Sinusitis affects 37 million people each year, making it one of the most common health problems in the U.S. It is more prevalent than heart disease and asthma and has a greater impact on quality of life than chronic back pain or congestive heart failure. Symptoms may significantly affect people physically, functionally, and emotionally.
The Role of the Sinuses
To understand sinusitis, it is important to first learn about your sinuses and their role with your health.
The sinuses are air spaces behind the bones of the upper face, between the eyes and behind the forehead, nose and cheeks. The sinuses are covered with a mucus layer and cells that contain little hairs on their surfaces called cilia. These help trap and push out bacteria and pollutants.
Each sinus has an opening that allows mucous to drain – this drainage is essential to keeping your sinuses working well and you healthy. Anything that obstructs that flow may cause a buildup of mucus in the sinuses.
Experts agree that healthy sinuses are a key to a good quality of life and that unhealthy sinuses may cause some unwanted complications.
Facts About Sinusitis
- Sinusitis affects approximately 14% of the adult U.S. population.
- Sinusitis affects 17% of women and 10% of men each year.
- Chronic sinusitis (not including acute sinusitis) results annually in an estimated 18-22 million physician office visits.
- Direct healthcare expenditures due to sinusitis cost are well over $8 billion each year.
- Total restricted activity days due to sinusitis are well over 73 million per year.
Signs and Symptoms
Sinusitis (also called rhinosinusitis) is the name of the condition in which the lining of your sinuses becomes inflamed. The sinuses are air spaces behind the bones of the upper face, between the eyes and behind the forehead, nose and cheeks.
Normally, the sinuses drain through small openings into the inside of the nose. Anything that blocks the flow may cause a buildup of mucus in the sinuses. The blockage and inflammation of the sinus membranes can be infectious or non-infectious.
The symptoms caused by sinusitis may be quite uncomfortable. The signs and symptoms 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
Sinusitis is usually preceded by a cold, allergy attack or irritation from environmental pollutants. Often, the resulting symptoms, such as nasal pressure, nasal congestion, a "runny nose," and fever, run their course in a few days. However, if symptoms persist, a bacterial infection or acute sinusitis may develop. Most cases of sinusitis are acute (or sudden onset); however, if the condition occurs frequently or lasts three months or more, you may have chronic sinusitis.
Treatment Options for Chronic Sinusitis
Chronic sinusitis symptoms can make you miserable and impact your quality of life. In order to get relief, you need to make the right treatment decision with your doctor.
Sinusitis is typically treated first with medication. Treatment with antibiotics or topical nasal steroid sprays is often successful in reducing mucosal swelling, fighting infection, and relieving obstructions of the sinus opening (ostium). Inhaling steam or use of saline nasal sprays or drops can also help relieve sinus discomfort. However, at least 20% of patients do not respond adequately to medications.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (ESS)
The goals of sinus surgery are to clear blocked sinuses restoring normal sinus drainage and to preserve normal anatomy and mucosal tissue. Specialized instruments are placed into the nose along with a small endoscope to help the surgeon see inside the nose and nasal cavities.
Sinus surgery with traditional instrumentation removes bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening. The removal of bone and tissue may lead to post-operative pain, scarring, and bleeding. Uncomfortable nasal packing may be required to control the bleeding.
Over the last 2 years the Balloon Sinuplasty technology has emerged as a new complement to existing approaches. Balloon Sinuplasty™ technology utilizes a small, flexible, sinus balloon catheter that is placed into the nose to reach the sinuses. The sinus balloon catheter is gradually inflated to gently restructure the previously blocked nasal passage, maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining and restoring normal sinus drainage and function. There is minimal bleeding, and many patients have been able to return to normal activities within 24 hours. Clinical research has indicated that the Balloon Sinuplasty™ system is a safe and effective tool in dilating blocked sinuses.
Steroid-releasing Implant (PROPEL)
A new technology used
at the time of surgery has been shown to to reduce inflammation and scarring. The dissolvable steroid-releasing implant called PROPEL offers localized, controlled delivery of steroid directly to the sinus tissue to maintain the openings created in surgery. The spring-like implant props open the ethmoid sinus to maintain the surgical opening, delivers an anti-inflammatory medication directly to the sinus lining, and then dissolves, avoiding the need for removal.
What is Ballon Sinuplasty?
Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology is an endoscopic, catheter-based system for patients suffering from sinusitis. The FDA-cleared technology uses a small, flexible, sinus balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal sinus drainage. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it gently restructures and widens the walls of the passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.
Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology provides surgeons with an endoscopic, catheter-based system to open blocked sinuses for patients suffering from sinusitis. Recently published data in the leading ENT journal shows that the technology is safe and effective: study participants experienced no adverse events and received statistically and clinically significant improvement in their symptoms.
Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology is used by qualified Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physicians and involves the use of tiny balloons to open blocked sinuses similar to how angioplasty uses balloons to open blocked coronary arteries.
The diagram below shows an inflamed left frontal sinus.
During sinus surgery, an ENT physician will use Balloon Sinuplasty™ devices to open the blockage that is preventing sinus drainage.
The following picture summarizes the steps associated with using the Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology:
||Safe and Effective
||While use of any surgical instrument involves some risk, clinical research has indicated the Balloon Sinuplasty™ System to be safe and effective in improving symptoms of sinusitis.
||The technology uses small, soft, flexible devices that enter entirely through the nostrils. These devices gently open blocked sinus openings, and in many cases, without tissue or bone removal.
||Because in many instances no tissue or bone is removed when using this technology, there may be little bleeding associated with the procedure.
||Quick Recovery Time
||While recovery time varies with each patient, many people can quickly return to normal activities.
||Does Not Limit Treatment Options
||This technology is an endoscopic tool and may be used with other medical therapies or sinus surgery techniques. It does not limit future treatment options if you have progressive disease.
Is Balloon Sinuplasty right for you?
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