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Glossary for sinus conditions and therapies

By familiarizing yourself with these terms, you’ll be able to describe your symptoms more effectively at the check-in process. You’ll also enjoy a more productive dialogue with Dr. Dobleman or Physicians’ Assistant Doug Larson.

Acute Sinusitis: a short-term condition that often responds well to antibiotics and decongestants.

Allergic Rhinitis: occurs when allergens like pollen, dust mites or pet dander cause the nasal cavity to overreact. It mimics the symptoms of a common cold including nasal congestion, a clear runny nose, sneezing, tearing eyes and often a cough due to post-nasal drip of clear mucus.

Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure used by ENT surgeons to open sinus passages and help relieve the pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis.

Chronic Sinusitis: characterized by sinusitis symptoms that last longer than 12 weeks. Possible treatment options include antibiotics, endoscopic sinus surgery or balloon sinuplasty.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is sinus surgery in which surgeons use a lighted instrument called an endoscope to view inside the nose. Both Balloon Sinuplasty and FESS are forms of endoscopic sinus surgery.

ENT Doctor (also known as an ear, nose and throat doctor or an “oto-laryn-gol-o-gist”). Provides the medical and surgical diagnosis, treatment, and management of hearing, balance, communication, and other disorders of the ear, nose, throat, and related head and neck issues.

Ethmoid Sinus: a collection of air cells within the ethmoid bone, a spongy bone which makes up the front of the floor of the skull and the roof of the nose.

Frontal Sinus: the pocket of air cells in the forehead.

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS): a form of sinus surgery in which the surgeons modify the sinus openings with the aim of clearing blocked sinuses.

Maxillary sinus: the largest of the sinuses, found in the cheekbones.

Mucous Membrane: the lining of certain organs such as the nose, mouth and throat that produces thick, slippery fluid called mucus. Infection, allergy or other environmental triggers can increase mucus production.

Over-the-counter (OTC) Sinusitis Medication: includes saline rinses that enable the sufferer to rinse out nasal passages; also includes decongestants (drugs that decrease nasal congestion by causing constriction of blood vessels and reduced blood flow to nasal passages).

Pediatric Sinusitis: the condition of sinusitis in children; can be difficult to diagnose.

Sinus Headache: a headache created by pressure changes in the sinus cavities, with symptoms including pain, pressure over the cheeks, brow, and forehead.

Sinus Infection: an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages causing symptoms like headache and pressure. It is synonymous with the term sinusitis.

Sinus Lining: composed of tiny hair-like structures called cilia that help move mucus out of the sinuses.

Sinus Ostia: the small openings in bone where air enters into the sinus. If an ostium is blocked, air cannot pass into the sinus and mucus cannot drain out.

Sinus Pressure: pain in the face or head due to inflammation of the sinus lining and buildup of mucus

Sinus Surgery: a procedure that a surgeon performs, usually in a doctor’s office, to treat chronic sinusitis.

Sinusitis: is an inflammation of the membranes lining the sinuses that may lead to recurrent sinus infections and painful symptoms.

Sinusitis Antibiotics: used to treat sinus infections caused by bacteria or other microorganisms.

Sinusitis Symptoms: can include facial pain, tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead, yellow or green mucus from the nose, teeth pain, fatigue, sore throat from nasal discharge and bad breath.

Sinusitis Treatment: aims to reduce swelling, can include natural therapies (such as inhalation of steam), over-the-counter medications, nasal steroids, antibiotics, or surgery.

Sphenoid Sinus: the pocket of air cells in bones behind the nasal cavity.

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