News Release

March 15, 2006

Contact: Jane Shaskan, 860-679-4777

March Is Sinus Pain Awareness Month

Treatment is Available for Sufferers of Sinusitis

FARMINGTON, CONN. – More than 37 million Americans are affected by sinusitis each year, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. This month the academy has launched a public campaign to help educate the public about sinusitis, an inflammation of sinuses’ membrane lining that causes pain and discomfort.

Acute sinusitis often starts with a cold or allergy, said UConn Health Center ear, nose and throat specialist Kourosh Parham, M.D., Ph.D. In general, he explained, if symptoms worsen after five days or persist after 10 days, then a bacterial infection may be the cause. “Once acute sinusitis is diagnosed, a course of antibiotics typically relieves the symptoms,” said Dr. Parham. “Of course, it is very important to also address the underlying cause, such as an allergy, to prevent recurrences of the sinusitis.”

Sufferers of acute sinusitis usually experience two or more of the following symptoms:

  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Nasal discharge
  • Diminished sense of smell
  • Cough
  • Fever, bad breath, fatigue, and dental pain may also be present

Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, may last for months. “A detailed evaluation is needed to identify exacerbating conditions to optimize medical therapy,” he said. “When medical treatments are ineffective, an endoscopic surgical procedure can remove the obstructing cause and restore the normal flow in the sinuses.” The procedure is done as day surgery and normal activities can resume in about four days.

Sufferers of chronic sinusitis may have the following symptoms that can last for 12 weeks or longer:

  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Facial congestion or fullness
  • Nasal obstruction or blockage
  • Thick nasal discharge
  • Discolored post-nasal drainage
  • Pus in nasal cavity
  • Skin redness around cheekbones
  • Fever, headache, bad breath and fatigue may also be present.

ENT specialists can diagnose and treat both acute and chronic sinusitis. “There is no need to suffer with the discomfort and pain of sinusitis,” Dr. Parham said.

UConn Health Center ENT specialists see patients in Farmington and West Hartford. To make an appointment, or for more information about ENT services, call 1-800-535-6232.

UConn Health includes the schools of medicine and dental medicine, the UConn Medical Group, University Dentists, and John Dempsey Hospital. Home to Bioscience Connecticut, UConn Health pursues a mission of providing outstanding health care education in an environment of exemplary patient care, research and public service. More information about UConn Health is available at

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