Using balloon dilation to relieve symptoms of sinusitis

Thousands of people young and old suffer from sinusitis--an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. In many cases, that inflammation prevents the sinuses from draining mucus and fluid buildup, leading to infections, more inflammation and pain.

The symptoms of sinusitis include facial fullness, headaches, nasal blockage, fatigue, nasal discharge, dental pain, fever and bad breath.

Dr. Anthony Sanders from Columbus, Ind., is offering his sinusitis patients a treatment that he feels is safe and effective.

“The thing I like about this is, it’s safe. There’s really not much in the way of side effects or complications from this. And it works most of the time,” he says.

He’s talking about balloon sinus dilation.

“What I do,” says Sanders, “is essentially dilate the openings to the sinuses with a small balloon that will allow the sinuses to drain.”

Sanders’ staff first numbs the patient’s sinus area.  Once the patient is comfortable, Sanders inserts a 6 millimeter deflated balloon using a small camera and computerized imaging.

“Using the image guidance machine, you can see that this probe is in the forehead sinus,” says Sanders. “Small green arrows tell us where it’s at and then we inflate the balloon for about six seconds.”

Pam Kershner is a patient who had the procedure several months ago. Along with breathing easier, she experienced an unexpected benefit.

“I knew I was going to get more space and better breathing, but what I wasn’t expecting and I should have known, was that I would sleep better at night,” says Kershner.

The balloon gently opens and reshapes sinus drainage pathways. Many patients can and do resume normal activities the same day as the procedure. The procedure is performed in an office setting.

According to materials provided by Sanders, balloon dilation keeps sinus passages open, offering long-term relief.  A number of studies reportedly show patients experienced less facial pain, used fewer antibiotics and had improved sleep following the procedure.

For more information on balloon sinus dilation click here.

Sponsored by American Senior Communities

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