Most people are affected by sinus problems during their life. The good news is that there are treatments that can help. One treatment for chronic sinus problems is balloon sinuplasty. This is a minimally invasive technique that is used when medical therapy hasn’t provided adequate relief.
What Is the Purpose of Sinuses?
Sinuses are cavities in your face filled with air. The air you breathe passes through the sinuses that produce mucus which captures bacteria and other foreign particles out of the air.
Sinus Anatomy and Function
Sinuses are the initial part of your respiratory system. They are the first portal for the intake of oxygen into your system. You have hollow spaces in your facial bones near your nose. They are filled with air as you breathe.
There are four pairs on either side of your face. They are the
- Maxillary sinuses on each side of your nose near your cheekbones.
- Fontal sinuses above your eyes in your forehead
- Ethmoid sinuses on each side of the bridge of your nose, near your eyes.
- Sphenoid sinuses behind the eyes deeper in your skull.
As you breathe it passes through the sinus cavities where mucus is produced to filter the air and lubricate your passages. The mucus drains into your nasal passages and down the back of your throat and is swallowed. With it is carried dust and bacteria.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the tissues lining your sinus cavities. Inflamed tissues swell and impede airflow through your passages. Blocked sinus cavities can fill with fluid that traps bacteria which in turn causes sinus infections.
There are different types of sinus infections including
- Acute bacterial – cold symptoms that persist for 10 days
- Chronic – cold symptoms that persist for at least 12 weeks
- Subacute – cold symptoms that persist for 4 to 12 weeks
- Recurrent acute – cold symptoms that recur four or more times a year and persist for less than two weeks each time.
- Common colds
- Nasal polyps
- Deviated septum
Inflammation and swelling of sinus tissue are usually successfully treated with medications including corticosteroids, allergy medications, and antifungal treatment.
Polyps and chronic sinus inflammation are often treated with injections of dupilumab or omalizumab.
If an underlying bacterial infection is suspected a general antibiotic might be prescribed along with other medications. If allergies are a factor, immunotherapy shots can help.
When all else fails, your doctor might order endoscopic sinus surgery. If a physical blockage is detected (e.g., a polyp) the tissue blockage will be removed
Balloon sinus dilation is a minimally invasive alternative to surgery. It is a successful technique for balloon dilation of your partially obstructed sinus passages. A tiny balloon is inserted through your nose to eliminate the blockage. The newly opened passage does not need an implant or additional support and is permanent.
Who Is A Candidate?
You may be a candidate for balloon dilation (sinuplasty) if you meet the following:
- No nasal polyps or tumors
- Have a mild form of sinusitis
- Tolerate procedures under local anesthesia.
- Obstruction is localized in a specific sinus cavity.
Children are considered as candidates only where their condition is of a severe type and so other medical treatments are effective.
If you are not eligible for this procedure you might consider with your doctor endoscopic sinus surgery.
If you suffer from frequent episodes of serious symptoms, you need to contact us at Southeastern Ear Nose Throat Sinus Center in Florida. We are in Miramar, Davie, and our Pembroke Pines main ENT office.