Author: WebTegrity

Dealing with Year-Round Allergy Triggers

Couple suffering from year-around allergy.

It seems there is something to set off your allergy symptoms at every time of year here in San Antonio. Year-round allergy triggers, nearly every season brings a different blooming plant, meaning that people whose symptoms of allergies are triggered by pollen have something new to contend with. Spring rains and damp winters lead to highly allergenic mold and mildew. The mild climate means it’s always time for outdoor activities, which can mean exposure to animal dander and dust. Luckily, year-round allergy sufferers have more options than ever before for combating and even eliminating their symptoms.

Over the Counter Remedies for your Year-round allergy triggers.

Many people are able to get relief from daily allergies by taking over the counter antihistamines or nasal corticosteroids. Newer antihistamines do not pass through the blood brain barrier like older antihistamines did. This means you can get allergy relief without dealing with drowsiness.

Nasal steroids can also be taken daily to reduce your reaction to allergens and to curb common allergy symptoms. By taking them each day, you can inhibit allergic reactions before they occur.

However, some people find these remedies work for them for a little while, but then stop being effective. Some people find commonly available OTC medications are not effective for them, at all. Still others wish to avoid the use of daily medications in general. For these individuals, the assistance of an allergist and sinus expert can help them identify options that do not involve the use of daily OTC medications.

Dealing with Narrow Sinus Passages

In some cases, it is not allergies themselves that cause suffering; it is the complications that come with them. Some people find allergies lead to painful and inconvenient congestion, for instance. These people may suffer difficulty breathing, frequent sinus headaches and other issues. In some cases, frequent allergy attacks can lead to chronic sinusitis. This is a painful condition that can interfere with sleep, work and your enjoyment of daily life.

For these individuals, treatments like balloon sinuplasty can be an effective remedy to allergy complications. During balloon sinuplasty treatments, narrow sinus passages are opened up to increase air flow and allow the passage of fluids. When the passages are unblocked, the result is fewer sinus infections and other sinus problems associated with allergies.

Ending Allergy Sensitivity for Good

In the past, allergy shots were the only solution if you wanted to desensitize yourself to common allergens. However, today many people are finding relief with sublingual immunotherapy instead. These allergy drops offer the same well-tested medication that is in allergy shots. However, instead of an injection, sublingual allergy drops use a small amount of the allergen applied under the tongue, instead. The treatment can be conveniently applied at home, cutting down on office visits. After consistent treatment for a number of months, you will begin to see a reduction in your allergy symptoms. Some people find they are no longer sensitive to their allergens at all after consistent long-term treatment.

Allergies have you miserable all throughout the year wondering “what is causing my allergies?” We can offer allergy treatment that helps. Get in touch today for an appointment to discuss options that include allergy testing, allergen immunotherapy and more.

Before and After a Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

Person breathing in freely.

Do you suffer from chronic sinusitis? Before resigning yourself to a lifetime of antihistamines, decongestants and antibiotics, you should know there is a minimally invasive procedure that provides lasting relief. Balloon sinus surgery opens up airways to allow air and fluids to pass through the area more easily. As a result, you will experience less congestion, easier breathing and fewer sinus problems than before.

Who Could Benefit from Balloon Sinuplasty?

When they are working properly, your sinuses provide passages for air and fluids to travel from your nasal passages down into your throat and lungs. However, a number of people have either narrow sinuses or areas in their sinuses that are blocked completely by excess tissue. When this happens, it is harder for your sinuses to drain properly. You get congested more easily when the sensitive tissue inside your sinuses gets irritated and inflamed. The result is worse symptoms when you have allergy attacks, longer and more severe respiratory infections and even frequent sinus problems like chronic sinusitis.

What to Expect the Day of Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon sinuplasty is far less invasive than older sinus procedures. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure itself is simple and takes around 20 minutes. You will be lightly sedated to keep you comfortable during the procedure. There is no need to have tissue removed. Instead, a small catheter is inserted into nasal passages. Then, a balloon is inflated to open up and expand nasal sinuses.

Balloon sinuplasty recovery time is far shorter than recovery time for traditional surgery for sinus problems. There is minimal loss of bone or tissue. Most people have minimal pain after balloon sinuplasty. In most cases, there is a minimal amount of bloody drainage or bleeding for a few days after the procedure. Congestion or tenderness in your cheeks, forehead or nasal passages is normal and goes away within a few days. Most people are able to return to their regular activities within one to two days after surgery. Over the counter anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen can help with any post-procedure pain or inflammation.

How Your Sinuses Will Improve After Balloon Sinuplasty

While balloon sinuplasty is still a relatively new procedure, it is considered extremely effective at reducing sinus issues. People who have this procedure find they are able to breathe easier afterward than they were before they had the sinuplasty. They are less likely to suffer from sinus headaches, congestion and issues like sinusitis. The sinuses stay open, which means you are less likely to suffer the sinus complaints that brought you to our practice. Most people who have the procedure say they would recommend balloon sinuplasty to others and would choose to have the procedure if they had to make the choice again. Over 150,000 people have received the procedure, and most suffer mild or no complications.

Could balloon sinuplasty offer the lasting relief you have been looking for? We can help. Get in touch today for a consultation.

5 Benefits of Allergy Testing

Woman suffering from allergies.

Allergies are nothing to sneeze at. While many people who do not suffer from allergies consider them a minor inconvenience at worst, people who deal with them daily understand how they can complicate daily activities. Learning more about your allergy triggers can empower you to choose an allergy treatment that works for you and allows you to live your life to the fullest. A few of the reasons to seek out allergy testing:

You can learn what your allergy triggers are.

Many people just know they have nasal allergies, but don’t know what causes their allergy reactions. Identifying what makes you sneeze and what doesn’t can allow you to breathe better and enjoy your life more fully. The allergy testing is quick and easy, and can be done right here in our office.

You can eliminate suspected allergy triggers.

Have you never had a cat because you had allergies? If a pet is something you yearn for but have avoided, allergy testing can give you some hopeful answers. You may learn, for instance, you are allergic to cats but not dogs, or vice versa. By identifying what you are not allergic to, you can plan a life that is maximally fulfilling without suffering from allergic reactions.

You can better avoid the triggers for your allergies.

Doctors recommend, whenever possible, you avoid the allergens that trigger allergic reactions in you. For people allergic to pollen, this can mean staying indoors during high pollen times of the day or year. For people who are allergic to animals, it can mean taking allergy medicine before visiting a friend with pets. For those who are allergic to dust mites, relief can be as simple as changing to a dust mite proof pillow case and mattress pad. Knowing can help you feel better and breathe better throughout the year.

You can choose a treatment option that fits your health and your life.

For some people who have only a few, easily avoidable triggers, pairing avoidance with an over the counter allergy medicine can be an adequate plan for finding allergy relief. For those who are allergic to more ubiquitous triggers, however, relief may come in the form of prescription medications, a process like balloon sinuplasty or sublingual allergy drops or shots. By identifying what is causing your symptoms, you can find treatment that provides relief without overtreating.

You can remove uncomfortable complications from your life.

Do you find you get frequent head colds or sinus infections? Do allergies keep you from enjoying the activities you like? Do you suffer from sore throats and interrupted sleep? Allergies can be behind a number of complications that can cost you days at work, participation in social events and a general feeling of health and well-being. By identifying what is causing allergies, you can eliminate both them and common complications. Relief may be as simple as changing your habits or adding a low-side effect medication.

Are you ready to take better control of your health and your symptoms? We can help you understand your health better with an allergy test. Get in touch today for an appointment.

 

How to Get Rid of Snoring Problems

Girl cant sleep because man snoring next to her on a bed.

Nearly everyone snores sometimes. Usually, it passes quickly without disrupting you or your partner’s sleep. However, when snoring happens more frequently, it can be associated with other problems. Snoring can interrupt the quality of you or your partner’s sleep; this can lead to irritability and fatigue, as well as exacerbation of other health issues. Snoring can also be a sign of more serious health problems. If snoring is a regular feature in your bedroom, it can be very beneficial to consult with one of our Houston doctors.

What Causes Snoring?

Snoring occurs when your breath cannot pass freely through your nose, throat and mouth while you’re sleeping. When passages are blocked by tissue, the tissue vibrates, creating the characteristic snoring sound. There are a number of factors that make snoring more likely. These include:

  • Being overweight or obese. When you carry excess weight, some of it accumulates around your neck or throat. This, in turn, adds pressure to these areas. For some people, losing weight is enough to curb snoring issues.
  • Age. As people hit middle age and older, their throats become more narrow. You can also lose muscle tone in the area. Together, these contribute to snoring.
  • Sinus or nasal issues. When your nasal passages are blocked, it makes inhaling and exhaling more difficult. People with chronic sinusitis, for instance, often snore.
  • Sleeping positions. Lying on your back to sleep can block airways. Switching to another position can reduce snoring.

What Are the Best Snoring Solutions?

Sometimes, getting rid of snoring can be as simple as changing positions or ensuring you are well-hydrated before bed. For other people, however, greater interventions are needed to address snoring.

Some people have success with over the counter anti-snoring aids. These take many forms. Some are in the form of tape that can keep nasal passages clear. Other snoring remedies are shaped more like athletic mouth guards and open up airways.

Medications may help people who want to stop snoring. Decongestants can open up nasal passages and reduce vibration. If your snoring is allergy-related, antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays can help, as well. Discuss these options with your doctor to see which are right for you.

Depending on the time of year, a humidifier may be helpful. During Texas summers, constant use of the air conditioning can make air more dry. When air is dry, the delicate tissues in your sinuses and throat can dry out, too. Keeping air more moist can help prevent that.

Someone who has nasal passages that are too narrow may benefit from a procedure like balloon sinuplasty. This procedure opens up sinus passages, allowing air to travel more freely.

There is no one best way to stop snoring. Different solutions will have different levels of success for each individual.

Is snoring getting in the way of a good night’s sleep? You and your partner don’t have to suffer! We can help you identify the root cause of your issue and get a sounder sleep every night. Get in touch today for an appointment.

Causes of Summer Sinus Infections

Female blowing her nose in flower field.

