fever sinus headache

Could the pain you’ve been experiencing be chronic sinus headaches? Balloon sinuplasty can solve sinus problems for good. Call today to make an appointment for a consultation.

Balloon Sinuplasty Solves Sinus Problems – SA Live KSAT

sinus problems relief

PA Katrina Zedan joins client Roland Navaira and his wife Alice on SA Live to talk about how resolving Roland’s sinus problems has changed his life.

Video Transcript:

Fiona: Welcome back to SA Live. Well, the cold front has moved in and brought those dreaded sinus diseases along with it. Joining me today is Katrina Ze- Zedan with the American Sinus Institute. Thank you so much for being here. What are some of the signs and symptoms of having sinus problems?

Katrina Zedan: Sinus pain, sinus pressure, frequent sinus infections. When medications fail to work …

Fiona: Yes.

Katrina Zedan: … patients end up in our office.

Fiona: (laughs) Because sometimes they don’t always work. You’re like …

Katrina Zedan: That’s right.

Fiona: “Oh, my goodness. I can’t take it anymore.” How is American Sinus helping those sinus problems to the curb?

Katrina Zedan: We do an evaluation on the patient. We do a CT scan, we fully examine them, and we look at to see if balloon sinuplasty would be the, the, the way to go.

Fiona: So what kind of results are people going to see after this procedure.

Katrina Zedan: Well, it’s great because we have patients here to tell us exactly how they feel. The great thing is is there are symptoms that people don’t associate with sinuses, like the trouble sleeping, the snoring that people get, or the headaches. People think it’s migraines, and they end up being sinus headaches, so we’re going to see wha-

Fiona: Yeah, you mentioned we have patients here today.

Katrina Zedan: Yes, exactly.

Fiona: And Mike is standing by with both of them.

Mike: Roland and Alice Navaira. By the way, married 52 years.

Alice: Yes.

Mike: That is absolutely wonderful. You were just a child, weren’t you? So, anyway, back to the topic at hand, you had the, the operation, the surgery, Roland, right?

Roland: I, I did.

Mike: What was it like before you had it?

Roland: Well, before I had a lot of congestion.

Mike: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Roland: Uh, a lot of sinus headaches, pressure …

Mike: Okay.

Roland: I snore like a bear at night.

Alice: That he did.

Mike: That he- Okay. No getting away from that one, is he? So …

Roland: No, I didn’t.

Mike: Okay, so …

Roland: And I probably won’t.

Mike: Now, after you had it and they took out all the packing and everything like that, did- was it an immediate just …

Roland: Oh, I could feel the difference immediately.

Mike: Okay.

Roland: I mean, um, I was breathing a lot easier, I no longer had the sinus pressure, I no longer had the headaches, or I- nil- I- I’m not- um, any longer had to get up in the morning and rush to the bedroom to blow my nose. That was …

Mike: Okay.

Roland: That was-

Mike: How did it change your life?

Alice: I could sleep better because I didn’t have to nudge him all night long because he was snoring. And I noticed that instantly. You know, I said, you know, a day later, I said, “You know what? I didn’t hear you snore today.”

Mike: And so, one of the other benefits, I would assume, because you slept better, you’re more rested and you said he- in a better mood basically, so …

Roland: Oh yeah.

Alice: Exactly, exactly.

Mike: Okay.

Alice: I could tell. In the morning the first thing he would do, run to the bathroom, blow his nose …

Mike: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alice: And then, all day long, you know, I could tell in his facial expressions that he just wasn’t feeling good. You know?

Mike: Okay.

Roland: It’s funny. I’m laughing because of the fact that she used to tell me in the morning when I wa- she heard me blow my nose, she says, “You’re going to blow your brains out.” (laughter)

Alice: Yes. He would. He doesn’t do that.

Roland: I feel something stuck in there, you know, so I got to get it out.

Mike: How- How did you- How long ago did you have the procedure?

Roland: I had mine back in January, I believe.

Mike: Okay. And then ever since then, it’s just been fantastic, right?

Roland: Oh. No more headaches.

Mike: And about how long was the recovery period?

Roland: For me was like about two or three weeks.

Mike: Okay.

Roland: But it was- I’m pretty good at [crosstalk 03:04].

Mike: And you’re, you’re a new person, basically, right?

