An occasional sinus infection is an annoyance. For those who suffer chronic sinus infections several times a year, it can feel difficult to engage in seemingly minor activities. The sinuses are relatively sensitive. Infection here can cause tenderness around the eyes, nose, cheeks, and forehead. It can be difficult to breathe well due to congestion. Together, these symptoms take the fun out of just about any experience. We often hear from patients who are prone to sinus infections that they feel they cannot get much done. These people are often great candidates for balloon sinus dilation. Here, we discuss what this procedure is and what it can accomplish.
Balloon sinus dilation is a non-surgical, minimally-invasive procedure that offers long-term relief from sinus problems. The procedure is performed in the office using a local anesthetic that is administered into the nasal passages. The numbing medication allows the doctor to comfortably insert a thin tube into the nose. The tube is stopped at the opening to the sinus cavity, where a balloon at the end of the tube is then inflated. With the balloon inflated, a sterile saline solution can be used to flush the nasal passages. The pressure from the inflated balloon also widens the opening of the sinuses so fluid can drain more easily in the future. The anesthetic may last for some time, maintaining comfort for up to a few hours. If necessary, an over-the-counter pain reliever may be taken to manage any mild discomfort that occurs.
The balloon sinus dilation procedure reduces symptoms immediately and can achieve long-term results by reshaping the nasal passages. This means fewer headaches due to sinus issues (or no more headaches!) and a reduction or elimination of facial tenderness caused by infection and congestion. With immediate relief and minimal downtime, patients can often begin to resume normal activities the day after their procedure.
If you’ve been relying on sinus medications more often than you’d like, balloon sinus dilation may be an excellent long-term solution to your problem. Schedule a consultation at the St. Louis Sinus Center, where we can explore your symptoms and conduct a comfortable examination to see what this procedure can do for you. Contact us at 314.473.5433 to arrange a convenient appointment.