Nose and Sinus Diseases – Augusta Health

Augusta Health otolaryngologists, also known as otolaryngologists, care for people with a variety of nose and sinus conditions, providing treatments that maximize quality of life. Some of the most common conditions we treat are included in this information sheet. If you have any questions about your nose and sinuses, we’re here to answer them.

Nose and Sinus Conditions and Treatment

The nose and sinus cavities are important components of the human respiratory system. When we inhale, oxygen enters the nasal cavity, where it is humidified and heated. The hair in the nose traps debris and acts as a barrier to infection. Cells in the nose produce mucus, which also traps debris before it enters the lungs.

Our ENT specialists specialize in treating a variety of conditions that prevent the nasal system from working effectively. They treat a variety of conditions affecting the nose and sinus cavities.

allergic rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the nasal passages caused by allergens, including pollen, dust, mold, and skin cells from certain animals.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:

  • Nasal congestion (congestion), sneezing, runny nose
  • excess mucus in nose
  • Itchy nose
  • Sinus pressure, pain, headaches
  • energy shortage

If you suspect you have allergic rhinitis, one of our specialists can discuss your symptoms with you, perform an examination, and recommend the best treatment for you. While we do not perform allergy testing, we can refer you to an allergy specialist.

sinus infection

When the mucous membranes inside the nose become inflamed and infected, the condition is called sinusitis or sinusitis. Because the sinus passages are connected to the nasal passages behind the nostrils, they can also become inflamed and infected.

Symptoms of sinus infection include:

  • Frequent pressure and pain behind your eyes, face, or teeth
  • Congestion and difficulty breathing
  • Cough and bad breath
  • Loss of smell and taste
  • energy shortage
  • Headache
  • Postnasal drip in throat, sore throat

An otolaryngologist will discuss your symptoms with you and perform an examination. In general, acute sinusitis (an infection that lasts less than four weeks) usually does not require treatment because it will go away on its own. Most sinus infections are caused by viruses, which means antibiotics are not an effective treatment. However, your otolaryngologist can provide recommendations for treating uncomfortable symptoms, including saline nasal sprays, decongestants, and pain relievers.

For chronic sinusitis (an infection that lasts more than 12 weeks), your otolaryngologist may discuss surgical options with you in addition to the recommended treatments above. Advances in sinus surgery have made these procedures less invasive, less painful, and overall more effective. Before you decide if surgery is right for you, your otolaryngologist will take the time to answer your questions thoroughly so you can make an informed decision about your care.

Deviated nasal septum

The nasal septum is made of bone and cartilage and separates the two nasal passages. Differences in the position of the nasal septum, called deviation, can affect how your nose and sinuses work. A person may be born with a deviated septum, or it may be caused by an injury.

The most common symptoms of a deviated nasal septum are:

  • nasal congestion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • nasal discharge

A deviated septum may also prevent the sinuses from draining properly, leading to sinus infections.

Doctor uses tape to simulate rhinoplasty with deviated nasal septum

After discussing your symptoms with you and performing an examination, your otolaryngologist will discuss available treatments with you. Depending on the severity of your condition, your specialist may recommend surgery to correct a deviated septum, which is called septoplasty. You will have the opportunity to ask questions about this procedure, its benefits, and possible side effects, which will help you make the best decision about your care.

Nasal fractures, nosebleeds, and other conditions

If you have experienced a broken nose, frequent nosebleeds, or have other concerns about your nose and sinuses, our otolaryngology specialists can make an accurate diagnosis after listening to you and performing a thorough examination. They will take the time to discuss the available treatment options and help you determine which treatment is best for you and your lifestyle.

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