Roland: Oh, yeah.

Mike: Okay. Are those results typical, Doctor?

Katrina Zedan: They are typical. Uh, we have many patients that think, like I said, they have migraines and they end up being sinus headaches. We have patients that are breathing better now.

Roland: Oh yeah.

Katrina Zedan: And like you said, when they’re sleeping better, you know, they wake up with more energy and they’re not so irritated or fatigued right, throughout the day.

Roland: Exactly.

Katrina Zedan: So it makes a big difference. But the big thing is the sinus pain, the pressure, and the infections that patients get, they no longer get. So again, when medicine fails to work, come see us. We’d be happy to, to help you live a lot better …

Roland: Oh, yeah.

Katrina Zedan: … than you are now. (chuckles)

Fiona: Roland, what would you tell to viewers who might be unsure or scared to make that appointment?

Roland: There’s nothing to be scared of. I mean, you know, just, if you’re having sinus problems, make the call. I did. I mean, and I’m glad I did, because, uh, I’ve- I’ve- I breath a lot easier now.

Fiona: And she’s so happy. (laughter)

Mike: And you’re …

Roland: Oh yeah. And a happy wife is a happy life. You know, like just what they say, so … (laughter)

Crowd: (cheers)

Mike: Another 52 years, so it’s worth it. So …

Roland: Yeah. All set for ten more.

Mike: Thank you both for being here.

Fiona: All right, Roland, thank you so much for telling your story. You too, thank you. For more information you can call 225-5666, that’s 225-5666. Or head to All right, coming up-

Suffering From Sinus Issues? A Neti Pot Can Provide Relief

sinus problem neti pot

Many people are interested in health solutions that do not rely on prescription or over-the-counter medications to bring them relief. If you are suffering from sinus infection with allergy symptoms and would like to try a natural solution, you may be interested in how to use a Neti pot to give you relief.

What Is a Neti Pot?

Developed by Ayurvedic medicine practioners in India, a Neti pot is typically made from ceramic or plastic and comes in the shape of a small pot you would use to serve tea. The term “Neti” in Sanskrit refers to “nasal cleansing,” according to a report from Dr. Axe.

Net Pot relief

How to Use a nasal irrigation devices Correctly

If you’re new to this form of sinus relief, chances are you are wondering how to use a Neti pot correctly.

Fill the pot with a cup of purified, sterile water and stir in solution powder. You can buy premixed packets at the store or make your own with a half-teaspoon of non-iodized salt and a pinch of baking soda.

Then lean your body forward while standing over a kitchen or bathroom sink and tilt your head to the side. Position the spout of the pot inside the nostril that is closer to the room’s ceiling.

Relax and breathe through your mouth as you pour the water into your nostril. Water will begin pouring out of the other nostril into the sink as you irrigate your nasal passages. After pouring half of the water into one nostril, shift to the other nostril.

Pure Water Is Essential for Healthy Use of a Neti Pot

Keep in mind the source of water before you put it in your Nettle Pot to relieve sinus symptoms. If the water coming from your tap contains bacteria, the disease-carrying microbes can lead to a dangerous or even fatal infection when poured directly into your sinuses.

Sterile water is required. You can use distilled water purchased from a store or water that has been filtered for disease-carrying organisms.Pure water neti pot

If using tap water, you must boil it and then let it cool to a comfortable temperature before you pour it into your nasal passages.

You must always clean the Nasal irrigation devices in between uses and let it dry in the air or with towels. If you purchase a dishwasher-safe Neti pot, then use your washer to keep it sterile.

You wouldn’t share your toothbrush with someone because of hygiene, and this applies in this case too. Each person in your home should have his or her own pot.

Need More Help?

While it would be great if using a Neti pot would take care of all your painful sinus issues, in some cases this form of treatment can be insufficient. You can find relief by undergoing a safe and gentle known as balloon sinuplasty.

Doctors have been using balloon sinuplasty in the United States since 2005 after the procedure gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration. It’s a minimally invasive method in which a doctor places a balloon into your sinus cavity. Then, the balloon inflates to change the structure of the cavity without the need of a surgeon’s knife.

If you would like to learn more about how balloon sinuplasty can improve your painful sinus condition or are ready to book an appointment for a consultation, connect with the American Sinus Institute today.