Many people think of colds and respiratory infections and winter maladies. However, sinus infections and other respiratory ills can happen any time of year. For some people, summer brings together many factors that can make this the worst time of year for them. Do you find that you suffer sinus infections more frequently in the summer? These could be some of the causes.

Allergies and Sinus Infections

In some cases, sinus infections are a complication of summer allergies. This is a time of year when common allergens, such as grasses, are in bloom. Summer rain and humidity means that mold spores have time to grow and spread. Also, many people are just outdoors more often in the summer, which means they are more likely to be exposed to their allergens, whether they are pollen, outdoor mold and mildew or even dander from dogs at the park.
When you are exposed to seasonal allergens such as pollen, your sinuses may become inflamed. This inflammation, irritation and congestion mean it is harder for irritants and fluids to move through and out of your sinuses. The result can be a sinus infection.

If summer allergies are causing your symptoms, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce the incidence of allergy attacks. Some people are able to find relief with the use of over the counter antihistamines. Others find inhaled steroids can reduce inflammation and symptoms. For others, treatments like allergy shots or sublingual allergy drops or procedures like balloon sinuplasty can provide lasting relief without the need for daily medications.
Summer Heat and Humidity

Texas is known for its summer heat.

Hot weather can lead to dehydration. This dehydration can affect all tissue in the body; however, the delicate mucous membranes of your nasal passages and sinuses are especially vulnerable.
Sometimes, the ways we battle the heat can be the problem. Indoors, air conditioning cools the air, but it also dries it. This drying effect can also make the insides of your nose and sinuses drier, as well.

Inside the nose and sinuses, there are tiny hair-like structures known as cilia. These structures sweep excess mucus out of your nose and sinuses. However, they can’t do their jobs when hot conditions make mucus thicker and stickier. As a result, mucous can linger in the area, trapping bacteria and viruses that can lead to infections.
Work on staying well hydrated when you are outside in the Texas summer heat or inside in the air conditioning. Carrying a water bottle with you everywhere can help. Many people find they are more likely to drink water when they set an alarm on their phone to remind them. It also helps to limit outdoor activity to the cooler parts of the day.

If you find you suffer frequent sinus infections, advanced treatment may be needed. Balloon sinuplasty, for instance, can help permanently open up narrow sinus cavities and provide lasting relief from sinus issues. Looking for relief? Get in touch with us today to learn more.

Breathe Better: Balloon Sinuplasty

Male breathing better in the outdoors.

Do you suffer from chronic sinus issues? As you know, these can lead to debilitating symptoms that include severe headaches, difficulty breathing, nausea and irritability. Many people here in the San Antonio area have trouble sleeping or enjoying the tastes of food and drink as a result of their chronic sinusitis. While some patients are able to find relief with the help of medication, others find that neither over the counter or prescription drugs can make their symptoms go away. For these patients, balloon sinuplasty can be an attractive option.

Why Do Patients Have Balloon Sinuplasty?

Our sinuses are cavities above and below our nasal passages. In some people, these cavities have blockages or are more narrow than normal. People with these obstructions are typically more prone to sinus infections, sinusitis and other issues.

Chronic sinusitis is often treated with medications such as nasal steroids. However, up to half of all patients do not experience relief when they are treated with medication. For those individuals, a sinus procedure like balloon sinuplasty can help them get the lasting relief that they need.

What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?

Sinuplasty is a surgical procedure that helps identify blockages and narrow areas in the sinuses. The earlier forms of this surgery involved removing large areas of tissue; this typically resulted in a long recovery time before the patient could experience relief.

Balloon sinuplasty is an advanced form of sinuplasty procedures. A tiny balloon is inserted into the blocked sinuses and carefully inflated. This inflation compacts the walls of your sinuses, opening up the passages. The area is then flushed with saline solution.

In all, the procedure takes about twenty minutes. It can be performed on an outpatient basis and has a quick recovery time.

What Happens During Balloon Sinuplasty?

Your doctor will use a form of anesthesia that is slightly sedating. Patients find this method more comfortable than local anesthetic. A balloon catheter is inserted and inflated. Then, the area is flushed with saline solution. This leaves the passageway restructured and widened.

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. No hospital stay is needed. Most people are able to return to work and other normal activities within two days of having their procedure.

Is Balloon Sinuplasty Safe?

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive treatment that can help open up sinus passages to relieve the pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis. The procedure was approved by the FDA in 2005. This procedure is a considered an improvement over traditional sinus surgery, which involved removing bone and tissue. With sinuplasty, no tissue is removed, which means faster healing and less risk of complications.

Over 150,000 people have had balloon sinuplasty procedures. Of those, 95% say that the procedure gave them relief from symptoms and conditions that include sinus infection, allergies and chronic sinusitis. Clinical data published in ENT journals show that the procedure is generally safe and effective, with no adverse events associated with the balloon sinuplasty device.

Could balloon sinuplasty provide relief for your allergy and sinus symptoms? Contact us today to discuss whether this is the right treatment path for you.

How to Deal with Chronic Sinusitis

Male suffering from chronic sinusitis.

Your sinuses are cavities above and below your nasal passages. When these become inflamed and swollen, the condition is known as sinusitis. Symptoms can include constant congestion, frequently suffering a sinus infection, headache and others. Sinusitis is considered chronic when these symptoms persist for twelve weeks or more and resist treatment.

Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms

There are four major symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis. These include:

  • Nasal congestion or obstruction, which make it difficult to breath through your nose.
  • Pain and tenderness around your nose, forehead, cheeks and eyes. You may also see swelling in the area.
  • Thick, discolored nasal discharge and postnasal drip.
  • Reduced sense of smell or taste.

Two of these four primary signs must be present for a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis. Other symptoms that can accompany these include sore throat, ear pain, nausea, bad breath, fatigue, irritability, a cough and pain in your teeth or upper jaw.

Home Treatment for Sinusitis

When you are experiencing sinus pain, pressure or other sinusitis symptoms, you may be able to find some relief through remedies at home.

Nasal irrigation or a neti pot can help rinse away irritants that are making your sinusitis worse. A saline solution can help draw out water from inflamed tissue, leading to a reduction in inflammation. Over the counter pain medications like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can reduce the pain or swelling that are associated with an attack of sinusitis. Decongestants can help ease pressure and make it easier to breathe.

The Houston area’s climate means that allergens are present year-round.If your sinusitis is allergy-related, OTC antihistamines can help. Your doctor may also recommend avoiding allergy triggers to avoid a sinusitis attack. For instance, if you are allergic to pollen, staying inside during high pollen-count days can help.

Some people find that they get relief by applying warm compresses to the face. A warm, damp towel can be applied for up to fifteen minutes at a time. Drinking plenty of fluids can help prevent dehydration and speed healing.

When to See a Doctor about Sinusitis

If you have been having sinus symptoms for four weeks or more without relief, your doctor can help you identify the root cause and help you find lasting relief.

Your doctor may prescribe medications that will help prevent chronic symptoms. For instance, inhaled steroids can prevent and treat inflammation. If your sinusitis is allergy-related, a daily antihistamine can help. Allergy shots or drops can help reduce your susceptibility to allergens over time, allowing you to experience fewer symptoms.

In some cases, narrow or blocked sinuses are the source of frequent bouts of sinusitis. Treatments that include balloon sinuplasty can help identify blockages and obstructions and safely enlarge sinus cavities for lasting relief.

It’s important to schedule an appointment right away if you are experiencing symptoms that include a high fever, a severe headache, swelling or redness around your eyes or double vision. These can all be signs of a serious infection.

Struggling with chronic sinusitis symptoms? You don’t have to live with the pain. Make an appointment with American Sinus Institute today to learn about your sinus care options.

Allergy Drops vs Shots: Which is the best choice for you?

Person getting their pulse checked by a doctor.

Most people are aware that allergies can be improved or even cured with immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots. However, many people are not aware that this is not their only option. For many years, immunotherapy has also been available in the form of sublingual drops. Each form of immunotherapy has benefits and drawbacks. By assessing the pros and cons of each, you can pick the therapy option that works best for you.

Do Allergy Shots and Drops Work?

People who suffer from allergies often have to deal with symptoms that can include headaches, watery eyes, sneezing, or a runny nose. If you have asthma, allergies can aggravate it. Many people with allergies also often have complications like chronic sinusitis.

Both allergy shots and drops have a long track record of safe and effective use. Treatment can reduce allergy symptoms and reliance on medication. Both therapies use small amounts of allergens to gradually desensitize you to substances that cause your allergic reactions. People who have undergone immunotherapy treatment often find that they are less prone to allergy attacks. This, in turn, can also reduce other issues such as sinus infection and chronic sinusitis.

The Pros and Cons of Allergy Shots

Allergy shots have been around for a long time. For over 100 years, doctors have been giving patients small doses of antigens through injections in a bid to reduce patients’ sensitivity to allergens. Many people wonder, do allergy shots work? The answer is, for most people, they either completely eliminate or strongly reduce allergy sensitivities. However, it can take as long as three to five years for either allergy shots or drops to work.

Because they are an established treatment, allergy shots are typically covered by insurance, which makes them a more affordable option for some patients. However, some people find the frequent clinic visits required during allergy shot treatment inconvenient.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Allergy Drops

Allergy drops involve the same medications that are used in allergy shots. However, instead of being injected, allergy drops are administered as sublingual immunotherapy. Each day, a drop is administered under the tongue.

Allergy drops allow you to make fewer clinic visits than allergy shots. They also allow you to avoid injections; if you find allergy shots painful or if you are afraid of needles, this can be a huge benefit.

As with any treatment option, there are also drawbacks to allergy drops. Allergy drops are considered an off-label use of FDA-approved antigen medication. Because of this, your insurance may not cover the cost of the drops. However, they may cover the cost of your office visits and allergy testing. If you have a Health Savings Account or Flex Spending Account, these funds can be used to pay for allergy drop treatment.

In the end, each choice has factors that could make it the right choice for you. Make an appointment today to talk to our doctors and learn which can be the best fit to help reduce allergy symptoms and find lasting relief.

