Approximately 37 million Americans suffer from either acute or chronic sinusitis, a condition that causes pain, pressure, and difficulty breathing. Cecil Yeung, MD and his team are of the top ENT physicians and sinus surgeons in the Houston area and provide state-of-the-art, on-site diagnosis and treatment for sinusitis at Houston Sinus Surgery.
If you need expert relief from sinusitis, book an appointment online or call at the friendly Houston Sinus Surgery team.
Sinusitis Q & A
What are sinuses?
Your sinuses are air-filled pockets in the bones between your eyes and behind your forehead, nose, and cheeks. Healthy sinuses contain tissues that produce mucus that protects your nose from microorganisms. The mucus then drains through your sinuses.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is a sinus infection caused by bacteria, fungus, mold, dust, or other allergens and microorganisms. The inflamed sinus tissues block mucus from draining, which can cause pain, pressure, and impaired breathing.
This form develops rapidly but typically resolves within a few weeks. Acute sinusitis is caused by either viruses or bacteria. Bacterial sinusitis is less common but is more likely to progress to chronic sinusitis.
Recurrent sinusitis is defined as four or more limited attacks of acute sinusitis in a single year.
Chronic sinusitis affects approximately 14-15% of adults in the United States. To be considered chronic, symptoms must last for 12 weeks or more.
What are the risk factors for sinus infection?
Men, women, and children are all at risk for sinusitis. You may be more prone to sinusitis if you have:
- Small sinuses
- Deviated septum
- Nasal polyps
- Compromised immunity
- Nasal swelling from a common cold
How can I tell if I have sinusitis?
The classic symptoms of sinusitis are difficulty breathing accompanied by pain or pressure in your face and a stuffed or a runny nose. Sinusitis can cause a variety of respiratory symptoms, including wheezing, coughing, and snoring, as well as sinus headaches.
Other symptoms include:
- Reduced sense of smell
- Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
- Post-nasal drip
- Yellow or green mucus
- Sleep problems
During your consultation with Dr. Yeung, he may use a cutting-edge CT scanner for the sinuses to diagnose or rule out sinusitis.
How is sinusitis treated?
Dr. Yeung usually addresses acute sinusitis with conservative treatments, such as:
- Antibiotics: for bacterial infections
- Decongestant sprays: for no more than three days
- Antihistamines: reduce inflammation
- Topical nasal corticosteroids: reduce inflammation
- Saline washes and drops: irrigate sinuses and nasal passages
Chronic and recurrent sinusitis are often resistant to conservative treatment. In such cases, Dr. Yeung may recommend:
- Balloon sinuplasty: simple surgery in which Dr. Yeung inflates a small balloon in your sinuses to open them
- Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS): surgery to remove excess tissue and bone from the sinuses