Did The Storm Stir Up Your Sinus Symptoms? – Houston Life on KPRC Click2Houston

Sinus problems after the hurricane balloon sinuplasty

Dr. Vincent Honrubia talks to Houston Life about how a storm stir up your sinus symptoms and the nonevasive procedure he recommends to fix them.

Video Transcript:

Derrick Shore – Here’s a live look outside from our Avenida-Houston cam; looking over Discovery Green folks. Welcome back to Houston Life. So, chronic sinus symptoms like headaches, facial pain and breathing problems can all affect your quality of life and unfortunately, the recent weather we’ve been having, maybe a hurricane or two could make those existing issues even worse.

Jennifer Broome – But there’s good news. There is a minimally invasive technology that could help put an end to your sinus pain. Dr. Vincent Honrubia with the American Sinus Institute is here with the details. Hi, Dr. Honrubia.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Hi! Thank you for having me.

Jennifer Broome – Okay let’s talk about this. Have you been noticing kind of an uptick in folks coming to see you since the storm and since our air quality has gotten so bad?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Yes, we have noticed that and also that this recent exposure to all this dirty water, people swimming out of restaurants, people moving around in the water. Put off their head under this water that has a lot of bacteria causing, lots of problems and a lot more complicated infections that people ordinarily wouldn’t be exposed to.

Derrick Shore – And in the beginning, I mean a lot of people didn’t really have a choice but to go through the water, I mean a lot of people were sort of recreating in the water. I don’t know if you saw those videos on YouTube of people like jumping in, waterskiing in it. But, some of those people may have residual issues as a result.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – That’s correct. You know just like people are getting these chronic skin infections and things like that, the sinuses are open cavities that aren’t supposed to be exposed to this type of bacteria. And one of the things we do with this procedures not only we open and clean the sinuses, but we also rinse the sinuses out.

Jennifer Broome – So talk a little bit about the procedure because this is designed to be minimally invasive, this isn’t to give you a bunch of downtime, later.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Correct. This is a procedure done in the office that takes about 20 to 25 minutes. It’s done with anesthesia, with an anesthesia provider there, using small balloon catheters to go into the sinuses open the sinuses through their natural opening, and at the same time rinse out the chronic infection that sits in the sinus.

Derrick Shore – So, when you say anesthesia, you’re not like totally out right? It’s not general anesthesia?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – It’s not general anesthesia. It’s IV sedation.

Derrick Shore – So you are awake during the process. We’re seeing some video actually behind you. So, as you mentioned that tiny little balloon flips up there.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Right, the tiny little balloon goes in. It then it opens the sinus by pushing away and creating space by compressing tissue in certain positions. And then after that’s done, we rinse it, clean the sinus out. So when you do have the procedure, this procedure in our office with the Honrubia technique, you are not conscious that you’re having the procedure so there’s no pain, no discomfort but people can return to work the next day. There’s no bleeding, there’s no bruising, there’s no indication you had a procedure done.

Jennifer Broome – How does somebody know, if what they’re going through it’s just kind of seasonal stuff, seasonal allergies or if they really do maybe need something like this?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Well, I think in the past before this incident, it was easy to tell because you’d be in a long-term situation where you’re chronically taking medications over and over. Now it’s gonna be very hard to tell especially if you didn’t have any sinus problems before and now you’re having a problem it’s gonna be hard to tell without having someone examine you, do a cat scan, study what’s going on if you really have some acute unusual bacteria, bacteria in your sinuses it’s hard to figure that out without professional advice.

Derrick Shore – And Dr. Honorubia, we’ve spoken you’ve been on the show before, but it’s interesting I’ve heard from your clients say I can’t believe I waited so long to do something like this, it made such a difference and I think many of us who maybe are a little adverse or averse rather, to having any sort of surgery done. This is an outpatient procedure, there’s no pain, you’ve done more than 3000 of these surgeries, so there’s really not a lot to worry about.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Right, not a lot to worry about. Covered by your insurance; not a lot to worry about. People turn to work very very soon after the procedure and we have a long track record of working well with the patients, getting good results, publishing our data. We’re very open about what we’re doing.

