Whether you suffer from chronic congestion, facial pressure, difficulty breathing through your nose, or a diminished sense of smell, Duke’s ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors can help. We offer advanced care for a range of sinus and nasal problems.
About Sinus and Nasal Disorders
Common Sinus and Nasal Disorders
Our ENTs offer treatment to relieve:
- Chronic sinusitis (sinus inflammation), which is often accompanied by small, benign growths inside the nose or sinuses called nasal polyps
- Repeat sinus infections
- Nasal allergies
- Deviated septum (misalignment of the nasal wall)
More Complex Nasal and Sinus Conditions Treated by Sinus Specialists
In addition to treating more common sinus problems, Duke’s sinus specialists have advanced training and experience in treating rare and complicated conditions such as:
- Sinus problems that persist, despite surgery
- Nasal or sinus tumors (types of skull base tumors)
- Sinusitis caused by autoimmune conditions such as sarcoidosis
- Cystic fibrosis, which can cause lifelong sinus problems
Our sinus specialists can recommend and perform surgeries that can bring you rapid relief and vastly improve your quality of life.
Intranasal (administered within the nose) and oral steroids, antibiotics, and allergy medications can help reduce sinus inflammation and related symptoms. There are also ways to deliver medications directly into the sinuses using temporary implants that slowly release medicine over time. In addition, newer medications called biologics have become an effective option for polyps that return despite surgery.
Our ENT doctors and sinus specialists offer several minimally invasive in-office procedures to address the source of frustrating symptoms. These procedures are performed in your doctor’s office using local anesthesia, so recovery time is minimal. Common in-office procedures include:
- Turbinate reduction: Also called turbinectomy, this procedure reduces the size of larger-than-normal bony structures (turbinates) in the nose that humidify and filter air. The improvement in breathing is almost immediate.
- Posterior nasal nerve ablation: Used to treat chronic runny nose due to overactive nerve fibers inside the nose. A special probe is inserted into the nose to destroy these nerve fibers.
- Sinus balloon dilation: Using a catheter, a small balloon is inflated inside your nose (and then removed) to expand sinus pages, improve drainage, and provide long-lasting relief of sinus pressure and congestion.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
This is performed in an operating room using general anesthesia. A sophisticated image-guidance system serves as a “GPS” device, allowing surgeons to perform safe and thorough surgery entirely through the nostrils, resulting in less pain afterward. Nasal packing is almost never used, and you can return to normal activities within a few days.
Polyps that obstruct your nasal passages or sinuses are removed. For people who have recurrent polyps, thorough surgery with appropriate postoperative medications will minimize the risk of your polyps growing back.
Straightens a deviated septum. After the procedure, people typically notice improved breathing and almost immediate relief from chronic nasal obstruction.
Duke Health offers locations throughout the Triangle. Find one near you.
An endoscope is passed through your nose to allow doctors to view your nasal passages, sinuses, and throat. It is performed with a local anesthetic and is virtually painless.
Your blood is tested to see if you are allergic to common allergens. Depending on your results, you may be eligible for immunotherapy, which consists of either allergy shots or oral tablets.
CT or MRI scans help ENT doctors visualize your internal nasal and sinus structures and check for swelling, infection, and other problems. These images can help your doctor determine the cause of your symptoms and which treatments will provide relief.
Why Choose Duke
We offer the latest nonsurgical therapies as well as highly effective, minimally invasive office procedures to safely clear clogged sinuses, heal chronic infection, and help you breathe easier. Several of the treatments we offer require advanced training and skill and are not widely available.
We use the highest-resolution video endoscopy equipment along with stereotactic computer navigation for safe, precise, and thorough sinus surgery. We also offer other minimally invasive technologies such as drug-eluting implants and balloon dilation. We evaluate your needs and recommend the most effective treatment.
Experts with Advanced Training
Your care team includes ENT doctors and sinus specialists (ENT doctors with additional training in complex diseases of the nose and sinuses) who work closely with allergists, pulmonologists (doctors specializing in lung diseases), speech and voice therapists, and any other specialists across Duke Health that you may need. Our team approach leads to excellent outcomes.
Local and Regional Referral Center
People with complex sinus and nasal disorders are referred to Duke from far and wide. We provide treatment options that are not available everywhere, and we take pride in giving people the relief they need.
Where you receive your care matters. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. That is why our ear nose and throat program is nationally ranked, and the highest ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2021-2022.