About 37 million people in the United States have sinusitis each year. For the majority of those people, medication resolves the problem, and they can go on about their lives. However, for some people, medication doesn’t work, and they have a chronic sinus infection.
At Florida Ear Nose Throat and Facial Plastic Surgery Center, our team, lead by Dr. Wade Han, wants to help you live a healthy, productive life. That’s difficult to do if you’re living with a never-ending sinus infection. A procedure called balloon sinuplasty might be the best treatment for you.
Your sinuses are cavities that facilitate drainage. When your sinuses are blocked because of inflammation, the narrow openings become blocked, and mucus, pus, and other substances that usually drain away are trapped.
Without drainage, healing is delayed and your body must constantly fight infection. If you have chronic sinusitis, your sinuses become inflamed, the drainage is blocked, and your infection worsens.
Symptoms of sinus infection
The symptoms of a sinus infection usually appear similar to those of the common cold. You’re likely to have a headache, tenderness on your face, nasal congestion, and of course, a runny nose. Your senses of taste and smell are likely to be affected, and you may have a cough or experience disruptions to your sleep.
Although the common cold, which is a viral infection, and sinusitis share many symptoms, a sinus infection is usually caused by bacteria. This is why sinusitis can be treated with antibiotics, but a cold can’t. Chronic sinusitis, though, may not be resolved through the use of antibiotics.
Treatments for chronic sinusitis
Some conditions make it more likely that you’ll develop sinus infections. For example, if you have a deviated septum, you’ve had facial injuries, or you have nasal polyps, you may be more prone to sinusitis because those conditions can cause a narrowing of your sinus passages.
Many people, though, don’t have a condition that creates narrower sinus passages, but when they have an infection, inflammation causes a blockage.
Balloon sinuplasty is often an appropriate treatment for people with normal sinuses but you have frequent sinus infections. This procedure is minimally invasive and reduces the frequency and severity of sinus infections.
What to expect
Balloon sinuplasty is an outpatient procedure that’s performed right in our office. We administer local anesthetic to keep you comfortable, and then a thin, wire catheter with a small balloon attached is inserted into your sinus. As the balloon is inflated, it expands and restructures your sinus opening.
Once your sinus is open, the catheter is used to flush the infected material out of your sinus cavity. We use a gentle saline solution to remove mucus and pus and allow you to breathe comfortably again.
Once your sinus is cleared, you’ll feel better. The relief is instant. Your sinus opening remains clear after the balloon is deflated and extracted, allowing your natural draining process to proceed, and you can finally heal properly.
You won’t need much recovery time. Even better, balloon sinuplasty is safe and has been performed more than 400,000 times in the last 10 years.
You’re a candidate for balloon sinuplasty if your nasal structure is normal. During an examination in our offices, we will confirm that your sinuses can accept the balloon catheter that’s central to the treatment.
The main requirement to be a candidate for this fast, safe, effective procedure is that the structure of your sinuses is normal. We can confirm that with an in-office exam.
You can book an appointment today at one of our two locations, in Orlando or Kissimmee, Florida, by phone or online. Our team is happy to answer your questions and determine if balloon sinuplasty might be right for you.