Your nose is congested, and it’s hard to breathe. Thick mucus irritates the back of your throat. Your face, head and even your teeth hurt from the pressure. You’re losing your sense of smell and taste. You’re incredibly tired and irritable. You think that it must be yet another cold or allergy attack again this year.
You take allergy or cold medicines to relieve your symptoms, but they don’t help. Finally, you see your primary care physician.
Fall is just around the corner and people who suffer from nasal allergies and sinus pain will soon be 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, 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 Medical Center at Frisco 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 Dr. Keith Matheny, ear, nose and throat specialist on the medical staff at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Frisco. “It’s designed to help relieve the pain and pressure of chronic sinusitis for patients who no longer respond well to antibiotic treatments or other medications.”
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.
• 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 sinusitisare 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 without removing tissue or bone.
“For some patients,” says Dr. Matheny, “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.”