Sinusitis Treatment Options
From lifestyle changes and over-the-counter remedies to prescribed medications and surgery, there are many methods that people suffering with chronic sinusitis have tried to manage their condition, including home remedies, medical therapy and sinus surgery.
In treating chronic sinusitis, the intent is to:
- Reduce inflammation (swelling) in the sinuses
- Allow the nasal pathways to circulate air properly
- Enable mucus to drain
- Address symptoms that impact quality of life
Home Remedies for Sinusitis
For many, trying home remedies for chronic sinusitis is an easy place to start. Home remedies include saline nasal irrigation with a squeeze bottle (Neilmed Sinus Rinse TM), a Neti pot or saline sprays to moisten the nasel pathways.
Medical therapy for sinusitis typically involves physicians prescribing antibiotics to treat infection and/or oral or nasal steroids to treat inflammation.
It can sometimes involve over-the-counter remedies, such as decongestants to shrink blood vessels and tissues and decrease mucus production, antihistamines to dry out the lining of the nose and thicken mucus or fast-acting nasal sprays (not intended for long-term use). Medical therapy treatments can vary in effectiveness.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (ESS)
Endoscopic sinus surgery is a minimally invasive procedure performed by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon. The ENT carefully inserts an endoscope (device with a camera attached) into the nasal pathways, removes any blockage using small tools, and widens the sinus openings. Many sinusitis sufferers have heard about or experienced sinus surgeries in the past, which involved the painful “packing” of gauze in the nasal passageways and a long recovery period. Today, gauze packing is rarely used. New advances make the procedure much easier, more comfortable and more effective, with quicker recovery times.1
Balloon Sinus Dilation
Balloon sinus dilation is a procedure performed by an ENT surgeon. It is a surgical procedure that can be performed either in the operating room or in the physician’s office. It uses a balloon catheter to expand the sinus openings with no removal of tissue or bone. Enlarging the openings can allow the air to circulate and mucus to drain.
- Govindaraj S, et al. Endoscopic sinus surgery: evolution and technical innovations. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology, 2010; 124:242-250.
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