Derrick Shore – So instead of just continuing to live with the symptoms, people can go in, and actually we’re seeing some video right now of the office. I mean how much time would someone expect to pass until they’re breathing normally again?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – People come in with this procedure, you see them they’re getting the cat scan on the TV, but what they do is they come in, they get scanned they get examined, the procedure like I said it happens in the mornings, often patients go to work the following day, some patients have gone to work the same day. That’s depending on how bad they want to go to work, but like I said, it’s a minimally invasive, effective way of treating your sinusitis. Getting you off medications, cleaning your sinuses out, give you a peace of mind that you can do well and have good results with a very minimally invasive procedure.

Jennifer Broome – Do you hear from people that this really is life-changing for them, you know from that life of the Sudafed and the Advil and all of that to keep the pain and pressure down and now they can breathe again?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – I have patients that after they have the procedure they ask the nurse to lay them flat and they’ll breathe through their nose for the first time, laying flat and they’ll cry because I’ve never breathed through my nose laying flat, ever. Whenever I went to sleep, I was snoring, I couldn’t breathe. I’ve seen 250 pound men lay flat and start crying; I can breathe through my nose. So it is a very dramatic thing once your nose is open, you can breath better, less headaches, less drainage, less infections, better sleeping patterns.

Derrick Shore – You mentioned the headaches too, it’s not just about breathing. A lot of people have that pressure that leads to headaches, that really can distract you from your day and be debilitating.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – That’s correct. So people that have chronic facial pain, headaches, drainage, even ear symptoms, ear popping, you do balloons with the ears as well. So there’s a variety of symptoms that you may not think connect to your sinuses but they are. Smell issues, headaches, sleeping problems, ear popping, sore throat, clearing the throat, all those can be related to the sinusis.

Derrick Shore – All connected. You guys are doing something really cool. You’re donating $10 of every co-pay toward the Harvey Relief Fund right?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Right, so we try to give some relief to the citizens of Houston. We’re taking $10 of each co-pay from each patient a donate the Hurricane Relief Fund here locally in Houston.

Jennifer Broome – And this is so easy. If you want more information, you want to talk about if this is right for you, you want to schedule an appointment, all you have to do is call 713-balloon, 713-225-5666. You can also visit online. You guys have a really informative website online at So that was really, it’s really helpful.

Derrick Shore – Yeah! worth looking into, for sure. Because I know when I moved to Houston I suddenly started having these issues.

Jennifer Broome – It’s a different world here. Air quality’s not the best, we have all these allergens and now these people have been in their houses cleaning out mold and drywall of the last couple of weeks.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Mold is a big deal in the sinuses; it’s a big deal, it’s bad. Sinuses do not like mold

Derrick Shore – Dr. Honrubia, thank you so much for stopping by.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Thank you for having me.

Symptom Checker

Is A Sinus Infection Contagious?

American Sinus Institute is sinus infection contagious

Throughout the year, people across the United States are fighting off sinus infections. During allergy season especially, it seems as if they are contagious. However, the actual risks associated with spreading sinus infections are a little more complex than the typical cold or other illness. Here’s what you need to know.

Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

The answer is maybe. There are several different causes of sinus infections, but not all of them are infectious. For instance, sinus infections caused by allergies or narrow nasal passageways are caused by your personal biology and cannot be spread.

On the other hand, viral sinus infections may be spread, but not directly. The sinus infection itself is not the communicable part, but rather the virus, and even after the virus spreads, it may not present as a sinus infection in all those affected. So it’s hard to say that a sinus infection is truly transmissible on its own.

Is a Bacterial Sinus Infection?

A bacterial sinus infection is caused when mucus builds up in the sinus cavities and bacteria begin to grow. Since bacterial sinus infections generally happen as a result of some other mucus buildup, and the bacteria is largely contained within the sinus cavities. They are not considered contagious.

If I Have a Sinus Infection am I Contagious?

It is difficult to know if you are contagious or not if you have a sinus infection. Since the symptoms are mostly the same across all types of sinus infections, and there are no simple tests for determining the cause of the infection.

The best thing to do is visit a sinus specialist. They will be able to treat your symptoms and the underlying causes to prevent future infections. They may also be able to tell you how your infection was caused and if you are at risk of infecting others.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institute has locations in Houston and San Antonio to help you ward off sinus infections. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and we will go over your symptoms to determine the best possible treatment path for you.

Is Chronic Sinusitis Hereditary?

