If you suffer from chronic sinus trouble, you’re not alone!

Sinus inflammation, called sinusitis, affects 37 million Americans each year. In some cases, it’s temporary, caused by a common cold or allergies, but for many people sinusitis is a chronic concern. It could be due to smoking or other environmental factors, nasal polyps or simply the way your sinuses are constructed. Some people naturally have narrow drainage ducts that make them more susceptible for sinus inflammation or infection.

Recurring symptoms of sinusitis might include throbbing facial pain or pressure, thick nasal mucus, headaches, trouble breathing or sleeping, bad breath, irritability, fatigue or even nausea. Up to 60 percent of chronic sinusitis patients do not respond successfully to medication.

But there’s good news!

At Asante, we provide an innovative treatment called balloon sinuplasty. This procedure is designed to clear nasal passages and create long-term relief in both adults and children.

Balloon sinuplasty is performed by specialists in ear, nose, and throat health called otolaryngologists (that’s me). The procedure works by inserting a specially designed catheter into the nose to reach the inflamed sinus. On the end of the catheter, inside the sinus cavity, we slowly inflate a tiny balloon. This opens the walls of the sinus passage, drains any blockage and restores the normal flow of mucus.

The benefit to balloon sinuplasty is that it’s less invasive than traditional sinus surgeries. There is no cutting or cauterizing involved, which means you experience very little bleeding and a shorter recovery time. Plus you’re likely to experience only minimal discomfort following the surgery. Many people who undergo balloon sinuplasty are able to return to their normal activities within 24 hours.

If your chronic sinus trouble is affecting your quality of life, talk to your primary care provider about a referral to Asante’s otolaryngology department. We can evaluate your condition to determine if you’re a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty.

Richard Huffaker, DO, is a head and neck surgical oncologist who provides specialized ear, nose, and throat care to adults and children at Asante Ear, Nose and Throat – Grants Pass.

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