Tips & Advice
What is balloon sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty, or BSP, is a treatment for people with chronic or recurrent sinusitis. It's a safe, noninvasive and highly effective procedure that is becoming more common among ENTs.
To perform BSP, the doctor inserts a small, flexible catheter into the sinus passageway. Next, the catheter is expanded, as like a balloon, to open up the cavity and allow built-up mucus to drain. This also widens the sinus cavity and restructures it to discourage further blockage after the procedure is completed. Then, a saline solution is sprayed into the cavity to wash out any remaining pus or mucus. Finally, the balloon is removed.
Most patients find they experience fewer sinus-related symptoms and little to no device-related complications following the procedure.
How is sinusitis treated?
For basic cases, a decongestant or saline nasal wash can treat sinusitis. A doctor can prescribe these or recommend an over-the-counter remedy. If the sinusitis persists for more than three days, further treatment should be sought.
In other cases, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics or steroids. These often are taken over the course of 10 days to two weeks.
Warm, moist air, such as that created by a vaporizer or a bowl of hot water, may also treat chronic sinusitis.
What can cause pressure in the ears?
Pressure in the ears, also called ear barotrauma, is caused by blockage in the Eustachian tube, which spans from the rear of the nasal cavity to the middle of the ear space. Ear barotrauma is most commonly caused by altitude changes, as in plane rides, scuba diving, or hiking or driving through the mountains.
There are many causes of hoarseness. Common causes include:
- Acute laryngitis
- Excessive use or strain on the vocal chords
Tonsils are two soft, small tissue masses located at the back of the throat. They are a part of the lymphatic system, which helps fight infections, though tonsils don't seem to play a large role in this process. Recurrent tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils), which can be caused by strep throat or other infections, could mean having them removed.
Several things can cause sinusitis, including swelling due to common cold, immune system deficiencies, blocked drainage ducts or narrow ducts due to structural differences, polyps, allergies, and irritants like smoke. In small children, pacifiers and drinking from a bottle while lying on the back can cause sinusitis.
Sinusitis is a condition that causes the tissue lining the walls of the sinuses to swell.
What are the most common causes of nasal blockage?
Infections like colds, the flu, or sinusitis can cause nasal congestion. Allergies or other irritants, like tobacco smoke, can also cause blockage in the nose. Small growths called polyps, and shifts in the nasal cavity called deviated septums can also cause nasal blockage.
Other causes include:
- Overuse of decongestant spray
- Drug abuse
- Thyroid disorders
- Foreign object in the nose
What conditions does an ENT treat?
An ENT treats:
- Conditions of the ear, like tinnitus, congenital disorders of the ear, hearing loss, ear infections, or balance disorders
- Conditions of the nose, like sinusitis, problems with physical appearance, smell disorders, deviated septums, or allergies
- Conditions of the throat, like problems with eating, swallowing, breathing, or speaking
- Conditions of the head and neck, like tumors, infections, trauma, or deformities
What is an ear, nose, and throat doctor?
An ear, nose, and throat doctor, also called an otolaryngologist, is a doctor who specializes in conditions and disorders related to the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck.