Frequently Asked Sinus Questions

Why should I see a sinus specialist?

Family physicians, internists, pediatricians, and many others provide care on a daily basis and, in most cases, with a high degree of success. But what about the patient who doesn’t respond to medical treatment or who experiences temporary improvement, requiring more medical intervention? Who should care for the sinus patient who is miserable and bewildered because of this change in their quality of life? The provider should demonstrate a special interest in sinus and nasal treatments, special expertise, and the necessary experience.

Experience counts… Whether in sinus care or other endeavors. No one disputes the value of experience.

A general medical doctor successfully treats at least 9 out of 10 patients. The patient who does not respond to medical therapy often needs a physician who has a special expertise, interest and experience in helping resolve a chronic sinus problem.

Will my insurance cover the cost of seeing a sinus specialist?

Insurance companies recognize and cover the cost of seeing a sinus specialist. Although some insurance companies require a referrral, most do not. Check with your carrier or call us for help.

Our specialized care is not more expensive, just more experienced.

Can sinusitis go away on its own without treatment?

Sinusitis shares some symptoms of a common cold, such as stuffy nose, headache and cough.  In fact, acute sinusitis can start with a common cold, as the inflammation shrinks the nasal passages.  And while a cold and the subsequent inflammation usually go away without treatment, that’s often not the case with sinusitis.

If you have what seems to be a cold that won’t go away after a week or two, or seems to get better and then gets worse, it’s probably sinusitis.

Sinusitis generally does not go away on its own.  The condition can persist and lead to chronic sinusitis.  If symptoms of acute sinusitis last more than a week, call the Sinus Specialist at Sinus Center- Idaho at 433-9300.

How do I make an appointment?

Call 433-9300 and we can help you make an appointment at the location most convenient for you.

We take early morning appointments in Meridian, Idaho on Thursdays and on Tuesdays in our Nampa, Idaho office.

Our offices are closed Friday.

What should I bring to my appointment?

We want to answer as many of your questions at your visit. Please prepare for this by bringing:

  1. Health Insurance Card/Information
  2. A friend or family member to take notes/help with questions
  3. A list of all medications you are taking
  4. A list of your questions /concerns
  5. A copy of your XRAYS / CT scans (not the reports – get the actual films)
  6. Copies of records from doctors related to your sinuses/nose/allergies/lungs.
  7. Completed General Sinus History Form

What forms can I print and fill out before my appointment?

Please bring a completed Sinus History Form

Do sinus problems have to be treated with sinus surgery?

Fortunately, most patients do not need surgery. Most need a specific and accurate diagnosis with a focused and thorough medical treatment. For more in-depth information and explanation on how a how a normal nose and sinus work, quit working and how we go about helping them read this article.

What is nasal endoscopy and how do you look at my sinuses?

This procedure allows the doctor to see the entire nasal structure and takes 5-10 minutes. It may be used if there is a question on the diagnosis of sinusitis, if medical treatment has failed to resolve the problem, or surgery is being considered. In surgery, it pinpoints the exact location where treatment will be performed.

This is a surgical procedure using sterile small cameras to look through the nostrils. This may allow us to …

  1. obtain drainage for culture
  2. evaluate previous surgery, scar, openings, masses, polyps, causes of blockage
  3. evaluate healing or complications of surgery
  4. obtain specimens / biopsy for pathology evaluation
  5. remove old blood, foreign material, packing, scabs/scar/blockage

The nurse will have you sign a permission form first then offer to spray your nose to make the procedure easier. The spray is a combination of Afrin (to shrink tissue) and Lidocaine (to numb). This spray does taste bad and can cause teeth/throat numbness that wears off in about 20-30 minutes. Some patients have a sensation that they can’t swallow also- do not panic – this will pass.