OTC Allergy Medicine Doesn’t Work Anymore. What Now?

assorted medicine

It can be extremely frustrating: just as Houston’s allergy season is getting into gear, you find your trusted over the counter (OTC) medication is not providing the relief you’d received from it in the past. What causes this and what can you do? Understanding more about your allergies can help you find answers when you can’t get over the counter allergy relief.

Why Do Allergy Medications Stop Working?

In some cases, over the counter allergy medications stop working because your body has built up a resistance to your usual remedy. However, it is far more common for other changes in your life or your body to be the culprit behind the change.

Sometimes, the answer is that you are being exposed to more or different allergens than you were before. For instance, many allergies in San Antonio are seasonal. These will get worse when allergenic pollen is present in the air in greater quantities. Additionally, some allergy years are worse than others.

Changing your routine can also lead to an increase in allergy symptoms. A new pet, a new job or moving to a new neighborhood can mean exposure to allergens you did not come into as much contact with before.

Finally, sometimes we develop new allergies as we age. Some triggers may not have been a problem for you before, could become serious irritants later on. While this phenomenon is well-documented, we still don’t quite understand how the body gets sensitized to new allergens.

What to Do When You Can’t Find Relief

If your current allergy medication is not working for you, you have several options that can help you get back to feeling like yourself. Some people find they can get relief by switching from one over the counter medication to another. Someone who, for instance, is no longer getting relief from a first generation medication like Benadryl, may have more luck with a second generation option like Zyrtec or Allegra.

If your allergies are seasonal, you may be able to get through the season using remedies like neti pots and saline irrigation. These wash irritants out and reduce your exposure that way. They can also help you find relief when allergy attacks lead to a complication like a sinus infection.

There are also alternative solutions to provide long-term relief. At American Sinus Institute, we conduct allergy testing to help you identify and avoid allergy triggers, or come up with a treatment plan. Allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy drops can reduce your sensitivity, which can reduce or even resolve your allergies. If your allergies are associated with sinus infections, you also have the option of balloon sinuplasty to open up sinus channels and prevent congestion.

If you are finding your allergies are getting worse instead of better, you do not have to just live with the suffering. Contact us to learn more about the treatment options that could work best for you.

3 Aches and Pains Related to Undiagnosed Sinus Problems

woman having a headache

Sometimes, symptoms do not have a clear and intuitive cause. Many of the aches and pains you are suffering may not be “just a spring cold” or some other passing malady. They may, instead, be a sign of ongoing, undiagnosed sinus problems. Are you dealing with any of the following? Your sinuses may be to blame:

1. Toothaches.

There are a pair of sinuses that runs low in your cheeks, right above the roots of your upper teeth. When these sinuses are inflamed or infected, the pain can transfer into your teeth. If you have gone to the dentist for tooth pain, but been told that your teeth and gums are healthy, talk to a doctor about the possibility of chronic sinus problems instead.

2. A sore throat.

Sinus infections often are associated with post nasal drip. This, in turn, can lead to irritation of the tissue in your throat. A sore throat may be a sign of an infection in that area. However, it may also be a sign that you have an infection or other issue in your sinuses, instead. Reliving the issues that cause your sinus problems and post nasal drip can help you find relief from symptoms like sore throat, a hoarse voice and a persistent cough.

3. An ear ache.

Pain inside the ear canal can also be a sign that you are having problems with your sinuses. While ear infections are common in children, they are actually quite rare in adults. Instead, the pain in your ears could be caused by pressure in your sinuses. When sinuses are inflamed, it can lead to higher pressure elsewhere in your head. One way to tell if your ear pain is sinus related is to take a decongestant. If the pain abates temporarily, there is a good chance that your ear pain originates in your sinuses.

Getting Sinus Issues Diagnosed

If there is a chance that your sinuses are causing your aches and pains, the first step is a proper diagnosis. Your doctor can assess your symptoms and make recommendations based on what they find. By learning the cause, an effective course of treatment becomes possible.

Finding Relief from Sinus Issues

Once your sinus issues have been correctly diagnosed, your doctor will work with you to find the right course of treatment. Identifying your personal sinus infection causes can help you avoid them in the future. For instance, if your sinus infections are the result of allergies, tackling allergies head on can help. Solutions include antihistamines, allergy shots and sublingual allergy drops.

In some cases, physical irregularities in your sinuses can cause sinus problems. For these, balloon sinuplasty can be an effective treatment. Balloon sinuplasty helps open up narrow passages, reducing congestion and inflammation.
The first step to finding relief is finding the root causes of your problems. We can help. Our doctors have years of experience finding causes of and solutions to sinus pain. Book an appointment today.

Summer Allergens in Texas: What to do?

female sneezing in flower field

The climates in both San Antonio and Houston, Texas are different from what you might expect in other parts of the country. We are far enough south with a hot enough climate for both summer allergies and year-round allergies to play a role in our general health and well-being. However, forewarned is still forearmed.

Why Are Allergens a Big Deal?

Many people think summer allergies are just some inconvenient sneezing and sniffling. While these are both common summer allergy symptoms, they are not the only ones most people experience. In addition, allergy symptoms can include sinus congestion, post nasal drip, eye irritation and more. When these symptoms become severe, they can also bring complications. Allergies, in fact, are among the top sinus infection causes. If you find you suffer multiple sinus infections every summer in Texas, allergies may be to blame.

What Are Some Common Texas Summer Allergens?

In Texas, there are allergens year-round. However, some people may have worse symptoms in the summer because that is when their personal triggers come into play. Some common allergens in Texas in the summer include:

Mold: Rainy weather means damp conditions. Mold spores are constantly part of the environment in Texas. However, they get a chance to grow in the damp and warm conditions of a Texas summer. Plus, high temperatures mean spending more time indoors. When you are locked in with mold, you are more likely to get exposed.

Grasses: Blue grass, bermuda, timothy grass and others come into bloom this time of year. Mow often if these are present in your yard. Keeping them short can keep them from flowering.

Weeds: Pigweed, ragweed, sagebrush and others are all blooming in the summer in Texas.

Ozone: While this is not a specific cause of summer allergies, this pollutant can make allergies worse. The combination of high heat, sunlight and hydrocarbons in the air all increase ozone levels.

Handling Texas Summer Allergies

In most cases, avoiding allergens is the first line of defense against allergy attacks. Look at pollen levels each day; when they are high, try to stay indoors during midday, which is the worst part of the day for allergens.

You can also take an active approach to limiting your reactions to allergens that are present. Steroids and antihistamines can help alleviate allergy attacks, or even prevent them. You can also take a more long term approach by seeking out allergy testing, allergy shots or sublingual allergy drops. By determining your triggers and inoculating yourself against them, you can significantly reduce your allergy symptoms. Most people who take allergy shots or drops report a reduction in symptoms within the first year. Many experience full recovery within three to five years. Consistent treatment over time is key. Treatments like balloon sinuplasty can also be helpful when sinus issues play a part in allergy symptoms.

Texas summer have you sneezing? We can help. Contact us today. We’ll identify the cause of your symptoms and get you back to full health.

5 Myths About Allergies

female blowing her nose with tissue because of allergies.

While many in the Houston area suffer from nasal allergies, there are still a lot of myths and misunderstandings about them. In some cases, the myths are relatively harmless. In others, they can prevent people from getting the relief that they need. By developing a better understanding of what causes your allergies and the best ways to treat them, you can increase your chances of finding lasting relief. Don’t be taken in by any of these common allergy myths.

1. If you have allergies, you have allergies for life.

It’s common for people to believe that having childhood allergies means having allergies for life. People also often mistakenly believe that allergies are fixed and cannot develop in adults. Neither of these are true across the board. While many kids outgrow their allergies, many others continue to suffer from allergy symptoms even as they age. Many adults, on the other hand, may dismiss allergy symptoms as a passing cold if they have never suffered from allergies before.

2. Allergies are harmless.

Anyone who has allergies has also, at some point, had to put up with someone who thought their allergies were no big deal. Whether it was a boss who wouldn’t accept a severe allergy attack as a reason for a sick day or someone who described severe symptoms as “just allergies,” it can be very frustrating.

Allergies can be very serious on their own. They can also lead to complications like sinus infection that will require additional treatment. By taking allergies seriously, you can minimize your symptoms and the chances of developing additional issues.

3. Eating honey will cure allergies.

Many people mistakenly believe that local honey can help desensitize them to the allergens in their local area. However, this turns out to be more myth than fact. In general, the flowers that bees collect pollen from are not the same ones that are making your eyes red and itchy when San Antonio’s worst offenders are in bloom. The pollen that causes allergies typically comes from trees, which are not typically bee-pollinated.

4. Short-haired breeds of pets won’t cause allergies; long-haired breeds always will.

When it comes to animal allergies, hair length is not a factor. This is because pet hair or fur are not the allergens; instead, sensitive individuals react to dead skin cells (also known as dander), dried saliva and animal urine. While some breeds are historically less allergenic than others, the differences have nothing to do with the type of fur.

5. There is no treatment for allergies.

Thousands of people have seen their allergy symptoms reduced or completely eliminated after undergoing allergy shots or sublingual immunotherapy with allergy drops. The response does not occur overnight; rather, it occurs gradually over a period of years. With consistent treatment through a three to five year period, however, most people will see a dramatic improvement in their symptoms. In fact, most people see marked relief within the first year.

Ready to find lasting allergy relief? We can help. Book an appointment with American Sinus today to discuss the best treatment plan for you.

Are Allergy Drops a Good Choice for Me?

Doctor holding a clipboard filling charts.

There are many people who suffer from allergy symptoms that include itchy watery eyes, congestion and sneezing. Allergies are also one of the most common sinus infection causes. Allergy testing can reveal what is causing your symptoms. Most people believe they are limited to either daily allergy medications or a series of allergy shots to get relief. However, more and more people are finding a convenient, less invasive solution with the use of allergy drops.

What Are Allergy Drops?

Allergy drops are a sublingual treatment that contains the same sorts of antigens used in allergy shots. The drops are placed under the tongue, where they can be easily absorbed. Over time, allergy sufferers find that they are less sensitive to allergy triggers and able to enjoy favorite outdoor activities without severe allergy symptoms. Allergy drops are an effective treatment for a wide range of allergies, including allergies to food, mold, animals, dust mites and pollen.

