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Overview of Sinus Testing and Treatment

The Providence Clinic is a regional leader in Ear, Nose & Throat services, having sinus specialist doctors available for quality treatment of sinus infections and sinus nasal congestion issues in Morristown, Hamblen County, and the surrounding areas of East Tennessee. If your life is impacted by sinus or nasal problems, such as a sinusitis, allergies, or other nasal illness, don't hesitate to give us a call for quality care and treatments.

We want our patients to make informed and educated decisions about sinus infections and congestion, including understanding more about nose and sinus testing and treatment and sinus infection signs and symptoms. We offer a friendly expert staff to help understand the illness and prepare a treatment plan, and many sinusitis treatment procedures can be performed in our state-of-the-art medical facility in Morristown, TN. Should a treatment plan require it, we are also capable of performing sinus infection surgery to help solve our patients' nasal issues.

Balloon Sinuplasty In-Office

If you have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis and are not responding well to medication, or if you have recurrent acute rhinosinusitis, you may be a candidate for sinus surgery. There is now a proven, less invasive technology used by ENT doctors to treat patients with chronic and recurrent acute sinusitis.  Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP) uses a small, flexible, balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways and facilitate drainage of the mucus that builds up in patients suffering from chronic sinusitis symptoms. With Balloon Sinuplasty, ENT doctors open inflamed sinuses in the same way that heart surgeons open up blocked arteries during balloon angioplasty. The procedure is less invasive than traditional sinus surgery and effective at relieving symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Balloon Sinuplasty allows patients to return to normal activities quickly. While recovery time varies with each patient, recovery is typically fast. In a study of in-office balloon dilation, most patients returned to work and normal activity within 2 days. Unlike conventional sinus surgery, it does not include removal of bone or tissue from the nose. And, Balloon Sinuplasty is now offered by some doctors in their office under local anesthesia, so that there is no need to go to an operating room or undergo general anesthesia.

Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty In-Office

  • Local Anesthesia
    Balloon Sinuplasty In-Office is an option for patients who decline or are ineligible for general anesthesia.

  • Fast Recovery
    While recovery time varies with each patient, most patients who undergo the in-office procedure can return to normal activities and work within 2 days.

  • Comfortable Surroundings
    Experience the procedure in the comfort of your physician’s office rather than a hospital operating room.

  • High Patient Satisfaction
    The majority of patients who had Balloon Sinuplasty In-Office would recommend the procedure to family and friends.

  • Potential for Significant Cost Savings
    Some eligible patients may have lower out-of-pocket costs if the procedure is performed in a lower cost of care setting, such as a physician’s office. 

What Is A Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)?

Sinusitis, commonly known as a sinus infection, usually begins with cold-like symptoms and usually includes inflammation or swelling in the nasal cavity. Sinus infections are fairly common—typically appearing in one of eight adults each year.

Sinus infections are caused when bacteria or viruses infect the sinus cavities and begin to multiply. Our bodies respond to this by swelling the lining of the sinuses. This swelling is what blocks the sinus drainage and creates nasal congestion symptoms.

Pediatric sinusitis, or sinus infections in children, can be caused by:

  • Allergies

  • Illnesses Spread At School

  • Lying Down And Bottle Drinking

  • Pacifiers

  • Smoke


Acute sinusitis is a form of sinus infection that occurs after four weeks of cloudy or colored nose drainage and pressure or pain in the head or face or nasal congestion or blockage. Chronic sinusitis is typically caused when the inflammation from a sinus infection lasts 12 weeks or longer.

Sinus Infection Signs & Symptoms

Here are some key sinus infections signs and symptoms in adults and children:

  • Congestion

  • Cough

  • Facial Pain or Pressure

  • Headache

  • Loss of Smell

  • Pain

  • Pussy Nasal Cavity

  • Sinus Discharge

  • Sore Throat

  • Stuffy or Runny Nose


In addition to the main sinus infection signs and symptoms, there are other symptoms that may appear as well:

  • Bad Breath

  • Tooth Pain

  • Fatigue

  • Fever


If any of these symptoms are present, we recommend scheduling an appointment with a nearby sinus specialist to diagnose and treat the illness. We serve as sinus specialists in the Morristown, TN community, and can help provide treatment solutions for the symptoms of sinusitis and congestion (we accept new patients from Hamblen County and surrounding counties in East Tennessee). 

Nasal Sinus Testing

The Providence Clinic's sinus specialists offer testing for sinus nasal congestion and infection. Before testing, however, we evaluate the current symptoms and provide a physical evaluation. After a full evaluation, we may need additional sinus nasal testing to identify the specific illness and determine the best treatment method. Nasal sinus tests include:

  • Blood Testing

  • CT Scans (CT stands for "computed tomography")

  • Membrane Biopsy

  • Mucus Sampling

  • Nasal Cultures and Smears

  • Sensitivity Tissue Cultures

  • Sinus Puncture And Cultures

  • Skin Testing


The results of these tests are useful to diagnose and prescribe an effective treatment plan for sinus nasal congestion and infection. 

Treatment for Sinus Infections

Most cases of sinusitis have a simple treatment plan, of which we can help determine for those in Morristown and East Tennessee. Often the best treatment for sinus infection is over-the-counter decongestants. Be careful with these, though, because if taken for more than three days in a row, they could make congestion worse. Here are a few home remedies that may help in dealing with the symptoms of sinusitis:

  • Over-the-counter decongestant sprays and drops

  • Saline nasal drops

  • Warm compress on the nose


The most common medical treatment for sinusitis is prescription antibiotics, which can help the symptoms of sinus infection to subside. Most antibiotic prescriptions for sinus infections and congestion typically last 10-14 days, and it is important to take all of the medications in the prescribed order (this makes sure the symptoms don't linger or return). Keep in mind, antibiotics are only an option if the underlying cause of the sinus infection and congestion is a bacterial infection (and not a virus).

Depending on the cause or trigger, we may end up prescribing antihistamine medication (allergies), antifungal medication (fungus), corticosteroids, or immunoglobulin (immune deficiencies), among other options, as the best treatment for sinus infection.

Sinus Infection Surgery

If prescription treatment plans aren't effective for a prolonged period, or if it becomes clear that complications (such as a facial bone infection) are likely, we may recommend sinus infection surgery as the best treatment method. 

Sinus surgery may also be recommended to correct sinus structural issues that block proper drainage (such as a bone or nasal polyps). Usually, sinusitis surgery is recommended to focus on removing: 

  • Bone (for better sinus drainage)

  • Foreign objects (typically in children)

  • Nasal polyps or growths

  • Tissue that is damaged, infected, or swollen


Sinus infection surgery may be the only solution, and is usually combined with a medicinal treatment for maximum effectiveness. A sinus surgery may not completely fix sinusitis in the first operation—a second operation may be necessary.

Sinusitis surgery procedures typically allow for a patient to resume normal activities in about a week, with a full recovery in one and a half months. 

Sinus Specialists & ENT Clinic in Morristown, Tennessee

A sinus infection can continue to cause pain and discomfort until it eventually disappears without treatment by a sinus specialist. There is potential for untreated sinusitis to develop into worse conditions, such as bone infections, brain abscesses, or meningitis. Though the likelihood of sinus infection leading to these conditions is rare, they demonstrate the importance of talking with a sinus specialist about any sinus infection or congestion issues early.


For trustworthy and quality sinus and ENT medical services in Morristown, Hamblen County, and the East Tennessee area, contact us at The Providence Clinic—(423)-587-1987 or contact us online. Our sinus specialists can help provide fantastic care and helpful treatment plans for solving all sinus infection and congestion-related problems.

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