Category Archives: Sinusitis

Did you Know? Sinus Edition

sinusSinusitis affects 37 million people each year, making it one of the most common health problems in the U.S. It is more prevalent than heart disease and asthma and has a greater impact on quality of life than chronic back pain or congestive heart failure.

The Role of the Sinuses
To understand sinusitis, it is important to first learn about your sinuses and their role with your health.

The sinuses are air spaces behind the bones of the upper face, between the eyes, and behind the forehead, nose, and cheeks. The sinuses are covered with a mucus layer and cells that contain little hairs on their surfaces called cilia. These help trap and push out bacteria and pollutants.

Each sinus has an opening that allows mucous to drain – this drainage is essential to keeping your sinuses working well and you healthy. Anything that obstructs that flow may cause a buildup of mucus in the sinuses.

Experts agree that healthy sinuses are a key to a good quality of life and that unhealthy sinuses may cause unwanted complications.

Facts about Your Sinuses*

  • 10% of people are born without frontal sinuses and never develop them.
  • Babies’ sinuses do not begin to develop until two years old and cannot be seen on an X-ray until age 4 or 5!
  • A cold or allergy attack that won’t go away may actually be sinusitis.
  • Sinusitis affects approximately 14% of the adult U.S. population.
  • Sinusitis affects 17% of women and 10% of men each year.
  • Chronic sinusitis (not including acute sinusitis) results annually in an estimated 18-22 million physician office visits.
  • Direct healthcare expenditures due to sinusitis cost are well over $8 billion each year.
  • Total restricted activity days due to sinusitis are well over 73 million per year.
  • Chronic sinusitis is a mechanical problem. Relief of obstruction requires long-term therapy with prescribed oral and/or nasal medication.
  • Most cases of sinusitis are acute (or sudden onset); however, if the condition occurs frequently or lasts three months or more, you may have chronic sinusitis.The signs and symptoms may include:

    o Facial pain, pressure, congestion or fullness
    o Difficulty breathing through the nose
    o Discharge of yellow or green mucus from the nose
    o Teeth pain
    o Loss of the sense of smell or taste
    o Headache
    o Fatigue
    o Sore throat
    o Bad breath

If you are experiencing sinus issues, call Chicago ENT today! (773) 2965500

*Facts provided by: and

Works like CPAP… without the CPAP

For patients with obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP is the gold standard treatment. The only problem is a lot of patients don’t like it. At Chicago ENT, we have recently begun to work with a newer device called Provent Nasal EPAP. “That’s it?” you might ask when you see what it looks like; a disposable sticker placed over each nostril prior to going to sleep. That’s it! But look a little closer…

Unlike CPAP which provides continuous positive airway pressure to keep the airway open during inspiration and expiration, Provent provides EPAP – positive airway pressure during expiration only.

How? Each sticker contains a central valve that stays open during inspiration allowing unobstructed airflow. The valve then closes during expiration leaving only a small hole to breathe out through. This expiratory resistance increases airway caliber towards the critical end-expiratory period in particular. Imagine trying to blow out a birthday candle on the other side of the room while breathing out through a drinking straw… same idea.

Why is the end-expiratory period critical? Because you’re just about to take another breath in! Without the externally provided positive pressure from CPAP or EPAP during this period, the upper airway is left prone to collapse as a result of negative pressure in the chest. Now imagine bending the drinking straw in the middle and trying to breathe in through it.

Like any new device, Provent takes some getting used to, but a number of studies conducted to date have shown excellent results for patients with mild right through to very severe sleep apnea.

If you’re not a fan of CPAP, there’s a lot more to be gained than to be lost by trying Provent. In fact, Dr Friedman and the team at Chicago ENT are so convinced of its potential, they’re about to start a study of their own.

Transnasal Esophagoscopy

Transnasal Esophagoscopy is a diagnostic study that allows your physician to examine your esophagus without the need for sedation or anesthesia. How does Transnasal Esophagoscopy (TNE) differ from classic Esophagoscopy?

1. Sedation: Classic esophagoscopy requires sedation. The patient needs to be accompanied for transportation and typically the sedation wears off quickly. Residual sedation persists for most of the day though. TNE is performed in the MD office with topical anesthetic spray. It requires NO SEDATION, and patients do not need to be accompanied to the appointment. Patients typically return to work right after they have been seen by the doctor.

2. Size of the Scope: TNE is done with a smaller caliber scope with high end optics. The length of the scope is the same.

Results of the tests? Both classic esophagoscopy and TNE have been shown to be accurate diagnostic tools.

Costs of the tests? Classic Esophagoscopy costs approximately $8,000 including facility fees. TNE cost is under $1,000.

The purpose of the procedures is for diagnosis of gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Diagnosis of GERD is important even when the symptoms are minimal. Uncontrolled reflux can lead to severe medical problems including Esophageal Cancer.

Chicago ENT introduced Transnasal esophagoscopy to the Chicago Community as an option for diagnosis and treatment of gastro esophageal reflux disease and for the screening esophageal cancer.

Dr. Oz talks about esophageal cancer, click here

Michael Friedman MD, is an Otolaryngologist- Head and Neck Surgeon and serves as the Medical Director for ChicagoENT.

A solution for sinusitis and allergies without the need for medication

31 million Americans each year are affected by sinusitis and allergies. This disease affects both adults and children, may require multiple visits to the doctor, and can be severe enough to cause patients to miss work or school.

The four most commonly prescribed medical treatments for sinusitis (both by Otolaryngologists and Primary Care Physicians) are antibiotics, antihistamines, nasal steroids and oral steroids. With increased awareness of drug side effects, many patients want to avoid long term steroid use. A new study shows that a natural substitute may allow patients to avoid steroids.

Almost all patients will also be recommended to use irrigations to flush the nose and sinuses. Regular irrigation improves the symptoms in a number of ways:

  • Improves the function of cilia( tiny hair-like structures that move en-mass to clear mucus from the respiratory system including nasal passages)
  • Decreases localized swelling in the nasal passages
  • Helps clear infective and non-infective debris and sources of allergies.
  • Minimizes crusting

Typically, irrigation is performed using a saline (salt based) solution. Solutions with a higher salt concentration than the fluids in the body’s cells have been shown to provide the greatest benefits.

The Dead Sea lies between Israel to the west, and Jordan to the east. It sits at the lowest elevation of any location on the Earth’s surface.  The Dead Sea has nearly nine times the salt concentration of regular sea water. The altered salt composition gives Dead Sea Salt anti-inflammatory and fluid-retaining properties not shared by normal saline solutions. Dead Sea Salt solutions have been used for decades by dermatologists with great effect in treating a variety of skin conditions such as, psoriasis and severe dermatitis.

More recently, the same principles have been applied to the treatment of sinusitis and other inflammatory conditions of the nasal passages.

Studies of Dead Sea Salt in the treatment of sinusitis and allergies have been conducted at Chicago ENT. These recent studies have suggested that by virtue of its inherent anti-inflammatory properties, Dead Sea Salt may provide comparable improvement for patients with sinusitis and allergies. In these studies, patients using Dead Sea Salt had improvement in symptoms without the need for medication. This study was presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery.

Overall, Dead Sea Salt solutions could provide a natural alternative for the treatment of sinusitis, and may eventually decrease the need for use of other medications for certain patients, particularly nasal steroids.