Who is a Good Candidate for Allergy Drops?

Any allergy sufferer can use allergy drops once they have identified their allergens through allergy testing. However, this treatment is especially helpful for people who have not responded to allergy shots or who cannot tolerate this therapy. Allergy drops are especially good for people with asthma, those who are afraid of needles, very young patients and those who have multiple allergies.

What Are the Advantages of Choosing Allergy Drops?

Allergy drops can help you reduce or eliminate your reliance on over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines. This can spare you the expense of medications over time, as well as any associated side effects.

Allergy drops are administered at home rather than in a doctor’s office. This is far more convenient than allergy shots. Many people drop out of immunotherapy because of the long periods of regular visits. By using a treatment that you can take at home, you are better able to stay compliant with the treatment plan and see results.

Over time, as you become less sensitive to your allergens, you will find that you feel better than you did before immunotherapy. People who take allergy drops consistently report they get sick less often and have fewer sick days from work or school.

Are Allergy Drops Safe and Effective?

Allergy drops have been used for over 100 years. There have been a number of studies into their safety and effectiveness. The World Health Organization has given the treatment their stamp of approval and says this is a viable alternative to allergy shots. Researchers have confirmed individuals taking allergy drops have significantly fewer allergy symptoms.
No one allergy treatment is a good fit for every patient. Concerns that include effectiveness for each individual, cost and other considerations are part of the decision on which allergy treatment to choose. At American Sinus Institute, we work with you to identify your allergy triggers and develop an appropriate course of treatment. Do you think allergy drops could be a good option for you? Get in touch to make an appointment.

Can Allergy Shots Give You Relief?

person receiving an allergy shot.

Do you find you suffer from itchy eyes, sneezing and congestion every allergy season? Perhaps you have had allergy testing and learned pollen, mold or another common allergen is causing your symptoms. Tired of suffering and want to cut your reliance on daily medication? It may be time to consider allergy shots.

What Are Allergy Shots?

Allergy shots are a form of immunotherapy. The shots include tiny amounts of specific substances that trigger allergic reactions. These injections are administered on a regular basis in order to reduce your sensitivity to antigens that have historically caused you to have an allergic reaction.

The shots start with a small dose. The amount that is in each shot is gradually increased over time as you become less sensitive to the allergen.

Allergy shots can be a great alternative for many allergy sufferers. They can help people whose symptoms are typically not well controlled using over the counter or prescription medication. They are also a good option for individuals who have severe allergy problems such as asthma or frequent complications. For instance, allergies are one of the top sinus infection causes. If you suffer sinus infections regularly as a result of your allergies, allergy shots can help.

At each visit, you will be given a shot, and then observed for a period of time after your treatment. Most people tolerate allergy shots well and experience few or no side effects. In some cases, people experience allergic reactions after their shots. If you are not feeling well on a day you have an allergy shot scheduled, talk to your doctor about whether to proceed. You can also reduce the chances of a reaction by taking it easy for a few hours after your treatment. Avoiding vigorous exercise can reduce the chances of a reaction.

Do Allergy Shots Really Work?

Allergy shots do not work overnight. There may be some time between the beginning of treatment and when you begin to experience results. Allergy treatment comes in two phases: the first ramp-up up phase, where the amount of medication given is smaller. The second is the maintenance phase, where you are given shots about once a month to gradually desensitize your body.
Most people report improvement within the first year of getting allergy shots. In some cases, your doctor may be able to use a method known as “rush immunotherapy.” In this alternative, the build up phase is done more quickly, involving several injections during every visit. This method can provide relief more quickly, but it can also increase the chances of a severe allergic reaction.

How Long is the Treatment?

Allergy shot treatments typically last anywhere from three to five years. Many people report that, after a few years of treatment, they no longer have significant allergy issues. Some people are able to stop taking allergy medications altogether. In other cases, people will still suffer occasional allergy attacks, but will find their symptoms are far less severe.
Allergy shots can provide lasting relief from your symptoms. Think they could be a good option for you? Contact us today for a consultation, and we will discuss treatment.

Are You a Candidate for Allergy Testing?

allergy testing needle

Do you find you spend a lot of time sniffling and sneezing? Do you seem to get a head cold the same time of year every year? While many people mistake their symptoms for a spring cold, it is more likely they have allergies. Allergies cause many of the symptoms people associate with colds. They are also one of the most common sinus infection causes. If you suffer from head colds, congestion, sinus headaches and other ills, allergy testing can help you learn the cause of your symptoms so you can start finding relief.

Who Should Get Allergy Testing?

Allergy testing is a good option for people who find they are having allergy symptoms. Common nasal allergy symptoms include a runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat, sneezing, congestion and others.

How Are Allergy Tests Performed?

In most cases, allergy testing is performed using a skin test. A small amount of an allergen is applied to a plastic needle that is then used to lightly prick the skin. The needle is extremely fine; most people feel, at worst, a mild irritation. With the latest testing methods, your doctor can check for allergies to up to 40 known allergens at once. We’ll check for sensitivity to the most common allergy triggers, such as pollen, dust mites, mold and foods. After the test, your doctor will inspect the tested areas to look for reactions. A raised welt or red mark can indicate an allergy.

In some cases, people who are taking certain medications cannot get conclusive results from skin tests. People suffering certain types of rashes may also be unable to use a skin test to get allergy testing results. In these cases, a blood test can provide information about your allergies.

What Happens After the Allergy Test?

After the test, your doctor will talk about the allergens that were discovered. From there, you will develop a treatment plan to help manage your allergies effectively. What treatment is right for you is highly individual. Some people just need to take an antihistamine or other treatment during allergy season. Others may find a daily treatment year round is the best way to find relief. Still others will opt for treatments that can range from balloon sinuplasty to allergy shots.

In addition, your doctor may discuss methods for minimizing allergy symptoms. For instance, staying indoors on high pollen count days and changing your clothes as soon as you return home can help you avoid exposure to allergens. Other choices can include choosing low allergen pets and taking an antihistamine before times you know you’ll be exposed to your allergens.

If you are experiencing allergy symptoms, you do not need to suffer. By learning what is causing your symptoms, you can create a plan to get relief. We work with patients to create customized care that fits your allergies and your life. Are you ready to find relief? Get in touch today to learn whether allergy testing can be beneficial for you.

Educational Balloon Sinuplasty Seminar – SA Live KSAT

balloon sinuplasty seminar

Balloon Sinuplasty Seminar – SA Live

Winter & Spring allergies have been at an all-time high this year affecting thousands of Texans. But we have good news! Start down the right path to eliminating your sinus suffering by attending a FREE Educational Seminar.

Join American Sinus Institute (ASI) staff Dr. Anand Shah and Katrina Zedan, PA-C for a free Q&A session to answer questions about your allergies and how a Balloon Sinuplasty could change your whole life.

ASI offers a state-of-the-art balloon sinuplasty procedure that is minimally invasive and relieves pain and pressure associated with sinusitis. This simple, in-office procedure could make this your last season of suffering. But wait! The procedure does more than eliminate difficulty breathing due to allergies. What if you could also eliminate snoring, headaches and trouble sleeping?

Again, get your questions answered during this Free Seminar! Most consultations with sinus professionals come at a cost, but all we ask is for your RSVP! Click to RSVP online or call us at 210-BALLOON now.

Event will be hosted at the Huebner Medical Center, located at 9150 Huebner Road, Tower I, Suite 340 from 6:30-7:30pm.

Uncommon Causes of Sinus Infections

causes of sinus infections

If you suffer from frequent sinus infections, you are far from alone. Around 37 million people are struck with this condition every year. While the most obvious cause of sinus infections involve blockages in your sinus cavities, there are many unusual sinus infection causes that can linger underneath. Could any of the following be the cause of your sinus woes?

Swimming in Chlorinated Pools

Swimming as exercise is great for your health. However, spending a lot of time in chlorinated pools can make sinus infections more likely. The chlorine can irritate nasal passages, leading to inflammation and susceptibility to infection. This becomes even more likely when you dive into the water. The pressure can push chlorinated water deeper into your sinuses, irritating delicate tissue.

sinus infections swimming

Diabetes

People with diabetes typically have higher blood glucose levels. Those elevated levels can make it more likely that you will develop infections, particularly ones in the sinuses and other delicate areas.

These infections are not limited to the common viral and bacterial invasions that typically lead to sinus infections. People with diabetes can also develop oral yeast infections, which can spread to the nasal cavity. This unusual sinus infection type can sometimes be harder to detect and treat than more common infections.

Dry Air

Here in Texas, we rarely have to worry about a lack of humidity. However, if you spend a lot of time in air-conditioned buildings or fly regularly, dry air can be causing problems. When the air is too dry, it can dry out your sinuses and thicken mucus trapped in your nasal passages. When this happens, bacteria and viruses can get trapped, too, leading to infection.

Staying well-hydrated when you are indoors can help. Avoid caffeine and alcohol and drink plenty of water. You can also irrigate your sinuses with a neti pot or a saline nasal spray to cut down on dryness and irritation.

Nasal Sprays

Nasal spray decongestants can be a lifesaver when you are dealing with the pain of a sinus headache or infection. However, overusing this medication can wind up making sinus pressure and sinus infections more likely. When over the counter sinus sprays are used too much, your body becomes less sensitive to the medication. This can, in turn, lead to tissues becoming swollen again, which is known as rebound nasal congestion. As a result, fluids can become trapped, making infections more likely.

When a sinus infection causes pain and pressure, do not automatically reach for an over the counter spray. These sprays should be used sparingly so that they do not lead to rebound congestion.

nasal spray sinus infections

Issues with Your Anatomy

Some people have nasal abnormalities that make them more prone to sinus infections. These can include deviated septums that make it hard for your sinuses to drain properly. Other causes can include cleft palate, narrow sinus passages and even tumors.

No matter what is causing your sinus misery, balloon sinuplasty can help. The procedure helps open up your sinuses, making future sinus infections less likely. Are you suffering from frequent sinus infections? Give us a call today to learn whether balloon sinuplasty is for you.

