Although many would brush off a sniffly nose as a cold, many don’t realize that it could be a sinus infection. Dr. Avneesh Kumar, specialist ENT and Head Neck Surgery, explains how to properly treat a sinus infection, and what to do if it lasts longer than normal.
According to Dr. Avneesh, the aim of the treatment is to restore the ability of the sinus openings to ventilate and drain the sinuses. The antibiotics, while important in certain cases, do not provide relief as they do not reach a concentration high enough to kill the bacteria within the stagnant mucous in the blocked sinuses.
The most important way of opening the sinuses is the use of steroid nasal spray. These sprays are cortisone but they do not get absorbed into the bloodstream and do not cause any of the side effects of cortisone.
The cortisone nasal sprays do not work immediately and require 5 to 10 days to show any effect. They also do not work unless if they are used continuously whether symptoms are present or not. These sprays are different from over the counter decongestant nasal sprays that open up the nose temporarily.
However, Dr. Avneesh warns that there are cases where medical treatments have failed and the CAT scan has shown severe obstruction which requires surgery. This is usually performed through the endoscope with the help of special instruments such as a shaver (a rotating knife) that opens up the tubes connecting the sinuses to the nose. The sinus surgery in most cases is combined with straightening of the nasal septum and reduction of the nasal turbinates (which are enlarged soft tissues on inner side wall of the nose) which are done using laser. Royal Bahrain Hospital is equipped with these modern facilities. The sinus surgeries are routinely done with the aid of latest shaver system from Stryker (A German make) and Holmium- Yag laser which has superior delivery system than other lasers especially for ENT applications.
Dr. Avneesh assures readers that this surgery does not involve making any cuts in the skin and the sinuses are approached through the nose. After the surgery the patient experiences blockage of the nose and mild pressure sensation around the eyes for few days. The patient usually goes home on the very next morning. There are no packs placed in the nose after the surgery.
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