Category: Sinuses

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.

How to Deal with Chronic Sinusitis

Male suffering from chronic sinusitis.

Your sinuses are cavities above and below your nasal passages. When these become inflamed and swollen, the condition is known as sinusitis. Symptoms can include constant congestion, frequently suffering a sinus infection, headache and others. Sinusitis is considered chronic when these symptoms persist for twelve weeks or more and resist treatment.

Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms

There are four major symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis. These include:

  • Nasal congestion or obstruction, which make it difficult to breath through your nose.
  • Pain and tenderness around your nose, forehead, cheeks and eyes. You may also see swelling in the area.
  • Thick, discolored nasal discharge and postnasal drip.
  • Reduced sense of smell or taste.

Two of these four primary signs must be present for a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis. Other symptoms that can accompany these include sore throat, ear pain, nausea, bad breath, fatigue, irritability, a cough and pain in your teeth or upper jaw.

Home Treatment for Sinusitis

When you are experiencing sinus pain, pressure or other sinusitis symptoms, you may be able to find some relief through remedies at home.

Nasal irrigation or a neti pot can help rinse away irritants that are making your sinusitis worse. A saline solution can help draw out water from inflamed tissue, leading to a reduction in inflammation. Over the counter pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can reduce the pain or swelling that are associated with an attack of sinusitis. Decongestants can help ease pressure and make it easier to breathe.

The Houston area’s climate means that allergens are present year-round.If your sinusitis is allergy-related, OTC antihistamines can help. Your doctor may also recommend avoiding allergy triggers to avoid a sinusitis attack. For instance, if you are allergic to pollen, staying inside during high pollen-count days can help.

Some people find that they get relief by applying warm compresses to the face. A warm, damp towel can be applied for up to fifteen minutes at a time. Drinking plenty of fluids can help prevent dehydration and speed healing.

When to See a Doctor about Sinusitis

If you have been having sinus symptoms for four weeks or more without relief, your doctor can help you identify the root cause and help you find lasting relief.

Your doctor may prescribe medications that will help prevent chronic symptoms. For instance, inhaled steroids can prevent and treat inflammation. If your sinusitis is allergy-related, a daily antihistamine can help. Allergy shots or drops can help reduce your susceptibility to allergens over time, allowing you to experience fewer symptoms.

In some cases, narrow or blocked sinuses are the source of frequent bouts of sinusitis. Treatments that include balloon sinuplasty can help identify blockages and obstructions and safely enlarge sinus cavities for lasting relief.

It’s important to schedule an appointment right away if you are experiencing symptoms that include a high fever, a severe headache, swelling or redness around your eyes or double vision. These can all be signs of a serious infection.

Struggling with chronic sinusitis symptoms? You don’t have to live with the pain. Make an appointment with American Sinus Institute today to learn about your sinus care options.

3 Aches and Pains Related to Undiagnosed Sinus Problems

woman having a headache

Sometimes, symptoms do not have a clear and intuitive cause. Many of the aches and pains you are suffering may not be “just a spring cold” or some other passing malady. They may, instead, be a sign of ongoing, undiagnosed sinus problems. Are you dealing with any of the following? Your sinuses may be to blame:

1. Toothaches.

There are a pair of sinuses that runs low in your cheeks, right above the roots of your upper teeth. When these sinuses are inflamed or infected, the pain can transfer into your teeth. If you have gone to the dentist for tooth pain, but been told that your teeth and gums are healthy, talk to a doctor about the possibility of chronic sinus problems instead.

2. A sore throat.

Sinus infections often are associated with post nasal drip. This, in turn, can lead to irritation of the tissue in your throat. A sore throat may be a sign of an infection in that area. However, it may also be a sign that you have an infection or other issue in your sinuses, instead. Reliving the issues that cause your sinus problems and post nasal drip can help you find relief from symptoms like sore throat, a hoarse voice and a persistent cough.

3. An ear ache.

Pain inside the ear canal can also be a sign that you are having problems with your sinuses. While ear infections are common in children, they are actually quite rare in adults. Instead, the pain in your ears could be caused by pressure in your sinuses. When sinuses are inflamed, it can lead to higher pressure elsewhere in your head. One way to tell if your ear pain is sinus related is to take a decongestant. If the pain abates temporarily, there is a good chance that your ear pain originates in your sinuses.

Getting Sinus Issues Diagnosed

If there is a chance that your sinuses are causing your aches and pains, the first step is a proper diagnosis. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and make recommendations based on what they find. By learning the cause, an effective course of treatment becomes possible.

Finding Relief from Sinus Issues

Once your sinus issues have been correctly diagnosed, your doctor will work with you to find the right course of treatment. Identifying your personal sinus infection causes can help you avoid them in the future. For instance, if your sinus infections are the result of allergies, tackling allergies head on can help. Solutions include antihistamines, allergy shots and sublingual allergy drops.

In some cases, physical irregularities in your sinuses can cause sinus problems. For these, balloon sinuplasty can be an effective treatment. Balloon sinuplasty helps open up narrow passages, reducing congestion and inflammation.
The first step to finding relief is finding the root causes of your problems. We can help. Our doctors have years of experience finding causes of and solutions to sinus pain. Book an appointment today.

