Sinusitis is inflammation and swelling of the tissues that line the sinuses. This interferes with normal mucus drainage, leading to breathing difficulties, pain and pressure. When the condition persists for 12 weeks or longer, it is considered chronic.
What Causes Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is the number one reported chronic condition in the United States, affecting an estimated 37 million Americans. It’s most often caused by an infection brought on by a cold or allergies, but may also be the result of nasal polyps, a deviated septum, trauma to the face, hay fever, complications from immune system disorders or tumors.
What Are the Symptoms of Sinusitis?
Individuals suffering from sinusitis experience a variety of cold-like symptoms such as nasal congestion and discharge, postnasal drip, sore throat, facial pressure and swelling, loss of smell and taste, headache, fever, fatigue and bad breath.
Complications can include asthma attacks, meningitis, vision problems, aneurysms and stroke.
How Is Sinusitis Diagnosed?
In addition to a physical examination and a review of your medical history, your doctor will inspect your nasal passages for polyps and other abnormalities and check for inflammation and a buildup of fluid. Additional tests utilizing nasal endoscopy, CT scans, MRIs and allergy tests can be used to help confirm the diagnosis.
How Is Sinusitis Treated?
Treatments will vary depending upon the severity of your sinusitis and whether it’s an acute or chronic condition. Saline nasal sprays and corticosteroids are useful for rinsing your nasal passages and relieving inflammation. Decongestants are a good short-term solution, but extended use can actually worsen the condition. Antibiotics are usually prescribed for bacterial infections.
Antihistamines, nasal steroid sprays, saline washes and oral steroids all provide long-term relief. More permanent solutions such as immunotherapy (allergy shots) or surgery can bring relief to those suffering from chronic sinusitis.
If you’re suffering from chronic sinusitis and have exhausted your treatment options, you may be a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty. This minimally invasive surgical solution is a safe and effective method of enlarging your sinus passages for easier breathing and a drastic reduction in sinusitis symptoms.
What Is Sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis is a widespread condition affecting 37 million Americans. This inflammation of the sinuses occurs when the sinus opening becomes blocked, preventing mucus from draining properly. It causes cold-like symptoms that include congestion, runny nose, sore throat, facial pain and swelling, loss of smell or taste, bad breath, fatigue and headache.
It is most often caused by viral infections, but can also occur as a result of nasal polyps, a deviated septum or head trauma. Medical solutions work for some, but others continue to suffer despite numerous attempts using a variety of treatments. Balloon Sinuplasty may be the answer.
What’s Different About Balloon Sinuplasty?
Conventional sinus surgical procedures involve cutting and excision of bone and tissue, a process that may cause pain and scarring and requires a recovery period.
In comparison, Balloon Sinuplasty is quick (the average operating time is 73 minutes) and relatively painless, and has a lower risk of complications or side effects. It is FDA-approved and considered a safe alternative to endoscopic sinus surgery.
How Is Balloon Sinuplasty Performed?
Balloon Sinuplasty is typically performed in an outpatient setting. You’ll be given either a local or general anesthetic before a balloon catheter is inserted into your sinus cavity. The balloon is then inflated in order to enlarge the sinus opening and widen the walls of the nasal passages.
A saline solution is sprayed into the cavity to flush out mucus and other debris; the catheter is then removed. The end result is open sinuses that enable normal breathing and drainage of fluids. Up to 95 percent of patients report a significant improvement in sinus symptoms following this procedure.
If you are interested in Balloon Sinuplasty, speak with your doctor or an ENT specialist. A qualified physician will take a look at your medical history and help you determine which sinus treatment options are best for you.