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3 Sinus Myths: Debunked

Sinus complaints are in the top ten list of diagnoses made each year. They’re incredibly common and, as a result, there are many misconceptions. Keep reading to debunk some of the most popular sinus myths.

Do you have a hard time breathing through your nose? If it’s all the time, you may have nasal airway obstruction. This can include a deviated septum, nasal valve collapse, or nasal polyps. If your difficulty breathing only occurs from time to time, it’s likely due to temporary factors.

1. If you have a stuffy nose and facial pain, it’s a sinus infection. 

False. A sinus infection is also called acute sinusitis. It can happen after a cold or upper respiratory infection leads to sinus inflammation. However, chronic sinusitis is when the inflammation lasts longer than three months. 

Chronic sinusitis doesn’t mean you have a chronic sinus infection, it means there is an underlying cause to the inflammation (not related to infection), such as allergies, nasal airway obstruction, or asthma.

2. Sinus infections can only be treated with antibiotics.

False. A sinus infection can be the result of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. If your infection is bacterial, that can be treated with antibiotics. If your infection is fungal, it can be treated with anti-fungal medication. However, there is no medicine for treating a viral infection, which is the most common cause of sinusitis. Your doctor will just tell you to rest and drink plenty of fluids.

3. If I have an obstruction, invasive surgery is the only answer. 

False. There are many minimally-invasive procedures that are now used to treat nasal obstructions (even septal deviations). These procedures don’t require downtime and are performed in-office: 

Instead of traditional surgery, you can opt for a Hybrid Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (Hybrid FESS). In this procedure, a balloon is used to enlarge the nasal passageways and clear the sinus cavities, allowing endoscopic tools access to previously hard-to-reach areas.

Instead of traditional septoplasty, you may qualify for Tract Balloon Assisted Septoplasty. In this procedure, a balloon is used to open the nose during the procedure, reducing the amount of cutting involved.

If you have symptoms that aren’t getting better, schedule an appointment with Dr. Marc Dean at the Ear & Sinus Institute today! 

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