What Is Balloon Sinuplasty And How Can It Treat Chronic Sinusitis?

10 January 2023
 Categories: , Blog


Chronic sinusitis is a condition where your sinuses become clogged and inflamed multiple times throughout the year. When your sinuses are clogged and inflamed, you'll have trouble breathing through your nose and you won't be able to smell very well, and the swelling caused by the inflammation in your sinuses can also cause severe facial pain. It's most often caused when your sinuses drain very slowly, as bacteria that builds up in the mucus inside your sinuses can cause an infection that leads to inflammation.

Chronic sinusitis is commonly treated using prescription medications. Antibiotics can help eliminate an infection in your sinuses and inhaled corticosteroids can reduce the inflammation that leads to swelling. Unfortunately, medications aren't always effective at controlling chronic sinusitis.

If you suffer from chronic sinusitis and your symptoms are still severe even while taking medication for it, you may want to consider undergoing balloon sinuplasty, which is a procedure performed by an ear, nose, and throat specialist that helps open your sinuses. To learn more about balloon sinuplasty and how it can help treat chronic sinusitis, read on.

What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty uses a small catheter and a balloon to widen the openings leading to your sinuses. It's a quick procedure that can be performed in an ear, nose, and throat specialist's office without the need for general anesthesia. Before the procedure, you'll have a CT scan taken of your sinuses to determine which openings are too narrow to allow the mucus in your sinuses to drain properly.

Once the narrowed openings have been identified, an ear, nose, and throat specialist will insert a small catheter into your nasal passages and gently push it toward your sinus openings. Once the catheter is in place, the balloon on the catheter will be slowly inflated. Inflating the balloon will spread your sinus openings apart, widening them. After your sinus openings have been widened, your sinuses will be irrigated with saline to force out any mucus that is collecting in them.

How Can Balloon Sinuplasty Treat Chronic Sinusitis?

Widening the openings of your sinuses allows mucus to drain out of them more quickly. When mucus isn't allowed to collect in your sinuses, there's less chance that the bacteria in the mucus will reproduce and cause a sinus infection. One of the reasons why chronic sinusitis can be difficult to treat is that the swelling caused by a sinus infection can cause your sinus passages to become even more narrow, which further prevents drainage.

By speeding up drainage and reducing the likelihood of a sinus infection, balloon sinuplasty helps prevent this feedback loop from happening. Widening your sinus openings can also help you breathe better in general since it's easier for air to flow through them quickly.

If you suffer from chronic sinusitis and are still experiencing flare-ups throughout the year even while taking medication, contact an ear, nose, and throat specialist in your area and ask about balloon sinuplasty. It's a minimally invasive procedure that doesn't involve removing any bone or sinus tissue, and it can be quickly done in the office using local anesthesia and mild sedation. It's a rapid and effective way to find relief from the constant clogged sinuses and pain caused by chronic sinusitis.