Sinus Infection

Riesberg Institue

Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist & Facials located in Pensacola, FL

A sinus infection may start from a virus, allergies, or in many cases, a nasal obstruction. Michael Riesberg, MD, and the highly qualified team at Riesberg Institute in Pensacola, Florida, determine the cause of your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that meets your unique needs. When you need more than medication, they specialize in minimally invasive procedures that create long-term results, such as balloon sinuplasty. If you have problems with nasal congestion, a runny nose, or sinus pain, call the office or schedule an appointment online.

Sinus Infection

What causes a sinus infection?

Sinus infections often begin when the virus from a common cold or the flu travels into your sinuses or when allergies lead to ongoing inflammation. You can also develop a sinus infection when you have a structural problem in the nasal passages that blocks the flow of mucus.

When inflammation or a nasal obstruction blocks your sinuses, mucus builds up and a sinus infection develops.

What type of nasal obstruction leads to a sinus infection?

Nasal obstruction often occurs due to three common structural problems: a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, or nasal polyps.

Deviated septum

The septum is the thin piece of cartilage that separates your two nostrils. When the septum is significantly crooked or off-center, you have a deviated septum. In severe cases, this problem blocks your airways and causes recurring sinus infections.

Enlarged turbinates

Turbinates are bony structures inside your nose that humidify the air you breathe. They’re lined by mucous membranes that are susceptible to inflammation. Swollen turbinates can block the opening to one or more sinuses.

Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are soft, noncancerous growths that appear on the lining of your nasal passages. Small polyps may not cause any problems, but as they get larger, they block airways and sinuses.

What symptoms develop due to a sinus infection?

No matter what causes your sinus infection, you’ll experience symptoms such as:

  • Runny nose
  • Congested nose
  • Nasal discharge
  • Postnasal drip
  • Headaches
  • Diminished sense of smell or taste
  • Pain around your sinuses
  • Pain in your upper teeth
  • Nosebleeds

Nasal congestion and difficulty breathing often make it hard to get a good night’s sleep.

How is a sinus infection treated?

After examining your airways and evaluating the presence of sinus pain or pressure, your Riesberg Institute provider may perform an in-office sinus CT scan to look for nasal obstructions and assess the extent of the inflammation.

Your treatment is based on the underlying cause of your sinus infection. For example, a bacterial infection is treated with antibiotics. Most patients also need medications to relieve their inflammation and symptoms, such as saline flushes, nasal steroids, or antihistamines.

When a sinus CT scan reveals a nasal obstruction, you may need one of the following procedures:

  • Balloon sinuplasty
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery
  • Septoplasty
  • Polypectomy
  • Turbinate reduction
  • ClariFix®
  • VivAer® 

If you suffer from chronic or recurring nasal congestion, a runny nose, or sinus pressure, call Riesberg Institute or book an appointment online.