Friday, January 30, 2009
Medical Reports: Sinusitis
In today's Healthcast, we take a closer look at Chronic Sinusitis. It's like having a bad cold that won't go away, but as Seven's Christine Cruz explains, a new blood test is making it easier for people to get on the fast track to feeling better.
WSVN -- Artist Cindy Epps believes the beauty of her paintings is in the details, but this past year chronic Sinusitis turned her world into a blur.
Cindy Epps: "My head hurt. My face hurt. It's hard to be able to focus on something beautiful and creating and doing something like that when you feel miserable like that."
Sinus problems are pretty common. On the left is a healthy sinus. On the right is an inflamed one. The problem for doctors, there are many causes for inflamed sinuses, so it's hard to pinpoint which one. Until now, a new blood test is clearing up the confusion.
Dr. Stiliano Kountakis, Medical College of Georgia: "Using a drop of blood, we are able to tell who are the individuals that have chronic sinus problems."
The test measures specific proteins in the blood linked to chronic Sinusitis. In a study of more than 100 people, the blood test was able to identify those who had the condition, even if they had no symptoms.
Dr. Stiliano Kountakis: "It's a more objective test. Also, we can determine the type of sinusitis that the patient has."
The test allows doctors to get patients on the right medications sooner and tailor the treatment to a person's blood profile.
Dr. Stiliano Kountakis: "It's like a fingerprint for that individual patient and that individual disease."
After months of suffering, Cindy found the right treatment routine, and her creativity is flowing again.
Cindy Epps: "I feel 100 percent better, and I feel like I can do the things that I love to do."
The National Institutes of Health says in rare cases, untreated sinus infections can lead to a brain infection. There's no cure for chronic Sinusitis, just careful monitoring and management with medication.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Medical College of Georgia
Tony Baker, Public Relations