Does this sound familiar? You have a stuffy nose with thick, yellowy mucus.
You’re tired, achy and coughing, maybe even feverish. Breathing
through your nose is difficult, if not impossible, and you may even have
trouble smelling things.
Perhaps it’s a cold, but the medicines you try don’t help.
To make matters worse, you develop a dull headache that won’t go
away. When you finally decide to see your doctor, you find out—it’s
If this has happened to you once, or perhaps numerous times, you are not
alone. The Centers for Disease Control reports more than 28 million American
adults suffer from sinusitis, resulting in nearly 12 million visits to
the doctor each year.
What is sinusitis?
Your sinuses are hollow spaces located inside the bones around your nose.
They produce mucus that drains into the nose. If the inside of your nose
gets swollen, this can create painful blockage of the sinuses. If left
untreated, sinusitis can go on for long periods of time. If it becomes
a chronic condition, sinusitis can continue for months or even years.
Doctors have usually treated sinusitis with medication, including antibiotics,
decongestants and pain relievers. They’ve also recommended using
heat pads on the inflamed area, saline nasal spray and a vaporizer. Your
doctor may also prescribe oral steroids, which can have side effects.
If these medications and treatments fail to clear up the problem, patients
may need surgery to improve sinus drainage and reduce blockage. In the
past, this could mean a stay in the hospital and a painful recovery.
“The good news is technology is continuing to improve our ability
to treat persistent sinusitis,” reported Jason Van Tassel, M.D.,
a board certified ear, nose and throat specialist with Washington Township
Medical Foundation. “With a noninvasive procedure called balloon
sinuplasty, or sinus dilation, we can relieve chronic sinusitis safely
and comfortably in the office, with the patient under local anesthesia.
This can improve their quality of life significantly.”
Come to a free seminar
You can learn more about balloon sinuplasty and its benefits in treating
sinusitis at a free community health seminar on Tuesday, Sept. 16 from
1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Called “Relief from Sinus Issues” and sponsored
by Washington Hospital, the class will be held in the Conrad Anderson
M.D. Auditorium in the Washington West Building next to Washington Hospital
at 2500 Mowry Ave. in Fremont. To reserve your spot,
click here, or call (800) 963-7070.
Doctors have been performing balloon sinuplasty to treat chronic sinusitis
since 2005. At that time, the procedure was done in the hospital operating
room with the patient under general anesthesia. With the development of
smaller balloon catheters and the advancement of a specialized endoscope
used for visualization, doctors can now perform the procedure safely and
effectively in the office with just a local anesthetic to keep the patient
At the seminar, Dr. Van Tassel will talk about the short and long term
outcomes for patients after balloon sinuplasty.
“Recovery time from the procedure continues to get shorter and shorter,”
he stated. “And, rarely is there a case when patients require packing
of the sinus cavity afterwards. We are able to relieve a lot of sinus
discomfort, congestion and pressure, while restoring a patient’s
ability to breathe and smell.”
Studies comparing the office-based, non-invasive sinuplasty to the traditional
surgery revealed that patients in the office tolerated the procedure well,
with low pain scores. After surgery, they experienced better and faster
improvement of symptoms and quicker recovery, with return to normal activities
in about two days, on average.
In addition, there was less need for follow-up revision surgery. Long term
relief also meant people who had balloon sinuplasty tended to be more
productive at work, had fewer doctor visits and needed to take antibiotics
Find out more about sinusitis, attend Dr. Van Tassel’s free seminar
on Sept. 16. For more information or to reserve your spot, go online
click here or call (800) 963-7070. You can also go to the website of the National
Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes
of Health, at