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Dr. Michael Burnett Specializes in Problems of the Ear, Nose, Sinuses and Throat.

As of June 1st, We have reopened our office and are now taking in office consultations.

An ear, nose and throat specialist (ENT) is a physician trained in the medical and surgical treatment of the ears, nose, throat, and related structures of the head and neck. They have special expertise in managing diseases of the ears, nose and nasal passage sinuses, larynx (voice box), oral cavity and upper pharynx (mouth and throat), as well as structures of the neck and face. ENT is the oldest medical specialty in the United States.

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Michael Burnett, MD


Sinus Infection

What is a sinus infection? Sinusitis affects nearly thirty-one million people in the U.S. alone. On average, Americans spend more than a billion dollars every year on medications to treat sinus infections. If you have asthma, allergies, and structural blockages in the sinuses or nose, you are vulnerable to sinus infections.

Sinus Infections | Best ENT NYC
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What Causes Sinus Infections

Sinusitis or inflammation of the sinuses is one of the most common causes of sinus infections. In most cases, bacterial infection triggers sinusitis, but fungi and viruses can also lead to this infection. Individuals with a weak immune system are at greater risk of developing a fungal or bacterial sinus infection. Many people with allergies can also suffer from allergic fungal infections. Acute sinus infection can last up to eight weeks. If your sinus infection extends for more than eight weeks, then you have a chronic sinus infection.

The air-filled cavities located within the bones of the cheeks are also behind the eyebrows and the forehead, on either side of the nose, and in front of the brain.

If you fail to treat a sinus infection that takes place close to the brain, the consequences can be life-threatening. A sinus infection can affect the flow of mucus from the sinuses to the throat. As allergies or infections cause nasal tissue to swell, the swelling traps mucus in the sinuses. Dust, mold, and dander can trigger symptoms all year round, while pollen is a seasonal allergen.

Another factor behind chronic sinus infections is asthma. Individuals with chronic asthma or nasal inflammation can develop chronic sinusitis that is not triggered by infection. Asthma patients can improve their condition by seeking appropriate treatment from an ENT specialist.

Types of Sinus Infections

Acute sinusitis: begins with cold-like symptoms and can last two to four weeks

Chronic sinusitis: symptoms last for twelve weeks or longer

Subacute sinusitis: lasts for four to twelve weeks

Recurrent sinusitis: may happen several times a year

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Most people mistake a bad cold for a sinus infection. That’s because the symptoms are pretty much the same, including facial pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, and headache. But here are some of the most common symptoms of sinus infections.

Causes, symptoms, treatment of sinus infection
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Symptoms

  • Nasal congestion or stuffiness
  • Discolored nasal discharge
  • Frequent headaches
  • Postnasal drip
  • Tenderness of the face
  • Tooth pain
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Cough

Diagnosis

In case your symptoms do not subside after using over the counter medication and prolong for more than eight weeks, you must consult a professional ENT specialist. An ENT doctor examines the nose, throat, and sinuses, checks for symptoms, and looks into your symptoms. He may recommend a sinus CT scan for inspecting your nasal cavities. The procedure involves using a flexible, long, and thin tube with a light and camera at one end. The doctor inserts this tube through the nose.

Since the procedure is not painful, you don’t need to panic. Your doctor may use a light anesthetic nasal spray for making you more comfortable during the procedure.

Treatment

Once diagnosed, here are the possible treatment options your doctor is most likely to recommend for treating a sinus infection.

Antibiotics

Initially, if the doctor feels antibiotics can cure your sinus infection, he will give you a prescription. Depending on the type of antibiotics, you can take them for three to twenty-eight days. However, your doctor may suggest a long treatment plan because the sinuses are located deeply in the bones, and blood supply is limited. Antibiotics eliminate the infection by attacking the bacteria but may not alleviate the symptoms until the bacteria get eliminated. You can take over-the-counter pain relievers for relief.

Nasal Decongestant Sprays

Topical decongestants can provide relief for no more than three to four days. The sprays shrink swollen nasal passages and help with the flow of drainage from the sinuses.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines prevent inflammation by an allergic reaction and combat allergy symptoms that lead to swollen sinus and nasal passages.

Nasal Saline Washes

Another remedy for a sinus infection is to use nasal saline washes to clear thickened secretions from the nasal passages.

Surgery

If your symptoms do not get better after using antibiotics or the above treatments, your doctor will recommend surgery as a last resort. In a sinus injury, an ENT surgeon will fix defects in the bone that separates the nasal passage, opens up closed pathways, or removes nasal polyps. The doctor performs the surgery under general or local anesthesia, and patients usually return home the same day.

Final Thoughts

Sinus infections can worsen over time if you don’t seek medical treatment. If you think you have a sinus infection, don’t ignore your symptoms. Contact NYC’s top ENT specialist Dr. Michael Burnett to book your appointment today and get the best treatment for your sinus infection.

Michael C. Burnett, MD
115 East 57th Street
Suite 600
New York, NY 10022

212-867-4813

 


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Michael C. Burnett, MD

115 East 57th Street
(Between Park + Lexington Ave.)
Suite 600
New York, NY 10022

212-867-4813