Having stuffed up sinuses feels lousy to say the least. Thankfully, a case of blocked sinuses usually only lasts for a couple of weeks, like when you have a cold or flu. But, sometimes sinusitis can drag on for longer. When a stuffy nose lingers, it can feel like you’ll never be able to breathe freely again. If you find yourself blocked up for 12 weeks or more, you may have chronic sinusitis. Luckily, an amazing new treatment using a tiny balloon could help you.
Allergies, colds, or changes in weather pressure can irritate and block your sinuses. Your sinuses are air-filled pockets hidden above, below and behind your eyes. They clean the air you breathe, filtering out bacteria before it gets to your lungs and are connected to your nose by tiny tubes called ostia. It’s these tiny tubes that can get blocked and swollen when you have a cold or allergy. In chronic sinusitis, your ostia stay blocked long after an infection or allergy has passed.
The traditional solution
Traditionally, chronic sinusitis is dealt with by operating under general anesthetic and patients would need a week or two off work to recover. Disappointingly, this surgery can be unsuccessful, meaning the painful experience and time off work is all for nothing. Understandably, many people decide not to bother with this surgery and live with their blocked nose.
New technology offers a breath of fresh air
It’s now possible to solve chronic sinusitis in as little as 30 minutes, with no knives, drills or general anesthetic. How? By inflating a tiny balloon inside your ostia to clear your nose. This new technique is called balloon sinuplasty.
We offer balloon sinuplasty here at Scottsdale Ears, Nose & Throat. It’s carried out using a small device that looks like a pistol with a flexible wand at the end. We guide this into your ostia, and once it’s in the right place, we press a button to inflate a tiny balloon at the end of the wand. The balloon pushes your ostia back into the right place, widening the tubes so you can breathe easily again.
If your blocked sinuses are driving you crazy, why not see if we can help you with balloon sinuplasty?
Debra Hamila received her master’s degree in audiology from Cleveland State University and her Au.D. from Arizona School of Health Sciences and has been a practicing audiologist for more than 33 years. She has worked in a variety of ENT offices, hospital and clinical settings.