Sinusitis impacts over 37 million people annually making it one of the most common health ailments. For most patients who suffer from sinus infections, their symptoms typically resolve in about a week or two. However, for some, sinus infections can last up to three months, resulting in chronic sinusitis. What’s worse, many of those patients may not find relief of their symptoms with conventional at-home treatments or medication. The good news is that balloon sinuplasty has emerged as an advanced non-surgical alternative for specific patients suffering from chronic allergies and sinusitis.
How Does Balloon Sinuplasty Work?
The sinuses are small, air-filled cavities behind your cheekbones and forehead. In both acute and chronic sinusitis, the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed. The condition is typically provoked by a viral infection which causes your sinus passageways to be blocked and can result in:
Balloon sinuplasty is one of the newest and minimally-invasive options for those dealing with chronic sinusitis who do not respond to medication and are looking for an alternative to conventional sinus surgery. The goal of the procedure is to clear obstructed sinuses and reestablish smooth sinus flow. The simple, non-surgical treatment relieves the symptoms linked to chronic sinusitis without cutting the bone or tissues within the nasal cavity. Instead of using incisions, your otolaryngologist places a tiny flexible tube equipped with a deflated balloon into your sinus cavity. Once inside, the balloon is carefully inflated until it opens up the inflamed or blocked sinus, allowing it to drain properly. A unique saline solution is sprayed into your nasal cavity to take away any accumulation of mucus. Once the sinuses are completely clear your ear, nose, and throat specialist will remove the apparatus. Your sinuses will stay clear even after the balloon device is taken out. Balloon sinuplasty can be performed right in the office, and you’ll be able to return home and resume your normal activities shortly afterward.
Are You a Candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty?
The determination of whether or not you are a candidate for balloon sinuplasty depends on the severity, duration, and frequency of your sinus infections and symptoms. If you have moderate or mild chronic sinusitis, you might be a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty, especially if you’ve had recurring sinus infections that haven’t responded well to medication. Balloon sinuplasty can be used alone or in combination with another type of treatment when necessary. If your sinus infection lasts less than a month and your symptoms are relatively mild, you may not be eligible for balloon sinuplasty. Moreover, people with extreme nasal deformities including severely obstructed, crooked, or deviated nasal septums may not be good candidates, nor those patients with nasal polyps that are not the source of their sinus infection.
Results of Balloon Sinuplasty
Over 330,000 people worldwide have safely undergone balloon sinuplasty, and over 95% of patients have shown a reduction in their sinus symptoms. Studies undertaken two years after treatment show that in 90% of balloon sinuplasty patients, their sinus openings remained clear, and 85% reported continuous improvement in their sinus symptoms. Balloon sinuplasty represents a less-invasive alternative for patients who have failed to find comfort from prescribed antibiotics – a plight affecting roughly 20% of sinusitis sufferers. Balloon sinuplasty has significant benefits over and above conventional sinus surgery including:
If you’d like to know more about how balloon sinuplasty may be able to help you overcome chronic sinusitis, please feel free to contact us.