What is a sinus infection?

Sinus infections, medically termed sinusitis, occur when the cavities around the nasal passages (sinuses) become inflamed and swollen. This inflammation can impede normal mucus drainage, leading to buildup and infection. The condition can arise due to a common cold, allergic reactions, or bacterial invasion. It presents a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, such as pain in the teeth, headaches, pressure in the face, and congestion.

Types of sinus infections

The complexity of sinus infections is reflected in the different types:

  • Acute sinusitis typically emerges quickly and can feel like a bad cold, with symptoms such as a stuffy, runny nose and facial pain lasting for two to four weeks.
  • Subacute sinusitis is an intermediary form, where inflammation persists for four to twelve weeks.
  • Chronic sinusitis is identified by its longevity, with symptoms lingering for more than 12 weeks despite medical intervention.
  • Recurrent sinusitis is diagnosed when a patient suffers several sinusitis episodes throughout the year.
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An accurate diagnosis is vital. Initially, our physician will review symptoms and perform a physical examination, including palpation of the sinuses for tenderness and inspection of the nasal passages. Advanced cases may require diagnostic imaging like CT scans or MRI to visualize the sinuses more clearly. Nasal endoscopy, which involves a thin, flexible tube with a fiber-optic light inserted through the nose, can also provide a detailed view of the sinus passages.

What are the treatments for sinusitis?

Effective treatment will reflect the underlying cause of the sinus infection.


  • Antibiotics are prescribed if a bacterial infection is confirmed or suspected.
  • Decongestants help reduce sinus cavity swelling and alleviate congestion.
  • Antihistamines may be beneficial in cases triggered by allergies.
  • Nasal corticosteroid sprays are effective in reducing inflammation in the nasal passages.

Home Remedies

  • Saline nasal sprays or washes can assist in clearing congestion.
  • Steam inhalation may provide symptomatic relief by opening the nasal passages.
  • Warm compresses applied to the face can soothe pain and pressure.
  • Hydration is crucial; drinking plenty of fluids can thin mucus and promote drainage.


Surgery for sinus infections is usually considered when there is an anatomical obstruction or chronic infection that does not resolve with medical therapy. The aim is to restore normal sinus drainage and function. Here are the most common surgical interventions:

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS): This is the standard surgery for chronic sinus infections and is preferred due to its minimally invasive nature. Using a nasal endoscope, the surgeon accesses the sinuses through the nostrils, avoiding external incisions. The procedure involves:

  • Removing or reshaping bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening.
  • Clearing out infected sinus tissue or polyps.
  • Improving the natural drainage pathways of the sinuses.

Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP): A newer, less invasive procedure that reshapes the sinus passageway without cutting or removing bone or tissue. It involves:

  • Inserting a small, flexible balloon catheter into the sinus passageways.
  • Inflating the balloon to gently restructure and open the sinus passageways, restoring normal drainage.
  • Deflating and removing the balloon, leaving the sinuses open.

Image-Guided Surgery: This is similar to FESS but is assisted by computer imaging technology. It’s particularly useful in complex cases where precise navigation is needed. The procedure:

  • Utilizes CT scans to create a 3D map of the patient’s sinuses.
  • Allows the surgeon to pinpoint the exact location of the blockage.
  • Increases the safety and accuracy of the surgery.

Caldwell-Luc Operation: Although less common today due to the success of FESS, this procedure may still be used for severe cases. It involves:

  • Making an incision in the upper jaw above the teeth to access the maxillary sinus.
  • Removing diseased tissue and improving drainage from the sinuses.

Septoplasty: If a deviated septum is causing obstruction and contributing to sinus infections, a septoplasty may be performed. This surgery straightens the septum, thus improving airflow and drainage.

Turbinate Reduction: Often performed in conjunction with other sinus surgeries, this procedure reduces the size of the turbinates (structures within the nose that help humidify air) to improve breathing and access to the sinuses.

Sinus Ostia Stenting: In cases where scarring from previous surgeries has led to recurrent sinus blockages, stents may be placed to keep the sinus pathways open for an extended period post-surgery.

Recovery time

After surgery, patients may be advised to:

  • Follow a regimen of nasal irrigation to keep the sinuses clean.
  • Avoid activities that can increase nasal pressure, such as blowing the nose vigorously or heavy lifting.
  • Attend follow-up appointments to monitor healing and ensure the sinuses remain open.
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Why Choose Us?

We offer a patient-centric approach to sinus infections, utilizing the latest evidence-based treatments to provide long-term relief. Our network of top-tier physicians is committed to identifying the root cause of your sinus issues and crafting a customized treatment plan. We prioritize your health and comfort, ensuring a seamless and supportive journey from diagnosis to recovery. When you choose us, you’re not just getting treatment; you’re gaining a partner dedicated to your long-term well-being and sinus health.

By choosing our services, you’ll benefit from our comprehensive approach to sinus infection treatment, where your recovery and satisfaction are at the heart of what we do. We strive to not only treat your symptoms but also to enhance your overall quality of life.

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