Changing seasons isn't always pleasant. Although it is often exciting to experience the onset of spring, seasonal changes also mean allergies, or even worse, a sinus infection. Read below to learn why and how sinus problems arise, and contact our San Antonio, TX, ENT office for treatment.
What are sinuses?
Our sinuses are an interconnected system of hollow cavities in your skull, which includes:
- Maxillary sinuses
- Frontal sinuses
- Ethmoid sinuses
- Sphenoid sinuses
Simply put, sinuses are cavities in your facial bones, forehead, cheekbones, and behind the nose. Sinuses are also part of your upper respiratory tract, from the nose to the throat.
What causes a sinus infection?
A sinus infection, which also known as sinusitis, may be a result of viral, or bacterial infections, in some cases. An individual usually contracts a virus, like in the case of a common cold, for example, which leads to bacterial colonization in nasal cavities. It's the bacterial colonies that cause blockage and inflammation.
What is chronic sinusitis?
If you're suffering from chronic sinusitis, you need to call your doctor. Chronic sinusitis is when the inflammation lasts more than three months and is usually caused by allergies, abnormal sinus anatomy, or dental problems.
A sinus infection is when your nasal cavities become inflamed. Symptoms include:
- Pain in your forehead or between the eyes
- Inadequate nasal fluid drainage (leading to congestion)
- Pressure that accompanies nasal blockage
- Difficulty breathing
Symptoms may also include a persistence or worsening of the symptoms mentioned above for more than 10 days. Only an ENT can determine if you're suffering from a sinus infection. So make sure to contact your San Antonio doctor if you are concerned.
How do you avoid a sinus infection?
There are a few steps you can take to avoid sinusitis, such as maintaining a better lifestyle that includes:
- Avoid smoking
- Seeking early treatment to avoid sinus inflammation
- Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water
- Using a humidifier if the air is too dry for you
If you're suffering from chronic sinusitis, you may need surgery or long-term medication, which is why you need to visit your doctor. If you have further questions or concerns in regards to sinus infections or if you want to schedule an appointment with your San Antonio, TX, ENT, call (210) 957-1115 today!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 27 million American adults struggle with sinus-related problems, the most common of which are sinus infections. Dr. Aayesha Khan at the San Antonio Voice and ENT Institute offers treatments for sinus problems and can diagnose and treat your specific cause of sinus problems as well as discuss how to avoid complications in the future.
What Causes Sinus Problems?
The sinuses are pockets filled with air inside the skull. There are usually four sets of sinuses, the maxillary, ethmoid, frontal and sphenoid sinuses and each opens and drains into the nose. Sinusitis is inflammation of the lining of the sinuses and this can occur due to various causes such as allergies, viral, bacterial or fungal infections, polyps and sometimes cancerous or non-cancerous masses. Some medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis can also cause frequent sInusitis. When there is inflammation or infection of the sinuses, it can result in increased drainage as the sinuses try and clear themselves. Sometimes the inflammation can be so severe that the openings can get blocked resulting in headaches, pressure between or behind the eyes, facial pain or even difficulty in breathing. Acute sInusitis can also manifest as fever. Chronic sinusitis is known to adversely affect the quality of life and functionality.
If you’re battling acute or chronic sinus problems, seek help from Dr. Khan. Depending on your specific problem, you may need medical, surgical or a combination of treatments.
Some of these include:
- Antibiotic therapy
- Treatment for allergies
- Sinus rinses
- Endoscopic sinus surgery
Avoiding Sinusitis Infections
Keep your environmental allergies under control by decreasing contact with your allergens, whether it be pollen, cedar, dust or pets.
Be mindful that smoking contributes to sinusitis so try to avoid both first and second hand smoke.
Get Help with Your Sinus Problems
Your sinus problems may be chronic and you may have just gotten used to the symptoms. Remember, there is treatment available and you do not have to have to suffer. Call (210) 957-1115 today to schedule an exam with Dr. Aayesha Khan.
Experiencing hoarseness? Lost your voice? Find out what's going on.
Most people have dealt with issues with their voice at some point, whether you found yourself losing your voice after a night of cheering on your favorite football team or a nasty infection has caused your voice quality to change resulting in hoarseness. While some issues will go away on their own, if symptoms persist this could be a sign of a voice disorder. This is where our San Antonio, TX, otolaryngologist Dr. Aayesha Khan comes in. She is fellowship trained in Laryngology and has expertise in treating voice disorders.
What is a voice disorder?
It is a medical condition in which the quality of the voice is abnormal. This can occur because of the improper vibration of the vocal folds which affects speech production resulting in abnormal pitch, loudness, quality of the voice or easy fatigue.
What are the different voice disorders?
Some common voice disorders include:
Laryngitis: An inflammation of the voice box due to infection or misuse (this is often what happens the day after you’ve been shouting at a big game or singing along at a concert). Those with laryngitis will often experience vocal weakness, change in voice quality, or even pain. Most cases of laryngitis will resolve with voice rest and hydration but should be checked out by our otolaryngologist in San Antonio if symptoms persist for more than 2-3 weeks.
Vocal cord paralysis: Just as the name suggests, vocal cord paralysis is when either one or both vocal cords can’t move, causing them to work improperly. This can lead to hoarseness, weakened voice, and difficulty swallowing or breathing. Vocal cord paralysis can be the result of nerve damage, whether through surgery, injury, infection, stroke or cancer. The diagnosis of vocal cord paralysis requires expertise and can only be diagnosed by first examining the voice box and vocal fold movement.
Polyps or cysts: These growths that develop on the vocal folds make it difficult for them to vibrate, causing hoarseness and other issues with the voice. The most common cause is trauma to the vocal cords or misuse of the vocal cords. Voice therapy or surgery may be needed.
Laryngeal Cancer: This can develop in any part of the voice box and the symptoms and treatment depend on the size and location of the cancer. Smoking and alcohol are the most significant risk factors in the development of laryngeal cancer.
What are risk factors for voice disorders?
Common factors include:
- Vocal abuse (yelling, screaming, excessive use)
- GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption
- Certain medical conditions (neurological, autoimmune, thyroid disorders)
If you are noticing changes in your voice, it’s important that you seean ENT specialist who help you figure out the answers. Call San Antonio Voice and ENT Institute today and have an expert examine you.
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