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

Diabetes

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.

What to Do if You Have a Sinus Headache

sinus headache

No headache is fun, but sinus headaches can be especially unpleasant and debilitating. The pain from a sinus headache can affect not only the top of your head but can also be felt through your face and sometimes into your teeth. They are caused by irritation inside your sinus cavities. Knowing how to treat a sinus headache can help you get past the misery quicker and get back to your day. Next time you are experiencing sinus pain, check out one of the sinus headache remedies below:

Decongestants

Relieving sinus pressure can be a big part of how to treat a sinus headache. Over the counter pill or sprays can open up passageways and relieve pain-causing pressure. If you use an over the counter spray, make sure that you do not use it for more than three days in a row. More than that, and you can wind up with rebound sinus pressure. Decongestant pills should be taken at the first signs of sinus pressure to be most effective.

Neti Pots and Sinus Irrigation

A neti pot or saline nasal spray relieve pressure and pain and can also wash out irritants like pollen. The salt in these nasal solutions pulls fluid through mucus membranes by osmosis. The result is less inflammation and less pain. Always use distilled water and pure salt when making your own neti pot solution. There are recipes online for the right process and salt concentrations; you can also buy neti pot salts at your local pharmacy.

Pain Relieving Medicine

Aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also offer relief from a sinus headache. Which you choose comes down to personal preference. The first two are NSAIDs, so they provide both pain relief and anti-inflammatory action. Acetaminophen affects how pain is processed in your brain, which can give relief to people who find they are not helped by NSAIDs or who are not able to take them for health reasons. If you turn to over the counter medications, particularly multi-symptom drugs, read labels carefully. Cold medicines, for instance, may also contain pain relievers. Taking an additional dose separately can lead to levels of the medication that are too high for safety.

Corticosteroid Sprays

These sprays are available over the counter or through a prescription from your doctor. Instead of taking them when symptoms hit, you take these medications daily to prevent sinus and allergy issues. If you suffer from sinus headaches regularly, this approach can provide the relief that you need.

Hot and Cold Compresses

Some people find relief from sinus pain through the application of damp cold and heat. A hot washcloth over your eyes and nose can help loosen up sinus mucus and relieve congestion. A cold compress, on the other hand, can help relieve inflammation and numb pain. Use each treatment for a few minutes at a time a few times a day.

Occasional sinus headaches can typically be handled at home. However, if you suffer sinus headaches frequently, it may be time to look at medical help. We can discuss your options and help you arrive at one that will provide lasting relief from sinus pain. Call us today!

How Changes in Weather Affects Sinuses

weather affects sinuses

Can you predict the weather by how your sinuses feel? People who suffer from sinus issues, especially those with chronic conditions, can sometimes detect changes in weather patterns before the rest of us can read the latest forecast. “Changes in barometric pressure cause pain for people who suffer from sinusitis,” noted a CNN report. Early awareness of shifts in the weather is not much of a reward for the pain and discomfort you experience because of irritated sinuses, though.

People who experience nasal congestion for lengthy periods because of nonallergic rhinitis can wind up getting a full-fledged case of sinusitis. When the membrane lining the sinuses gets infected or becomes inflamed, the result is painful sinusitis. People who regularly have sinusitis risk lowering productivity at work or at school, sometimes having to take time away from their duties to seek medical intervention.

Understanding How Weather Affects Sinuses

You probably know first-hand how weather affects sinuses. Researches have discovered that “temperature or humidity changes can trigger the membranes inside your nose to swell and cause a runny or stuffy nose,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Nonallergic rhinitis, that is, rhinitis that is not triggered by an allergen such as pollen, can flare up without warning when the weather patterns are unpredictable.

Those who suffer from rhinitis may not understand why it is happening, because “unlike allergic rhinitis, nonallergic rhinitis can be brought on by sudden changes in temperature and humidity,” according to WebMD. “People with nonallergic rhinitis would test negative for any specific allergies.” So if your primary care provider gave you allergy tests and couldn’t detect the cause, there is a likelihood that weather changes are the culprit in your case, leading to inflamed and irritated sinuses.

One reason people confuse allergic rhinitis with rhinitis linked to weather changes is that the two conditions tend to happen annually during roughly the same period. But patients who are unaware of the different causes can wind up wasting money and time using over-the-counter antihistamines, wondering why they are not getting any relief.

Is Your Current Treatment Plan Working?

If the methods you use to combat painful sinus changes have not proven fruitful, it’s time to reevaluate your approach. For example, the Mayo Clinic reminds sinusitis sufferers to avoid overusing nasal decongestants, since taking them for more than a few days in a row can wind up exacerbating your symptoms. It’s best to visit a doctor to find a better solution for your particular situation.

Help For People Bothered By Sinus Problems From the Weather

Tired of putting up with the pain that comes with your sinuses during fluctuating weather patterns? If your methods to treat the discomfort aren’t doing the job, you should know that for many patients, balloon sinuplasty may be just what you’ve been looking for.

This FDA-approved and minimally invasive procedure involves a surgeon inserting a balloon into the patient’s nasal cavities. Inflating the balloon actually causes it to reshape the nasal passages quite gently to deliver much-needed relief. If you would like to find out more about balloon sinuplasty or arrange an appointment, please connect with the American Sinus Institute today.

