Having Trouble Breathing Through Your Nose
Having Trouble Breathing Through Your Nose

Having trouble breathing through your nose? Well, guess what you are not alone. Sinus is one of the most commonly diagnosed problems by primary care physicians (at least that is what my ENT surgeon in Lahore made me believe to make me feel better). Despite being a common problem, there are still quite many myths that lurk around the problems, especially when it comes down to surgeries. To know whether you are in for a regular treatment, here are debunking most frequently inquired sinus surgery myths.

1) If there is any sinus symptoms, it MUST mean a sinus infection is under way

There is absolutely no solid evidence to back that up. Not all sinus symptoms end up with a severe sinus infection. Sometimes the symptoms can be an indicator of some other underlying issue. To truly understand what sinus infections are, you must educate yourself first. There are two forms of sinusitis that are completely different from each other.

Acute sinusitis
This particular problem is caused due to an inflammation of the cavities around your nasal passages. This can be due to various reasons, such as common flu, a viral respiratory infection or accumulation of bacteria in that region. This is what we commonly identify as sinus infection.

Chronic Sinusitis
This is when the inflammation persists over months. This is due to a variety of reasons such as allergies, asthma, nasal polyps or any injury. To identify which sinus infection you are experiencing, you can look at the drainage pattern from your nose. For example, for acute sinusitis, there is a discolored drainage with consistent nasal congestion, facial pressure and persistent pain. To treat an acute sinus, you have to stay hydrated, rest as much as you can, invest in some good over the counter medication, use nasal sprays and have decongestants. In some cases where the inflammation is due to bacteria, an antibiotic is suggested.

Now here comes the myth. Often sinus headaches are mistaken for acute sinus infection and are rushed with antibiotics. This will not resolve your problem as its chronic sinus that is the underlying problem. This is when you need to consult an ENT specialist straight away. To identify these particular chronic sinuses, you should look for nerve pain and jaw pain.

2) Only antibiotic can fix your sinus symptoms

No! This is not only a fit myth but also equally dangerous as you are creating antibiotic resistance in your body. If you have no sinus infection, unnecessary use of antibiotics will only accumulate the bacteria that is resistant to the drug. The only time you should have antibiotics when there is a very severe form of viral sinusitis that has persisted over 7 to 10 days. Even then there should be a consultation of a doctor involved before any self-diagnosis is done.

3) Surgery is the ONLY option for Chronic sinus For patients with chronic sinus, surgery is the last option. In the majority of the cases surgery is not an effective option, as other options are available that can prevent surgery.

Topical nasal medications
Allergy shots
Acupuncture or other alternative medicine method

4) There is only ONE type of sinus surgery

Most of us consider sinus surgery as fixing the deviated septum as the only true form of sinus surgery. This is a common form of sinus surgery, but it is not the only form of nasal surgery.

Deviated septum surgery. Many nasal symptoms happen due to a deviated septum. This causes blockage, sneezing and breathing issues. The procedure makes the bone and cartilage go back to the midline for improved nasal breathing.
Turbinate surgery. This is another procedure for nasal breathing. Many people have enlarged turbinates that warms up the nose and humidifies the air that is going to go in. Any defect is mostly due to allergies and requires a procedure to facilitate breathing.
Endoscopic sinus surgery. This surgery is most performed in OMC hospital.

5) Sinus surgery is very painful and often does not work

In almost every case sinus surgery is always a success and greatly helps in improving the breathing passageway for patients. It is one of the most common myths which is why verifying your information is really important. To conclude it all, before undergoing any sinus surgery make sure you understand all of your procedures no matter whether you have acute or chronic sinusitis.

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