Why Choose American Sinus Institute – Dr. Honrubia

american sinus institute

Dr. Honrubia of American Sinus Institute explains what sets American Sinus Institute apart from other ENT doctors.


Video Transcript:

Dr. Vincent Honrubia: People often ask, “Why would I go to ASI [American Sinus Institute] to get my balloon sinuplasty versus another doctor’s office?” The answer to that is that the ASI office, yes an ENT office, but an ENT office that only does balloon sinuplasty. We have office space and offices dedicated to only doing that one procedure. When you go to an ASI facility, you’re getting surgeons that just do balloon sinuplasty. We believe we get better, more predictable outcomes, more predictable results, and provide the best patient care possible for people seeking treatment of chronic sinusitis that need balloon sinuplasty.

 

Why Choose Balloon Sinuplasty – Dr. Honrubia

why balloon sinuplasty

Dr. Honrubia of American Sinus Institute explains why choosing balloon sinuplasty over traditional methods benefits the patient.


Video Transcript:

Dr. Honrubia: People often ask why is Balloon Sinuplasty better than a traditional sinus procedure that’s been done for the last 40 years. The answer is very simple. With Balloon Sinuplasty, we are compressing tissue using balloons in the nose and not, let me repeat, removing tissue.

The traditional sinus surgery, we’re creating more space, not by compressing, but by removing tissue. By removing tissue, you end up getting bleeding, you end up having to use packing, you end up having to use a hospital to do the procedure or a surgical center. These things are quite inconvenient for the patient, to have to go to a hospital, have to go to a surgery center, to have to get packed.

With Balloon Sinuplasty, since we’re using a technique that uses compression and not tissue removal, there’s no hospital, there’s no surgery center, it’s office-based, and patients do not get packed. By not getting packed, and not removing tissue, you also have a much more predictable healing phase.

The healing phase is one that is predictable because there’s less scar tissue formation, because of the lack of removal of tissue. Balloon Sinuplasty, predictable. Traditional sinus surgery, not as predictable, because people all heal at different phases, in different ways.

How Texas Weather Can Affect Your Allergies

texas allergies

The heat and humidity in Texas can leave you sweaty and dripping, running indoors to find relief. However, a desire to be inside with the air conditioning is not the only effect of Texas weather. As anyone with sinus or allergy symptoms knows, Texas weather can lead to big Texas allergies.

Humidity and Allergies

Hot and muggy days can make it a lot harder to breathe. This can be especially true for people with allergies. The high temperatures can also mean that your body is working a lot harder to keep cool, making other physical processes more difficult.

People whose nasal passages are blocked because of sinus inflammation will be especially prone to breathing difficulties during humid weather. You may also find that you have problems breathing during the heat if you suffer from asthma.

Indoor Allergy Issues

While high humidity can be an issue, some of the solutions for it can be just as bad for allergy sufferers. If you spend a lot of time indoors avoiding outdoor weather, you can wind up exposing yourself to air that is too dry. And, it is not uncommon to bring outdoor allergens in. Pollen and dander, for instance, can hitch a ride on air currents and clothing, then settle on furniture and bedding. Changing clothes when you get home and using high-quality filters on your home’s HVAC units can reduce the chance of encountering allergens when you are indoors.

High Temperatures and High Pollen Counts

In other parts of the country, allergy sufferers get a reprieve during the colder winter months. Here in Texas, our growing seasons last year-round. As a result, there is nearly always something blooming and releasing pollen into the air.

Pollen counts for some allergens are still somewhat seasonal. Certain allergenic trees, for instance, usually bloom in the winter. Grasses release pollen in spring. Ragweed blooms in late summer and early fall. Learning which types of pollen you are most susceptible to can make it easier to stay comfortable throughout the year.

During high pollen count times of the year, try staying indoors during the day and engaging in outdoor activities after dark. Pollen counts and wind levels drop at night, which means that you are less likely to suffer from pollen-related allergy attacks.

Damp Climates and Mold

Pollen is not the only allergen that can cause allergy sufferers misery. Mold is also a very common trigger for Texas allergies. Mold spores are nearly always present in just about every environment. These spores linger unseen until they find the right combination of moisture and warmth and can grow.

During heavy rains, there is almost always dead vegetation that can be a host to allergenic mold and mildew. Inside homes, mold finds hospitable growing environments in damp cellars and in closets, crawlspaces and even bathrooms with inadequate ventilation.

If you are suffering from frequent allergy attacks, we can help. Our doctors have years of experience diagnosing and treating allergies. Get in touch with us today to learn more about your options.

Office Walkthrough with Dr. Shah – American Sinus Institute

office walkthrough

Dr. Shah shows off the new, conveniently located San Antonio office at 9150 Huebner Road Suite # 280, San Antonio, TX.


Video Transcript:

Dr. Anand Shah: Hi, I’m Dr. Anand Shah, San Antonio Texas. Welcome to our new office at the American Sinus Institute here on Huebner Road in the Medical Center area, 9150 Huebner Road. We like to think it’s very conveniently located and it’s brand new. So we have our administrative support offices. This is something we’re very fond of. We have a live viewing room for patient families to actually watch their procedure as it’s being performed live. It’s a live video feed and you can see it’s a nice place to comfortably watch the procedure. So we’ve organized a very ergonomic efficient office flow. These are our brand new exam rooms. We have all the latest equipment. So we have several different exam rooms to maximize patient flow and enhance the patient experience. This is our procedure suite. We specialize in doing the office balloon sinuplasty. We bring in an anesthesia provider. The patients have sedation, general anesthesia very comfortable. We have all the technology, all the equipment to make it a very comfortable safe experience for the patient.

Then after the procedure, we have a nice custom recovery area for the patients to recover. We also have our own in-office CT scanner. So we can just really get a diagnosis. We don’t have the patients bouncing all over the city getting imaging, things like that. We can just give them a diagnosis right from the get-go.

Salt Water Rinse with Dr. Shah – American Sinus Institute

salt water rinse

Dr. Shah, of American Sinus Institute, explains the benefits of a salt water rinse and how to do one.


Video Transcript:

Dr. Anand Shah: Alright, Dr. Anand Shah here in San Antonio, Texas. I’m board certified in ear, nose, and throat. Just wanted to take a few minutes and talk about salt water rinses. This is a system that I like. So you can see comes with a bottle and it comes prepackaged with the mixture and you add distilled water. What’s important to consider is you put it on one side and you yourself will find your sweet spot, where you want to angle your head, a little bit of positive pressure which is one benefit of this system. Then the water should come out the other nostril because the nostrils are connected in the back. That way you just assure yourself of a nice flush, all the debris, all the particulate matter coming out of the nose.

Katrina’s Patient Testimonial

patient testimonial balloon sinuplasty

American Sinus Institute PA Katrina Zedan tells how she went from seeing patients receive amazing results from balloon sinuplasty, to having the procedure herself.


Video Transcript:

Katrina Zedan: Hi, my name is Katrina Zedan. I’m a Physician Assistant here at American Sinus Institute. Not only am I a PA here, but I’m also a patient. Every day when I see my patients, they tell me that this is the best thing they’ve ever done. They’re able to breathe better, and able to sleep better. Well, I work here, and I want to be able to breathe and sleep better too, so I did the procedure myself. I was literally back to work the next day. I mean, it’s that simple. So, if you’re having trouble breathing, if you’re having trouble sleeping and functioning the next day, come on in and see us, and we’ll be happy to see you.

 

Mark’s Patient Testimonial

Mark patient testimonial

Mark Dominguez shares his patient testimonial about how the balloon sinuplasty procedure and American Sinus Institute helped him breathe again.


Video Transcript:

Mark Dominguez: Hi, my name’s Mark Dominguez, I’m a realtor here in San Antonio, Texas. Back in December, I reached out the American Sinus Institute because one of the problems I was having was not getting enough sleep. Had a lot of snoring issues, so I looked into different ways, different solutions that could help me. And I came across American Sinus Institute.

I looked at the reviews and I really couldn’t find anything bad to say and I searched to see if anyone had anything negative to say about the procedure or about the place. Everything came up rosy so I decided to give them a call and they were really great to work with.

They did a quick procedure, which was simple, painless and I didn’t realize at the time that I had such a large blockage but after the procedure, I could feel that I had a lot more airflow going back and forth.

My recovery period afterward took less than 3 days, so I was back to work pretty fast. It took one weekend and I was back to my regular routine.

My wife is happier now because my sleep is more restful. I don’t snore as much or even loud, some nights it’s not at all. I feel a lot better the next day so I’m very happy that I did it. I would encourage anybody who has the same types of issues that I had with sleeping, snoring and fatigue to reach out to the American Sinus Institute and come on over to their new location off of Huebner Road and I’m sure you’ll be satisfied.

 

Kenyon’s Patient Testimonial

kenyon patient testimonial

Listen to Kenyon Jentz’s patient testimonial as he shares his experience with the balloon sinuplasty procedure and how the American Sinus Institute improved his quality of life.


Video Transcript:

Kenyon Jentz: About 12 years ago I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, pretty severe. I had a lot of issues breathing. I would actually wake up gasping. I had looked online about different procedures. A lot of the older traditional methods seemed a little too invasive for my taste. I think I was a little scared of that, having surgeries with the recovery time was a lot longer than what I had been looking for.

Until a buddy of mine had told me about the Sinus Institute and an in-invasive procedure he had done where he was back to work basically the next week. I was very interested in finding out what that was. I had the surgery on a Friday and I was actually able to return to work on Monday, so I was very happy with that. That day, I had a little discomfort, a little bit of pain. I had a lot of procedures done. It was a little bit of discomfort. I had some pain medicine to help me with that, and I actually healed a lot more rapid than I anticipated.

I actually explained to the doctor when I came back that this has been a life-changing experience for me. Being able to breathe so well, it’s given me more energy. I sleep better at night. I’ve actually fallen asleep without my sleep apnea machine, which I’ve never been able to do before without waking up gasping for air. I’ve actually taken naps for an hour or two long and woken up later and just been actually amazed that I was able to sleep without my machine.

