Ear Nose Throat and Allergy
It is estimated that 30 million Americans suffer from sinusitis. The symptoms of sinusitis include nasal blockage, postnasal drip, headache and chronic cough.
The sinuses are four pairs of air filled chambers, which produce mucous that drains through openings into the nose and eventually into the back of the throat where it is swallowed. The function of the sinuses are to help keep the nose free of infection by removing dust, viruses and bacteria.
The lining of the sinuses can become swollen as a result of infections by viruses, bacteria or fungia. Additionally, swelling can be caused by inflammation from allergies in the environment. The most common of these are the seasonal pollens that peak in the spring and fall. Additionally, year-round allergies are present that can cause inflammation, like dust mites or animal dander.
When swelling from infections or allergies persist the normal flow of mucous out of the sinuses is blocked and this can result in sinusitis or infection of the sinus chambers. Usually, antibiotics can assist the body’s normal immune function to eliminate infections and result in complete recovery. Sometimes prolonged antibiotics are required combined with allergy treatment. Allergy treatment can involve avoidance of the antigen, medications (such as antihistamines or nasal sprays), or allergy immunotherapy (allergy shots). A combination of these are frequently needed to control the symptoms. Allergy skin testing is essential to identifying which allergens are causing the problem.
When sinusitis becomes chronic and persists despite antibiotics, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery may be indicated to enhance the drainage of the sinuses and to correct nasal sinus obstructions such as swollen membranes, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum. The surgery is less painful, the healing quicker, and done on an outpatient basis.
A new procedure is being utilized in which a balloon is being used to dilate sinus openings. This is a minimal invasive procedure which drastically improves healing time. Please watch this video for full details.
Watch this animation video on Balloon Sinuplasty:
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