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Are Sinus Infections Really Contagious? — CT Sinus Center

sinus infection, contagious

Has this happened to you? You tell someone you have a sinus infection or sinusitis, and they start to shy away like you have the plague. Sure, no one wants to feel ill, but are sinus infections really contagious?

The answer to that question is mostly “no.” We say “mostly” because sinus infections are caused by different things, and very few of those things are contagious. Let’s take a look.

What causes sinus infections?

The majority of sinus infections are viral, which means that they are caused by a virus. In other cases, sinusitis may be caused by bacteria that accumulates in the inflamed nasal passages. Other causes include:

How do sinus infections spread?

The only way a sinus infection can spread is if it’s viral. The other causes listed above are not contagious at all. The problem is, as we said above, that most sinus infections are caused by a virus, not unlike the one that causes upper respiratory infections, aka the common cold or flu. But that said, even if the virus is easily passed on, the sinus infection may not be. In fact, many times the shared virus manifests in the receiver as a common cold rather than a case of sinusitis. So really, the answer to the original question is that a sinus infection isn’t exactly contagious.

How can you tell if your sinusitis is viral and contagious?

The best way to figure this out is to see a doctor, such as one of our expert physicians at Connecticut Sinus Center. When you first come in, we’ll thoroughly discuss your symptoms with you. Next, through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, we’ll pinpoint exactly what is causing your sinus issues and develop the right treatment for your lifestyle. If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, you may even be a candidate for one of our two outpatient procedures, both of which will end your discomfort in around an hour:

  • Balloon Sinuplasty, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
  • Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, decreasing the size of the turbinate and quickly increasing airflow

Sharing is not always caring. Call 860-BALLOON today to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices: Kent, Litchfield, Shelton and Waterbury. When you feel better, everyone around you will feel better too.

For more information on sinus-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.

 


Litchfield Residents: Say Goodbye to Sinus Issues – CT Sinus Center

CTSC-Litchfield residents

Litchfield residents, you know you have a beautiful community. There’s so much rich history in your hills: wineries, hiking trails, landmarks and other beautiful attractions. But if you suffer from sinus issues, you may not get to enjoy your corner of the world as much as you’d like.  

Unfortunately, sinus issues can strike at any time, and their symptoms are miserable. They can include any — or all — of the following:

  • Drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat
  • Nasal obstruction or congestion, causing difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste

Fortunately, there is help, and it’s right in your neighborhood. Our state-of-the-art office is located at 17 Commons Drive, Litchfield, just off Rt. 202, and we are open at this location on Tuesdays and Thursday, 8:30am–5:00pm.

How can Connecticut Sinus Center help you?

We offer a non-invasive procedure called balloon sinuplasty that can end your sinus suffering forever. The procedure is done in the office, with local anesthesia and in about an hour. Best of all, there are basically no side effects and very little recovery time.

An ideal candidate for balloon sinuplasty must have the following symptoms:

  • Chronic sinus headaches
  • Regular facial and sinus pain
  • Repeat sinus infections that don’t seem to respond to medication
  • Regular dizziness and disorientation as a result of sinus pressure

However, even if you don’t qualify for balloon sinuplasty, our expert team of doctors will work with you to find the right individualized treatment plan for your needs.

Litchfield residents: Ditch your sinusitis! Call 860-BALLOON or fill out the contact form on our website to schedule an appointment and put sinus suffering in your past.

For more information on sinus-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


What Is the Cost of Balloon Sinuplasty?-CT Sinus Center

balloon sinuplasty

No one wants to suffer from sinusitis. No one really wants to have a medical procedure either; they worry about side effects, recovery time and cost. At CT Sinus Center, we fully understand that these are legitimate concerns that can keep you from starting on the path to sinus issue wellness. In fact, in last week’s blog, we discussed that there are only a few possible minor side effects and basically no recovery time for balloon sinuplasty. In this blog, we want to continue to help alleviate your fears by talking about the cost of the procedure.

Unfortunately, giving you the exact cost of balloon sinuplasty is difficult because it is based on a bunch of different factors, including facility and insurance policies. However, we can tell you that at CT Sinus Center, the procedure is covered by insurance, and if you give your company a call, they will be able to give you more specific information. We also welcome Medicaid and Medicare Patients. And if you’re still worried about the cost, call us and we will walk you through it and help you with arrangements.

