What's The Problem: The Sinuses Or The Nose?

black businessman eyes closed pinching top of nose (BlackDoctor.org) — Since nose issues can often mirror the symptoms of sinus problems, sinuses are often charged with the misdeed when other issues are at fault. Patients often complain of headaches, discomfort and stuffiness and they assume it’s sinusitis, but they are mistaken. Most often, the nasal passages are the culprits.

The nasal passages are the pathways for airflow to the sinuses. Think of the nasal passages as the hallways and sinuses as the attached rooms. If the hallway is blocked, there is no access into the rooms.

Sinus symptoms imply that something is wrong with the nose. The nose has problems before the sinuses do. Rarely are the sinuses independently diseased.

If the Nose is the Problem, What’s Wrong with It?

• Bad architecture. Most commonly, a deviated (crooked) nasal septum from an accident or from a quirk of nature. The septum, the internal vertical partition that separates the two nasal passages, when bent or crooked, can significantly block air flow, deprive the sinuses of their aeration and produce the above symptoms. It’s commonly damaged by sports injuries; often an injury in the young goes unrecognized. So, the youngster grows up with no point of reference for normal breathing.

• Allergy. Turbinates are shelves of bone covered with standard issue lining that protrude into the nasal passages from the sides and top of the nasal cavities. They provide a…