Provided by: Michael Goodman, MD (Allergist/Immunologist)
Sinusitis is a common problem seen in both ENT and allergy offices. Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, air-filled cavities located in facial bones around the nose. Sinusitis is often due to an infection in these cavities. It can feel like a bad cold with facial pain, runny nose (rhinorrhea), headache, nasal congestion, and a sore throat. While the common cold is a viral infection, sinus infections are often bacterial and treated with antibiotics (antibiotics are not of help in the treatment of viruses).
Many conditions can contribute to the onset of a sinus infection. Many of them involve blockage of the natural drainage of the sinuses and the nose. When this drainage is blocked, bacteria present in the nose have an easier time replicating and increasing their numbers to the point that a sinus infection occurs. Inflammation that starts as a cold can increase the chances of a sinus infection starting. Allergic rhinitis (allergic inflammation of the nose) can also create inflammation that results in blockage and increase the likelihood that a bacterial infection will take hold and cause sinusitis.
Allergists at Ohio ENT and Allergy Physicians are trained to diagnose sinus infections and many of the conditions that can lead to sinus infections. Allergy testing can help determine a patient’s allergic sensitivities and what allergens may be causing inflammation in the nose. In some cases, an examination of the immune system checks for immune deficiencies. Recurrent sinus infections are sometimes an initial presentation of an immune deficiency. We frequently partner with our ENT colleagues in the care of sinusitis patients, as an ENT physician can perform a thorough evaluation of anatomical abnormalities that can increase the likelihood of a sinus infection