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FAQs About Sinusitis

FAQs About Sinusitis

Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure that helps widen the sinus passageways to improve breathing and reduces the risk and occurrence of sinus infections. The procedure can be performed under local anesthesia in the office or sometimes in more complex cases on an outpatient basis, which means you'll go home soon afterward. During this procedure, a thin probe or catheter is inserted through the nostril into the sinus cavity. Once in position, a tiny balloon at the end of the catheter is inflated, gently widening the sinus passageway. Once the narrowed area has been opened, the balloon is then deflated and removed along with the catheter, restoring normal breathing and drainage.

Because it uses no incisions, Balloon Sinuplasty is considered a minimally-invasive procedure, which means there's a lower risk for complications. Also time for healing and return to normal activity is usually faster. There also tends to be also less bleeding and risk of scarring compared to traditional sinus surgery, which causes more trauma to the sinuses and the surrounding anatomy. Plus, Balloon Sinuplasty doesn't remove any sinus or nasal tissue, so there may be no need to pack the nose with gauze afterward, making recovery much more comfortable as well.

Typically a candidate for this procedure will have:

  1. chronic sinus infections that do not respond to antibiotics
  2. recurrent infections occurring more than 4 times per 12 month period
  3. frequent sinus headaches
  4. sinus pressure
  5. problems breathing through the nose
  6. chronic foul odor or taste in the mouth
  7. loss of smell

Everyone, at one time or another, has suffered from sinusitis. However, many people don’t know exactly what sinusitis is or how best to treat it; a lot of misinformation exists. Our doctors want to clear up these misunderstandings. For example, sinusitis, while often caused by the common cold, is not a cold. A cold, which is a viral infection, presents with a number of symptoms, of which sinusitis may be one.Another common misconception is that sinusitis is always caused by a bacterial infection, therefore, the patient should take antibiotics immediately. However, that is not always the case.In fact, many cases of sinusitis – even cases caused by bacterial infections -- don’t need to be treated with antibiotics at all. That’s why it’s important to know what is causing your sinusitis so you can properly treat it. An ENT specialist can help you determine what you are dealing with and how best to treat it.In order to help better understand sinusitis, here are a few commonly asked questions and answers.

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is a condition that causes the cavities around your nasal passages (sinuses) to become inflamed and swollen. When this happens, it becomes more difficult for drainage to occur. This causes congestion, blockage, and tenderness.

What causes sinusitis?

Acute sinusitis is most often caused by the common cold. However, other conditions, such as allergies, bacterial and fungal infections, can cause sinusitis flare ups.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include, but are not limited to: thick, yellow or green discharge; difficulty breathing through the nose; congestion; pain or tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead; and coughing.

How long does a typical bout of sinusitis last?

Generally, sinusitis doesn’t last more than a few days to a week or two. However, sinusitis that lasts more than eight weeks or keeps coming back is referred to as chronic sinusitis and may need more aggressive treatment. Severe cases left untreated can lead to more serious complications.

What are my treatment options?

Treatment will depend on the individual case, but most of the time most cases can be treated with over the counter/home remedies. More severe bacterial infections might require antibiotics.If you are seeking the services of an experienced ENT doctor, consider contacting our office for an appointment.If you have irritating allergies, you already know they can affect your life. They can keep you from doing the things you like, and worst of all, they may not be just seasonal. But now there’s help just a phone call away from your ENT specialists. Call today and get some relief from your allergies!