There is a health condition that afflicts more Americans annually than common conditions like asthma and heart disease. It’s called a sinus infection, or sinusitis. Perhaps you have been plagued by this affliction. A person suffering from sinusitis will experience stuffiness, headaches, pain in the temples and cheeks, a colored nasal discharge, difficulty breathing through the nose and perhaps even a fever. These symptoms may persist. While the common prescription for sinusitis is an antibiotic, as many as one in five of those afflicted do not respond to the treatment and experience recurring sinus infections. What can be done?

A recurring sinus infection is called chronic sinusitis. It may be corrected with a surgery that is very minimally invasive. This surgery is called Balloon Sinuplasty. It uses balloon-like devices to gently alter the size and shape of the sinus cavities, thus providing relief from sinusitis symptoms and helping to prevent recurrence of the disease.

Balloon Sinuplasty involves the placement of an FDA approved catheter type devices into the sinus areas to keep them open. They are inflated gradually (hence the term balloon) and gently move the bones and tissue that would be removed in traditional sinus surgery. The open sinuses don’t retain as much material that can become infected and result in sinusitis. This is usually an outpatient surgery and is performed in less than one hour.

You ear, nose and throat doctor (otolaryngologist) can receive specialized training to learn how to perform such a surgery. It is vital for someone suffering from chronic sinusitis to see such a specialist. If antibiotics have not provided relief from your sinus infections, be sure to ask your doctor to recommend an otolaryngologist for you to see.