Although many presume to know what the sinus is, Dr. Avneesh Kumar, specialist ENT and Head Neck Surgery, clarifies many of the surrounding questions and sheds some light on sinusitis diagnosis.
The doctor explains that sinuses are air filled cavities located around the nose and the eyes and connected to the inside of the nose by way of small openings. These openings help in ventilation and drainage of the sinuses. In the event of a viral infection or allergy or a reaction to environmental irritants, these sinus openings get blocked due to inflammation and swelling which leads to accumulation of secretions within the sinus and this acts as a perfect culture for bacteria to grow. The bacterial infection in turn leads to more swelling and inflammation and further closure of these openings. If not adequately treated it will turn into a chronic low-grade infection causing symptoms which may persist from a few months to a few years.
He says that usual symptoms of sinusitis are nose block, nose discharge, pain over the face and around the eyes, headache and frequent sore throat due to post nasal discharge of infected secretions.
The diagnosis of sinusitis could be based on the patient description of the symptoms and simple office examination. This is usually done in cases where the condition is new and had been there for a few days. If the condition had lasted for a few months, and it did not respond to the initial treatment, or if the diagnosis is in question, then more studies are needed. The traditional simple sinus X- rays are not useful.
There are two important tests. The first is an examination of the inside of the nose using a small endoscope (a long flexible tube) that is inserted into the nose in the clinic to examine the openings connecting the sinuses to the nose. This examination at our hospital is carried out with video camera attachment and the same is recorded and saved in the patient’s e-file for future reference. The other important test is a CAT scan of the sinuses which shows clearly the micro-anatomy of the sinus, its openings and the nose cavities.
Dr. Avneesh Kumar, specialist ENT and Head Neck Surgery, has vast experience in sinus and laser surgeries. He is trained at the apex institutes in this field and has attended numerous sinus workshops and specializes in use of shaver systems and laser for all nose and sinus surgeries.
For further information or an appointment with Dr. Avneesh Kumar at Royal Bahrain Hospital, please call 17246800/246811