Your sinuses are air-filled cavities in your face, that normally function quite well. When they do not, such as at the onset of a cold or due to allergies, they can be a source of misery, causing symptoms ranging from nasal congestion to dental pain and loss of smell.

For bacterial infections, antibiotics are effective, and symptoms usually disappear over a week of taking medication. For non-bacterial causes, over the county or prescription decongestants may be suggested. Unfortunately, about 20 percent of people with chronic sinusitis do not respond to medical therapy alone.

In the past, we suggested surgery that involved gauze packing or gels to minimize bleeding and scaring. A new procedure, called balloon sinuplasty, can eliminate the need for the painful surgery and avoid a visit to the hospital all-together, while providing long-term relief much like traditional surgery did in the past.

Balloon sinuplasty uses the same technology that heart surgeons use to open up blocked arteries in the heart. An ENT surgeon uses the balloons to open up the natural sinus openings, in a trauma free way, meaning there is less irritation of the nasal tissue than would be found in traditional surgery.

Performed in office, the procedure has the added benefit of less pain and faster recovery, allowing many patients to return to work the very next day. If you are sick of sinus pressure, schedule a consultation with your Atlanta ENT provider today.

Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT