Most people with sinusitis start feeling better in a few days or a couple of weeks. But for some, sinus infections can become chronic and persistent. The symptoms don’t go away, even with high-powered antibiotics or steroids. In growing numbers, those patients are turning to a procedure called balloon sinuplasty, which promises to offer relief from sinus infections.
Should You Get Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty can be an amazingly effective procedure for some people with chronic sinusitis. But it’s not for everyone. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery released updated clinical criteria for balloon sinuplasty recently.
You will want to avoid balloon sinuplasty if there are:
- Chronic sinus infection symptoms but no presentation on a CT or imaging scan. If your sinuses look clear, a balloon sinuplasty will not benefit you.
- Nasal polyps present.
- Chronic headaches but do not have chronic sinus infections.
- You are trying to treat your sleep apnea but do not have sinusitis symptoms.
- You are attempting to treat an acute (short-lived) sinus infection (in other words, your sinus infection is not yet chronic).
However, balloon sinuplasty may be a good fit for you if you have:
- Experienced a chronic sinus infection with symptoms for longer than three months.
- Recurring sinus infections.
- Inflamed or blocked sinuses as evidenced by a CT or other imaging scans.
- Chronic sinusitis and have previously undergone surgery to correct the issue.
- Planned to have a procedure called functional endoscopic sinus surgery (also known as FESS).
- Consulted with your doctor and deem the procedure appropriate for your condition.
It’s important to take into account the entirety of your medical history, so be prepared to discuss your overall health and wellness when you come in. However, the bottom line is this: if your sinuses are inflamed and full of mucus and it’s not getting better, balloon sinuplasty could be a good fit for you.