World Sinus Health Awareness Day

James C. Denneny III, MD, AAO-HNS/F Executive Vice President and CEO


The American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery and its Foundation (AAO-HNS/F) are pleased to sponsor the inaugural World Sinus Health Awareness Day with our partner, Intersect ENT, Inc., on September 29, 2021. This effort is designed to inform and educate patients around the world about the causes of your nasal and sinus symptoms as well as how you can improve your symptoms and when you should seek additional specialized care.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we believe it is critical for patients to be able to recognize and understand the different types of nasal and sinus symptoms when it comes to COVID-19, the common cold or upper respiratory infection, allergies or allergic rhinitis, non-allergic rhinitis, and chronic or acute rhinosinusitis, commonly known as sinusitis. As you can see, there are a number of conditions that share similar symptoms, and the above list isn’t even all of them.

One symptom that has become very prevalent in the news is anosmia or loss of smell. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) added loss of smell/taste as a primary symptom of COVID-19 early in the pandemic and it has been an early indication for many to seek treatment and get tested, lessening the spread of the coronavirus.

A word from Tom West, CEO and President of Intersect ENT

But loss of smell and taste do not just occur with COVID-19 and are symptoms experienced with a number of other sinus and nasal related conditions. And that is the focus of World Sinus Health Awareness Day in 2021—providing you with reliable and trusted information developed by the experts in this area of specialized medical treatment so that you can make informed decisions about what to do.

The other focus area for this effort in 2021 is assuring patients that it is safe to go back to the doctor and be examined to determine what the treatment plan may be for any ongoing sinus and nasal issues you are experiencing. Doctors’ offices and medical centers have implemented COVID-19 science-driven safety measures to create the safest environment possible for patients to be seen in person by their doctor. This includes installing air filtration systems, mask wearing for patients and medical and administrative staff, new cleaning protocols, pre-screening questions, and more. If this is an area of concern for you, we encourage you to call your doctor and ask what safety measures they have in place prior to your appointment. Delaying care for any ongoing symptom, as well as new symptoms, is not the ideal plan of action during the coronavirus.

You can hear about all of this and more from a specially produced webinar in recognition of World Sinus Health Awareness Day. We have gathered a panel of expert ear, nose, and throat doctors, also known as ENTs or otolaryngologists, from around the country to answer patient questions about sinus and nasal symptoms, treatments, seeking medical care, and more. To view this webinar and access other resources, go to or


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