Your nose is always stuffed. Your head feels heavy and you feel constant sinus pressure and pain. If these symptoms have been going on for weeks and months, you like many Americans, millions in fact, suffer from chronic sinusitis. This severe inflammation of the mucus membranes that line the sinus cavities and other spaces in the face causes a number of symptoms and can impact your quality of life significantly. If you’ve been to a doctor over and over again, taken antibiotics to no avail, it might be time to think of balloon sinuplasty as a treatment option.
Causes of Chronic Sinusitis
While there is no single cause of chronic sinusitis, it is one of the most common conditions in the U.S. There are a number of factors that can cause it including:
- Bacteria, pathogens
- Immune system deficiency
- Environmental factors (i.e.: air pollution)
- Anatomical issues such as polyps, deviated septum
Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis
Here are a few you may be experiencing:
- Sinus pressure and pain
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Post-Nasal drip
- Malaise and fatigue
Balloon sinuplasty is good for people who have chronic sinus infections and other sinusitis symptoms but have not been able to improve their condition by medications. A balloon sinuplasty is not surgery but involves opening inflamed sinuses with the use of a small flexible balloon catheter, improving ventilation and drainage. The procedure can be done in an ear, nose and throat doctor’s office as a same-day procedure.
What to Expect
At our office, we give the person some medication to get them in a calm state. A balloon catheter is inserted in the nose that has been numbed by a topical or injectable anesthetic. Once in the sinus drainage areas, the catheter is inflated which moves the tissues and eggshell thin bones, opening the pathways. The balloon is then deflated and removed. The whole experience takes 1-2 hours.
Recovery from Balloon Sinuplasty
Your sinuses will continue to feel pressure after the procedure and expect the nose area to be tender. Many people can get back to work and other regular activities within a few days. However, it can take up to six weeks to feel the full effects of the procedure. In the interim, your doctor may recommend regular use of saline to irrigate the nasal passages and keep them clean to help with healing.
Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty
If your ear, nose and throat doctor recommends balloon sinuplasty, there are a number of benefits to consider when deciding to go this route including:
- Less invasive - no cutting of the nasal bone or tissue as in surgery
- Performed in the doctor’s office
- Minimal discomfort afterwards
- Short recovery time
- Safe – has been around since 2005 and undergone by many thousands of people
- Effective – many people report good results with significant improvement in sinus symptoms
While there are some people who may not be good candidates for balloon sinuplasty, including those with nasal polyps or a deviated septum, the procedure can be life changing for some. Make sure you discuss all of your possible treatment options with your ear, nose and throat doctor to get the best diagnosis and to determine the best solution for you.
At Advanced Specialty Care, all of our ear, nose and throat doctors are trained to treat nasal and sinus issues, as well as problems of the head and neck, including ear infections, tonsillitis, sleep apnea, silent reflux, and more. Please schedule a visit with one of our ENT specialists today to discuss how we can best help you. We have offices in the Fairfield County, CT, towns of Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk, Ridgefield and Southbury.