Sinusitis makes you feel miserable with nasal congestion and sinus pain and pressure. For most people, the problem clears up in a few weeks, but for others, it turns into a chronic condition. Michael Riesberg, MD, and the skilled team at Riesberg Institute in Pensacola, Florida, have extensive experience treating acute and chronic sinusitis. When a chronic case doesn’t respond to medical care, they offer a safe in-office procedure called balloon sinuplasty. If you need relief from sinusitis symptoms, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Sinusitis occurs when the membranes lining the sinuses become inflamed. These membranes produce mucus that drains out of the sinus through a tiny opening. Inflamed membranes block the opening and trap mucus inside the sinus.
Sinusitis is usually caused by allergies or a viral infection such as the flu or a common cold. However, structural problems in your nose, such as nasal polyps, enlarged turbinates, or a deviated septum, can also interfere with mucus drainage and cause sinusitis.
When you have acute sinusitis, the inflammation and infection heal within four weeks. Sometimes the inflammation persists after the infection improves. If your sinusitis lasts 12 weeks or longer, you have chronic sinusitis.
When you have sinusitis, you experience several of the these hallmark symptoms:
In addition to the above symptoms, many patients have classic problems such as a cough, earache, headache, and fatigue. It’s also common to have postnasal drip.
Treatment for acute sinusitis focuses on relieving your symptoms while waiting for the infection to heal. For example, you may need nasal sprays, decongestants, or pain relievers. Your provider may prescribe antibiotics if they suspect a bacterial infection, but sinusitis usually begins with a viral infection.
If your provider suspects allergies triggered your sinusitis, they perform allergy testing and may recommend allergy shots. As immunotherapy diminishes your allergies, your sinusitis should also improve.
Chronic sinusitis is initially treated with anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the inflammation. Your Riesberg Institute provider may perform a sinus CT scan to examine the sinuses and look for potential structural problems.
When sinusitis persists despite medical care and you don’t have structural problems, your provider recommends today’s preferred treatment for chronic sinusitis: balloon sinuplasty.
During a balloon sinuplasty, your provider gives you a local anesthetic, then guides a narrow, flexible catheter through your nostril to the blocked sinus. After positioning the catheter in the opening, your provider inflates a tiny balloon.
The balloon gently clears the opening and restructures the area. As a result, your sinus stays open after the balloon is removed. You regain normal sinus drainage and your symptoms improve. The results of a balloon sinuplasty last up to two years.
If you develop symptoms of sinusitis, call Riesberg Institute or book an appointment online today.