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Finding the best solution for painful sinus blockages

Sinusitis can be an uncomfortable and unpleasant condition that significantly impedes your enjoyment of life, causing headaches, sleep difficulties, and respiratory problems. Sinusitis occurs when inflammation creates mucous and fluid buildup in the sinus cavities, leading to infections. Sinusitis can be due to a variety of causes, including colds, allergies, polyps, a deviated septum, structural anomalies, or smoking/secondhand smoke. Rest assured, Dr. Zadeh will create a personalized plan of action for resolving your sinus pressure, restoring your well being, and giving you a new lease on life.

Sinusitis diagram

Image Provided by nih.gov

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the nasal sinuses. Under normal circumstances, the sinuses produce a small amount of mucus. However, when inflammation sets in, the mucosal lining substantially increases mucus production. Inflammation is usually caused by bacterial, fungal, viral, or allergic processes.

The inflammation of the nasal sinuses leads to swelling of the sinus mucosa, resulting in blockage of the sinus drainage. Thus, the pus cannot escape into the nose and builds up pressure inside the sinus cavities, causing increased inflammation. This creates a vicious cycle of increasing inflammation and obstruction of the drainage pathways.

The most common symptoms of sinusitis include...

  • Pain and tenderness
  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pain
  • Headaches
  • General malaise and fatigue
  • Thick green or yellow nasal discharge
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Throat irritation secondary to post-nasal drip
  • Ear congestion
  • Dizziness
  • A feeling of facial ‘fullness’ or ‘tightness’
  • Aching upper teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Anosmia (the inability to smell or detect odors)

In addition, sinusitis can lead to...

  • Chronic Sinusitis - If untreated, sinusitis may develop into a chronic condition.
  • Acute Asthma - Sinusitis can trigger an asthma exacerbation.
  • Meningitis - The infection can spread to the lining of the brain.
  • Vision Problems - Reduced vision or blindness may occur if the infection spreads to the eyes.
  • Aneurysms or Blood Clots - The infection can cause problems in the veins surrounding the sinuses, interfering with blood supply to the brain.

How is sinusitis diagnosed?

The symptoms of sinusitis can resemble those of colds or allergies. Sinusitis can have severe complications so it is important to determine if you are a victim of sinusitis in Los Angeles. There are several methods that Dr. Zadeh at Los Angeles Sinus Institute uses to help screen for sinusitis:

  • Nasal Endoscopy. A thin, flexible fiber-optic tube with light and camera at its tip (endoscope) is inserted through the nose, allowing for visual inspection of the sinuses. This is generally a painless procedure that takes a few minutes to complete.
  • CT Scan. Images taken using computerized tomography (CT) show details of the sinuses and nasal anatomy. A CT scan is used to define the anatomy, extent of the disease, and the response of the treatment course. CT scans also help identify inflammation or physical obstruction that may be difficult to detect using an endoscope.
  • Nasal and Sinus Cultures. In general, laboratory tests are not necessary for diagnosing sinusitis. However, when medical therapy fails, tissue cultures may help identify the bacterial pathogen.
  • Allergy Testing. If the condition is caused by or exacerbated by allergies, an allergy skin test may be recommended. Allergy testing is a safe and effective method to help diagnose the allergens responsible for sinus flare-ups.

How can sinusitis be prevented?

  • Reduce the risk of upper respiratory infections – Minimize contact with people who have colds. Wash hands frequently with soap and water, especially before your meals.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke – Tobacco smoke can irritate and inflame the nasal passages.
  • Use a humidifier – If the air in your home is dry, adding moisture to the air may help prevent sinusitis. Be sure the humidifier is clean and free of mold.
  • Limit alcohol consumption – Drinking alcohol can cause sinus passages to swell.

Dr. Zadeh will create a personalized plan of action for resolving your sinus pressure, restoring your well being, and giving you a new lease on life.

What is acute sinusitis?

An acute sinus infection lasts two to four weeks and generally responds well to medical therapy. Acute sinusitis is usually precipitated by an earlier upper respiratory tract infection, generally of viral origin. Acute sinusitis may also follow the inflammation associated with an allergy attack or environmental irritants. Most acute sinusitis cases clear up within 7-10 days. If the condition lasts more than 12 weeks, it is referred to as chronic sinusitis.

What is subacute sinusitis?

Subacute sinusitis generally lasts 4 to 12 weeks and usually resolves completely after an effective medical regimen. It is the natural progression of acute sinusitis, which may or may not have been treated, that has failed to resolve. In general, the symptoms are less severe than the symptoms of acute sinusitis. Although usually responsive to medical treatment similar to acute sinusitis, surgical options are considered when the symptoms fail to improve or worsen.

What is chronic sinusitis?

In chronic sinusitis, the condition recurs or endures longer than 12 consecutive weeks. Chronic sinusitis is one of the most commonly diagnosed chronic illnesses in the United States, affecting 30 to 40 million Americans each year. Chronic sinusitis begins with an inflammation of the mucous membranes in the sinuses, which prevents normal mucus drainage.

