Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic Sinusitis Treatment in Alexandria

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. 

This blockage causes mucus to build up in the sinuses and can lead to very uncomfortable symptoms.

These symptoms include: nasal congestion, facial pain and pressure, nasal discharge, headache, and fatigue.

Find out about the options for relieving the symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis, including a breakthrough procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty.

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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
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Coughing

Treatment Options

If you appear to suffer from chronic sinusitis, your primary care doctor is likely to refer you to an Ear Nose and Throat specialist (ENT doctor) such as the ones at Red River ENT Associates in Alexandria. Your ENT doctor will determine the best sinusitis treatment plan for you. Typical treatment begins with medication. If this is unsuccessful, the doctor will move on to Balloon Sinuplasty or Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.

Medical Therapy

Standard of care begins with medical therapy (antibiotics and steroids). Nasal sprays may also be used throughout treatment

  • Antibiotics
  • Nasal steroids
  • Decongestants
  • Mucus thinning drugs
  • Oral steroids

Treatment may also include natural remedies, including nasal washes and rinses. After medical therapy has been attempted, a candidate may have 3 options, depending on the extent and severity of their sinus disease and their Alexandria ENT’s recommendation: try medical therapy again, have an in-office Balloon Sinuplasty procedure, go to the operating room (OR) for surgery under general anesthesia with or without Balloon Sinuplasty.

However, healthcare professionals may find it difficult to treat the majority of chronic sinusitis sufferers with medication. It is estimated that at least 20% of chronic sinusitis patients are not successfully treated with medical therapy. (1-3)

Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP) - An Innovative Procedure

Today, there is an innovative procedure used by ENT doctors to treat patients with recurrent acute or chronic sinusitis. Balloon Sinuplasty uses a small, flexible balloon catheter to open inflamed sinuses. The balloon catheter is placed into the nose to reach the inflamed sinuses, and gradually inflated to restructure the previously blocked sinus passage.

Unlike conventional sinus surgery, Balloon Sinuplasty preserves the normal anatomy of the sinuses and mucosal tissue, and does not require the removal of bone and tissue. Clinical studies have shown that the procedure is safe and effective (4,5). For some patients, the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure is now conducted in the doctor’s office, under local anesthesia.

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. Conventional sinus surgery is called Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (ESS).

ESS removes bone and tissue from the nose to enlarge the sinus opening. This removal of bone and tissue may require uncomfortable nasal packing after surgery and may lead to post-surgery pain and scarring.

With ESS, rigid, steel instruments are placed into the nose along with an endoscope to help the surgeon see inside the nose and nasal cavities. The procedure works by cutting to remove bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening.

Since 2005, more than 375,000 patients have had Balloon Sinuplasty procedures.

Conventional sinus surgery no longer has to be the only option for chronic sinusitis patients who are not responding well to medications. Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe, clinically proven, and minimally invasive procedure that opens sinus passages to restore proper sinus drainage and function. This helps to relieve the pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis.

1. Subramanian, H., et al. A Retrospective Analysis of Treatment Outcomes and Time to Relapse after Intensive Medical Treatment for Chronic Sinusitis. Am J Rhinol 2002; 16(6): 303-312.
2. Hessler, J., et al. Clinical outcomes of chronic rhinosinusitis in response to medical therapy: Results of a prospective study. Am J Rhinol 2007; 21(1): 10-18.
3. Lal, D., Scianna, J., Stankiewicz, J. “Efficacy of targeted medical therapy in chronic rhinosinusitis, and predictors of failure.” Am J Rhinol Allergy 23, 396-400, 2009.
4. Weiss RL, Church CA, Kuhn FA, Levine HL, Sillers MJ, Vaughan WC. Long-term outcome analysis of balloon catheter sinuotomy: two-year follow-up. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg, 2008; 139:S38-S46.
5. Levine HL, Sertich AP, Hoisington DR, Weiss RL, Pritikin J, for the PatiENT Registry Group. Multicenter registry of balloon catheter sinusotomy outcomes for 1,036 patients. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol, 2008; 117(4):263-270.

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