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Mr Bren Dorman - Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery

Private Service, ENT/ Head & Neck Surgery


In the facial bones surrounding your nose, there are four pairs of hollow air spaces known as sinuses or sinus cavities. These sinuses all open into your nose, allowing air to move into and out of the sinus and mucus to drain into the nose and the back of your throat. If the passages between the nose and sinuses becomes swollen and blocked, then air and mucus can become trapped in the sinus cavities causing sinus symptoms. Sinusitis occurs when the sinus lining becomes inflamed and sometimes infected.
Sinusitis can be: Acute -  usually a viral or bacterial infection in the sinuses that follows a cold, or an allergic reaction. Chronic - a long term condition that lasts for more than 3 weeks and may or may not be caused by an infection.
Sinusitis can be a recurrent condition which means it may occur every time you get a cold.
Symptoms of sinusitis include:
  •     facial pain or pressure
  •     nasal congestion (blocking)
  •     nasal discharge
  •     headaches
  •     fever.
Treatment for sinusitis includes saline and alkaline saline nasal washes (Sinus Rinse Kit), steroid nasal sprays, pain relief (if required) and inhalations. If infection is confirmed by a swab and CT imaging then antibiotics and sometimes anti-fungals are required.
If this treatment is unsuccessful, surgery may be considered. This is usually performed endoscopically; a small camera is attached to the endoscope which is inserted into your nose during the operation. Small instruments are passed into the nose and sinuses next to the endoscope and are used to remove abnormal or obstructive tissue. The aim is to restore normal ventilation to, and free drainage from, the sinuses.

This page was last updated at 8:57PM on December 16, 2021.