Sinus Infections: Is Balloon Sinuplasty Right for Me?

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 13th, 2016 and is filed under Blog by AENT Associates

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An estimated 37 million people experience sinusitis annually in America. Sinusitis can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms that are usually referred to as acute or chronic. If a person has more than four episodes of acute sinusitis symptoms yearly, the specialists at Allergy & Ent Associates may recommend an in-office procedure known as balloon sinuplasty.

Those with chronic sinus symptoms experience sinuses that are often too blocked to properly drain mucus that builds up, becomes infected, and causes unpleasant symptoms. The ballooon sinuplasty procedure involves inserting a small, thin catheter that has a balloon on it that can be expanded to open up the blocked sinus. As a result, mucus is more easily able to drain. This reduces the likelihood a person will experience continued incidences of chronic sinusitis.

What Are the Symptoms of Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is a condition that’s similar to seasonal allergy symptoms or a cold (upper respiratory infection). In fact, many of our patients experience sinusitis, yet believe their symptoms are due to another cause.

Common symptoms of sinusitis include:

  • Bad breath
  • Experiencing yellow or green mucus that drains from the nose
  • Headache
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Pain in the face
  • Pressure and congestion, especially in the front of the face
  • Sore throat
  • Teeth pain
  • Trouble breathing well through your nose

When mucus collects in your sinus passages, it can attract bacteria to the sinuses. As a result, infection can occur. If a person experiences symptoms associated with sinusitis more than 12 weeks, this is known as chronic sinusitis.

Typically, patients will start using over-the-counter treatments, such as decongestants, steroids, or antibiotics to heal infection. However, about one-fifth of chronic sinusitis patients don’t experience relief from over-the-counter treatments.

Why Consider Balloon Sinuplasty? 

While more invasive sinus surgeries are available (and indicated for some patients), balloon sinuplasty is an attractive and very successful procedure that can be performed without any incisions or removal of bone. More than 330,000 patients have undergone balloon sinuplasty since 2005, according to BalloonSinuplasty.com.

Many of our patients enjoy the advantages that an in-office, minimally invasive procedure can provide. For example, the procedure requires only local anesthesia. They can have the procedure in a comfortable and familiar environment. The cost is lower than sinus surgeries and the recovery time is typically minimal. Most patients find they can recover in about two days and return to their normal activities.

Chronic sinusitis can result in frequently missed days at work and a significant amount of discomfort for the person experiencing the condition. Through balloon sinuplasty, our patients are able to finally breathe more easily.

Not everyone is a candidate for balloon sinuplasty. Some people’s sinus passages cannot be successfully enlarged through the procedure. Our ENT experts take patient selection very seriously, and will provide a thorough evaluation to determine if balloon sinuplasty could help a patient’s symptoms.

For more information on in-office balloon sinuplasty treatments for chronic sinusitis, please call Allergy & ENT Associates at (713) MY-SINUS.