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Within the human sinus and skull, there are four paired air-filled spaces. These include the maxillary and ethmoid sinuses, which are present at birth, and the sphenoid sinus, which is located under the back of the eyes. Along with these, the frontal sinus is fully developed around age 12, and the septum, which divides the right and left sides of the nose, provides a way to direct air through the nose as well as heat and moisten it when needed.
However, with the human body, things can go wrong from time to time, and air-filled cavities are no exception. If you find yourself having problems with these parts of your sinus, here are some possible causes as well as treatments doctors may use to rectify the situation.
If a patient is having problems with air-filled cavities, a doctor will often order a CAT scan to literally look inside a person’s head. By doing so, various issues such as tumors growing behind the patient’s eyes or ears can be discovered or ruled out. In addition, if a person’s normal flow of mucous changes or stops, that indicates a problem. In most situations, the cause is a viral infection. To properly diagnose this problem, an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist will conduct an exam of the sinuses. Using a nasal speculum and headlight, the doctor first sprays topical decongestant into the nose to make it easier to view the normal anatomy, using the speculum and headlight to get a detailed look. In severe cases, a magnifying endoscope may be used to help the doctor get a better look at the nasal cavities.
Because there can be a variety of problems associated with air-filled cavities, it’s very important for those who are experiencing problems to meet with an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist as soon as possible. In most cases, doctors use treatment methods including humidifiers or decongestants to help clear clogged passages, as well as antibiotics or topical steroid sprays to reduce lining swelling. In cases where polyps may need to be removed, surgical procedures such as balloon sinuplasty may be used to open the sinus passage. This procedure not only promotes drainage, but also decreases operating time as well as future scarring.
If you believe you are having sinus problems or issues related to air-filled cavities in your sinuses, feel free to reach out to Dr. Don J. Beasley, MD today. Schedule a consultation online, or call our office at (208) 229-2368