Your sinuses are air-filled spaces located behind your forehead, eyes, nose and cheekbones. They are typically something you never think about until they start causing problems. Within the sinuses, you’ll find a layer of membranes and small, hair-like structures called cilia. Cilia help move the naturally occurring mucus in the sinuses toward small sinus openings where the mucus is then able to drain into your nose.
When this draining takes place normally, all is well. Infection and allergies, however, can cause the mucus to thicken and increase in volume. The passages that facilitate this draining may become unable to handle this change and the sinuses can become filled with excess mucus. This causes pain from the build-up of pressure, resulting in a condition referred to as sinusitis.
Symptoms of Sinusitis
Pain in the sinuses is the most common sign that something is wrong. There are other symptoms, however, that may indicate that you are dealing with sinusitis, such as:
- Facial pain/pressure
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
The pain caused by sinusitis often worsens when you lean forward and, in extreme cases, can make you feel light-headed or dizzy. Damp, cold weather typically makes symptoms worse, as do allergies. In fact, any sudden movement can make you feel like you are off-balance.
Diagnosing and Treating Sinusitis
In order to get proper treatment for sinusitis, you need to have a doctor evaluate you. Allergies, common colds and sinusitis all have overlapping symptoms that can easily be mistaken for each other. Once a doctor verifies the trouble is in your sinuses, he or she may recommend that you try some traditional sinus pressure relief methods. These include:
- Antibiotics to deal with an infection (if the infection is caused by bacteria and not a virus)
- Antihistamines to deal with allergy-caused issues
- Nasal sprays to help clear the drainage passageways
- Decongestants to thin mucus and help it drain more easily
These treatments can work well on a one-time sinus infection, also known as acute sinusitis. Some people, however, experience sinusitis on a recurring basis. This is called chronic sinusitis, a type of sinusitis that lasts more than six weeks at a time. These cases need more advanced methods to provide sinus pressure relief.
Advanced Sinus Pressure Relief
Advanced treatments for sinusitis can take several forms and DFW Sinus Select offers the full spectrum of options to achieve sinus pressure relief. Sometimes, sinusitis is caused by an abnormality in the structure of the nose, particularly if this anatomical irregularity causes the sinus openings to be especially narrow and prone to blockage. If this is the case, a surgery involving the insertion of specialized instruments through the nose may be performed in order to shrink, remove or fix these targeted areas. These procedures are aimed at unblocking the sinus drainage ducts and improving sinus drainage function. For example, a polypectomy may be performed if nasal polyps are interfering. Similarly, if a severe deviated septum is impacting sinus health, a septoplasty may be recommended.
In many cases, sinusitis patients may be well suited for a minimally invasive procedure that requires no cutting at all. This procedure offers fast sinus pressure relief and can be performed right from the doctor’s office. It’s called Balloon Sinuplasty.
Achieve Sinus Pressure Relief With Balloon Sinuplasty
Balloon Sinuplasty is often recommended for patients with chronic sinusitis, a type of sinusitis that lasts six weeks or longer and does not respond well to conservative sinus pressure relief remedies. Alternatively, patients who have experienced four or more episodes of sinusitis within one year may also be candidates.
The procedure is fairly simple. A catheter with a tiny balloon is inserted through the nostril and carefully guided into the sinus cavity. The balloon is then inflated gradually, causing the sinus passage’s walls to expand slightly. The doctor then sprays a saline nasal solution to help loosen and drain the built up mucus trapped in the sinus cavity. The balloon is then removed and the sinus cavities are clear. Effective sinus pressure relief is fully achieved within just a few days from this singular procedure.
Balloon Sinuplasty patients have reported the effects lasting for as long as two years after undergoing treatment. The best part is that most patients are able to return to normal activities within a day or two.
Break Free from Sinus Pressure
There is no need to suffer in silence with a chronic sinus condition that causes painful pressure. Take our Sino-Nasal Quiz today to find out how we can help you live a life free of pain and congestion caused by sinusitis.
Ready to take the first step to achieving sinus pressure relief? Get started by filling out the schedule appointment form right on this page or by contacting us directly at one of our practice locations in Dallas, Frisco, Plano, Denton, Flower Mound, Fort Worth or Southlake.