Does Chronic Sinusitis ever go away?
Chronic sinusitis implies a sinus infection that lasts on and off for over three months, that does not resolve with what is considered the standard of care. The standard of care includes the use of antibiotics, nasal lavage, and nasal steroids. These can be supplemented with a mucolytic (guaifenesin) and temporary decongestants, either oral or topical. Many patients wonder: can chronic sinusitis be cured?
How can I permanently cure sinusitis?
In serial studies in Europe and Asia where Balloon Sinuplasty was performed and high resolution thin cut computed tomographic studies were we repeated over 10 years, the enlarged sinus openings have been proven to remain enlarged allowing the persistent normal function of the sinuses. Similar shorter studies have been performed in the US.
So can chronic sinusitis be cured? These Balloon Sinuplasty studies spanning 10 years, showed continued enlargement of the sinus openings, suggesting chronic sinusitis can be cured.
What is Balloon Sinuplasty
Balloon Sinuplasty involves a very delicate manipulation of the sinus by a skilled experienced surgeon done with the aid of three dimensional (3D) computer localization. But, it is a human skill performed by a human being.
Not all artists, musicians, athletes, or surgeons are as skilled as the masters, maestros, or greatest of all time. To ensure your best outcome research your provider with prior patients, your friends, insurance company, and reviews. Ask your prospective surgeon what their revision rate is. What are the possible complications, have they has serious complications.
What causes chronic sinusitis?
Often chronic sinusitis is associated with underlying environmental allergies, which can improve with immunotherapy. Hydration and avoidance of inhaled irritants like tobacco smoke and possible workplace or environmental inhalants will also help.
Chronic sinusitis is multifactorial and can also be caused because the anatomic communication between the nose and the sinus, called ostia, may be obstructed. This in turn can prevent the sinuses from aerating with the nose and obstruct the natural flow of mucus from the sinus into the nose. This possible obstruction can then lead to sinus infections.
Can chronic sinusitis heal without surgery?
Any patient that does not respond to the above treatment recommendations needs a thorough nasal examination by a board certified Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, &Throat Specialist). This examination should include an endoscopic examination of the nose and the sinus openings.
It will also include a computed tomographic (CT) examination that will radiographically show the anatomy of the sinuses and their ostia. An endoscopic examination can be provided safely even during the current Coronavirus pandemic in an otherwise asymptomatic patient that has passed the COVID-19 screening protocols
Sometimes the evaluation will point toward mechanical obstruction as a source of the chronic sinus infections. Balloon Sinuplasty can treat this problem.
Balloon Sinuplasty to Relieve Chronic Sinusitis
The technique of balloon sinuplasty relies upon an atraumatic dilation of the natural sinus openings with an inflatable removable balloon device. The enlargement of the sinus openings allows the natural cleansing mechanism of the sinus to restart the normal physiologic function of the sinus. This relies upon microscopic villi beating in a direction toward the natural sinus opening. The less disruption to these villi the better they perform their function.
Living with chronic sinusitus
You do not have to live with chronic sinusitis and you have a choice in deciding which ENT physician to work with.
If you’re considering Balloon Sinuplasty, make sure you feel comfortable with the facility, the ancillary caregivers, the insurance office, and most of all the interpersonal skills and care provided by your prospective ENT surgeon. Nothing in the art of medicine is absolute, but you can ensure that your procedure is performed by a surgeon you have confidence in.
Meet Dr. John Austin
Dr. John Austin is a board-certified Otolaryngologist located in Brownsville and Harlingen, TX, with close to 30 years of experience. He is considered an expert in sinusitis and has performed thousands of nasal and sinus surgeries with a focus on Balloon Sinuplasty.
Dr. Austin is a member of the American Rhinological Society and is Board Certified in both Facial Plastic Surgery and Otolaryngology. He has published articles in peer-reviewed medical journals on diseases and surgeries of the nose and sinuses.
Tired of managing your sinus symptoms? Set up an appointment with Dr. Austin today by calling (956) 545-3824 or requesting an appointment online.