Sinusitis is the medical term for a sinus infection and the inflammation that occurs when the tissues lining the sinuses become irritated and swollen with accumulation of mucus, pus or debris. A sinus infection may cause a variety of symptoms including headache, facial pressure, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, fever and bad breath. These can be acute when lasting fewer than 30 days or chronic when lasting longer than three months.
An estimated 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis, making it one of the most common chronic conditions and reasons for doctors’ visits annually.
Sinus infections may be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi, all of which we carry in our noses at all times. The treatment for your sinusitis will depend on the location, duration and type of infection involved. Camino ENT is equipped to handle all your medical and surgical sinus treatment needs.
What Is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is inflammation or an infection of the paranasal sinus cavities. It can be caused by a bacterial, fungal or viral infection or it may be due to an allergic or autoimmune issue.
The most common symptoms are headaches and pain and pressure in the affected sinus area. Acute sinusitis usually lasts for less than four weeks, while chronic sinusitis goes on for over 12 weeks. However, many “sinus headaches” may actually be migraines and your doctor will be able to identify the cause of your symptoms.
How is Sinusitis treated?
Acute sinusitis, if caused by a bacterial infection, can be treated with antibiotics. However, the vast majority of sinusitis cases are caused by viral infections and antibiotics would not be helpful.
Chronic sinusitis can be temporarily soothed by nasal irrigation. Surgical procedures can also help treat the pain and discomfort of chronic sinusitis. Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS), is a surgical procedure that fixes the root causes of sinusitis without making any incisions or disrupting nasal tissue. This approach also reduces the risk of the post-operative complications.
Sinus surgery is used to treat patients with chronic sinus infections through the removal of nasal obstructions and/or enlargement of the sinus openings, allowing fluid to drain. Depending on the condition, there are several surgical sinus procedures, including functional endoscopic sinus surgery, image guided surgery and balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that utilizes a balloon catheter to expand the sinus opening and promote drainage. Unlike traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty involves no cutting of bone or tissue, reducing pain and discomfort and leading to a quicker recovery. A majority of patients report significant improvements in sinusitis symptoms without any negative effects.
For years, those with chronic sinus infections or sinusitis have had the same treatment options. Patients could continue taking medications on a daily basis or undergo a complex and meticulous surgery to remove tissue and bone from the inflamed sinus cavity. Fortunately, a revolutionary new procedure is now available.
Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe and effective procedure for those suffering from chronic sinus issues or recurrent acute infections requiring antibiotics. Unlike traditional surgery that requires the cutting and removal of bone or tissue, this procedure is less invasive. A small, flexible balloon catheter is inserted into the inflamed sinus. Once it is in place, the balloon is inflated. This expands the sinus opening by repositioning the bones safely and permanently. The balloon is then deflated and removed, leaving behind a clean, open sinus.
Step 1: Access the Sinus
Step 2: Open the Sinus
Step 3: Saline Wash
Step 4: Sinus Remains Open
The Balloon Sinuplasty procedure typically takes just over an hour. If performed in-office, local anesthesia is required. Most patients are able to return to normal activities after only a few days.
Many studies have been completed to determine the effectiveness of Balloon Sinuplasty. A majority of patients report significant improvements in sinusitis symptoms, less frequent infections and less reliance on medication.
If you are interested in learning more about this procedure, call us at (408) 227-6300 to set up an appointment.
Sinus endoscopy is similar to nasal endoscopy and utilizes a thin tube, either rigid or flexible, passed through the nostrils to provide a detailed look at the sinuses. It is helpful in diagnosing sinus infections; determining the cause of nasal discharge, sneezing and snoring; draining the sinuses; dispensing antibiotics; and removing polyps.
Call Camino Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic at (408) 227-6300 for more information or to schedule an appointment.