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.

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.

Does stress cause Sinus Problems?

As if having sinus problems wasn’t a big enough problem in itself, many patients report that stress causes sinus problems.

If you’re the sort of person who avoids taking drugs because of the potential for addiction, natural methods can help reduce your stress, as well as reduce your sinus pain.

Here are a few proven natural anti-stress techniques and ways to treat symptoms that you can start trying today.

Exercise

There are a variety of stress causes affecting people these days, from problems at work, school or at home. For many individuals, the best way to promote relaxation is through regular exercise. If you’ve been sedentary lately, it’s prudent to start out slowly and to consult with your primary care provider to make sure what exercise level is best for you to start at.

Begin with regular walks, preferably outdoors where you can benefit from fresh air and sunshine. But if the weather is bad, you can always go to the mall for a brisk walk. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “just 30 minutes per day of walking can help boost your mood and reduce stress.”

Natural Remedies

Regardless of the stress causes that are currently plaguing you, rest assured that there are some natural remedies that have proven successful for others in the past.

For example, you can try using steam. A heated humidifier will spread clouds of steam to naturally relieve sinus problems. You can also stay in a closed bathroom to inhale steam while taking a shower.

Essential oils such as eucalyptus oil to lower inflammation and peppermint to clear blockages are other time-honored methods to bring relief. Patients also cite the use of a neti pot to irrigate their tissues as bringing them success, as does the use of warm washcloths applied periodically to the face to open and clear sinus passages.

Make Sure to Get Proper Rest

Sleep deprivation can take a toll on your physical health. Lack of restorative sleep will stress you out, so follow a schedule to make sure that you hit the sack with plenty of time before the alarm sounds in the morning.

Set Goals to Focus Your Energy

Instead of feeling overwhelmed by all the tasks you must accomplish, you can gain greater control over your time and things to do by making a list of goals, ordered by their priority. As you check off each item on the list, you will gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment to reduce your level of stress.

When natural remedies for stress fail to provide you with the relief you need for your sinus pain, there’s no need to fret. As an alternative, you can take advantage of a minimally invasive method, balloon sinuplasty. A doctor simply inserts a balloon into the patient’s sinus cavity. As the balloon is inflated, it actually adjusts the structure of the nasal cavity to make breathing easier, without the patient needing to be cut open with a knife.

To learn more about using balloon sinuplasty to alleviate sinus pain or to set up an appointment, please contact the American Sinus Institute today.

How to Avoid Sinus Pressure When Traveling by Airplane  

comfortable-traveling-by-airplane-no-sinus-pressure

What could be worse than sitting next to a crying baby during your flight? If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having sinus pressure when traveling, you know how uncomfortable and even painful the experience can be. In fact, when travelers have severe symptoms, they sometimes postpone the trip until things clear up because it would be excruciating to fly in a pressurized cabin with severe congestion and swelling.

Whether your next airplane trip is for business or pleasure, here are a couple of methods you can use travel and breathe freely:

Things You Can Try at Home to Relieve Sinus Pressure When Traveling

A time-honored method to relieve sinus pressure is to drink a hot steaming bowl of soup, especially when the recipe comes from your grandmother’s kitchen. When soup is impractical, you can benefit from other hot liquids, such as a cup of herbal tea.

The rising steam from the cup and the warming liquid you drink help to stimulate the cilia in your mucus membranes to reduce congestion.

Some passengers find relief for their sinus problems by visiting an acupuncturist, an approach noted by a report from the U.S. government’s PubMed Health on treating chronic sinusitis.

Place a warm compress on your face. All you need to do is soak a towel in warm water, then squeeze out excess moisture and apply it to your face for about 5 minutes at a time.

Eat spicy food. This is a quick and easy way to unclog your painful sinus passages.

Just Prior to Boarding the Plane

Nasal decongestants, whether over-the-counter or prescribed by your physician can help reduce sinus issues while traveling by airplane, noted the Centers for Disease Control’s report on travelers’ health and air travel.

Of course, you must make sure that decongestants are not contraindicated when taking any other medications or herbal supplements. The CDC also pointed out that patients can resort to pain-relieving drugs as well as anti-inflammatory medications when sinus pain would otherwise be hard to bear.

Remember to drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids while in flight, as hydration is key for avoiding irritation to the nasal passages.

If you’ve tried various remedies at home and on the plane only to be frustrated because they didn’t solve your painful sinus pressure when traveling, you’ll be glad to know that balloon sinuplasty, a relatively new method that has been approved by the FDA since 2005, is another option to relieve these symptoms. Balloon sinuplasty, a procedure available at the American Sinus Institute, involves a medical professional placing a small balloon into your sinus cavity. The balloon is then inflated to gently adjust the structure of your nasal passages.

To learn more about balloon sinuplasty benefits about this procedure or to set up an appointment, please connect with American Sinus Institute before you plan your next trip.

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 americansinus.com. 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 using a Neti pot.

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 Neti Pot 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 Neti pot 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 Neti 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 Neti 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 Neti pot 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 to Neti pots too. Each person in your home should have his or her own Neti 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.

