Showing posts with label Otolaryngology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Otolaryngology. Show all posts

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Chronic sinusitis - Steam inhalation not effective, nasal irrigation may help

Chronic sinusitis refers to inflammation the paranasal sinuses for a period of at least 12 weeks. The most important cause of chronic sinusitis is failure of acute infections to resolve.

Acute infection destroys the normal ciliated epithelium, thus impairing drainage from the sinuses. There is pooling and stagnation of secretions in the sinuses which favours infections. Persistence of infection causes mucosal changes, such as loss of cilia, edema and polyp formation. We eventually have a vicious cycle.

Patients may complain of blocked nose, runny nose, headache and a reduced sense of smell (hyposmia). Foul-smelling discharge suggests anaerobic infection. Some people will also have nasal polyps.

1) We should always search for underlying aetiological factors which obstruct sinus drainage and ventilation.
2) A work-up for nasal allergy may be required.
3) Culture and sensitivity of sinus discharge helps in the proper selection of an antibiotic.

Initial treatment of chronic sinusitis is conservative, including antibiotics, decongestants, antihistaminics and sinus/nasal irrigations.

Nasal irrigation is a procedure that rinses the nasal cavity with isotonic or hypertonic saline solutions. The patient instils saline into one nostril and allows it to drain out of the other nostril, bathing the nasal cavity.

In this Cochrane review, even though the level of evidence was low, the authors concluded that:

There is some benefit of daily, large-volume (150 ml) saline irrigation with a hypertonic solution when compared with placebo. 

A recent article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, concluded that steam inhalation was not effective but nasal irrigation may provide some symptomatic relief especially with regard to headaches.

First published on: 24 July 2016

Monday, June 25, 2012


Pansinusitis on the left side - CT Scan

Frontal sinuses (coronal and axial views)

Ethmoidal sinuses

Below is a sagittal section of the frontal and ethmoidal sinuses.

Maxillary sinuses

Friday, January 27, 2012


Retropharyngeal abscess - X-ray

Retropharyngeal abscess is a rare condition presenting in infants (<1 year of age). Clinical symptoms include fever and drooling. 
As a result of the swelling within the posterior pharyngeal wall causing upper airway obstruction, the child
will typically hold their neck in extension to assist breathing. 
A lateral soft tissue neck radiograph taken with the neck held in extension is indicated if a retropharyngeal
abscess is suspected. If it is positive, it will demonstrate air within the swollen retropharyngeal tissues, as shown by the x-ray above. A contrast enhanced computerized tomography (CT) examination will confirm the diagnosis.