The research I saw online regarding the more traditional procedures, it was a little too much than what I could bear, I think. Some videos showed where they actually carved out holes in the people’s sinuses and had packing materials put in there for six to eight weeks afterward. There’s a lot of videos of people having their packing removed, and when I watched that I just thought, “How terrible to suffer for six to eight weeks,” and I had no idea there were newer, more innovative surgeries that could be done and procedures that would not have to put me through that mess. I was very pleased to find out about these new procedures.

Coming to the American Sinus Institute, it was very relaxing. They were very informative. They told me so much about what was going to happen to me that I was actually kind of amazed at the detail that they were willing to share with me, actually, about what was going to happen. I literally had no questions about what was going to happen.

I don’t know how long these procedures have been out, but I wish I would have known about this 10, 15 years ago. I would have definitely had it done a lot sooner, and I would highly recommend anybody who’s thinking about this or has issues breathing or with allergies or sinus issues to look into it. It’ll change your life. Definitely changed my life. I highly recommend it to anybody who’s interested. At least get some information, educate yourself about these new procedures.

What to Do if You Have a Sinus Headache

sinus headache

No headache is fun, but sinus headaches can be especially unpleasant and debilitating. The pain from a sinus headache can affect not only the top of your head but can also be felt through your face and sometimes into your teeth. They are caused by irritation inside your sinus cavities. Knowing how to treat a sinus headache can help you get past the misery quicker and get back to your day. Next time you are experiencing sinus pain, check out one of the sinus headache remedies below:

Decongestants

Relieving sinus pressure can be a big part of how to treat a sinus headache. Over the counter pill or sprays can open up passageways and relieve pain-causing pressure. If you use an over the counter spray, make sure that you do not use it for more than three days in a row. More than that, and you can wind up with rebound sinus pressure. Decongestant pills should be taken at the first signs of sinus pressure to be most effective.

Neti Pots and Sinus Irrigation

A neti pot or saline nasal spray relieve pressure and pain and can also wash out irritants like pollen. The salt in these nasal solutions pulls fluid through mucus membranes by osmosis. The result is less inflammation and less pain. Always use distilled water and pure salt when making your own neti pot solution. There are recipes online for the right process and salt concentrations; you can also buy neti pot salts at your local pharmacy.

Pain Relieving Medicine

Aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen can also offer relief from a sinus headache. Which you choose comes down to personal preference. The first two are NSAIDs, so they provide both pain relief and anti-inflammatory action. Acetaminophen affects how pain is processed in your brain, which can give relief to people who find they are not helped by NSAIDs or who are not able to take them for health reasons. If you turn to over the counter medications, particularly multi-symptom drugs, read labels carefully. Cold medicines, for instance, may also contain pain relievers. Taking an additional dose separately can lead to levels of the medication that are too high for safety.

Corticosteroid Sprays

These sprays are available over the counter or through a prescription from your doctor. Instead of taking them when symptoms hit, you take these medications daily to prevent sinus and allergy issues. If you suffer from sinus headaches regularly, this approach can provide the relief that you need.

Hot and Cold Compresses

Some people find relief from sinus pain through the application of damp cold and heat. A hot washcloth over your eyes and nose can help loosen up sinus mucus and relieve congestion. A cold compress, on the other hand, can help relieve inflammation and numb pain. Use each treatment for a few minutes at a time a few times a day.

Occasional sinus headaches can typically be handled at home. However, if you suffer sinus headaches frequently, it may be time to look at medical help. We can discuss your options and help you arrive at one that will provide lasting relief from sinus pain. Call us today!

What Makes Your Seasonal Allergies Worse

seasonal allergies

We take pride in things being bigger and better in Texas. But bigger is not always better, of course, such as when you consider the unpleasant symptoms that people experience because of seasonal allergies. Allergens can be responsible for a range of reactions, such as causing a patient to sneeze profusely, have a runny nose or stuffed nose and experience itchy or painful sinuses.

Whether you are a newcomer to Texas and have only just started feeling the effects of allergy season here or if you are a long-time resident trying to cope with the symptoms, you will want to take steps to minimize them. It’s always prudent to have seasonal allergy remedies available so you can take them as soon as they’re needed. Otherwise, you’ll continue to feel stuffy and inflamed. With that in mind, it would be a good idea for you to become familiar with things that can make your seasonal allergies even worse.

Reasons Your Seasonal Allergies May Be Worse

Becoming more familiar with the causes of allergies will help you avoid experiencing the worst symptoms. Approximately 50 million people in America currently suffer from seasonal allergies, according to a report from Prevention magazine, which included details on things that can make your seasonal allergies worse:

  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Each drink containing alcohol can increase your risk of getting allergic rhinitis by 3 percent. Researchers theorize that bacteria and yeast in alcohol cause people to produce allergy-symptom causing histamines.
  • Failure to Take Allergy Medications on Time: If you rely on antihistamines to curb allergy symptoms, you won’t get proper relief if you don’t take them before exposure to allergens. Follow the drug manufacturer’s instructions and consider setting a daily alarm on your smartphone to remind you to take allergy medication.

    seasonal allergies medication

  • Inadequate Laundry Hygiene: If you do not use hot water to wash your bed sheets, chances are you are not killing all the dust mites (which provoke allergic reactions). Water heated to 140 degrees F will kill 100 percent of dust mites while water kept at the warm setting of 104 F would only kill 6.5 percent of the mites.
  • Indoor Swimming Pool: The chlorine people add to pools is designed to keep the water disinfected, but this chemical will irritate your respiratory tract. Wear a mask while swimming to avoid this source of irritation.

    seasonal allergies pool

  • Too Much Stress: Stress hormones that increase in production while you are on deadline at school or work will tend to exacerbate the effects of seasonal allergies. What’s more, if added stress is interfering with your sleep patterns, you should be aware that lack of sleep is another intensifier of allergy symptoms.

When Medications Fail to Help

If over-the-counter and prescription medications are not doing enough to help you deal with the symptoms of seasonal allergies, you may be at your wit’s end trying to find relief. You will be glad to know that an FDA-approved procedure called balloon sinuplasty has been available here for many years.

A physician simply places a balloon into your sinus cavity, and then it’s just a matter of inflating it gently so it reshapes your nasal passages, which serves to bring you relief from sinus discomfort and pain. For details about balloon sinuplasty or to set an appointment, please contact the American Sinus Institute today.

Surviving Sinusitis with Pet Allergies

sinusitis pet allergies

You love spending time with your pet, but does it seem like it’s causing an allergic reaction? It can be difficult to live with pet allergies, especially when you love pets. You’re not alone. Approximately 31 million individuals experience sinusitis or sinus infection every year, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Of course, you don’t want to have to give up your beloved animal companions, but you also can’t stand to see anyone in your home suffering from sinusitis with pets. The trick is in seeing if you can find reliable relief for pet allergies before sinusitis forces you to part ways with the animal.

How to Handle Sinusitis Symptoms Caused by Pets

Whether you have recently welcomed a new pet into your home or have been putting up with pet allergy symptoms for some time now, getting relief for allergies is going to be a high priority. People who experience pet allergies while sinusitis symptoms are occurring would be right to wonder whether they can continue to live at home with animal companions.

Unlike seasonal allergies, where you experience sinusitis during periods when the plants are putting out their allergens, pet dander can provoke allergic reactions throughout the year, underscoring the importance of tackling pet allergies inside your home.

You options to address sinusitis from pet allergies include:

  • Antihistamines and corticosteroids can temporarily help to reduce inflammation in sinusitis provoked by pets. In some cases, patients may get allergy shots to address the problem.
  • Get a hypoallergenic cat or dog. This is for people who do not have an allergy-provoking pet now and who do not want to chance having an allergic reaction. However, you cannot guarantee that a so-called hypoallergenic animal will not provoke an allergic response in every person it encounters.
  • Use a saline wash (irrigate your nasal passages with a gentle solution) to eliminate the thickening and accumulating secretions.
  • Steam treatment will also help to irrigate your sinus passages. Try doing it at least 3 times a day when symptoms arise.
  • Install a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) air filtration system to be used with your home’s ventilation, air conditioning and heating equipment. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions about how often you should clean reusable filters or replace single-use filters and mark a reminder in your calendar for best results.

What to Do When These Remedies Don’t Help Your Sinusitis

If anyone in your family has been struggling with pet allergies that lead to painful sinusitis, consider coming in for treatment with balloon sinuplasty.

The American Sinus Institute specializes in balloon sinuplasty, offering sinus relief for patients in San Antonio and the greater Houston, Texas area. This procedure is safe and less invasive than traditional sinus surgery. It requires a doctor inflating a balloon inside your sinuses to correct the shape of the passages. To request an appointment, call us today.

End Suffering From Sinus Problems – SA Live KSAT

End Suffering From Sinus Problems

American Sinus Institute Director of Marketing, Courtney Shultz, and patient Marina Avila, join with San Antonio Live to discuss a procedure that could end suffering from sinus problems.


Video Transcript:

Speaker 1: … No one should live with sinus problems, and suffering from sinus problems. It’s time to start enjoying your life, and there is a place for that, American Sinus Institute. And with us today is Courtney Schultz, the director of marketing, and Marina Avila, a patient. How are you today?

Courtney S.: Good morning.

Marina Avila: Good morning, I’m doing very well, thank you.

Speaker 1: I bet, we’re very happy to have you ladies. Now let’s talk to you Courtney first, because you’re the director of marketing, so you know all about what American Sinus Institute does, but sinus problems is something a lot of people here in San Antonio suffer from.

Courtney S.: Especially right now with all of the rain, we’ve had a lot of mold, and what I’d like people to know is that people can be symptomatic in so many different ways. With Marina it was swollen eyes, and headaches, and congestion. Other people, it’s bronchitis, I mean there can be so many different symptoms, and I mean, why wait?

I hear so many people say I’ve been like this for 20 years, it’s simply how I live my life. And if you can go into an office and have a 20 minute procedure, the balloon sinuplasty procedure, and feel better for the rest of your life, why not come in now?

Speaker 1: That is absolutely right. Why suffer? So, Marina, I want to talk to you, because I’m sure there was a time when you were just like, I’m done suffering. What was that like before you went and saw American Sinus Institute?

