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What Is A Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)?

Inside your nose, there is a series of connected spaces that drain mucus into the nasal cavity. When these spaces swell they can become blocked and infected. Causes of a sinus infection include; the common cold, allergic rhinitis, or a  deviated septum. Symptoms may include, facial pain and pressure, headaches, green or yellow nasal discharge, severe nasal congestion, and fatigue. Sinusitis will usually go away within a few days with rest, hydration and Vitamin C. However, when your symptoms last more than one week or suddenly worsen, chances are you have a bacterial sinus infection and it is time to see your doctor for antibiotics.

Is A Deviated Septum or Nasal Congestion The Same As Sinusitis?

No. But having a deviated nasal septum or nasal congestion can both cause your nose to become more congested and make you more likely to get sinus infections. Every nasal septum is a little crooked but when they are severely deviated enough to block your breathing or plug your sinuses then they are termed a “deviated nasal septum”. You can have nasal congestion from allergies, generalized swelling of your nasal tissue or a common cold.

If I Have A Headache, Do I Have A Sinus Infection?

Most headaches are unrelated to the sinuses. Although, sinus infections can cause headaches. Sinusitis headaches are usually accompanied by facial congestion, fatigue, and discolored nasal discharge. There are situations where the only sign of a sinus infection can be a headache. In these situations, a sinus CAT scan (detailed X-rays of the sinuses) may be needed to look for obstruction or inflammation of the sinuses.

How Do I Treat My Sinus Infection?

For the first few days you can hydrate, get plenty of rest, avoid caffeine and alcohol, rinse your nose with saline (Neti pot), and take Vitamin C. If your symptoms continue for greater than one week or suddenly your headaches worsen or your nasal discharge becomes thicker and more discolored, you most likely have a bacterial sinus infection requiring antibiotics. Your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic that targets the most likely causes of your sinusitis. Your physician may also prescribe a topical or oral steroid to help speed the decrease of inflammation inside your sinuses. An otolaryngologist has the highest amount of training inside the nose and has endoscopes to actually look inside your nose at the sinuses.

When Do I Need Surgery?

Acute sinusitis is when you have a sinus infection that lasts less than one month. Chronic sinusitis is when you are having a constant sinus infection that doesn’t go away with antibiotics and steroids. Either of these can significantly decrease your quality of life. Having multiple episodes of acute sinusitis per year or having chronic sinusitis that has failed medical treatment are both good reasons to consider sinus surgery. Decreased quality of life would include missing school or work, suffering frequently or through long periods with sinusitis symptoms, depression or constant fatigue.

Preparation For Sinus Surgery

You will meet with Dr. Mourad where he usually spends an hour going over everything related to your surgery. He will evaluate and make sure that he can specifically tailor a custom care plan to your exact needs. During the consultation, Dr. Mourad will determine the exact nature of your complaints and the exact causes. He may prescribe medications that will assist in your complaints. Once a tailored plan is made, Dr. Mourad and his staff will take you through all the necessary information needed to make sure that your surgery happens without issue. We take care of the details so that you can have the most enjoyable experience.

Dr. Mourad views treating his patients to be nothing short of a privilege and an honor and enjoys taking the time to get to know his patients and fully understand their issues. Dr. Mourad’s office provides a boutique experience that takes you out of the mindset of being at the doctor’s office. It is a warm, comfortable environment, providing a bespoke experience.

What Is Sinus Surgery?

The spaces inside of your nose have tiny openings and channels that connect to each other and to both sides of the nose. Sinus surgery widens the channels and removes most of the walls of these spaces which prevents your sinuses from obstructing and allows them to drain more freely. Having more open spaces prevents the pressure from building up in your nose and decreases the frequency and severity of your sinus infections. Sinus surgery also allows saline rinses and topical medications to better access the open areas inside of your sinuses.

Meet Moustafa Mourad, MD, FACS

Moustafa Mourad, MD, FACS is board-certified in head and neck surgery and highly-trained in cosmetic plastic surgery and facial reconstruction. Dr. Mourad is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He treats many conditions, both cosmetic and complex, that affect the head, neck... Learn More »

The Results