What is the cost of not having balloon sinuplasty?

To begin with, when you suffer from chronic sinus issues, it’s pretty miserable and expensive. But do you realize how much it really affects your overall quality of life? Our blog “The Real Costs of Allergies” (and sinusitis) reminds you of just that with things including: loss in productivity, lost family time and poor nutrition.

When you do the math, both literally and figuratively, you can see the value having balloon sinuplasty and finding permanent relief from your sinus issues. So stop hesitating — call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment. With four conveniently-located offices — Kent, Litchfield, Shelton and Waterbury — distance isn’t a factor either.

For more information on sinus-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.

 


Kent: New Place, Same Permanent Relief

KentHaving a sinus issue can be a burden, but we offer numerous procedures that can help at our four different locations throughout Connecticut. If you were a patient of our former CT Sinus Center office in Sharon, you may already know that it has moved to 27 North Main Street, Unit 7A, in Kent, CT! This new state-of-the-art office is taking appointments and offering patients the same sinus relief that has been changing lives for years. Trying to figure out if you should give us a call? Find out below.

Signs You Need Sinus Relief from Our Kent Office

Do you suffer from any of the following?

  • Facial pain
  • Facial pressure
  • Sinus headaches
  • Chronic sinus infections

If you’ve answered yes, we’ve got great news! We can help. Come to our newest office in Kent to see what we can do for you and find out if you are a candidate for balloon sinus dilation. This non-invasive, in-office procedure will reshape your nasal passages to promote drainage and natural healing, ending sinus issues permanently.

Meet Dr. Larry Marcus

Dr. Larry Marcus is the primary doctor of the new Kent office. With hours of operation of 8:30- 5:00 pm, don’t forget to get ahead and book your appointment as soon as possible. Schedule your appointment today at our Kent office by calling 860-BALLOON. There’s no need to suffer from sinus pain and pressure any longer.

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


Chiropractors: Cracking Sinusitis and Allergies – CT Sinus Center

Allergy symptoms aren’t to be taken lightly, we know this by now. About 50 million people in the US alone are affected by allergies; ranging from pollen, grass and mold, and even food. Another 29.4 million are affected by chronic sinusitis. People are constantly looking for ways to get to the root of their sinus problems and put an end to them, which includes taking over-the-counter medications designed to treat symptoms. Some folks, however, tend to take a more holistic approach with alternative medicine: They see chiropractors.

How do chiropractors and chiropractic medicine impact sinusitis and allergies?

Chiropractors are health professionals who generally focus on adjusting and manipulating the spine, usually to relieve back pain for patients. Their belief is that adjusting the spine can do wonders for the body, nervous system and consequently, allergies. The medical, as well as overall, community is divided on the success of chiropractic treatment for sinus and allergy issues, but there are a few things that are certain:

Chiropractic care:

  • Does not target allergies specifically
  • Does not offer a one-time solution
  • Does not have science-based evidence for success
  • Poses risks for the patient, including:
    • A herniated disk
    • Compression of nerves in the lower spinal column
    • A certain type of stroke after neck manipulation

How can I permanently end sinusitis and allergies?

For some people, going to chiropractors are an integral part of self-care. However, if you are looking for a permanent relief from your sinus or allergy issues, consider a non-invasive, medicine-free solution that can be done in about an hour. Also, consider that when it comes to sinus conditions, there are no more knowledgeable doctors than those at CT Sinus Center.

When you first come in, our team of sinus experts will thoroughly discuss your symptoms. Next, through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, we will pinpoint what is causing your sinus issues and develop the right treatment for your lifestyle. You may even be a candidate for one of our two outpatient procedures, both of which will end your discomfort in around an hour:

  • Balloon Sinus Dilation, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
  • Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, decreasing the size of the turbinate and quickly increasing airflow

Are you ready for sinus relief?

Call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices — Kent, Litchfield, Shelton and Waterbury — and stop getting bent out of shape over sinusitis.  

For more information on sinus– and allergy-related conditions or treatments, read more about CT Sinus Center and take a look at our blog.


