The Arkansas Sinus Center treats a wide variety of sinus and nasal problems, including sinusitis, allergies, and chronic congestion. These conditions affect millions of Americans each year and have a dramatic impact on quality of life and medical expenses. In addition to the time and cost of frequent vists to the doctor or pharmacy, the indirect effects of sinonasal problems include fatigue, missed work or school, and decreased productivity. Our physicians are able to offer cutting-edge medical and surgical treatments for these conditions to provide you with relief and get you back to feeling like yourself.
Read below to find out more about Sinusitis, Septal Deviation, Turbinate Hypertrophy, Allergic Rhinitis, and Nasal Polyps.
The sinuses are hollow spaces in the bones of your face around your nose and eyes. There are 4 pairs - the frontal, maxillary, sphenoid, and ethmoid sinuses. They are lined with a thin layer of mucus-secreting tissue. Normally, the mucus produced in your sinuses drains through small openings from the sinuses into your nose. It helps keep the tissues moist and protect them from particles, allergens, and germs in the air we breathe. Sinusitis is when the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed or swollen. Common causes of inflammation include viruses, bacteria, mold, allergies, or airborn particles such as dust. When the openings to the sinuses become blocked or swollen shut, mucus or air can become trapped in the sinuses, leading to infections, sinus pressure, or headaches. Sinus problems can be acute, recurrent, or chronic.
The most common symptoms of sinusitis are:
The nasal septum is the wall that separates the left and right sides of your nose on the inside. It is composed of cartilage and bone in the middle, surrounded by a thin layer of mucosa on each side. Ideally, the septum should be in the center of your nose. However, in many cases it is bent or pushed off to the side. This results in one side of the nasal airway being smaller than the other. While a deviated septum can be caused by trauma, most cases occur naturally during development or growth of the nose. The most common symptom from a deviated septum is difficulty breathing through the nose on one or both sides. A severely deviated septum may contribute to sinus problems and, in rare cases, facial pain or pressure.
Nasal turbinates are curved bony structures inside your nose that are covered by a vascular layer of tissue. They function to increase the surface area inside your nose to warm, humidify, and filter the air you breathe. Frequently, these turbinates are abnormally large or swollen, leading to nasal congestion or a stuffy nose. Common causes of enlarged turbinates are allergies, sinusitis, a cold, or environmental irritants (smoke, dust, etc). When you feel like there is mucus stuck in your nose but nothing seems to come out, it is usually swollen turbinates. These are also the structures that swell more on whichever side you lay on or cause your nose to alternate which side is more stuffy. With a deviated septum, the turbinate on the side opposite the deviation will often become enlarged, making both sides of the nose stuffy.
Allergic rhinitis, or nasal allergies, is one of the most common disorders affecting Americans. One of the downsides to living in Arkansas (aka "The Natural State") is our exposure to large amounts of pollen or other allergens. Symptoms can be seasonal (grass, trees, or weeds) or year-round (dust, pets, mold). Allergies result from our immune system overreacting to normally harmless substances in the environment. When your body is exposed to an allergen, it causes a series of reactions including blood vessel dilation and the release of chemicals such as histamine.
Common allergy symptoms include:
Nasal polyps are soft, painless growths that can arise from the mucus membranes of the nose and sinuses. They often look like clusters of grapes or bags of water. They typically result from chronic inflammation in the nose from severe allergies, chronic sinusitis, fungal infections, or immune disorders. They are also frequently found in patients with moderate to severe asthma. Small polyps may not cause any problems. However, larger polyps will often cause significant symptoms such as nasal obstruction, sinus pressure, chronic sinusitis, or loss of smell.
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