Top 10 pediatricians in Mission Viejo, CA
Allergy & Asthma Associates of Southern California has been recognized as one of the top Mission Viejo Pediatrics practices.

Everybody has sinus problems these days, eh?

Most people describe any sensation of nasal congestion as "sinus" probably because of TV commercials with their excellent art and animation while selling a "sinus" medication. The proper terminology for an Infection is to use the suffix "itis" after the organ involved. Hence, there is tonsillitis, bronchitis, and yes, even sinusitis.

Here I go with another sinus infection – what's the deal?

The first question we think about is "do you really have a sinusitis or do you have a common cold or something else". "Wait a minute", you might say, "Do you think I'm a dummy? I had this same thing a while back". Well maybe you are right and maybe not. The reason we try to make this decision is that antibiotics don't help viral infections. Since the average person may have 4-6 colds a year and numerous other processes if allergic, it would be easy to have you on unnecessary antibiotics a great deal of the year. We often are very aggressive, treating people for 21 days at a time.

Here is the process we go through in thinking about your complaint:

Symptom

Possible other cause

Headache, facial pain Dental disease

Temporal mandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)

Tumor (rare)

Vascular Tension Headache

Malaise (fatigue) Allergic conditions

Depression

Medication side-effects

Nasal drainage, post nasal drip, cough Asthma

Hiata hemia or gastro esophageal reflux

Nasal membrane problems other than allergy

Nasal polyps

How do you tell the difference between a cold and a sinus infection?

There are a number of physical findings we think are critical congestion, colored nasal drainage, fever, and facial pain. On physical examination we push over the sinus areas listed below and look for a response. But the ultimate diagnosis is made with an X-Ray usually a one view front face X-Ray is sufficient. However, there are times when a more sophisticated exam is needed, a CT scan. We see thickening in the membranes of the sinus cavity, or and a fluid level, or completely "opacified" sinus. A "cold" may feel similar to a sinus infection because of the nasal congestion, but the X-Ray is clear. Usually "colds" get better in 3-5 days, sinusitis may hang on interminably unless antibiotics are used.

Here's what causes sinusitis:

Sinuses are cavities lined with membranes that make mucus to wash and cleanse the sinuses.

If anything obstructs the drainage for any sinus, the mucus may back up and become infected by germs that always linger in your nasal area. The most common ways the drainage area become slowed or obstructed includes allergy (you know that swelling), colds (yes, they lead to sinus infections in many cases), structural problems like polyps or deviated septum) and other medical conditions. Once the drainage is obstructed, the pressure mounts and the typical feelings of sinusitis begin.

Here's how we treat it:

Antibiotics are typically used for several weeks if you've had it before or if there is positive X-Ray. You have to take all the antibiotics, even though you are feeling better after a few days. Otherwise, the sinus infection will not be completely treated and the symptoms will recur. This accounts for the recurring cycle of infection, improvement, and infection that occurs so commonly.

Here's how to prevent it:

Environment: Personal Drugs Diet
Fresh air in the office may help

Filter the air in your bedroom

If allergic, get the animals OUT of the bedroom

When flying in an airplane, make sure that you are decongested with some medications if necessary – changes in barometric pressure are a problem

Get sleep

No smoking

Don't watch TV in bed

Get your eyeglasses checked

Wash your hands and use Kleenex

Watch drying

Drugs (antihistamines, anti-depressants, and tranquillisers)

Check about aspirin

Birth Control may hurt

Ask about food elimination, and watch alcohol ( it dries and congests)

"What's watching TV have to do with it?" TV watching is bad for your health in general, but watching it from bed is particularly bad. Studies show that when you lie down, nasal congestion increases because of hormonal changes (you've noticed that). The openings to the sinus become congested an additional 20% -sometimes that's all it takes. If your eyeglasses are pinching your nose, you may be obstructing your nasal drainage pattern. If you fly a lot -pray a lot and be careful, Airplane air does not come from the sky – it is, for the most part, the same air as you take off with. With folks coughing and hacking around you. there is some danger. If congested, it sometimes helps to use a few drops of nasal spray in each side before take-off.

Warm saltwater rinses can sometimes help – but be careful to mix the solutions just right. The formula is 1/4 tsp. of salt (measure it) to 7 oz of water (measure it). Some patients breathe the steam form a hot cup. Others report that using a damp washcloth heated in a microwave helps (careful or you'll get washcloth flambeau). Give us a call early – and expect us to do some extra things (like x-rays) if this problem seems recurrent.

