The sinuses are hollow cavities in the skull connected to the upper respiratory system. When these empty spaces fill with mucus, pressure builds in the head and leads to all kinds of unpleasantness, from trouble breathing to migraines. This pressure can become so severe that it impacts daily life, leading to an infection called sinusitis in up to 30% of Utahns. When the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed, mucus cannot drain and remains in the cavity.
Acute Sinusitis: When sinusitis is severe but only lasts for around four weeks, it’s usually caused by the common cold or other temporary infections. Sometimes it leads into chronic sinusitis, in which complications are more likely.
Chronic Sinusitis: If sinusitis has lasted for more than 12 weeks, your condition is chronic. This form of sinusitis in Ogden Clinic patients can lead to abnormalities in the nasal passage or other infections in the bones. People with chronic sinusitis should see an Ogden otolaryngologist as soon as they can.
In severe cases of sinusitis, an Ogden Clinic ENT specialist may recommend balloon sinuplasty, a minimally-invasive procedure in which the provider dilates the sinuses with a balloon. This method delivers long-term effects in the sinuses, clearing away congestion and reducing pressure in the nasal cavity.
A balloon sinuplasty procedure with Ogden Clinic is designed to give patients a quicker recovery time and less pain. It’s an in-office alternative to sinus surgery, which requires more downtime and has more potential complications.
To perform balloon sinuplasty, first the doctor applies a local anesthetic to the nasal cavities. The patient won’t need full anesthesia and can usually leave the doctor’s office that day. The provider inserts a catheter into the nasal cavity and carefully moves it into the affected sinus. A balloon attached to the nasal catheter expands, restructuring and widening the sinus walls. Then, an attachment on the catheter sprays saline solution into the cavity, flushing out infected mucus and emptying the hollow cavity.
The short-term and long-term effects of balloon sinuplasty at Ogden Clinic are clear. In the short-term, a patient leaves the procedure with the ability to breathe clearly and feel relief from pressure-related symptoms like headaches. In the long-term, sinusitis is less likely to appear again because the balloon procedure helped repair the cavity.
To consult with an Ogden Clinic ear, nose, and throat doctor about balloon sinuplasty, please give us a call and find out if it’s right for you!