I hope this note finds you and yours well and “hanging in there” during this unique time in which we live. So much has happened, is happening, and will happen…Hopefully, for the betterment of all.
Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic is still with us. Hopefully a preventative vaccine and curative therapeutics are in our near future. But, until that becomes a reality, it is still best for all of us to adhere to social distancing and wearing a mask in public. Please know that as long as COVID is with us, we will provide for our patients the ability to get tested for the virus. We perform the swab for PCR testing which, at this time, is the most reliable way to know if you are currently infected. In addition, we perform the blood test that checks for antibodies to tell if you’ve had the virus in the past as well as at present.
A frequent reason patients come to an ENT office is for facial pain. Often, it is assumed that facial pain is due to a sinus problem. Sometimes that is true. Just as often it’s not. There are several conditions, other than sinusitis, that can cause facial pain. The most common cause of facial pain, not due to sinus disease, is something called Facial Migraine.
Facial Migraine can mimic a sinus infection in that it can cause facial pain and nasal symptoms of stuffiness and drainage. But, the drainage is typically clear, opposed to the yellow or green appearance due to sinusitis. Also, facial migraines can come and go without medicines, whereas a sinus infection usually requires the proper antibiotic. On the flip side, symptoms of migraine can persist for days, weeks, even months, making it seem like the cause of the facial pain must be due to a sinus infection.
I am addressing this because approximately 3 to 5% of patients seen in our practice during “normal” times come in for symptoms that are brought about by anxiety and stress. Since February of this year, I venture to say it’s more like 35%. We are very much living in an anxiety provoking period of our history. Anxiety and stress are often manifested in physical ways. Known established triggers for migraine are anxiety and stress.
If you are feeling any of the symptoms mentioned above, know that you are not alone. If you need help to figure out what is going on and to alleviate your symptoms, we are here for you and are ready to serve.
Breath in, Breath out.
Best wishes for your health and well-being