American Sinus Institute sinus hereditary

Before you blame your parents for your chronic sinusitis, you may want to reconsider. The causes of sinusitis vary greatly by individual, and while there are a handful of indicators that may correlate with sinusitis, it has yet to be proven that sinus problems are hereditary.

What Causes Sinusitis?

In general, chronic sinusitis causes include things like allergies to fungus or mold and unexpected blockages of the sinus passages. In addition, a deviated septum caused by past nose injuries is one of the most common causes of sinusitis.

As it turns out, these things have little to do with genes at all, and more to do with your lifestyle and history. Even people with narrow sinuses can’t attribute their sinus infections to heredity alone. It turns out that nearly 10 percent of people have an extra sinus cavity that gets in the way of other sinus passages.

Aside from these anatomical reasons for sinus infections, many smokers and people who work around young children are especially susceptible to sinus problems. Certain diets and medications may also be at fault. Finally, air pollution and pet dander in the home are also known culprits to be aware of.

Sinusitis Treatment

No matter what the cause of your chronic sinus problems is, the American Sinus Institute offers a variety of treatment options. In most cases, a procedure called balloon sinuplasty can be used to open sinus passages and encourage drainage of the sinus cavities.

Balloon sinuplasty is a long-lasting procedure that will relieve even the most serious chronic infections. It is a minimally invasive procedure that involves compacting sinus tissues rather than removing them, so you do not have to undergo surgery to achieve results.

American Sinus Institute

To learn more about balloon sinuplasty at the American Sinus Institute, call our Houston or San Antonio location today to schedule your consultation. You can also take our handy Sinus Symptom Checker quiz to determine how serious your sinusitis really is, and if it’s time to take action to breathe easier in the future.

If chronic sinusitis has become a permanent problem for you, the American Sinus Institute can help today.

The Most Common Types Of Sinus Inflammation

types of sinus problems

Did you know that not all sinus infections are alike? Even people who have struggled with recurring sinus infections may find that they are caused by any of a variety of sinus irritants. When it comes to diagnosing different types of sinus infections and sinusitis, you need the help of a professional to determine why your sinuses are infected and how to stop it from happening.

Types of Sinus Infections

First of all, it is important to know that not all cases of sinusitis are indicative of a sinus infection. While the two share many similar symptoms, they are not exactly the same. Sinus infection types include:

  • Acute Sinus Infections: Typically lasting one to two weeks, but sometimes lingering as long as four weeks, acute sinus infections are characterized by rapid onset. However, once they are gone, the patient does not continue to experience symptoms. These are usually caused by bacteria entering the sinuses.
  • Subacute Sinus Infections: Generally last between one and three months, but also do not show any signs of ongoing symptoms once the infection has passed.
  • Chronic Sinus Infections: Any sinus infection lasting more than three months, which may get better or worse from time to time. However, patients report ongoing symptoms in between flare-ups.

Types of Sinusitis

In addition to the above classifications, sinusitis may be categorized by the type of infection and inflammation experienced:

  • Recurrent Sinusitis: Refers to anyone who suffers more than four sinus infections per year. This is often seen among acute sinus infection patients who go several months without any symptoms between month-long bouts of infection.
  • Infected Sinusitis: Usually caused by a viral infection, which may be treated using medications. However, if the treatment course does not fully eliminate the virus, the situation may worsen over time. In addition, certain fungal infections fall into this category.
  • Non-Infectious Sinusitis: This is caused by environmental factors such as smoking, pollen, pet dander or poor air quality. Since it is not caused by any particular virus or bacteria, it cannot be treated easily with medication.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institutes in Houston and San Antonio are equipped to diagnose and treat any of the above sinus infections ranging from acute episodes to chronic cases. You can make an appointment with your Houston sinus doctor today, or contact our sinus doctors in San Antonio to learn more about treatment options.

Chronic Sinusitis Treatments – Which One Is Right For Me?

American Sinus Institute Women with sinus problems

Chronic sinusitis can be treated with a variety of different methods. Most doctors start with corticosteroids and antibiotics to relieve the symptoms before they move to more extreme measures. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about chronic sinusitis treatments, and how to choose the treatment that’s right for you.