7 Ways to Have a Safe and Festive Fourth of July

Fourth of JulyWith the Fourth of July approaching, many people are preparing for barbeques, fireworks and all the patriotic fun the holiday brings. However, if you are an allergy sufferer, some of these activities may throw up red flags. So in order to help ensure that you and your loved ones have a safe celebration, we compiled a list of things to watch out for.

  1. Pollen counts: Of course you can’t control nature, but if you are aware of the daily pollen counts, you can at least prepare yourself. Allergy medications work best when you take them before you are exposed to the allergens, so make sure to take the correct dose before heading out to the festivities and continue to take as directed.
  2. Grass: There’s a good chance that wherever you’re celebrating, there will be grass — whether watching fireworks or hanging out at a park or a backyard BBQ. During this time of the year, grass pollens are pretty hard to avoid, especially since the holiday is so close to June, the time in which grass pollen count skyrockets. Grass can also be a breeding ground for mold, which can trigger allergic symptoms as well. If you are sensitive to these elements, take you allergy medication and find alternatives to sitting in the grass.
  3. Insects: Another hidden danger in grass involves insects. The saying “they won’t bother you if don’t bother them” may often be true, but insect behavior tends to be unpredictable. Be sure to pack your bug spray  and follow these tips from the  the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology to ward off any unprovoked attacks. And if you or someone does have a known allergy to insect bites/stings, make sure you’ve also packed the EpiPen.
  4. Balloons: Who doesn’t love balloons? Someone with a latex allergy. Many party planners don’t take latex allergies into account when they are buying decorations, and it’s not unusual for guests, especially children, to reach out and grab balloons. So if you are buying balloons for your Fourth of July celebration, buy the latex-free ones.
  5. Smoke: Where there are fireworks, there is usually also smoke. The same can be said for campfires and even the grill. Usually the smoke itself is an irritant, rather than an allergen, but that doesn’t mean it can’t cause serious health issues. People who suffer from asthma or COPD are particularly susceptible to the dangers of smoke and should stay out of smoke’s way. And, of course, everyone should remain conscious of fire and firework safety at all times.
  6. Food allergies: In the last couple of years, the world has become much more sensitive about food allergies, and just because it’s a holiday, it doesn’t mean you should take a break from being conscientious about them. For some delicious, allergy-friendly Fourth of July recipes, visit My Allergy Kingdom.
  7. PTSD: Not everybody loves fireworks, in fact for some Veterans, they can be downright terrifying. The loud explosions and flashes of light in a firework display can trigger frightening flashbacks for our Veterans, and nobody wants that to happen. To learn more about how you can help your Veterans cope during Fourth of July celebrations, visit here. After all, we have them to thank for our continued independence.

With a little planning ahead, everyone can have a blast on the Fourth of July. At CT Sinus Center, we would like to wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday!

For more information on all things sinusitis and allergy, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.


Allergy Shots: Yea or Nay?

Allergy ShotsFor some people, no amount of antihistamines, decongestants or corticosteroids, prescription or over-the-counter, provide relief from their chronic allergy symptoms. For these people, allergy shots are another option.

Mayo Clinic describes immunotherapy, or allergy shots, as the “carefully timed and gradually increased exposure to allergens, particularly those that are difficult to avoid, such as pollens, dust mites and molds.” The desired outcome, as the name suggests, is to get the immune system to the point where it becomes used to the allergens and no longer reacts. The treatment itself is similar to being vaccinated, but the resistance can take three to six months and required shots once or twice a week. After that period, less frequent shots are still necessary for up to five years.

One of the great things about allergy shots is that they carry very little risk and are usually very effective, although you may react to the allergens entering your body depending on the severity of your allergy.

Mayo Clinic explains the risks:

  • Local reactions can involve temporary redness, swelling or irritation at the injection site.
  • Systemic reactions, which are less common, involve typical allergy symptoms from minor nasal congestion to more severe wheezing.
  • Anaphylaxis, which is extremely rare, can begin within 30 minutes. The procedure is done in a doctor’s office so that if this does occur, you are still under a doctor’s care.

