If you’ve just been told that you suffer from sinusitis, fret not. This intimidating term simply means an infection or inflammation of the sinuses. It is a common condition, and symptoms include a green or yellow discharge from the nose, a blocked nose or difficulty breathing through your nose, pain or swelling around the nose, eyes, cheeks or forehead, and a reduced sense of smell.
There are generally two types of sinusitis: acute and chronic. They share similar signs and symptoms, but differ in the duration of infection. Acute sinusitis lasts up to four weeks while chronic sinusitis can linger for months or even years.
Many over-the-counter and prescription remedies have been suggested for the treatment of chronic sinusitis. But if you’ve tried them all and your symptoms don’t seem to get better, you may want to consider balloon sinuplasty.
Subhead: A Balloon Up My Nose?
Balloon sinuplasty is a surgical procedure that uses a balloon to open up blocked sinuses. Performed by ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeons, this procedure is safe, effective and less invasive than traditional sinus surgeries. While any surgery involves some risk, clinical studies have shown that balloon sinuplasty is very safe, with very low complication rates. Some associated risks include trauma to surrounding tissues or mucous membrane, infection, or injury to the eye.
Follow-up studies of patients who had undergone the procedure reported significant and lasting improvement of their symptoms, which means that the procedure is effective.
For the most part, patients need undergo balloon sinuplasty only once; it is unlikely that you would need to repeat the procedure. However, this depends on the severity of your condition and other host factors.
Better yet, because there is no cutting or removal of bone or tissue, there is reduced bleeding and therefore quicker and more comfortable recovery. In fact, the surgery can be performed comfortably under local anaesthesia, and patients may return to work and normal activity within two days. Moreover, undergoing balloon sinuplasty does not limit your future treatment options.
If you’ve tried different treatments for chronic sinusitis to no avail, it is time to consider balloon sinuplasty as a safe, minimally invasive alternative.