Discover: Post Nasal Drip Relief

post nasal drip relief

Many allergy sufferers rate post nasal drip as their most irritating symptom. It can show up during even mild allergy attacks. If you are out in public, it can mean hours of discreet nose blowing or choking down the urge to cough and clear your throat. Post nasal drip often seems to hit at the most inopportune times. Learning more about this symptom can help you find post nasal drip relief.

What are the symptoms of post nasal drip?

While post nasal drip is, itself, a symptom of a sinus or respiratory problem, it can cause a number of secondary symptoms to appear. Coughing is common as mucus drips from your nasal cavity and sinuses down into your throat. A sore throat is common because of the irritation that this causes. Many people will develop bad breath. You may also suffer nausea from the swallowed mucus.

Post nasal drip is quite often also accompanied by a feeling of congest or a runny or stuffy nose. If symptoms are severe or frequent enough for concern, come in for a consultation.

What causes post nasal drip?

Your body produces quantities of nasal mucus every day. If you are having an allergy attack or are suffering from a cold, increased mucus production is designed to flush out irritants or viral or bacterial invaders. However, if these maladies are also causing congestion, mucus has nowhere to go but back into your head where it drips down into your throat.

While commonly a symptom of allergies, post nasal drip can also have other causes, too. As mentioned, some people experience it when they are suffering from a cold or the flu. Doctor Shah elaborates that, in other cases, post nasal drip can be a result of gastric reflux. He says, “reflux allows stomach acids to irritate the mucus membrane at the back of your throat. Dairy products can cause congestion in some individuals, resulting in symptoms when milk, cheese, yogurt or other dairy products are consumed.”

How long does post nasal drip last?

In most cases, this symptom is temporary. People who have allergies, for instance, may find that it abates after they’ve taken an antihistamine or have found a respite from their allergy triggers. If it’s the result of a cold, flu or a sinus infection, it will often go away when you begin healing.

However, if you have not yet identified the cause of your post nasal drip, you may find that they are persistent. They may linger for days on end and make it hard to get adequate sleep each night.

What can you do about post nasal drip?

Often, taking a decongestant can get mucus flowing again and allow your body to flush it properly. Medication that relieves underlying causes like GERD can also give you relief. In other cases, chronic sinusitis, however, may require a greater degree of treatment than you can get at home.

We believe you can have post nasal drip relief. Get in touch today to learn how we can make post nasal drip a thing of the past.

Black Mold Risks Are Rising in Houston

Black Mold Risks Are Rising in Houston

Houston’s high humidity levels make for a constant battle against mold and mildew. If you have a mold allergy, it can often mean living with persistent symptoms that include runny nose, headaches, itchy and watery eyes and a hoarse cough. The recent hurricane and resulting flooding and debris can make black mold in Houston worse than ever. To help affected citizens cope with the damage, American Sinus Institute is donating $10 from every copay to the Mayor’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund in Houston through the month of October.

Why Has Hurricane Harvey Made Mold Worse?

Mold spores are constantly present. You can’t see them, but they float on the air and land on surfaces waiting for the chance to develop. After a hurricane like Harvey, flooded and damp areas make the perfect mold hosts. FEMA says that mold can begin developing as little as 24 hours after water exposure. In the wake of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, investigators found that almost half of the homes that were damaged by floodwaters contained mold after the storm.

What Is Black Mold?

Mold comes in many colors. Most people are allergic to mold do not specifically have a black mold allergy. Rather, they are allergic to any of many kinds and can experience allergic symptoms when exposed.

In the 1990s, the CDC explored the possibility that specific molds such as Strachybotrus chartarum were connected to certain severe respiratory disorders. While their studies showed that there was no connection, the “toxic mold” misnomer stuck.

The truth is that many types of mold you encounter inside homes or businesses can cause allergy symptoms and can aggravate conditions such as asthma. These reactions can be found even in people who do not exhibit other respiratory conditions or nasal allergies. Mold exposure, whether it is black mold or another type, can be harmful to your health. For this reason, the World Health Organization has created guidelines to help improve indoor air quality and reduce exposure to mold.

What Are the Symptoms of Mold Allergy?

The most common reaction when exposed to mold include the usual array of hay fever symptoms: a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, coughing and nasal irritation. In young children, early and frequent exposure has been linked to a higher chance of developing asthma. Individuals who have chronic respiratory illnesses may find their conditions exacerbated by exposure to mold.

What Can I Do About Mold?

The best way to avoid mold allergy symptoms is to avoid exposure to mold. If your home has been water damaged, you may need professional mold mitigation to remove it from inside carpet pads, behind walls and cabinets and underneath your floor. Items like mattresses, pillows, stuffed animals and soft furniture that have been exposed to flood conditions may need to be discarded.

Can I Reduce My Susceptibility?

Allergy treatment that includes medication or allergy shots can help eliminate reactions to black mold and other allergens. If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, you can also find relief through treatments like balloon sinuplasty that open up airways and help you breathe more easily.

Do you think that you may have a black mold allergy? Making an appointment to come in this month has an added benefit: we are donating $10 from every copay to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Get in touch today to learn more about allergies and the best ways to protect your health and to help others recover from the storm.

