Eastside Medical Associates

Amy Lichtenfeld, MD

Board Certified Allergist-Immunologist & Internist located in Manhattan, New York, NY

Sinusitis can cause pain, pressure, and head congestion that keeps you from work or enjoying your favorite activities. Upper East Side, New York City allergist-immunologist and internal medicine physician Dr. Amy Lichtenfeld, provides treatment for her patients — teenagers through mature adults — with chronic sinusitis at Eastside Medical Associates. If you suffer from frequent or persistent sinus infections, don’t hesitate to call or book an appointment online.

Sinusitis Q & A

What is a sinus infection?

Sinus infection, or sinusitis, is a common health problem that affects over 31 million people in the United States. Sinuses are hollow cavities within your head that are located around your eyes, behind your nose, and within your cheekbones.

Healthy sinuses are filled with mucus that helps filter the air you breathe. When a blockage prevents the mucus from draining normally, an infection may occur.

Sinus infections that last longer than eight weeks despite treatment are considered chronic sinusitis, also called chronic rhinosinusitis.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

The most prominent symptoms of sinusitis are pain and pressure in the cheeks and forehead. Other common sinusitis symptoms include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Postnasal drip
  • Thick yellow or green nasal discharge
  • A cough
  • A sore throat
  • Ear pain
  • Aching in the upper jaw and teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Nausea

Sinusitis has many similar symptoms with the common cold. Unlike a cold, sinus infections may be caused by a bacterial infection that requires antibiotics.

What causes chronic sinusitis?

Chronic sinusitis results from swelling and inflammation in your sinuses. There are several reasons your sinuses may swell, including:

  • Upper respiratory tract infection
  • Allergies such as hay fever
  • A deviated nasal septum
  • Growths such as nasal polyps

People with asthma are at higher risk of getting chronic sinusitis because their airways are more likely to be inflamed. Similarly, hay fever (allergic rhinitis) creates inflammation that can prevent sinuses from draining normally.

How do you diagnose and treat sinusitis?

First, Dr. Lichtenfeld performs a physical exam and thoroughly reviews your medical history. She may take allergy tests to identify what allergens are triggering your chronic or recurring sinus infections. She may also order a diagnostic imaging test — such as a CT scan or MRI — to look for nasal polyps or other abnormalities that may be blocking your sinuses.

Then, Dr. Lichtenfeld creates an individualized treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and prevent future sinus infections. Depending on your unique condition, this may include:

  • Allergy shots (immunotherapy)
  • Antihistamine medicines
  • Antibiotics to treat infection
  • Sinus rinses
  • Nasal sprays
  • Avoiding known allergens

To find relief from chronic sinusitis, call Dr. Amy Lichtenfeld or book an appointment online.