FAQ – Sinusitis
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining. If the sinus opening becomes swollen shut normal mucus drainage may not occur and this may lead to infection and inflammation of the sinuses.
What are the common symptoms of sinusitis?
Common symptoms 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 sense of smell or taste
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
What types of doctors treat sinusitis?
Many types of doctors treat sinusitis including general and family practice physicians pediatricians and allergists. However if you have chronic sinusitis or do not respond to medical treatment you may be referred to a specialist – an Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) physician or Otolaryngologist.
How is sinusitis treated?
Various approaches have emerged for surgeons to consider when treating sinusitis patients:
- Medical therapy
- Endoscopic sinus surgery with cutting instruments Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (with cutting instruments)
- Endoscopic sinus surgery with balloon catheters
Sinusitis is typically treated first with medication. Treatment with antibiotics or topical nasal steroid sprays is successful for many sinusitis sufferers. Inhaling steam or use of saline nasal sprays or drops can also help. However at least 20% of patients do not respond adequately to medications.
Sinus surgery aims to clear blocked sinuses and restore normal sinus drainage. The procedure removes bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening. The removal of bone and tissue may lead to pain scarring and bleeding.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (with Balloon Sinuplasty technology)
The technology utilizes a small flexible Sinus Balloon that is placed into the nose to reach the sinuses. The Sinus Balloon is gradually inflated to gently restructure the previously blocked sinus opening which helps to restore 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 instrument in dilating blocked sinuses.