Sinusitis is a common problem affects 37 million people each year, making it one of the most common health problems world wide.
What is sinusitis?
[Difference between rhinitis and sinusitis]
Sinuses are air-filled pockets in the areas surrounding the nose. There are four types of sinuses on either side of the face. [refer diagram]
Each sinus has an opening through which mucus drains. The drainage of mucus is a normal process that keeps the sinus healthy. Mucus moistens the nasal lining and protects the inside of the nose from impurities such as dust, pollutants, and bacteria.
What causes sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining most commonly caused by bacterial, viral, and / or microbial infections; as well as, structural issues such as blockage of the sinus opening (ostium). If the ostium becomes swollen shut, normal mucus drainage may not occur. This condition may lead to infection and inflammation of the sinuses.
How do we know sinusitis is the problem?
The common presentation will be :
Facial pain, pressure, congestion or fullness
Nasal obstruction or blockage
Discharge of discolored mucus from the nose
Discolored post-nasal drainage
Loss of smell
Additional symptoms may include :
How is sinusitis treated?
Sinusitis is typically treated first with medication.
topical nasal steroid sprays is often successful in reducing mucosal swelling, fighting infection, and relieving obstructions of the sinus opening (ostium).
Inhaling steam or use of saline nasal sprays or drops can also help relieve sinus discomfort. However, an estimated 20-25% of patients do not respond adequately to medications.
Conventional Sinus Surgery
The goals of sinus surgery are to clear blocked sinuses restoring normal sinus drainage and function and to preserve normal anatomy and mucosal tissue.
a. Conventional sinus surgery is called Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS).
With FESS, specialized instruments are placed into the nose along with a small endoscope to help the surgeon see inside the nose and nasal cavities. The procedure works by removing bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening. The removal of bone and tissue may lead to post-operative pain, scarring, and bleeding. Uncomfotable nasal packing may be required to control the bleeding. FESS procedures result in an 80-90% success rate in relieving patient symptoms.2,3
b. The Balloon SinuplastyTM Technology: Novel, Endoscopic, Catheter-
The technology utilizes a small, flexible, Sinus Balloon Catheter that is placed into the nose to reach the sinuses.
The Sinus Balloon Catheter is gradually inflated to gently restructure the previously blocked nasal passage, maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining and restoring normal sinus drainage and function.
There is minimal bleeding, and many patients have been able to return to normal activities within 24 hours.
Clinical studies have indicated that the Balloon SinuplastyTM system is a safe and effective tool in dilating blocked sinuses.
Further details on Balloon Sinuplasty: