Sinuses are air filled pockets around the nose and named for the facial bone where they are located. The sinuses are connected to each other and to your nose through a system of air passages. When you breathe through your nose, the air is filtered and moistened in the sinus passages. Each sinus has an opening that allows it to drain, helping you to breathe freely and stay healthy.
What Is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis can make it difficult to breathe through your nose and can cause pain, swelling and headaches.
- Facial pain, pressure, congestion or fullnessDifficulty breathing through the nose
- Discharge of yellow or green mucus from the nose
- Aching in the jaw and teeth
- Loss of the sense of smell or taste
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
Sinusitis Treatment Options
Sinus infections and pressure headaches can be so painful, it may be difficult to breathe and function during every day activities. If you suffer from chronic or recurrent acute sinusitis, your primary care doctor is likely to refer you to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist (ENT doctor). An ENT doctor will determine the best sinusitis treatment plan for you.
Typical sinusitis treatment begins with medication, which may include homeopathic, over-the-counter and prescription medications, which may include:
- Nasal steroids – Antibiotics – Mucus thinning drugs – decongestants
- Oral steroids
- Natural remedies, including cool and hot mist vaporizers, steam, Neti Pot and sinus rinsing.
- Sinus Surgery
What is the Balloon Sinuplasty™ system?
Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology is a safe and minimally invasive system that widens the affected sinuses. It is used as a tool by surgeons in the treatment of chronic sinus infections and, unlike traditional sinus surgery, it does not require bone or tissue removal. Preliminary results from recent studies indicate that opening a sinus using Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology in children and adults has an excellent safety profile and may be an effective treatment option for blocked sinuses.
Doctors thread a guide wire equipped with a tiny balloon into the nostrils and up to the area of blockage. They then inflate the balloon just enough to open the passageway. Sinuses are opened in the same way that doctors open up blocked arteries during a balloon angioplasty. The technology is minimally invasive and safe. Tens of thousands of patients have experienced the benefits of the Balloon Sinuplasty™ system.
To learn more about Balloon Sinuplasy, please visit www.acclarent.com
The nose serves three primary functions: to warm, humidify and filter air as it passes into the body. Breathing problems may impact one or multiple of these functions. Breathing problems can be temporary or chronic, mild or severe, but they usually increase with age. Breathing problems are assessed through physical examination along with breathing tests, such as lung function tests for diagnosing asthma or spirometry to determine how much and how fast you can blow air out of your lungs. X-rays and CT scans may also be taken to get a visual picture of your breathing apparatus. The most common breathing problems are discussed below:
When an allergen enters the body, the immune system kicks in to counter to the effects. In most cases, the immune systems produces histamine, which causes the symptoms typically associated with allergies and hay fever: headaches, sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, nasal congestion and scratchy throat. Allergic substances range from pollen to environmental and chemical pollutants. Smoking can also contribute to nasal congestion. To treat allergies, most people need to reduce exposure to the allergen and take medication, often antihistamines and nasal decongestants. For more severe cases, allergy shots may be needed to build up the body’s immune response to the allergen over time.
The septum is the vertical structure that divides the two nasal passages in the nose. When the septum is crooked or bent, it is called a deviated septum, which can block the flow of air through the nose. If the constriction is serious, an outpatient surgical procedure can straighten out the septum and open the nasal airways.
Molds, dust and dry air are the most common culprits of environmentally induced allergies. These can be assessed by your doctor through physical examination and skin tests. If the allergic response is severe, your doctor may recommend allergy shots to build up an immunity to the allergens and alleviate your symptoms.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus tissue behind the upper cheeks on both sides of the nose, between the eyes and above the eyes. It is characterized by congestion and a feeling of pressure, sometimes in response to moving up and down. Sinus pressure can also cause watery eyes. Many over-the-counter medications suffice in treating mild sinusitis. For more serious cases, prescription medications may be required to alleviate the pain and pressure and open up the nasal passages. Occasionally, surgery is required to remove chronically inflamed sinus tissue.