Between the bones of the face are moist air spaces called sinuses. While these hollow cavities are small and hidden, people with sinus problems know that when they become swollen or irritated, it can be a big pain in the nose.
To the rescue comes a relatively new procedure called balloon sinuplasty, which can help alleviate sinusitis, or sinus infection. The small, soft balloon device is entered through the nostrils, placed into position and inflated. Then, the piece is deflated and removed. This remolds the sinus passage, creating a permanent widening that allows for easier breathing and healthy drainage of fluid.
Compared to conventional sinus surgery, which removes bone and tissue, balloon sinuplasty may cause less bleeding and damage to sinus tissues. Recovery time may be quicker, too. Many people experience nearly immediate relief and can return to normal activity within 24 hours.
If you suffer from sinus issues, you’re not alone. Sinusitis affects more than 37 million Americans each year. Common symptoms include facial pain, pressure or fullness; loss of smell; bad breath; pain in the upper teeth; or a discharge of discolored mucus from the nose.
While many people experience sinusitis only temporarily after a cold or allergy attack, others may suffer from persistent symptoms. Chronic sinusitis occurs frequently or lasts three months or more.
If you experience chronic sinusitis, talk with your doctor. Each case is different and sinusitis can sometimes be treated with antibiotics, decongestants or nasal sprays.