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 americansinus.com. 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

Where Does Sinus Drainage Go?

American Sinus Institute Human Nose diagram

Updated April 24th, 2017.

Do you suffer from sinus drainage, post nasal drip or other sinus issues? If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience symptoms ranging from the annoyance and discomfort of sinus drainage to the throbbing pain of a blocked sinus. But what causes sinus problems, and how can you prevent them from getting out of hand?

What Causes Sinus Drainage?

It’s actually perfectly normal for sinuses to produce and drain mucus down the back of your throat. In most normal conditions, you wouldn’t even notice. It’s when sinuses develop a problem that the drainage becomes an issue.

Sinus drainage can be worsened by a number of factors, such as:

  • Dry air
  • Dehydration
  • Weather changes
  • Allergies
  • Cold and flu
  • Sinus infection (sinusitis)

As long as your sinuses are draining properly, the increase in mucus isn’t a problem, although it can be annoying. The real problems start when the passages become blocked or fail to let the sinuses drain effectively. The resulting pressure can be intolerable for many people.

Sinus infections sometimes resolve themselves, but often require antibiotics. Chronic sinus infections may indicate a need for further treatment, such as balloon sinuplasty to open sinus passages and allow effective drainage.

Where Does All That Drainage Go?

An excessive amount of drainage can be cause for concern. Normally, the drainage harmlessly passes down your throat and into your stomach. Sometimes, when the drainage is thicker or excessive, it can cause irritation in your throat, coughing, and discomfort.

Many people fear the drainage could end up in your lungs. Normally that would be prevented by the epiglottis, the little flap in your airway that automatically covers the entrance to your lungs when something other than air is in your throat.

However, when you lie flat on your back at night post nasal drip can actually seep around the epiglottis, exposing your lungs to the bacteria in the mucus. Pneumonia (an infection in your lungs) and bronchitis (irritation of the bronchial tubes in your lungs) could develop.

How Do I Prevent Sinus Drainage from Developing into Problems?

No one likes the feeling of chronic post nasal drip. Here are a few tips for dealing with the drainage and preventing larger problems from developing.

  • Thin the drainage by staying well hydrated and using a humidifier at home, especially in your bedroom.
  • Flush your sinuses regularly with a salt water solution to encourage healthy drainage and prevent blockages.
  • Prevent sinus drainage from being a problem at night by propping your head, neck, and shoulders up on pillows, or by using a foam wedge.
  • Talk to your doctor about medication, such as allergy medications. If your sinus problems persist, a minor procedure such as balloon sinuplasty may promote healthy drainage and provide the relief you need.

American Sinus Institute

Sinus sufferers needn’t fear. You are not alone in your discomfort, and you don’t have to continue to suffer. Contact the American Sinus Institute today to find out how balloon sinuplasty can help relieve your sinus problems.

Eight Essential Oils That Can Help Relieve Your Sinus Congestion

American Sinus Institute essential oils for congestion-american sinus

If your nose is congested and you’re fighting constant sinus drainage, you may be wondering about the benefits of essential oils. The good news is that there’s a long list of what essential oils are good for, and relieving swelling and opening nasal passages are on the list.

Eight Essential Oils For Nasal Congestion Relief:

  • Menthol: The icy effects of menthol have long been used to soothe sore throats and improve breathing. Menthol essential oils also can help clear up your sinus cavities.
  • Peppermint: Another strong minty scent similar to menthol, peppermint also is effective at relieving sinus congestion thanks to its strength and ability to overcome nearly any blockage.
  • Lemon: Lemon oils are common in antibacterials and anti-inflammatory, and they make a great addition to your medicine cabinet when you are experiencing sinusitis.
  • Frankincense: Another powerful addition to the essential oils list, frankincense is especially strong and fragrant. It helps relax the lungs and makes for easier breathing all around.
  • Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is widely used in over-the-counter medicines thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Since sinusitis is caused by inflamed tissue in the sinuses, it is a natural choice.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is known for its antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Those who suffer from sinus congestion due to allergies can benefit from the relief that tea tree oil has to offer.
  • Clove: Cloves are widely known for their very strong scent and soothing properties when you have a cold. Clove oil also can be used to effectively combat sinus congestion with its antimicrobial properties.
  • Rosemary: Rosemary has been commonly used to alleviate coughing and colds. It even is effective against particularly resistant bacteria that cause chronic congestion.

Once you’ve selected your favorite essential oils, there are several methods for putting them to use. Some oils are effective as aromatherapy agents, as the strong scent carries well and permeates your sinuses. You also may apply them topically around your nose, mouth and throat, as long as you dilute them first with safe oils like coconut or avocado. Lastly, if you purchase pure oils with FDA clearance you can take a few drops by mouth.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institute can help you get the treatment you need if other sinus treatments are not working. Contact us to learn more about your options and schedule a consultation today!

What Sinus Medicine Is Safe When Pregnant?

American Sinus Institute Checking with stethoscope

The Hippocratic Oath takes on a much greater meaning for a pregnant woman: “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.”

Most people mistakenly assume it says, “First, do no harm,” but whichever way a patient wishes to take it, the pregnant patient is thinking not of herself, but of her baby. Sinus medicine may relieve the woman’s symptoms, but at what cost to the baby?