Chronic sinusitis can significantly impair one’s quality of life. Patients commonly suffer from nasal obstruction, frequent headaches, and tenderness in the face or aching behind the eyes. In addition, there may be chronic yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or drainage down the back of the throat.

Duration of Sinusitis:

  • Acute – less than four weeks
  • Subacute – four to twelve weeks
  • Chronic – more than three months

Dr. Zadeh understands the discomfort and distress that sinus problems can cause, and he has built his practice on providing answers to your most pressing medical concerns.

How is sinusitis treated?

woman blowing nose
  • Antibiotics - Antibiotics are chosen based on culture results, extent of disease, and/or medical judgment.
  • Saline Nasal Sprays - Over-the-counter saline nasal sprays help reduce nasal congestion. They are effective, safe, and non-irritating. Saline nasal sprays provide moisture to the nasal passages, especially during cold or dry seasons. When the nasal passages are dry, stagnation of mucus and mild nasal crusting may occur. Bacterial infections can develop under these crusts. Saline sprays clean the nasal passages of crusts and mucus and also help the natural cleaning system of the nasal passages.
  • Decongestants - Decongestants fight nasal congestion by temporarily constricting the blood vessels. Decongestants are available in pill form as well as nasal sprays. Please be aware that over the counter nasal decongestant sprays can cause a “rebound effect” when used longer than the recommended period. This results in worsening nasal congestion after the medication has been stopped. In addition, decongestant pills may increase blood pressure and heart rate. Decongestants should not be taken without first checking with a physician if the patient has heart disease, high blood pressure, prostate problems, diabetes, or thyroid problems.
  • Inhaled Nasal Steroids - Inhaled nasal steroids or corticosteroids, reduce nasal and sinus symptoms. They do not cause a “rebound effect.” They decrease the swelling in the nose and sinuses, thus reducing the congestion and allowing for drainage of the sinuses.
  • Allergy shots (immunotherapy) – If allergies are contributing to chronic sinusitis, desensitization to the allergens may help alleviate the condition. The goal of allergy shots is to “train” the immune system over time to be better able to tolerate the allergens that trigger the symptoms.
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery – In cases that fail to respond to medication, endoscopic sinus surgery may be an option.
  • Balloon sinuplasty – Balloon sinuplasty offers the surgeon an additional tool for sinus surgery. This may be performed by itself or used in conjunction with endoscopic sinus surgery.
  • Rest and Hydration - The more rest and sleep, the better; this allows the body to heal itself faster. Increasing water consumption is very important since a lot of fluid is lost during infection. Hydration makes the mucus flow more freely and helps with relieving the congestion.
  • Nutrition - Good nutrition is essential for resisting and recovering from an infection. It is important to eat a well-balanced diet. Consume the recommended dietary allowances for vitamin A, vitamin B complex (vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, folic acid), and vitamin C, as well as the minerals zinc and copper. If the diet does not provide an adequate amount of these vitamins and minerals, supplements should be added as needed.
  • Pain Relievers - These are effective in reducing sore throat and headaches. It is important to read the instructions carefully and to stay within the recommended doses. Aspirin should never be given to children as it has been associated with Reye’s syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal illness. Gargling with salt water (1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water) is effective in reducing a sore throat.

Schedule a consultation today with Dr. Mani Zedeh for arguably the best treatments for acute sinusitis Los Angeles has to offer.

Why choose Dr. Zadeh?

Dr. Zadeh is a trusted Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist in the Los Angeles area, delivering personalized results that help to relieve sinus pressure, sinusitis, headaches, and facial pain. He has a reputation not only for his adherence to the strictest safety standards and his commitment to providing cutting edge technological solutions but also for his compassionate and caring approach during the consultation process. Dr. Zadeh understands the discomfort and distress that sinus problems can cause, and he has built his practice on providing answers to your most pressing medical concerns.

Dr. Zadeh received his Bachelor’s Degree at UCLA before going on to pursue a medical degree from the University of California at San Diego. Dr. Zadeh then continued to hone and fine tune his skill set with a prestigious residency in Head and Neck Surgery at Columbia University in NYC.

Dr. Zadeh is a fantastic physician. I have gone to him for a couple of years now for sinus congestion, sinus infection, allergies, and sinusitis. He is a great diagnostician and is able to analyze your symptoms to accurately diagnose what is the problem. He is conservative in his treatment approach doing only what is necessary while informing you of what will be the next step if symptoms get better or not. He may prescribe antibiotics or nasal sprays or nothing at all, depending on the symptoms and his exam. He spends a lot of time with you and you will not feel rushed. He answers all your questions comprehensively.

He is genuinely caring. It comes across in his sweet bedside manner and he takes your concerns seriously. He is very gentle when it comes to the exam or using a scope to see what is going on.

His staff is very nice and organized. It is also very easy to communicate with the billing department. The office is newly updated with clean interiors and elegant design.

He is out of network for me, but I still go to him because he is awesome. I highly recommend him, and now my wife goes to Dr. Zadeh and my mother-in-law too!

Be ready for the way medical care used to be, excellent customer service and patient care, combined with cutting edge technology and the latest advancements in the field.

– Dov P.

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