Developing a Blocked Sinus Cavity
Everyone has a group of sinuses, or cavities, on their skull. The maxillary sinuses are the largest and are located in the cheek area.
The frontal sinuses are on the forehead, while the sphenoid sinuses are in the nasal cavity and the ethmoid sinuses are on the bridge of the nose. Each sinus is lined with a layer of mucosa.
The exact reason why people have sinuses isn't clear. What is clear is that the sinuses can cause a lot of pain and discomfort if they become inflamed, irritated or swollen.
People can develop sinusitis when the sinuses become infected with a virus or bacteria or become inflamed due to allergies. Some cases of sinusitis clear up with treatment after a short period of time while others persist.
Acute vs. Chronic Sinusitis
Sinusitis can either be acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is commonly caused by bacteria, fungus, a virus or allergies and leads to a blocked sinus cavity. The condition usually resolves within four weeks, usually on its own, though cases caused by a bacteria can be treated with antibiotics. Some patients also take pain relievers or decongestants to relieve discomfort and pressure.
Chronic sinusitis lasts for at least eight or 12 weeks and can recur throughout the year. If you have a chronic sinus infection or a blocked sinus cavity, you might have green or yellow discharge from your nose, trouble breathing due to congestion, and pain around the nose, forehead and eyes. Allergies or infections can cause chronic sinusitis. The condition can also be caused by a deviated septum or polyps in the nose.
Treatment Options | See a Sinus Doctor
Some of the treatments used for acute sinusitis can be used to treat chronic cases. Decongestants can help relieve pressure and congestion in the sinuses, but can't be used for long periods of time, as they can end up making congestion worse if used too much.
Some people experience relieve from sinusitis with the use of corticosteroids. Corticosteroids can either be taken orally, injected or sprayed into the nose. Like decongestants, you don't want to take corticosteroids for too long, as they can cause side effects. Surgery is another option if you have a chronic sinus infection.
Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure
Balloon sinuplasty is a considerably less invasive treatment option for chronic sinusitis. There are no incisions made and the sinus doctor doesn't have to remove any tissue or bone from the area. Instead, the surgeon inserts a thin, flexible catheter with a balloon on it into the sinus. The balloon is inflated, which opens the walls of the sinus, without causing damage or changes to the lining of the sinus.
After the balloon is inflated, a saltwater solution is injected into the sinus to clean it out, flushing away mucus and pus. The catheter is then removed from the sinus and the procedure is over.
Balloon sinuplasty was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2005 to treat chronic sinusitis. Since then, it has helped hundreds of thousands of patients breathe easier and live life with less pain.
Balloon Sinuplasty Recovery
One of the major benefits of balloon sinuplasty recovery is the considerably shorter time compared to traditional surgery. The procedure can be performed under local or general anesthesia and takes about an hour. Once the procedure is over, patients can go home the same day. Many are back to work or their daily life within 24 to 48 hours.
If you are tired of living with the pain and pressure of a blocked sinus cavity, a sinus doctor can help you get your life back with the renowned balloon sinuplasty procedure. In Boca Raton, Dr. Nathan Nachlas has nearly 30 years of experience treating patients with sinus problems.
For more information or to request a consult with Dr. Nachlas contact Sandy Friedman, Director of Patient Relations at 561-939-0909.