No Such Thing as a Safe Medication List

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautions that pregnant women seeking sinus relief should first consult their doctors, because many medicines in online “safe medication lists” could have unknown side effects on fetuses.

The CDC states, “A conversation with a healthcare provider can help ensure that you are taking only what is necessary.” The trained professionals at the American Sinus Institute can work with a pregnant patient to find the minimal medication needed to provide sinus relief.

Sinus Medicine Alternatives

Consumer Reports suggests that pregnant women consider non-drug solutions to issues like sinus headache and sinus pressure. Getting rest, increasing fluids and having chicken soup can relieve sinus pressure and headaches. Other recommendations:

  • Avoid combination products, such as multi-symptom cold or allergy medicines that may combine safe acetaminophen with potentially unsafe phenylephrine
  • Read labels—Alcohol and caffeine (both not recommended for pregnant women) can appear in over-the-counter medications
  • Talk to a doctor—Expectant mothers should consult an ENT specialist, Ob/Gyn, or family doctor about sinus medicine pregnant patients can safely take

Another excellent alternative to medication for sinusitis, say the experts at The Bump, is a vaporizer. Especially in combination with doctor-prescribed Augmentin, which is used in chronic sinusitis treatment even with pregnant women, such complementary treatments can bring relief.

Keep Them From Harm

Pregnant women must think first of their babies before themselves, so preventing sinus headaches and sinusitis in the first place helps avoid struggles with medications.

Especially important in prevention is monitoring indoor air quality for proper humidity levels and minimal allergens. Keeping indoor air between 35 percent and 50 percent humidified can prevent sinusitis, while regular monthly air conditioning air filter changes can reduce pollen and other allergens.

Sinus issues increase during pregnancy because blood vessels in the nose swell with the hormonal changes. Saline nose drops are always safe, as they have no medicine to interfere with the baby, and can provide relief from the stuffy nose and breathing difficulties the swollen nasal passage causes.

Antihistamines

If a pregnant woman has allergy-related sinusitis, the CDC notes that many antihistamines are not linked to birth defects. The pregnant woman is advised to consult her ENT specialist or Ob/Gyn, but specific medications that appear to be safe include:

  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)
  • loratadine (Claritin®)
  • cetirizine (Zyrtec ®)

Balloon Sinuplasty

The specialists at the American Sinus Institute can help pregnant patients to find a safe, effective course of treatment for acute or chronic sinusitis. Treatment may include balloon sinuplasty to relieve sinus pain symptoms. Contact the experts at American Sinus Institute today to schedule an appointment today.

How To Prevent Sinus Issues When Weather Changes

Fallen leaf covered in winter frost

For most people, a change in the weather isn’t a big problem. It means changing their wardrobe and resetting their thermostat. However, for some unlucky individuals, a change in the weather can bring severe sinus problems and can even cause migraine headaches.

Read on for tips on preventing weather-related sinus issues, as well as information on when the problem might require a visit to a specialist.

Determining the Cause of Sinus Problems: Weather vs. Allergens

Stuffiness, sneezing, and other problems can arise from different sources and understanding the culprit is essential in determining the correct treatment. Weather-related stuffiness and sneezing aren’t caused by allergens; it’s called non-allergenic rhinitis.

Temperature and humidity are often the triggers for this type of rhinitis, whereas allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens like pollen. Non-allergic rhinitis won’t respond to antihistamines because there isn’t an allergenic trigger.

Taking a decongestant, rather than an antihistamine, can help clear up minor weather-related stuffiness and sneezing. Sufferers should speak to a doctor if a formal diagnosis hasn’t yet been made.

Barometric Pressure: Effects on Sinuses

Most people don’t think much about how barometric pressure might affect them, especially when they’re younger. However, as the body ages, it may become more susceptible to environmental triggers for pain. When the barometric pressure changes, it can cause changes to the way blood flows through the body, causing increased or decreased blood pressure, sinus pressure, and more.

A change in barometric pressure may be responsible for increased instances of migraines and weather may cause changes so subtle that it’s difficult for sufferers or their physicians to discern the problem.

Barometric pressure and sinuses also share connections that are not yet fully understood by the scientific or medical communities, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact changes that trigger migraines, stuffiness, changes in blood pressure, and more.

Watching the weather for upcoming changes in the barometric pressure, and being aware of when those changes are taking place, can give sufferers a chance to head off problems and pains before they begin with a proactive, preventative approach as recommended by their physician.

Exploring Options for Relief: Medications & Medical Interventions

There are many decongestant and antihistamine remedies available in today’s pharmaceutical market. Some are effective, while others are less so. Whether or not medications will be effective depends on the type of problems being experienced, as well as their severity. Some of these issues are too severe and complex to be effectively treated with medications, and that’s where medical interventions come into play.

A balloon sinuplasty treatment can help chronic sufferers without the painful traditional surgical procedures of cutting through nasal bone and tissue. Balloon sinuplasty allows a specialist to clear out the sinuses with no incisions. This means patients feel less pain and heal more quickly than with other types of sinus treatments.

