Balloons are synonymous with birthday parties and clowns, so you might be surprised to learn they actually serve a useful purpose in the world of medicine. If you’re one of the many individuals suffering from sinus infections in Lexington or Columbia, balloons might even be the key to relieving your misery. Think we’re full of hot air? Allow us to explain.
Treating Chronic Sinus Infections
Sinusitis – the medical term for persistent sinus infections – is a widespread concern across the country. In fact, it’s the most commonly reported chronic health condition in South Carolina and throughout the United States. An estimated 37 million people suffer from this affliction that is characterized by symptoms that include sinus headaches; pain and pressure in the sinuses and ears; facial tenderness and swelling; stuffy nose; sore throat; fever; and cough. Symptoms vary in intensity, and sinusitis may be either acute (temporary) or chronic (lasting for 12 weeks or longer). It can be brought on by colds and allergies, infections, nasal polyps, a number of factors such as colds and allergies, infections, nasal polyps, and environmental irritants.
Home remedies are recommended initially. These include over-the-counter medications and decongestants, and nasal irrigation (this involves a saline solution utilizing a Neti pot). If the infection is bacterial in nature, you’ll be prescribed antibiotics.
Not all patients find success with home remedies; many turn to surgery for a long-term solution. Functional endoscopic sinus surgery involves the cutting and removal of bone and tissue in and around the sinuses. While effective, it has drawbacks that include pain, discomfort, and a lengthy recovery period.
An increasingly popular option may be a viable alternative for many. This is where our balloons come in!
A relatively new procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty has provided thousands of patients with long-term relief from stubborn sinus infections. Compared to traditional sinus surgery, Balloon Sinuplasty is far less invasive, has few side effects, and most patients can resume their normal activities within a day or two.
If you undergo the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure, your Lexington or Columbia surgeon will give you a local anesthetic before beginning the operation. They will then insert a balloon catheter into your sinuses that is inflated to expand the sinus cavity, allowing excess fluid to drain and enabling you to breathe more easily. Mucus and other debris are flushed out and the catheter is removed. The end result? 95 percent of patients who have undergone the procedure report significant long-term improvement.
Balloon Sinuplasty was approved by the FDA in 2005 and the procedure has been performed countless times since. It is a safe and effective solution to many sinusitis patients who have been unable to find relief from their symptoms through home remedies.
In order to find out more about Balloon Sinuplasty and learn if you’re a candidate, contact your Lexington or Columbia ear, nose, and throat specialist today.