COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Tethered to anti-biotics? Nasal steroids? Decongestants?
Join the ranks of 35 million Americans who suffer from chronic sinusitis.
For some, there is hope in a procedure that takes close to 25 minutes, and lets patients return to work the following day.
A breakthrough procedure, Sinus Balloon Dilation, gives hundreds of thousands of sufferers hope, for a fraction of the price of surgical alternatives.
The minimally-invasive procedure – performed under local anesthesia -- is typically completed in the office of an ear, nose and throat surgeon.
The procedure is relatively simple.
Under the guidance of a camera, the balloon apparatus is passed into the correct sinus area and inflated with saline. Doing so, causes the sinus to fracture open.
"The sinus openings are narrow. The bone is thin -- eggshell thin -- covered by a mucous membrane. So we inflate the balloon and it expands the opening and when it heals it heals more open," said Dr. Barton Knox, an Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgeon at the Colorado ENT and Allergy Center.
Patients are told to refrain from heavy exercise and blowing the nose for at least one week, post-procedure. It is covered by most major insurance companies.