Treatment for 9/11 First Responders Chronic Sinusitis in NYC

Health problems fueled by airborne particles in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks remain a long-term challenge for many individuals.

Patients with chronic conditions may feel they’ve exhausted every opportunity for relief. But that should not be the scenario when it comes to a 9-11 related illness like sinusitis with the help of  Dr. Robert A. Guida, a Manhattan-based physician with expertise in the diagnosis and successful treatment of both acute and chronic sinusitis.

“The chronic condition may seem unbeatable to a patient dealing with it over an extended period of time, but an effective solution often is available,” said Dr. Guida, whose practice has experienced an uptick in patients with chronic sinusitis. “In some cases, the progress of the condition can be further fueled by an incorrect diagnosis. That’s why it’s so important to see an experienced physician who can weigh all the clues, including less common symptoms if presented, before rendering a diagnosis.”

Sinusitis Related To 9-11

Many of those seeking help from Dr. Guida had been at or near the World Trade Center (WTC) in the wake of the destruction, and exhibit symptoms of chronic sinusitis – a consequence reflecting recent research results.

Of the more than 27,000 exposed police officers, construction workers, firefighters, and municipal workers evaluated by a Mount Sinai Hospital study over the first nine years following 9/11, more than one in five of the responders studied had multiple physical and/or mental health problems – and of these, 42 percent had sinusitis.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene cites a study using WTC Registry data that found those exposed to Ground Zero-related dust were more likely to develop respiratory symptoms, sinus problems, asthma or lung problems.

Sets of People Affected

According the agency, those at greatest risk included rescue, recovery and clean-up workers who arrived early at the WTC site, or worked at the WTC location for long periods of time; lower Manhattan residents who didn’t evacuate their homes; lower Manhattan residents and office workers who returned to homes or workplaces covered with a thick coating of dust, and people who both lived and worked in lower Manhattan after 9/11.

Common Symptoms of Sinusitis

Exhibiting long-term swelling and inflammation of the sinuses, chronic sinusitis is underscored by a variety of possible symptoms, such as bad breath or loss of smell; coughing; fatigue and general feeling of being ill; headache; pressure-like pain, pain behind the eyes, toothache, or tenderness of the face; nasal stuffiness and discharge; sore throat; postnasal drip, and recurrent infections.

Two Board Certifications

Fortunately, relief for many chronic sinusitis patients may be found at the office of Dr. Guida, who is board certified by both the American Board of Otolaryngology, head and neck surgery – and the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.

Although acute single episodes of sinusitis are successfully treated with medication, consideration of sinus surgery may arise based upon the longevity and repeated nature of a patient’s symptoms, and how significantly they affect the quality of life.

Leading Edge Surgical Solution

Dr. Guida is skilled in state-of-the-art endoscopic surgery techniques and technology, such as endoscopes connected to a TV monitor that offers accurate and magnified views of the inside of the nose and sinuses; CT scans with computerized X-rays that enable an accurate diagnosis and “road map” of the nose and sinus anatomy during surgery, and powered nasal endoscopy, allowing for the gentle shaving and cleaning away, or debriding, of obstructive tissue under direct vision, while leaving normal tissue intact.

Additionally, improved anesthetic medications and techniques encourage a speedy recovery with reduced drowsiness or nausea. Most often, Dr. Guida does not “pack the nose” after surgery, making recovery more comfortable.

Robert A. Guida MD

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