Sinusitis is considered chronic when the swelling and inflammation in your lungs last three months or longer. While treatment options vary depending on the severity of the case, two effective options include balloon sinuplasty and functional endoscopic sinus surgery.
If you’re itching to get back to strolls around the Milliken Arboretum unobstructed by sinus symptoms, take a look at some of your treatment options.
Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis can vary in severity and may include:
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Postnasal drainage
- Congested breathing
- Poor sense of smell and taste
- Pain and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
While home remedies like warm compresses or nasal decongestants can treat some sinus infections, others require medical or surgical intervention.
Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
If symptoms last more than 12 weeks and medical treatment has been unsuccessful, functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) can treat chronic sinusitis. Studies following patients for an average of 18 months after FESS have found a success rate of 80-90%. FESS involves using an endoscope and other operative tools to remove any blockages from the sinuses.
Most FESS procedures will follow these steps:
- General anesthesia will be administered.
- An endoscope will be inserted into the nostrils to display sinus tissues.
- Surgical instruments will be used to remove sinus blockage.
- Patients will spend a few hours in the recovery room until the anesthesia wears off and they feel well enough to go home.
- Postoperative care may include nasal spray and sinus irrigation.
Another effective treatment for chronic sinusitis is balloon sinuplasty. A study reviewing the mechanics and effectiveness of balloon sinuplasty found symptom improvement in 85% of patients after the first week.
The procedure involves using a balloon to unblock your sinuses and may be done in an operating room or medical office.
Most balloon sinuplasty procedures follow these steps:
- The provider will put a topical decongestant in your nose to help control any bleeding.
- A local anesthetic will be injected into the tissue of your nose. Operating rooms may also use anesthesia.
- The balloon will be inserted into the nose with a catheter.
- The balloon will inflate to unblock the sinuses. Depending on the blockage, this may be done more than once.
- The balloon will be deflated and removed.
Recovery times and instructions for balloon sinuplasty may vary depending on ENT specialist recommendations.
For questions about chronic sinusitis, contact Spartanburg | Greer ENT & Allergy today to speak to one of our specialists.