Marina Avila: I suffered with this for about five years, and I’d get sinus infections six, seven times a year, where they would last for long periods of time. But continuously, I would have headaches, swelling on this side for some reason, it just kind of stayed on the right side more than anything else. At the very end, right before, I had taken the number, and actually was going to give it to my husband, and then, I got a sinus infection at the end of June, and it lasted throughout July, like three weeks of consecutive antibiotics.

It was to the point where I was breathing through the mouth, and I’m not a mouth breather.

Speaker 1: Right.

Marina Avila: I couldn’t stand it anymore, and so, I looked through my phone and I thought, this is for me, it’s time to call.

Speaker 1: Absolutely.

Marina Avila: And so I had to-

Courtney S.: And so I’ll give the number, 210 balloon, so when you saw that, you probably thought, oh it’s the balloon number, ballon sinuplasty.

Marina Avila: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Courtney S.: It’s perfect, easy.

Speaker 1: Yeah, so you called, and you went and saw them, and obviously they did magic, because how do you feel today?

Marina Avila: I feel awesome. I mean, that day, when I woke up, it was like, okay, where’s the pressure? Where’s, you know, I can even hear better, because it was a lot of pressure in my ears. So, yeah I feel awesome, I can sleep at night, I can breathe through my nose, and I haven’t had a sinus infection since then. So hopefully that’s over with.

Speaker 1: Wow, that is a big deal, I mean, it’s life changing.

Courtney S.: It’s life changing, and as she said, the two weeks of sinus pressure and the fact that she can hear a little bit better, this is a huge deal. I mean, the fact that her recovery was almost immediate, and when she woke up, she could hear a little better, she wondered where the congestion was, where the headache was. This is really cool, and people tell me when they wake up, it’s like a whole new life.

Speaker 1: Right, well I love it, thank you so much for sharing your story with us Marina, and again guys, no reason why you should be putting up with those sinus problems, get something done today and start enjoying your life. American Sinus Institute, they’re on De Zavala, 210-BALLOON. AMERICANSINUS.COM, they have a Facebook, American Sinus Institute, and the Twitter @AmericanSinusInstitute, thank you ladies. All right, coming …

How Changes in Weather Affects Sinuses

weather affects sinuses

Can you predict the weather by how your sinuses feel? People who suffer from sinus issues, especially those with chronic conditions, can sometimes detect changes in weather patterns before the rest of us can read the latest forecast. “Changes in barometric pressure cause pain for people who suffer from sinusitis,” noted a CNN report. Early awareness of shifts in the weather is not much of a reward for the pain and discomfort you experience because of irritated sinuses, though.

People who experience nasal congestion for lengthy periods because of nonallergic rhinitis can wind up getting a full-fledged case of sinusitis. When the membrane lining the sinuses gets infected or becomes inflamed, the result is painful sinusitis. People who regularly have sinusitis risk lowering productivity at work or at school, sometimes having to take time away from their duties to seek medical intervention.

Understanding How Weather Affects Sinuses

You probably know first-hand how weather affects sinuses. Researches have discovered that “temperature or humidity changes can trigger the membranes inside your nose to swell and cause a runny or stuffy nose,” according to the Mayo Clinic.

Nonallergic rhinitis, that is, rhinitis that is not triggered by an allergen such as pollen, can flare up without warning when the weather patterns are unpredictable.

Those who suffer from rhinitis may not understand why it is happening, because “unlike allergic rhinitis, nonallergic rhinitis can be brought on by sudden changes in temperature and humidity,” according to WebMD. “People with nonallergic rhinitis would test negative for any specific allergies.” So if your primary care provider gave you allergy tests and couldn’t detect the cause, there is a likelihood that weather changes are the culprit in your case, leading to inflamed and irritated sinuses.

One reason people confuse allergic rhinitis with rhinitis linked to weather changes is that the two conditions tend to happen annually during roughly the same period. But patients who are unaware of the different causes can wind up wasting money and time using over-the-counter antihistamines, wondering why they are not getting any relief.

Is Your Current Treatment Plan Working?

If the methods you use to combat painful sinus changes have not proven fruitful, it’s time to reevaluate your approach. For example, the Mayo Clinic reminds sinusitis sufferers to avoid overusing nasal decongestants, since taking them for more than a few days in a row can wind up exacerbating your symptoms. It’s best to visit a doctor to find a better solution for your particular situation.

Help For People Bothered By Sinus Problems From the Weather

Tired of putting up with the pain that comes with your sinuses during fluctuating weather patterns? If your methods to treat the discomfort aren’t doing the job, you should know that for many patients, balloon sinuplasty may be just what you’ve been looking for.

This FDA-approved and minimally invasive procedure involves a surgeon inserting a balloon into the patient’s nasal cavities. Inflating the balloon actually causes it to reshape the nasal passages quite gently to deliver much-needed relief. If you would like to find out more about balloon sinuplasty or arrange an appointment, please connect with the American Sinus Institute today.

Common Causes of the Deviated Septum

causes of the deviated septum

Anyone who follows boxing or other forms of martial arts has likely seen occasions when a fighter is punched in the nose and winds up with a deviated septum. That’s one common way of getting a deviated septum that many members of the public are already familiar with. There are other causes of a deviated septum which have nothing to do with athletic activities.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with a deviated septum, it’s a good idea to learn about why the condition may have occurred, with the idea that more information will be helpful in preventing or treating it. Causes of the deviated septum may surprise you, but gaining a little insight into this problem in your nasal passages can help you find a solution to breathe more freely.

About the Septum

The septum is made from bone and cartilage. It serves as a thin wall located in between your nostrils that separates the two nasal passages.

What Is a Deviated Septum?

People often hear the phrase “deviated septum” and know that it has something to do with the nose but are not quite sure what is happening that involves a deviation. Put simply, you have a deviated septum when the septum is knocked out of position to the left or the right side.

When You Should Visit a Doctor

A patient with a deviated septum should go in and see a doctor if he or she is experiencing blocked nostrils that fail to respond to current treatment, or if nosebleeds have been occurring on a regular basis.

Of course, a person suffering from a deviated septum who often experiences sinus infections should also consult with a doctor to find a lasting solution.

Common Deviated Septum Causes

We consult with a lot of patients complaining of a deviated septum, and with each patient come questions about how they got a deviated septum in the first place. As noted by the Mayo Clinic, common deviated septum causes include:

  • Patient was born with it: A deviated septum occurs during development in the womb
  • Injury, such as tripping and falling or running into another person
  • Contact sports including football, soccer, boxing and basketball
  • Automotive accident
  • The normal aging process can sometimes exacerbate a deviated septum

Help for Sinus Infections in Individuals Who Suffer From a Deviated Septum

People who have trouble breathing because of sinus problems, including sinus infections that have resulted from a deviated septum will want to know about a procedure called balloon sinuplasty, which is performed by our doctors here at American Sinus Institute.

For individuals who prefer to avoid going under the surgeon’s knife, balloon sinuplasty may be the answer. It’s a simple procedure where the doctor gently inflates a balloon that has been inserted into the sinus cavity to reshape it and make it easier to breathe. However, balloon sinuplasty may not be suitable for all patients with a deviated septum. If you have any concerns about causes or are interested in finding out more about balloon sinuplasty, we encourage you to contact us today.

Find Relief to Symptoms of Sinusitis – KPRC Click2Houston

Find Relief to Symptoms of Sinusitis

Jennifer Broome from Houston Life interviews Dr. Robert Palmer from American Sinus Institute to learn how patients can find relief to symptoms of sinusitis.


Video Transcript:

Eric: This winter has just been a really, really long one.

Speaker 2: Yeah, it really has. Thanks, Eric.

Eric: You bet.

Speaker 2: You know when the seasons change, sneezing and sleepless nights can follow. But how do you know when these are symptoms of more than just allergies? We have Dr. Robert Palmer from American Sinus Institute here to explain.

And Dr. Palmer, you know, a lot of folks this time of year are having the sniffling, the sneezing, the stuffy head from allergies. But how do you know you’re going from allergies to sinusitis?

Dr. Palmer: It’s difficult to tell, but usually you’ll have a discolored discharge that will tell you that you have an infection rather than just having symptoms of allergies. But essentially, the symptoms are exactly the same. People who suffer from allergies end up with the headaches, the sneezing. They can’t breathe, and they have pressure and pain. And they benefit from surgery as well as people that have recurring sinusitis, which is actually an infection. We treat both of those.

Speaker 2: Okay. Okay, so when you continually have issues with allergies, maybe they need to come in and say, “Hey, Dr. Palmer, what’s going on up in here?”

Dr. Palmer: Exactly. In fact, these people are the ones that need to see us. I’d rather see them before they’re infected, you know? There’s a subtle difference between it, but people who have allergies are usually hit four or five times a year, and when they have it they’re miserable. They have headaches, they have a runny nose, they can’t breathe, they have pressure pain. And it’s all because they don’t ventilate their sinuses. And once we ventilate those sinuses, they feel 100% better.

Speaker 2: Well, in sinus surgery now, what you guys do is so different than it was, say, 10, even 15-20 years ago.

Dr. Palmer: Less is better. Less is better.

Speaker 2: That’s a good thing.

Dr. Palmer: I did a lot of sinus surgery. I probably did 2000 cases endoscopically. This operation is so much better. There’s less trauma, and we get a better result.

Speaker 2: Okay, so we want to see what it’s like when a patient comes through your office, so we’re going to take everybody through a little walk-through when they go to American Sinus Institute.

Jason: Hi. I’m Jason.

Speaker 2: Hi Jason. How are you?

Jason: It’s good to see you. Thanks for coming.

Speaker 2: So, Jason, if I was a regular patient coming in, what would be the first thing that would happen now that I’m in the room?

Jason: One of the nurses would come in and do a very through intake. They’d ask you about your history, all the kind of medicines that you’ve taken.

Speaker 2: Like, do you snore? Do you … All those kind of questions. Can you sleep at night? Do you have ear pressure?

