The painful symptoms of chronic sinusitis can significantly lower your quality of life. In order to get relief, those suffering from sinus pain due to a sinus infection need to speak with a doctor about treatment options. If your sinus pain symptoms are difficult to control with prescribed medications alone, your primary care physician may refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist. ENT specialists can determine the best course of treatment for chronic sinusitis and other sinus conditions, whether that treatment includes further medication therapy or surgery to open the sinus passage ways.
Sinusitis Treatment Options
At The Bon Secours Sinus Center of Excellence we use three primary approaches to treating chronic sinusitis: medication, conventional sinus surgery and endoscopic surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ technology.
- Medical Therapy
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 openings. Inhaling steam or use of saline nasal sprays or drops can also help relieve sinus discomfort. In some cases allergy testing and treatment may be beneficial for preventing recurrent infections. However, at least 20% of patients do not respond adequately to medications and need to seek further help for dealing with sinus infections when a prolonged course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications fail to relieve sinusitis. In these situations, surgery is an option.
- Conventional Sinus Surgery
The goal of all sinus surgery is to clear blocked sinuses. Conventional sinus surgery is called Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (ESS). With ESS, specialized instruments are placed into the nose along with a small endoscope to help the surgeon see inside the nose and sinus cavities. The procedure works by removing bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening. The removal of bone and tissue may lead to some post-operative pain, scarring and bleeding. Nasal packing may be required to control the bleeding.
- Balloon Sinuplasty™
Over the last two years the Balloon Sinuplasty™ technology has emerged as a new complement to existing approaches. This technology utilizes a small, flexible sinus balloon catheter that is placed into the nose and into 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.
To learn more about each of these treatments, please browse the links to the left