When deciding whether or not the shots are right for you, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology suggests considering the following factors:

  • The length of allergy season and the severity of your symptoms
  • Whether medications and/or changes to your environment can control your symptoms
  • Your desire to avoid long-term medication use
  • Time: allergy immunotherapy requires a major time commitment
  • Cost: may vary depending on your region and insurance coverage

If you are an allergy sufferer, but are not sure you want to go through this procedure, CT Sinus Center has another option for you. Our expert physicians specialize in up-to-date, innovative procedures that can put an end to your allergy suffering forever.

Say “nay” to allergy shots.

When you come in for your appointment at CT Sinus Center, our doctors will begin with a patient-centered approach and thoroughly discuss your symptoms. They will then perform comprehensive diagnostic testing to figure out exactly what is triggering your allergies in order to develop an individualized treatment plan. You may be an ideal candidate for Balloon Sinus Dilation, a non-invasive, in-house procedure in which a small balloon is inflated in the nasal cavity in order to drain your sinuses and keep the passages permanently open. Or Turbinate Reductions may be the better choice for your symptoms. This is an outpatient surgical process in which soft tissue is removed in order to increase airflow and decrease post nasal drip. Both are one-time procedures that will last a lifetime.

If you are ready to take a shot at a allergy-free life, call CT Sinus Center today at 860-BALLOON and schedule an appointment at one of our three conveniently-located offices.

For more information on all things sinus– and allergy-related, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.


Scratching Out Skin Allergies

Skin AllergiesSometimes you wear your allergies on your sleeve, or at least under it if you suffer from skin allergies. These allergies, while usually not life-threatening, can be very uncomfortable. There are four types of skin allergies recognized by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology:

1. Hives (Urticaria) are bumps on the skin that usually itch, but can burn too. The  reaction can be caused by the following conditions:

  • Foods
  • Medications
  • Common allergens (pollen, animal dander, latex, insect stings)
  • Environmental factors (heat, cold, sunlight, emotional stress)
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Genetics

2. Angioedema is similar to hives, but affects deeper levels of skin. It can be life-threatening when occurring in the throat or on the tongue because it may hinder breathing.

3. Contact dermatitis: This reaction occurs when an allergen comes into contact with your skin. It appears as a red, itchy rash and can be quite uncomfortable. According to WebMD, the following are the most common causes of contact dermatitis:

  • Nickel (a metal used in jewelry and snaps on jeans, makeup, lotions, soaps, shampoos)
  • Sunscreens and bug sprays
  • Medications you put on your skin (antibiotics, anti-itch creams)
  • Fragrances
  • Cleaning products
  • Plants
  • Latex (plastic gloves, elastic in clothing, condoms, balloons)
  • Chemicals

4. Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, manifests as itchy, red and dry skin. It affects people of all ages, but usually begins in early childhood. Eczema is not actually caused by the body’s release of histamines as in most allergic reactions. In fact the exact cause is unknown, but there is a proven link between seasonal allergies and eczema.

There are few things you can do to self-treat skin allergies, and in most cases, the reaction will go away on its own. Treatments include:

The problem is that when you are re-exposed to the allergen, the reaction comes back.

The best thing to do is to avoid the allergen completely, but you can’t do that until you know exactly what it is. Even then, completely avoiding it may not be realistic.

However, if you suffer from skin allergies, our expert physicians at our sister office Westwood Ear, Nose and Throat can help. When you come in for an appointment, our doctors will take the time to sit down with you and thoroughly discuss your symptoms. They will then do a very thorough skin test to determine what exactly you’re allergic to. Next they will discuss all possible treatment options and put you on an individualized treatment plan that is sure to make your life much more comfortable.

Call (888) 230-3715 today to schedule your appointment at one of Westwood’s  three conveniently- located offices, and say goodbye to your irritation — skin and otherwise.

For more information on sinus allergy conditions, visit the CT Sinus website and blog.


5 Common Mistakes That Make Allergies Worse


Allergy mistakesDoes it seem that no matter what you do to treat your
allergies, nothing seems to be working? Perhaps instead of helping, you’re actually committing some of the following common treatment mistakes. So before you suffer another day, let’s take a look at some “fixes” you should be avoiding.

