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Is Balloon Sinuplasty Right for You?

Sinus issues, whether from allergies or respiratory infections, can turn your day from ordinary to painful and distracting in next to no time. While most people suffer occasional sinus problems, others may develop chronic issues that flare up frequently, and over-the-counter and even prescription medications might offer little relief. For such patients, the team at SCENT- Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat offers comfort with balloon sinuplasty.

The cycle of sinus infection

When your sinuses are blocked, normal drainage is interrupted; sinus openings get entirely plugged due to inflammation, trapping mucus and pus. Without drainage, healing action is delayed, and you keep suffering as your body fights to defeat the infection. Patients with chronic sinusitis relive this cycle again and again. 

Symptoms of sinus infection

If you’re one of the 31 million Americans who suffer from sinusitis each year, you’re familiar with the symptoms, mainly like those of the common cold, a viral infection. You may experience headaches, facial pain, nasal congestion, and a runny nose. Your ears may feel plugged, your senses of smell and taste change, and you may suffer from a cough and sleep disruptions.

Though sharing these symptoms, sinus infections stem from bacteria, a reason why they can be treated with antibiotics while a cold can’t. While this may be adequate for the occasional sinus infection, chronic sinusitis may require excessive courses of antibiotics, increasing the chances of your body resisting future antibiotic treatment.

Treating sinusitis

People with deviated septums, facial injuries, or nasal polyps may be more prone to sinus infections because of the physical narrowing of the sinus entrances. However, for many people, the blockage occurs because the inflammation caused by the infection shuts this passageway.

There’s a new procedure that works well for those with normal sinuses who have frequent infections. Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that replaces traditional sinus surgery to reduce the incidence and severity of chronic sinusitis.

Balloon sinuplasty to the rescue

During balloon sinuplasty, which is often performed in-office under local anesthetic conditions, a wire catheter is inserted into your sinus. A small balloon sits in the long, narrow channel of the sinus opening. When inflated, this balloon expands and restructures the sinus opening. 

The catheter is used for flushing the infected sinus with saline solution, clearing away mucus and pus resulting from the infection.

Without the pool of infection byproducts, you’ll feel instant relief from the pressure of blocked sinuses. The sinus opening remains dilated after the balloon is deflated and removed, so your sinus can drain naturally, and the normal healing process can kill remaining signs of infection.

There’s little recovery time from the procedure, which has proven safe, with over 400,000 procedures in the last decade.

You’re a candidate for balloon sinuplasty if your nasal structure is standard. During an examination in our offices, we will confirm that your sinuses can accept the balloon catheter central to the treatment. 

To learn more or set up a consultation, contact Southern California Ear, Nose, and Throat at one of our five locations.

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