When most people think about being able to breathe easily, they think of their lungs. But the nose and nasal passages are just as important. If these become damaged or develop a condition such as sinusitis, breathing can become painful and difficult. You’re not however, doomed to a endure a life of breathing difficulties. There are a number of treatments for sinusitis, including balloon sinuplasty.
Definition, Causes, and Symptoms
Sinusitis occurs when the lining of your sinuses becomes inflamed. The sinuses (a.k.a. paranasal sinuses) are spaces behind your nose, cheeks, and lower forehead that are lined with a mucous membrane. The membrane can become inflamed when infected by a virus or bacteria, but injuries, medical or dental treatments on the face, and even allergies can irritate the lining to the point where it becomes inflamed. The inflammation can be short-term, or chronic if it continues for more than three months.
Common symptoms of sinusitis include pain in the sinus areas behind your nose and eyes, and possibly a feeling of pressure in those areas. You may have a headache along with that pain. You can have both congestion and a lot of runny mucus during sinusitis, some or all of which can be yellow or green.
The longer you have the condition or the more instances you have of it, the greater your chances of developing more severe side effects. You should seek the opinion of a doctor and have your condition treated.
An effective method of treating sinusitis is a minimally invasive procedure called balloon sinuplasty. In this procedure, a small balloon-like apparatus is inserted into the sinuses and gently and gradually inflated. This opens up the sinuses and allows the surgeon to drain the cavities of mucus and any infected material. The surgeon then cleans the sinuses with a saline solution and removes the balloon after deflating it. Left behind are sinuses that are now open and clean.
While the procedure is minimally invasive, you may feel some after effects. Any pain or pressure can be treated with acetominophen, but other pain relievers like ibuprofen, which can thin blood and increase bleeding, should be avoided. If the side effects persist for more than a few days, check in with the doctor again to ensure there are no infections present.
The Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty
- It’s very quick, requiring comparatively little time. The procedure is usually a same-day outpatient process.
- It’s effective for most people, often resulting in healthy sinuses for up to two years — a blessing if you’ve been sidelined by chronic sinusitis.
- You don’t need a lot of recovery time. You can usually go home that day, and complete recovery should occur within three weeks.
Dr. David is a specialist in snoring, sinusitis, sleep apnea, and other ENT areas of concern. If you have been suffering from sinus problems, either acute or chronic, contact one of Dr. Volpi’s offices at (212) 873-6036 as soon as possible. The sooner you start treatment, the better the chances of eliminating any sinus problems.