  1. Mistake: Treating symptoms, not underlying causes. While you may be able to eliminate some of your symptoms with specific treatments, unless you address what’s causing them, the fix is only temporary. For example, if you are taking a decongestant for a stuffy nose or an antihistamine for a runny one, you may be able to breathe a bit more freely, however the relief will last only as long as the dosage does. Also, if you have chronic allergies, but you’re taking medication for the common cold, you may only get a break from some of your symptoms.

Correct way: See an allergy specialist for a diagnosis and develop an individualized treatment plan.

  1. Mistake: Taking medications too late. As we discussed in “Allergy Myths: The Truth Is Out There,” many people won’t reach for the allergy medications until they feel sick. However, once the allergy is in full-swing, it can be difficult to relieve its symptoms.

Correct way: “Pre-treat” by taking the medicine before you are exposed to the allergen, thereby preventing, or at least lessening, the allergic reaction. Pre-treating often means taking the medication long-term and year-round.

  1. Mistake: Ignoring pollen count. If you ask the average person how the pollen count is measured, he or she may tell you that it is an estimated level based on how much pollen is seen in the air and on surfaces. Actually, pollen count is a real, scientific measurement of how much pollen and mold is saturating the air, and higher levels represent danger for allergy sufferers.

Correct way: Schedule your life around the pollen count.

  1. Mistake: Inviting pollen in. You probably think of dust being inside of your house, and pollen being outside. However, pollen will find its way into your home — and you may be responsible. First, opening windows lets the fresh air in, but it also lets the pollen in. Also, pollen can gather on shoes and clothing, which then can be tracked throughout your house. It can even settle into clothing that is hanging on an outside clothesline, so your freshly washed clothes may not be as clean as you thought.

Correct way: Constantly wash your clothes, dry them inside, and shower to remove the pollen from your skin. Always leave windows closed.

  1. Mistake: Misusing air purifiers or humidifiers. Both of these machines are great for improving the air quality in your home. However if you don’t keep up on the maintenance and clean the filters, you are only be recirculating the pollen and mold that was making you ill in the first place.

Correct way: Make sure you are always using distilled water, and clean your filters regularly.

It is said that doing things over and over in the same way, but expecting different results, is the definition of insanity. So why keep making the same mistakes over and over when treating your allergies? On the other hand, doing things the correct way can be quite time-consuming and inconvenient — and temporary.

The expert physicians at CT Sinus Center can help you break through this frustrating and expensive cycle to find permanent relief. First and foremost, we will take the time to sit down with you and discuss your symptoms and then use the most up-to-date diagnostic tools to find out exactly what’s causing them. Next, we’ll develop a personalized treatment plan designed to get you on the path to symptom-free living in no time. You may be an ideal candidate for Balloon Sinus Dilation, a non-invasive, in-house procedure in which a small balloon is inflated in the nasal cavity, opening passages and relieving your allery symptoms forever.

To see what we can do for you, call CT Sinus Center today at 860-BALLOON and schedule an appointment at one of our three conveniently-located offices.

For more information on all things sinus– and allergy-related, visit the CT Sinus Center website and blog.


Fairfield County Office Now Booking Appointments

Until now, if you live in Fairfield County, you’ve had to travel a little bit out of your way to find expert sinus relief. Now, beginning August 4, CT Sinus Center is bringing its proven, permanent sinus solutions to your neighborhood!

Our brand new office will be conveniently located at 4 Corporate Drive, Suite 392, in Shelton. This new location will allow us to help even more sinusitis and allergy sufferers get back to the quality of life they deserve.

CT Sinus Center is the leading provider of a one-hour permanent solution to sinus suffering called balloon sinus dilation.This non-invasive procedure increases the airflow through nasal passages, reducing the recurrence of ailments and providing you with long-lasting, much needed relief.

Schedule your appointment today at our new Fairfield County office by calling 860-BALLOON. Whether you are eligible for balloon sinus dilation or any other of our highly effective methods of treatment, CT Sinus Center will get you back to feeling like you in no time.

Our office doors will not open until August 4, but our services are in demand, so secure your appointment today. Don’t miss your chance to get ahead of allergy season.

For more information on how the expert physicians at CT Sinus Center can help you, visit our website and blog, and call 860-BALLOON.