What can ENT do to my sinuses?



Mohiemen Anwar

Sinuses are cavities within our skulls covered by the same lining as our noses and are in continuation with the nasal cavity, therefore they are often referred to as the paranasal sinuses or the sinonasal cavity. A typical adult human normally has four paired sinus cavities (frontal, sphenoid, maxillary and ethmoid sinuses, with the ethmoid sinuses further divided into anterior and posterior ethmoids). Their function is not clear, however what we know of them is that they play an important role in:

  • Phonation and resonance 
  • Smell and taste
  • Clear breathing and air humidification and warming of inhaled breath 
  • Reducing the weight of the skull 
  • Clearance of inhaled allergens (pollens and dust particles) and microbes (bacteria, viruses and fungi)

Any pathology affecting the sinonasal cavity would disturb above mentioned functions and symptoms described by patients to be:

  • Change in voice (sounding nasal)
  • Loss sense of smell and taste 
  • Nasal congestion and obstruction 
  • Feeling “heavy head” and headache
  • Yellow / Green nasal discharge 

The ENT specialist is trained to recognise symptoms of sinus diseases and treat them accordingly. Some clinic-based procedures like fibreoptic endoscopic examination of the sinonasal cavity assist in diagnosing sinus pathologies like sinusitis, rhinitis and nasal polyps. Although the drainage pathways of the sinuses can be viewed with the endoscope, however to be able to study all the paranasal sinuses cavities in detail, often the ENT specialist would require a CT scan for your sinuses and will follow up with the results in the clinic. Most Sinus pathologies can be treated with prescribed medication e.g. prolonged course of specialised antibiotics and topical nasal treatment. In the case of moderate to severe disease, or infection that is resistant or reflective to medical treatment, surgery is required. Mr Anwar has a high specialist interest in Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, and would offer his experience in this surgical procedure to his patients whenever indicated, in a manner that would reduce the need for any further operations in the future.

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