Symptoms Treated by Balloon Sinuplasty

 

Chronic Sinusitis

Rhinosinusitis is the most common chronic illness in the United States. Nearly 37 million Americans suffer from the condition, leading to $5.8 billion in healthcare costs.Patients with chronic sinusitis visit their primary care physician twice as often and have 5 times as many prescriptions filled.Sinusitis accounts for 1 in 5 antibiotic prescriptions, or 20%. It is also estimated that there are 73 million days of restricted activity every year between all patients who are afflicted, including days spent out of work.

 

What is sinusitis?

There is a group of 8 air-filled chambers in the face and head lined with membrane. These chambers, known as the sinuses, are connected through tiny channels and openings called ostia. The nose and sinuses are constantly working to filter and respond to temperature, humidity, environmental irritants, and bacteria and viruses. When the ostia are open, the sinuses function normally.

When a patient has sinusitis, the tissue lining becomes inflamed. Rather than being filled with air, the sinuses are blocked up with fluid. Bacteria, viruses, and fungus can thrive and cause infection. Sinusitis is also often the cause of structural issues related to narrowed sinus passages.

 

Sinusitis Symptoms

Common symptoms of the illness include:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Nasal congestion
  • Facial pressure and fullness
  • Heavy drainage containing puss
  • Facial and dental pain
  • Fever
  • Bad Breath

Physicians typically categorize a patient’s type of rhinosinusitis by the duration of their symptoms.

  • Acute Sinusitis – Patients experience symptoms lasting up to 4 weeks, with a total resolution of symptoms.
  • Subacute Sinusitis – The illness persists for more than 4 weeks, but no longer than 12 weeks. All symptoms are resolved by 12 weeks.
  • Recurrent Acute Sinusitis – Patients have 3-4 episodes per year. Symptoms are completely resolved between attacks.
  • Chronic Sinusitis – Symptoms of chronic sinusitis persists for 12 weeks or longer, despite medical therapy.

In addition to physical ailments, people with the disease score lower on quality of life measures. They even score lower than other individuals with back pain, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and angina.

In order to escape the reoccurrence of these symptoms, 525,000 sinus surgeries are performed each year in the U.S. alone on patients with recurrent and chronic sinusitis that do not respond well to medicine. Inadequate response to medical therapies could be due to an underlying anatomical reason that requires procedural intervention. As an alternative to surgery, which may not be feasible for patients with co-morbidities, balloon sinuplasty is a safe and effective procedure that opens up the sinus pathways.

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