Anyone seeking relief from severe sinus problems may benefit from a consultation with the friendly professionals at the American Sinus Institute, where we employ the minimally-invasive Honrubia Technique in our balloon sinuplasty procedures. Please contact us today for more information.

What Is A Sinus Lift And What Are The Benefits?

American Sinus Institute Dental X-Ray

A sinus lift, in name alone, sounds like a traumatic procedure that nobody would want to undergo under any circumstance. While any type of surgery isn’t exactly a walk in the park, sinus lifts are safe, effective procedures that are performed regularly around the world.

What most people don’t realize is that a sinus lift can greatly improve their dental health. Keep reading to learn more about why sinus lifts can be so effective for many people, as well as why many doctors routinely recommend them to their patients.

Loss of Teeth

When a tooth is lost, either due to trauma, decay or because of overcrowding, sometimes the bone around that area is reabsorbed into the jaw. While this isn’t always a problem, it can be impossible to place a dental implant when the patient has gone too long after the tooth has been removed to get the implant.

To remedy this situation, a sinus lift is commonly performed to ensure that there is ample room and enough supporting structure for a dental implant to be effectively placed.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease occurs when tooth or gum damage, often from decay or other health problems, becomes so bad that damage to the jawbone occurs. When damage to the jaw occurs, the problem may be so extensive that the structure itself is too weak to properly support a dental implant.

In the case of dental implants or necessary dental work, a sinus lift can help replace any bone that was lost because of periodontal disease.

Maxillary Sinus Issues

When a person’s maxillary sinus is too close to their upper jaw there also can be issues that occur when an individual needs a dental implant. To fix this issue, more space is made in that area through the sinus lift procedure. Once completed, people with maxillary sinus issues can get regular dental implants that will last their lifetime, with proper care.

American Sinus Institute

Contact American Sinus Institute to learn more about the sinus lift procedure and its many benefits.Our Balloon Sinuplasty procedure is also effective at treating many sinus issues. We will be happy to consult with you to determine the best procedure for your individual case. Please contact us today.

Where Does Sinus Drainage Come From?

American Sinus Institute Sinus Drainage

Sinus drainage problems can point to several different sinus problems or root causes. These symptoms include blockages, post-nasal drip, a runny nose and associated secondary symptoms such as headaches and sore eyes.

Let’s take a look at the different causes of sinus drainage issues and what a person can do to treat these ailments.

Causes of Chronic Sinus Problems

Sinus drainage and related symptoms can point to several different underlying root causes. These include:

  • Illness: Colds and flu are a common cause of increased mucus production. In cases such as this, the best solution is to let the illness run its course. In severe cases, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics to aid in the healing process.
  • Allergies: Another cause of sinus drainage issues is common allergies. Allergies can be caused by a reaction to the environment and include triggers such as ragweed and pollen. Food allergies, such as dairy allergies, can also cause sinus issues. Aside from avoiding allergens, anti-allergy prescriptions can also aid in reducing symptoms.
  • A Deviated Nasal Septum: the result of injuries or genetics, a deviated nasal septum causes one nasal passage to be smaller than the other. In an ideal situation, both passages should be the same size. A deviated nasal septum can cause drainage issues as well snoring but can be corrected with Septoplasty surgery.
  • Narrow Sinus Passages: Due to biological variance, some people simply have narrower sinus passages than others. When a person has narrow sinuses they become far more sensitive to blockages and the related ailments this can cause. Like a deviated nasal septum, surgery can be required to correct this issue.
  • An Extra Sinus: Ten percent of the human population has an extra sinus. Sadly, having three sinuses instead of two is not beneficial to breathing health. By having three sinuses areas instead of two, the breathing passage is narrowed, creating many of the same issues you see with narrow sinus passages and deviated nasal septums. Because the root cause is genetic, corrective surgery is required to remove the extra sinus. Such corrective surgery reduces drainage issues and optimizes breathing health.

American Sinus Institute

People suffering from debilitating sinus drainage are invited to contact the American Sinus Institute today. Repeated sinus drainage issues can be a sign that sinus surgery, such as Balloon Sinuplasty, may be required to reduce the severity and rate of sinusitis symptoms.

The American Sinus Institute helps their patients with a wide assortment of sinus issues and their experienced staff uses the latest in treatment methodology to ensure patient recovery. As noted by multiple satisfied customers, the quality of treatment at the American Sinus Institute can improve lives.

Where Are Sinus Cavities In The Head?

American Sinus Institute Sinus Cavity

Human bone is remarkably strong yet lightweight, but if people did not have sinus cavities, they would not be able to lift their heads off their pillows. The four major sinus cavities lighten skulls, giving the head the ability to turn and roll, and look up and down, usually without pain.

Purpose of the Sinuses

Sinuses are open cavities in the head, but they are not bare bones. Each sinus cavity has a mucous membrane lining that allows very slow ventilation into and out of the sinus. The slow ventilation allows the space in sinus cavities to be filled with a high concentration of carbon dioxide and a low level of oxygen. This creates an environment hostile to most germs.

Where Are the Sinus Cavities?