Antibiotics and Corticosteroids

Sinus infections can be caused by both viruses and bacterial infections. If your sinus infection is caused by bacteria, it may be treated effectively with antibiotics. However, most people experience viral infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics. In this case, corticosteroid nasal sprays can be used to reduce the swelling of the nasal passages and loosen up mucus. Corticosteroids can also be taken orally or injected directly into the sinuses for more stubborn cases.


A large number of people suffering from chronic sinusitis associate their symptoms with allergies. Immunotherapy is a series of allergy shots given to the patient that increase the body’s ability to fight off allergens without reacting, and is another common chronic sinusitis treatment. Immunotherapy is an ongoing treatment method that will require weekly or monthly shots for most patients.

Traditional Sinus Surgery

When simpler chronic sinus infection treatment options aren’t getting the job done, doctors turn to surgery to remove sinus tissue and open up sinus passages. During this process, small slivers of sinus tissue are removed, and the sinuses are flushed with a saline solution. This is an invasive procedure and does require some recovery time.

Balloon Sinuplasty

A more modern approach to sinuplasty is the balloon sinuplasty method. This procedure uses a tiny balloon that is inserted through the nasal cavity into the sinuses. The balloon is inflated gradually and pushes sinus tissue out of the way, compacting it. This is a minimally invasive procedure with few risks and requires far less recovery time than traditional surgery. There is no cutting involved and you will feel immediate relief. Additionally, the results are proven to last long-term so you will continue to benefit from the procedure for years.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institute offers a wide range of sinus treatment options for our patients. To schedule your consultation or learn more about balloon sinuplasty options, contact us today. We would be happy to discuss all of our treatment options and determine which one is right for you.

Five Things Those Who Suffer From Sinusitis Can Try At Home

American Sinus Institute Sinusitis Graph

For many sinusitis sufferers, the swelling and congestion they feel is accompanied by cold symptoms, headaches, and sometimes even nausea and vomiting. Chronic sufferers also know that anything can set off their bouts of uncomfortable sinus congestion and irritation. For most, it’s not simply seasonal, but can be triggered by sensitivity to cold air – be it winter temperatures or excessive air conditioning, certain chemicals and fragrances, and organic allergies to pets, dust mites, and pollen.

Sinusitis, by definition, is a swelling, or inflammation, of the mucous membranes which line the sinuses. Irritation can come from many sources, among them, seasonal allergies, hay fever, cold, and even the overuse of over-the-counter medicated nasal sprays. In rare cases, the patient may have a condition known as nasal polyps, which are small growths and can prevent air flow through the nasal and sinus cavities.


The most common symptom of sinusitis is a feeling of pressure in and around the nose, forehead, eyes, and sometimes the ears. Your upper and lower jaw, and even your teeth, will be painful in some cases. Many a dentist has referred a patient to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist because of what the patient believed to be a toothache.

When the air passages are irritated, they will produce a mucous fluid. This increases the risk of infectious sinusitis. The fluid-filled sinuses become the perfect breeding ground for viruses, along with fungus-borne infections and bacteria.

When this happens you may experience several different symptoms. From a cold, to fever and chills, a dark, thick mucous discharge and increased pain and pressure can all accompany a sinus infection. Left untreated, your sinus infection can spread to surrounding areas, such as eye sockets, and facial bones, even more serious conditions, which could land you in the hospital.

Treating Inflamed Sinuses at Home

  • Like magic, grandma’s soup seemed to make everything better. For those with sinusitis, drinking hot liquids of any kind is beneficial. The warmth makes the cilia, or tiny hairs, inside your mucous membranes work to move the congestion, causing your nose to run. The warmth moistens, soothing dry sinuses, and soup – especially grandma’s homemade soup – is good for you! Of course, if soup isn’t possible, try some calming herbal tea.
  • Breathe in the aroma as you sip, and you’ll be feeling better before you finish the cup.
  • Irrigate your sinuses. It’s become extremely popular lately to utilize nasal lavage to prevent, or inhibit, sinusitis. Try an over-the-counter nasal saline-only spray. To get the effect of a nasal lavage, set the bottle of spray in warm water before using it.
  • A warm compress to the face can bring instant relief to those who suffer from sinus pain. Take a towel and soak it in warm water, wring it and apply to your face for 5 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. Try adding a drop of eucalyptus essential oil to the water. The warmth makes your cilia move out the mucous, and the eucalyptus gives a nasal-clearing fresh scent.
  • Taking a steamy shower will also move the cilia around and loosen your congestion. Again, a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a washcloth in the shower, will add a higher degree of comfort to the experience.
    Hot and spicy food for medicinal purposes. Bring home some Thai food, spread extra wasabi on your California roll, or slather some horseradish on your corned beef. Not only will your sinuses begin to unclog, but spicy food is delicious!

