The Nose and Sinuses

  • "I've never been able to breathe through my nose that well"

  • "I just feel blocked in the sinuses all the time, and don't really feel my sense of smell is any good"

  • "I feel like stuff constantly runs down then back of my nose and into my throat"

  • "I always have to breathe through my mouth at night and wake up with a sore throat"'

  • "I keep getting bleeding noses"

  • "I constantly have a runny nose, and itchy and runny eyes"

These are common stories from patients I hear every day.

The 'sinuses' are pockets of air, coming off the nasal cavity, in the bones of our face. The 'nasal cavity' refers to the breathing passage from our nostrils to the back of the nose and throat. Problems with the nose and sinuses are very common, and generally relate to one of two causes.

1) The nose has a structural blockage. This means a part of the normal nasal 'anatomy' is blocking the airway. This commonly results from the way our facial bones develop as a child and young adult, or may be as a result of a facial injury. You may have heard of the terms 'deviated septum' or enlarged 'turbinates' or adenoids..

2) There is an underlying inflammation of the nose. Most commonly this is caused by allergic rhinitis (hayfever). However some people may suffer from infections or inflammation of the nose and sinuses with other causes.

ENT surgeons have the ability to see inside the nasal cavity using a tiny camera known as a nasoendoscope. This is a quick procedure performed in the office with minimal discomfort that allows us to accurately diagnose your specific issue and start the best possible treatment.

Often this will take the form of nasal sprays and washes, and sometimes tablets containing antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. A scan may be arranged after using these medications for a period of time. In some patients, surgery may be offered to improve breathing and to open up the sinuses, allowing better drainage, preventing infections and allow better access for nasal medications.

Surgery is most commonly performed using keyhole techniques, and is extremely effective in the right patient.

Copyright 2020 Dr Samuel McGinness