The prevalence of chronic sinusitis has increased dramatically in the last two decades. Today, 30?40 million Americans have the condition, making it one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States, surpassing even hypertension and diabetes.
People suffering from chronic sinusitis?inflamed mucous membranes in the sinus cavities surrounding the nose?often have to see an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat, or ENT, specialist) an allergist and a pulmonologist to treat their symptoms. This can result in multiple doctor appointments and increased time off work.
?The respiratory system is one tract, so it?s common for patients to suffer from nasal and sinus problems as well as lower respiratory conditions such as asthma,? says Allen Seiden, MD, an otolaryngologist at UC. ?They may need to see an allergist, an ENT specialist and a pulmonologist because each one treats different aspects of the respiratory system.?
To help expedite diagnosis and treatment, the University of Cincinnati (UC) is opening the first comprehensive respiratory center in the region.
Seiden and UC colleague Lee Zimmer, MD, are partnering with allergists Lawrence Newman, MD, and Steven Sutton, MD, to treat allergy and sinus sufferers in one location?the University Sinus and Allergy center at University Pointe in West Chester.
Prior to their visit, patients are screened and appointments scheduled with multiple specialists in one location on the same day. They may be evaluated by an otolaryngologist and an allergist during their visit and undergo specialized diagnostic tests, such as nasal endoscopy, allergy testing, bronchoscopy and pulmonary function testing.
The specialists will collaboratively discuss each patient?s case and develop a comprehensive, multidisciplinary treatment plan.
?By working together, we have a much broader perspective on treatment, and we hope this leads to better control for a patient?s condition,? says Seiden.