Sinusitis Specialist

Richard Ruiz, MD

Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgeon located in Temecula, CA

Like the everyday cold, sinusitis is a common problem that causes nasal misery but typically heals on its own. If the problem becomes chronic, however, you may need expert medical help to get the relief you need. Richard Ruiz M.D., Inc. specializes in getting to the cause of your persistent sinusitis and providing treatment that provides long-lasting relief. To schedule an evaluation, call the office in Temecula, California, or book an appointment online.

Sinusitis Q & A

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What causes sinusitis?

Sinusitis occurs when one or more of your eight sinuses become inflamed and swollen. Your sinuses produce mucus that normally flows out of the sinus and into your nasal passages. When sinusitis develops, mucus becomes trapped inside the sinus and causes infection.

There are three primary causes of sinusitis:

Nonallergic sinusitis

Nonallergic sinusitis usually develops from the same virus that causes the common cold. In some cases, it may arise from a bacterial infection. If it lasts longer than 12 weeks, it’s considered chronic sinusitis.

Allergic sinusitis

Better known as hay fever, allergic sinusitis is caused by an immune response to allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust.

Nasal passage abnormality

A deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, or a tumor may block the sinus opening, obstruct mucus flow, and cause sinusitis.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

All types of sinusitis cause symptoms, such as:

  • Nasal congestion
  • A headache
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Diminished sense of smell or taste
  • Aching jaw
  • Fatigue

You may also develop a cough, feel pressure in your ears, or experience a fever. Many patients have postnasal drip, which is when mucus drains down the back of your throat.

Nonallergic sinusitis may cause a thick, discolored discharge, while allergic sinusitis often makes your nose and eyes itchy and watery.

How is sinusitis diagnosed and treated?

After reviewing your medical history and examining your nose, Dr. Ruiz may need to order an off-site CT scan to ensure an accurate diagnosis.

Your treatment may include one or more of the following:

  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
  • Saline sinus irrigation
  • Antibiotics (for a bacterial infection)
  • Nasal or sinus surgery

If your sinusitis is caused by allergies, you’ll need to avoid allergens as much as possible. Dr. Ruiz may recommend immunotherapy for moderate to severe allergies.

Will I need surgery to treat sinusitis?

When chronic sinusitis persists despite conservative treatments, Dr. Ruiz may recommend minimally invasive endoscopic sinus surgery to correct a deviated septum, remove polyps, or open your blocked sinuses.

Another type of minimally invasive surgery, balloon sinuplasty, reopens the sinuses by briefly inflating a balloon in the blocked opening. The pressure created by the inflated balloon restructures the passageway and opens the sinus. Balloon sinuplasty is done in the office and produces results that typically last about two years.

If you’re suffering from sinusitis, call Richard Ruiz M.D., Inc. or book an appointment online.