Over thirty million Americans suffer from sinusitis each year. The majority of these individuals are young and middle-aged adults, but children sometimes suffer from sinus problems too. When traditional treatment methods fail, one of the latest treatment offerings that may be recommended for patients suffering from chronic sinusitis is a minimally invasive procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty.
In this blog, the Dallas/Fort Worth ENT physicians specializing in sinus disorders at DFW Sinus Select will address the treatment options for sinusitis and whether Balloon Sinuplasty for young patients is advisable.
What is chronic sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis is defined as inflammation in the sinus cavities that either lasts for longer than a period of six weeks or develops as isolated cases four or more times over the course of one year. The condition occurs when the lining of one or more sinus cavities becomes inflamed, resulting in increased mucus production and sinus drainage problems. This can result in some uncomfortable symptoms that include:
- Stuffy nose
- Pain and pressure behind the nose, eyes, cheeks and forehead
- Green or yellowish discharge from the nose
- Tooth pain
- Bad breath
How can chronic sinusitis be treated in young patients?
The first course of treatment for a child with sinusitis will always be conservative methods. These treatments are typically the same options recommended for adults with sinusitis. Nonsurgical sinusitis treatments may include:
- Antibiotics – Antibiotics help take care of inflammation that is caused by bacterial sinusitis. The course of treatment time varies depending on the type of antibiotic prescribed and the severity of the sinus infection.
- Nasal decongestant sprays – These can be over-the-counter or prescription strength sprays that are used to reduce the swelling that is hindering sinus drainage.
- Antihistamines – If the problem is caused by an allergic reaction, antihistamines can help alleviate symptoms.
- Topical nasal corticosteroids – Steroid nasal sprays can help reduce both swelling and inflammation.
- Nasal saline sprays – Saline sprays administered to the nasal passages can help thin out mucus, making it easier to drain.
For some patients, however, these methods don’t work or the condition returns consistently. When that is the case, a minimally invasive option called Balloon Sinuplasty may be the next course of action.
Is Balloon Sinuplasty for young patients an advisable treatment choice?
The FDA has approved Balloon Sinuplasty for patients of all ages. It is, however, something that has to be decided on a case-by-case basis. An experienced ENT will examine your child and determine exactly what’s causing his or her sinus problem. It is only after an exam that a doctor can recommend whether or not this procedure is a good treatment option.
With Balloon Sinuplasty, a small balloon is inserted through your child’s nostril and up into the inflamed sinus cavity. The balloon is then inflated gently, slowly enlarging the sinus opening to create more room for the mucus to drain. A saline spray will then typically be used to cleanse the inflamed sinus cavity and clear out any built-up mucus before the balloon is gently removed.
The Balloon Sinuplasty procedure has many advantages over other sinus procedures, including:
- It is performed right in the office
- It only requires local anesthesia in most cases
- There is no cutting involved
- Results have been proven to be long-lasting
- Recovery is quick
Where can I find a doctor who performs Balloon Sinuplasty for young patients in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?
DFW Sinus Select has numerous practices located throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area that provide Balloon Sinuplasty for young patients. The first step in treating any chronic sinus condition is to set up an appointment to have your child evaluated by one of our specialists. Once a thorough exam and history has been conducted, your ENT will be better able to tell you exactly what is causing your child’s sinus problems and what treatment options are available.
Take the first step to relieving your child’s chronic sinus symptoms by filling out the appointment request form on this page or by contacting one of our offices.