Finally, for those plagued by chronic sinusitis and dreading the next occurrence, contact the American Sinus Institute to inquire about a Balloon Sinuplasty procedure. Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe and effective procedure to clear the sinuses. You’ll find instant relief from the uncomfortable effects of sinusitis, and experience life to the fullest, once again.

Contact us for additional questions or request a consultation.

Symptoms Of Sinusitis

American Sinus Institute sinusitis symptoms

Certain injuries and health conditions are well known for causing considerable pain. While some people may think that sinus issues are only mildly uncomfortable, the truth is that sinusitis is a common ailment that can be extremely painful for some. Let’s look at what sinusitis is and its common symptoms.

What is Sinusitis and what are sinusitis symptoms?

Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, also often called a “sinus infection.” Sinusitis can occur on its own or in response to allergies, but it often happens after a cold that just doesn’t seem to go away. Inflamed sinuses make it difficult to breathe through the nose and can even cause facial pain. When the sinus tissues are inflamed, it is difficult for mucus to drain normally.

Sinus Pressure and Congestion

Sinus pressure and congestion are among the most common symptoms of sinusitis. However, these symptoms can also make it difficult to tell when sinus issues have turned from a cold-related nuisance to a full-blown infection because many common colds also include sinus pressure and congestion. Inhaling may feel sharp and painful. If the pressure and congestion are a bit worse than normal, and they seem to linger more than usual, it could be a sign of an infection.

Facial Pain

Sinusitis often comes with facial pain. The swelling of the sinuses presses down on nerves in the face, which causes the pain and sensitivity. This discomfort can radiate to the entire face, but occurs most frequently behind and around the eyes, in the forehead, nose and cheeks. Similarly, even the teeth can feel more sore and sensitive. Inflamed sinuses make it feel like the entire face is swollen.

Sinus Headache

Another very common symptom of inflamed sinuses is a sinus headache. Unlike a tension headache, which can usually be relieved with relaxation techniques and an analgesic like acetaminophen, it can be very difficult to get relief from a sinus headache. Some may be inclined to take a decongestant, which would also have the potential benefit of alleviating the stuffy nose and trouble breathing, but it can often backfire and make a sinus headache worse. A helpful hint: added moisture in the air, such as from a vaporizer, is more likely to relieve a sinus headache than a decongestant.

Loss of Smell or Taste

A distinguishing factor between a garden-variety cold and sinusitis is that the loss of the senses of taste or smell rarely happens with a cold, but is more likely to happen with inflamed sinuses.

Effects of Sinus Drainage

Inflamed sinuses also cause increased sinus drainage. This can cause bad breath, especially if using decongestants, which cause dry mouth. Sinus drainage also causes a sore throat that feels raw and scratchy. This may also be caused by post-nasal drip. The sinus drainage may also cause a cough. In addition, the mucus associated with sinusitis is often yellow and/or green.


A feeling of general fatigue is another common symptom when the sinuses are inflamed. The fatigue is likely due to the efforts the body is taking to fight off the infection taking place in the sinuses.

American Sinus Institute

Sinusitis comes in several stages, including the acute stage that lasts up to four weeks and usually occurs after a cold. Sub-acute cases can last up to 12 weeks without significant relief. Treatment options for both acute and sub-acute stages may be supportive, such as use of decongestants, pain relievers, saline nasal sprays and vaporizers. Depending on the severity of symptoms, patients may also be prescribed antibiotics.

Some may deal with chronic sinus inflammation, which lingers for more than 12 weeks and can last for months, and an unlucky few deal with several times a year. In these lingering or recurring cases, the doctor may consider more serious interventions such as balloon sinuplasty.

At the American Sinus Institute, we are experts in treating sinusitis. If you are experiencing regular symptoms like those listed above, please know that we can help provide relief up to and including balloon sinuplasty.  Contact us for more information.