Chronic sinus infections, also known as sinusitis, can greatly hamper a patient’s quality of life. Fortunately, it’s a condition that’s also highly treatable by board certified otolaryngologist Dr. Robert Baxter Meek, III of Anne Arundel ENT, located in Annapolis, Maryland.
While most people suffer the occasional sinus infection, nearly 30 million adults in this country (that’s 12.3% of the adult population) are plagued by chronic sinus infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many children have sinusitis, as well. In fact, they are particularly prone to sinus and ear infections in their earliest years of life. Normally, mucus produced by the sinuses drains through small openings into the nasal passages. In patients who have chronic sinus infections, however, inflammation in both the nose and sinuses block proper drainage. This leads to a stuffed-up nose and buildup of mucus around the eyes and face.
Symptoms typically include one or more of the following:
Dr. Meek always begins by taking a medical history and detailed account of each patient’s symptoms, followed by a physical examination. Chronic sinus infections are evaluated with the aid of a 3D CT scan, nasal endoscopy, and cultures, when necessary.
Standard, first-line treatments for sinus infections include: antibiotics, decongestants, pain relievers, saline irrigations, topical corticosteroids, and corticosteroid irrigations. However, for those who suffer chronic sinus infections, more aggressive therapy may be recommended. Dr. Meek offers the most advanced options that provide long-term relief. These include:
Balloon SinuplastyTM. This is a relatively new, minimally-invasive procedure in which a flexible balloon is inserted into the sinus cavity via a catheter and inflated to enlarge and restructure the sinus opening to improve blocked drainage. This procedure is safe and can provide long-lasting results. Balloon SinuplastyTM is performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia on an outpatient basis. Downtime is minimal. Patients can typically return to work in just 24 hours.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. This is a surgery performed through the nostrils with an endoscope. An endoscope is a thin rod affixed with a light source. In addition, Dr. Meeks employs a surgical navigation system in all of his endoscopic sinus surgery procedures that enable him to accurately place his instruments in the sinus cavity, even in patients who have undergone previous sinus surgery, or have extensive polyps. With this aid, Dr. Meek uses thin instruments to remove blockages, such as polyps and scar tissue that cause chronic sinusitis, straighten the septum and/or reduce the size of the turbinates (structures on the inside walls of the nostrils).
In addition to reducing chronic sinus infections and therefore sinus headaches, endoscopic sinus surgery also improves breathing and sense of smell. When performing sinus surgery, Dr. Meek rarely uses packing in his sinus procedures. Instead, bleeding is stopped by cautery or CO2 laser, and ointment. His philosophy is by not obstructing the sinus with packing, the patient is able to irrigate the sinuses earlier and achieve a better result. Dr. Meek has successfully used this approach in thousands of cases.
At Anne Arundel ENT, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
"I have absolutely nothing but wonderful things to say about Dr Meek and his staff!"
"Dr. Meek was very kind & courteous, friendly, professional, knowledgeable and reassuring. His staff were always courteous."
"Dr. Meek and everyone who works in his office are wonderful. If you are looking for an ENT in the Annapolis area, I would suggest going to Dr. Meek over anyone else."