Possible other cause

Headache, facial pain Dental disease

Temporal mandibular joint syndrome (TMJ)

Tumor (rare)

Vascular Tension Headache

Malaise (fatigue) Allergic conditions

Depression

Medication side-effects

Nasal drainage, post nasal drip, cough Asthma

Hiata hemia or gastro esophageal reflux

Nasal membrane problems other than allergy

Nasal polyps

How do you tell the difference between a cold and a sinus infection?

There are a number of physical findings we think are critica congestion, colored nasal drainage, fever, and facial pain. On physical examination we push over the sinus areas listed below and look for a response. But the ultimate diagnosis is made with an X-Ray usually a one view front face X-Ray is sufficient. However, there are times when a more sophisticated exam is needed, a CT scan.  We see thickening in the membranes of the sinus cavity, or and a fluid level, or completely "opacified" sinus. A "cold" may feel similar to a sinus infection because of the nasal congestion, but the X-Ray is clear. Usually "colds" get better in 3-5 days, sinusitis may hang on interminably unless antibiotics are used.

Here's what causes sinusitis:

Sinuses are cavities lined with membranes that make mucus to wash and cleanse the sinuses.

If anything obstructs the drainage for any sinus, the mucus may back up and become infected by germs that always linger in your nasal area. The most common ways the drainage area become slowed or obstructed includes allergy (you know that swelling), colds (yes, they lead to sinus infections in many cases), structural problems like polyps or deviated septum) and other medical conditions. Once the drainage is obstructed, the pressure mounts and the typical feelings of sinusitis begin.

Here's how we treat it:

Antibiotics are typically used for several weeks if you've had it before or if there is positive X-Ray. You have to take all the antibiotics, even though you are feeling better after a few days.  Otherwise, the sinus infection will not be completely treated and the symptoms will recur.  This accounts for the recurring cycle of infection, improvement, and infection that occurs so commonly.

Here's how to prevent it:

Environment: Personal Drugs Diet
Fresh air in the office may help

Filter the air in your bedroom

If allergic, get the animals OUT of the bedroom

When flying in an airplane, make sure that you are decongested with some medications if necessary – changes in barometric pressure are a problem

Get sleep

No smoking

Don't watch TV in bed

Get your eyeglasses checked

Wash your hands and use Kleenex

Watch drying

Drugs (antihistamines, anti-depressants, and tranquillisers)

Check about aspirin

Birth Control may hurt

Ask about food elimination, and watch alcohol ( it dries and congests)

"What's watching TV have to do with it?" TV watching is bad for your health in general, but watching it from bed is particularly bad. Studies show that when you lie down, nasal congestion increases because of hormonal changes (you've noticed that). The openings to the sinus become congested an additional 20% -sometimes that's all it takes. If your eyeglasses are pinching your nose, you may be obstructing your nasal drainage pattern. If you fly a lot -pray a lot and be careful, Airplane air does not come from the sky – it is, for the most part, the same air as you take off with. With folks coughing and hacking around you. there is some danger. If congested, it sometimes helps to use a few drops of nasal spray in each side before take-off.

Warm saltwater rinses can sometimes help – but be careful to mix the solutions just right. The formula is 1/4 tsp. of salt (measure it) to 7 oz of water (measure it). Some patients breathe the steam form a hot cup. Others report that using a damp washcloth heated in a microwave helps (careful or you'll get washcloth flambeau). Give us a call early – and expect us to do some extra things (like x-rays) if this problem seems recurrent.

 

What's New

Allergy and Asthma Associates has established the Food Allergy Center, the first and only one of its kind in Orange County, to focus exclusively on the diagnosis and now treatment of food allergy. We are now offering oral immunotherapy. The purpose of oral immunotherapy (OIT) is to decrease your sensitivity to allergy-causing foods, so that exposure to the offending food (peanut, milk, egg, tree nuts etc.) will result in fewer and less severe symptoms in the event of an accidental exposure.

 
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What Our Patients Say About Us

  • I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t do anything that I wanted to do, let alone go out and do anything athletic with my children or for myself. Then I met Dr Berger. He changed my life – he put in the time, the effort and the extra research to get me the diagnosis and the correct medications that changed my life forever!... - Linda

  • When I first got diagnosed with asthma it started off as exercised induced but throughout the years it became worse than that. Just a wind would make me feel like I needed to take my inhaler, a change in the weather and I had to take a breathing treatment. It was really hard especially for being an athlete, because you don’t want anything holding you back from what you love to do...

 
 

Three Locations to Serve You!

 

27800 Medical Center Road
Suite 244
Mission Viejo,
CA 92691

Allergy & Asthma Associates of Southern California Map

675 Camino de Los Mares
Suite 403
San Clemente,
CA 92673

Allergy & Asthma Associates of Southern California Map

15785 Laguna Canyon Road
Suite 100
Irvine,
CA 92618

Allergy & Asthma Associates of Southern California Map

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