It’s that time of the year; the flowers are blooming, the grass is turning green, and people who suffer from nasal allergies and sinus pain are struggling to catch their next breath. Many people in North Texas, women in particular, suffer from chronic sinusitis, a common condition that involves the sinuses becoming inflamed and swollen.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 13 percent of people in the United States were told they had sinusitis, and more women were diagnosed with the condition than men.
Now a procedure is available to help relieve nasal and sinus blockage. The new technique, called Balloon Sinuplasty™ is being performed at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano by physicians on the medical staff trained in otolaryngology.
“This minimally invasive procedure takes about 30-60 minutes and involves using a small catheter and balloon to open and expand blocked sinuses,” said Lav Kapadia, M.D., and Ear, Nose and Throat specialist on the medical staff at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Plano.
Chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining lasting three months or more and is one of the most commonly diagnosed chronic illnesses. It is caused by bacterial, viral, and allergic conditions as well as structural issues like blockages of the sinus opening.
Signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis may include:
- Facial pain, pressure, congestion or fullness
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Discharge of yellow or green mucus from the nose
- Teeth pain
- Loss of the sense of smell or taste
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
The most frequently used treatments for chronic sinusitis are medical therapies and/or conventional sinus surgery. Medical therapy treatments include sprays, antibiotics, steroids, and other remedies, while conventional sinus surgery involves removing tissue in order to open the sinus passages. The breakthrough of balloon sinuplasty is that it is a tissue preserving procedure, which helps promote a return to normal functioning.
“For some patients,” says Dr. Kapadia, “conventional sinus surgery is necessary. However, for those with the right indications, balloon sinuplasty offers a gentler alternative with a quicker recovery, days instead of weeks.”