Vive! Newsletter
March 2013
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Sinus Seminar

Featured Article

If you've lived in Greenville long enough, you know that our gorgeous spring weather and beautiful blossoming trees and plants come with one serious drawback - pollen. Many newcomers are shocked to see the blanket of yellow dust that covers everything in sight while little tumbleweeds of oak pollen roll in the breeze. Not surprisingly, the Upstate has a high rate of people who suffer from seasonal allergies. But since the symptoms of allergies often coincide with the symptoms of sinus infections - and even simple colds - how do you know what exactly you're suffering from? Read on to learn more:

Allergies or Sinus Infection? 4 Ways to Tell.


Seasonal allergies, sinus infections and colds all can cause nasal congestion and make you feel downright miserable, so it can be difficult to tell them apart. Making it even harder, these conditions are linked; nasal blockage caused by allergies or a cold can end up as sinusitis if the blocked mucus becomes infected.

"There is a lot of confusion between cold, sinus and allergy  symptoms," says Dr. Ronald Yuko, Ear Nose and Throat specialist with Carolina ENT. Since the symptoms can be so similar, here's a cheat sheet to help figure out what is causing your misery:


How long it lasts: If your congested nose and breathing difficulty last longer than a week, it's probably more than a cold. Most likely, allergies are involved. Some patients experience allergy symptoms during the spring and fall seasons, while others can have allergies year round (perennial). Sinusitis can follow a cold or allergies.


Facial pressure and pain: The severity of facial pain and pressure is one telltale sign of a sinus infection. Allergies usually don't cause nearly as much facial pain and pressure as sinusitis does. If you have sinusitis, you can feel pressure and pain in your nose, cheeks, forehead and even upper teeth.


Itching: An itchy, runny nose and watery eyes indicate allergies. This happens as a result of your immune system reacting to a foreign substance (called an allergen - we're looking at you, pollen) by releasing histamines. Histamines are responsible for starting the chemical reaction that results in allergy symptoms.


Fever, body aches and nausea: If you experience these symptoms, sinusitis is likely the cause. Sinus infections result when mucus does not drain properly and becomes infected with bacteria. This infection causes you to feel sicker and more fatigued than you would with allergies or a cold. 


While the sniffling and congestion may be similar in all three, the treatments will differ. A simple cold can be relieved by over-the-counter medications, such as decongestants. Seasonal and perennial allergies need to be treated with antihistamines, antihistamine sprays, steroidal nasal sprays or a combination of these. "If symptoms persist for more than two weeks despite medical treatment, a more thorough evaluation and treatment plan is indicated," Dr. Yuko says. 
For acute sinusitis, a prescription antibiotic is often prescribed to help control the symptoms. Chronic sinusitis refers to sinus infections that occur multiple times a year or persist for three months or more. Patients who suffer from chronic sinusitis often benefit from minimally-invasive surgery as the best option for long term control of their symptoms.


One such procedure, called Balloon Sinuplasty, safely and effectively opens breathing passages and sinus drainage areas. This procedure is done through the nostrils and doesn't require tissue or bone removal, allowing for quicker healing and faster recovery. Most patients return to work in just one or two days.


Learn more about balloon sinuplasty >>  


Bon Secours Medical Group 

The Bon Secours Medical Group has ENT specialists available at both Carolina ENT and Foothills ENT. Visit to find an ENT specialist near you.   









Looking for more information like this? Are you one of the millions of Americans who suffers from chronic sinus infections? If so, join Bon Secours Medical Group ENT physicians to learn about a minimally-invasive sinus procedure that can immediately provide lasting relief from sinus infections.   


The free event will be held Tuesday, March 26 at 6:00 p.m. at ST. FRANCIS eastside. Click here to register and learn more.  


Balloon Sinuplasty: Sinus Surgery of the Future





Alex Sierra knows the pain of sinusitis; he suffered with chronic sinusitis for years. "Every year I would have two or three serious sinus infections," he says. "My job requires extensive air travel, and it was really difficult due to the pressure I would have in my head and my nose."   


When medical therapy such as antibiotics and nasal steroids no longer controlled his symptoms, he looked to surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty technology. "I finally ended up with a sinus infection that lasted for four full weeks and was just getting worse," Alex says. "I had a lot of pain and pressure around my eyes and forehead and overall was feeling really bad. I was ready to do whatever was necessary to get better and get back on track in my life."


During this procedure - available at the St. Francis Sinus Center - blocked sinus passageways are re-opened completely through the nostrils, restoring normal sinus drainage and function without an open incision or bone or tissue removal. The procedure leaves no scar and makes recovery much easier for the patient. "I had my procedure in the morning and by lunch time I was ready to go home," Alex says.




If you experience chronic sinusitis, visit a Bon Secours Medical Group ENT physician to learn more about your options, including balloon sinuplasty.


The Vive! newsletter was created for women to offer education and lifestyle tips for better knowledge and care for your health. Find more information online, and tell a friend!