The four major sinus cavities that sometimes bring the pain of sinusitis are:

  • Frontal sinuses – Just above each of the eyes, these two sinuses often inflict cringing pain.
  • Maxillary sinuses – The largest cavities, these two sit behind the cheekbones.
  • Sphenoid sinuses – The sphenoid sinuses sit very far back in the head, near the optic nerves and pituitary gland, behind the eyes.
  • Ethmoid sinuses – A collection of six to 12 tiny air sacs, the ethmoid sinuses behind the nose separated into front, middle and rear groups.

What Causes Sinusitis?

When a person’s sinuses become infected, the slow transfer of mucus and gasses may stop and mucus builds up. This causes pain behind and around the eyes. It makes tipping the head forward almost unbearable.

What does a person generally do when they have sinusitis? They rub the side of their nose (ethmoid sinuses), their temples (frontal sinuses) or their eyes (sphenoid sinuses) in search of relief.

Sinus Infection Symptoms

If a person has sinus problems regularly, he or she may be familiar with many of the following symptoms of a sinus infection.

  • Pain – Not just around the eyes, but pain in the jaw, teeth, and on either side of the nose.
  • Sinus discharge – Greenish yellow goo that can also cause post-nasal drip.
  • Congestion – A clogged nose may force a person to breathe only through the mouth.
  • Coughing – From the post-nasal drip.
  • Sleep deprivation – Sinus headache, coughing and post-nasal drip can ruin healthful sleep.
  • Loss of smell – A stuffy nose can affect one’s ability to detect odors and can also lead to a loss of appetite.
  • Halitosis – Infected sinus cavities can lead to bad breath.

Remedies

The experts at American Sinus Institute can recommend a course of treatment specific to each individual’s issues. After a careful individual examination, options include:

  • Medication – Over-the-counter pain medicines or, possibly, antibiotics.
  • Nasal sprays – Decongestants and mucolytics may offer temporary relief.
  • Balloon sinuplasty – A doctor carefully places a small balloon in the sinus, inflates it, and restructures the cavity.

For anyone whose sinuses are constantly reminding them exactly where they are in their head, contact the American Sinus Institute today to learn more about sinus treatments. From pharmaceutical solutions to balloon sinuplasty, the American Sinus Institute can provide welcome relief from sinus pain and infection.

What Is Sinus Arrhythmia?

American Sinus Institute Sinus Arrhythmia

A person’s heart is a pump that beats according to a particular rhythm. Every individual’s heartbeat is different and will speed up and slow down according to their individual level of activity.

The sinus rhythm refers to a person’s heartbeat. In this case, the word sinus does not refer to the sinus cavities in the face, but the sinoatrial node. Also called the “sinus” node, it is located in the upper chamber located on the right side of the heart (right atrium). An abnormal heartbeat, or sinus arrhythmia, is any disruption that occurs during a person’s resting phase.

The heart can begin to beat in a different rhythm when a person breathes differently, becomes excited or performs strenuous activity. As long as the heart beats in a steady rhythm, it is said to be normal. If it deviates, especially during the period between heartbeats, a sinus arrhythmia has occurred.

What Is Sinus Arrhythmia?

An irregular heartbeat often occurs when a person’s heartbeat begins to speed up as they breathe in. Known as respiratory sinus arrhythmia, this is rather harmless. It occurs more frequently in children than adults and is considered to be a psychological response to a stressful event or physical activity.

The sinus node is also referred to as the “pacemaker” of the heart. When the heart’s rhythm is off, especially when it refers to the arrhythmia associated with reception, it is not thought of as a significant health problem. It will normally correct itself when the stressor goes away or the physical activity is completed.

Is It Dangerous?

While respiratory sinus arrhythmia is not considered a major health concern, non-respiratory sinus arrhythmia may have substantial repercussions. This is when the heart beats abnormally at other times, aside from during a regular breathing cycle. This type of arrhythmia often occurs in the elderly and may be indicative of various stages of heart disease.

While the exact cause of both types of arrhythmia is unknown, when it pertains to the elderly, the arrhythmia occurs most often when the heartbeat is slow or the person is at rest. People who suffer from sleep apnea may be more apt to suffer from irregular heartbeats or an arrhythmia than someone who breathes normally when sleeping.

How is Sinus Arrhythmia Treated?

Depending on what type of sinus arrhythmia a person has, a doctor has various ways to treat the condition. If the condition persists and has been associated with other types of heart disease, certain procedures may be recommended. Pacemakers, for example, are commonly considered for elderly individuals who may exhibit an abnormal heartbeat. For some people, a slight abnormality in their heart rate may be normal. For others, it may indicate the need for immediate treatment.

When an irregular heartbeat occurs in a child, the condition often rectifies itself as he or she gets older. A child’s heart is still growing and developing, so an abnormal heartbeat is often times attributed to the changing of the heart muscle as the body grows. Although the doctor will closely monitor a child’s heart if an abnormal rhythm presents itself, most will not attempt to treat the problem unless it becomes extremely severe. If the child does not grow out of the sinus arrhythmia, a doctor may choose to treat it as the child begins adolescence.

American Sinus Institute

At the American Sinus Institute, our doctors can answer any questions a person may have about sinus arrhythmia. Individuals who have trouble breathing due to blocked sinus passages may experience respiratory sinus arrhythmias that can eventually damage the heart if not treated effectively. Contact us for more information.