Jason: Headaches, sinus pressure, drainage. These are typical for our patients. Once that’s done, we take you over and get a CAT scan here, in the other room, and it takes about five minutes to have that come up. And then I will come in and do an exam, and go over the CAT scan with you.

Speaker 2: So, at this point you’re just kind of figuring out what’s going on up in here, right?

Jason: Yeah. We want to see, what does it look like? What’s the structure? And how can we address the structure so that the sinuses function ideally. Let me peek at you.

Speaker 2: Oh, no.

Jason: Yeah. So, I’ve got a scope.

Speaker 2: But you’ve actually done this surgery?

Jason: I have done the surgery, and the surgery helped me quite a bit. It relieved my headaches. So, turn your head this way.

Speaker 2: Is everybody else a big, wide-eyed when this comes towards their face?

Jason: All right. Be very still.

Speaker 2: So, this visit and the CAT scan is kind of where you make that decision of, “No, you’re just having allergy issues.” Or, “Yeah, you’re having major sinus issues.”

Jason: Right.

Erin: The scan only takes about 20 seconds, so it’s really quick.

Speaker 2: Oh, this has now turned into a rocket ship.

Erin: Yeah, it’s really quick and your only job is just to hold really still.

Speaker 2: I can do that.

Erin: Okay, so I’m just going to shine that little laser light here on you.

Speaker 2: And Erin, this is exactly what your patients would go through?

Erin: Yes, this is exactly what they would go through. I’m going to-

Speaker 2: What are those?

Erin:  These are just little wedge sponges that are just going to hold your head in position. And the next part is just the scan, which takes about 20 seconds.

Speaker 2: And this would be what you would do with a regular patient after they’ve had the CAT scan, like I just went and did. We were using your CAT scan, since you’ve had this surgery. So, kind of walk me through what we’re seeing. I can pick out where the eyes are. How many sinuses do we have?

Jason: Eight. There’s two in the cheeks, two between the eyes, and then two in the forehead-

Speaker 2: Oh, so that would be like that sinus headache that people get?

Jason: Yes.

Speaker 2: That’s where those are, okay.

Jason: That’s where they’re feeling it.

Speaker 2: So, how do you know in this, how do you know that it’s inflamed?

Jason: This gray is what we’re looking for in these patients. And so if they have this kind of gray, that can be washed out and cleaned. Some folks this … all of the black is completely filled in with gray, so they’re not able to drain at all and they’re miserable.

Speaker 2: So how quickly after you had it done, how quickly did you notice the difference of, “Wow. This is what it’s supposed to feel like breathing.”

Jason: For me it was instant.

Speaker 2: But it’s like a super quick … I mean, you’re not put under for very long, right?

Jason: It’s a 30-minute surgery, 30-minute prep time. 30-minute procedure and you’re here about an hour hanging around afterwards.

Speaker 2: Just to make sure.

Jason: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Speaker 2: Okay, so Dr. Palmer, I’m going to be that typical patient go, “Do you leave that balloon up in there?”

Dr. Palmer: We do not leave that balloon in here. Let me show you something here. This is the little catheter that has the balloon on it, and you can see how small it is.

Speaker 2: Well, that’s smaller than the thing that Jason stuck up my nose.

Dr. Palmer: Well, that was the scope. That was the scope. This is just the balloon, and that goes into the sinus. See that, from here to here, that will go into the sinus. And then we take a syringe and we blow it up. It goes up to about six millimeters.

Speaker 2:  Which is small.

Dr. Palmer: Which is small. The sinuses are only about one to two millimeters. And we dilate it for 10 seconds and then we take it out.

Speaker 2: So of course, Dr. Palmer, you know I had to be that one to ask, “Are you going to leave that balloon up in the nose?” But I was so surprised with Jason. He said he instantly, right after the surgery, could breathe.

Dr. Palmer: Exactly.

Speaker 2: He could feel the nose breathe, not the mouth breathing he’d done for years.

Dr. Palmer: Exactly. Yes, the balloon is taken out. It’s not left in your nose.

Speaker 2: You’ve got to ask.

Dr. Palmer: And the beauty about what we do, every time we operate on somebody for the sinuses, we shrink the mucosa of the nose. Because if you can’t breathe, those sinuses can get blocked and then you breathe through your mouth. You get a dry mouth and you snore. So, when we … the Honrubia technique, every time we address the turbinates and shrink them with coblation. It’s a radio frequency device, and it shrinks it so now you can breathe and your sinuses will stay open.

Speaker 2: And the surgery itself is very, very short. And recovery time seems really short.

Dr. Palmer: Yes, 15 minutes is the shortest. Sometimes it takes me 30 minutes. A tough case would take 45. And the beauty is we don’t pack the nose so when you leave, your nose is open. You can breathe. And within three or four days, you’re feeling 100% better.

Speaker 2: Dr. Palmer, you are changing lives every day with folks, making them be able to breathe. Now for more information, to schedule your appointment with American Sinus Institute, you can call 713 BALLOON. That works out to be 713-225-5666. Or visit americansinus.com. Thank you again, Dr. Palmer, for coming in.

Dr. Palmer: Thank you. I appreciate it.

Speaker 2: Coming up next, the hassle-free-

Medical Hot Topics – Great Day Houston

houston hot medical topics

Dr. William Ross Brown, Dr. Terri Alani, and Dr. Robert Palmer join with Great Day Houston to discuss current Medical Hot Topics.


Video Transcript:

Speaker 1: Get ready for fun. Get ready for laughs. Get ready to have a great day. It’s Great Day Houston. And now here’s your host, Deborah Duncan.

Deborah Duncan: Good morning everyone and welcome to Great Day Houston. It is medical Monday and this is heart month. As we know, there are all kinds of things that can lead to the malfunction of your heart. Diabetes, certain drugs, AFIB. And a new study looks at how a migraine may be a risk factor for heart disease as well. Plus, as Americans spend more and more time on their smartphones what does science say now about a possible cancer link?

Let’s find out in medical hot topics. And on our panel this morning, we have Dr. William Ross Brown who’s an interventional cardiologist, Dr. Terri Alani, family and cosmetic dentist, and Dr. Robert Palmer, a head and neck surgeon. Good morning.

Terri Alani: Good morning.

William Ross B.: Good morning.

Deborah Duncan: So as if we need something else to be a risk factor for heart disease because it is the number one killer of men and women around the world. It says, “Migraines could be a risk factor for heart disease as well. Women with migraines and people with migraines with aura have the greatest risk.”

William Ross B.: That’s right. This was a fairly large study out of Denmark that showed an association with migraines and a higher risk of heart disease. It’s interesting. It’s an observational study so it’s important to remember that it needs definitely warrants more study, but it is an interesting association.

Deborah Duncan: Yeah. All right. But can we also look at just any kind of stress that you would put on the body. If your heart is teetering anyway-

William Ross B.: Right.

Deborah Duncan: Any kind of stress on the body could probably trigger a heart attack?

William Ross B.: Well recently we’ve been talking about flu a lot and that’s a generalized inflammation state. And so any stress on the body can increase blood pressure and increase the risk of heart problems.

Terri Alani: And maybe what that study maybe it is a wake up call for people that do have intense migraines, maybe to seek preventative measures and see a cardiologist and just be tested.

Deborah Duncan: Yeah, yeah. We were talking about there are around the holidays between November and December, there are a lot of folks who have heart attacks because it’s induced by the food that we eat.

William Ross B.: Right. It’s all about risk factors really. Do you have family history, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and any additional stressor like alcohol or dietary changes can really-

Deborah Duncan: So to your point, make sure your heart is healthy.

Terri Alani:  Exactly.

Deborah Duncan: Yeah. Go get checked and make sure it’s healthy. All right. The difference between colds, sinus infection, flu, all of them kind of share some symptoms. And a lot of times, in the beginning, people try to figure it out or thinking, “Is it the flu? No. Probably it’s just a cold. Maybe it’s not a cold. Maybe it’s the flu.” And then maybe it’s sinus issues.

Robert Palmer: They’re all interrelated. I mean, basically you don’t get a sinus infection unless you have bad allergies or you have a head cold. So when you get a head cold, which is usually viral, if it lasts for several weeks, then you probably did get into a sinus infection. But the symptoms are somewhat the same. But most people just don’t get a sinus infection. They get it as a result of having a head cold or the flu or they have bad allergies.

Deborah Duncan: Because of plumbing issue basically?

Robert Palmer: Exactly. It’s just a ventilation problem.

Terri Alani: So what would you say because we get a lot of patients, first of all, if you have the flu, please do not come see the dentist.

Robert Palmer: Exactly.

Terri Alani: That’s all I can tell you.

Deborah Duncan: Or have a cold.

Terri Alani: But my question is you see so many people that have a head cold or whatever and they automatically decide they need to be on antibiotics. What’s the answer to that?

Deborah Duncan: That’s a big problem.

Robert Palmer: I discourage it. It should be a protractic problem and then you should be evaluated where you can tell if it is truly a bacterial infection. If you go on antibiotics for a viral infection, it’s not really gonna help you. And it has so many side effects.

Deborah Duncan: Yeah. And the CDC-

Robert Palmer: It can mess up your GI tract.

Deborah Duncan: Yeah. And the CDC will say one of the biggest issues they have is how many times people are over medicating with antibiotics and so when you really need those antibiotics to work, they’re not working.

Terri Alani: But does it usually go away on its own? Because I was very sick in January and I actually went to the doctor and they did put me on antibiotics because they thought I had a secondary sinus infection, but are you saying that sinus infection ultimately will just  go away without antibiotics?

Robert Palmer: In most cases. People get into chronic sinusitis, which is where they have changes that never go away or they have recurring acute episodes, which we classify as chronic sinusitis. But basically most people get a sinus infection, even if they didn’t go on antibiotics, will eventually get better. It may take a while. So I’m not opposed to antibiotics.

Once you find out and can feel safe that you’ve diagnosed a bacterial-

Deborah Duncan: Right. That it actually is an infection.

Terri Alani: And is it too late to get a flu shot?

Robert Palmer: No.

Terri Alani: Okay.

Deborah Duncan: Apparently it’s never too late to get a flu shot. Especially this year.

William Ross B.: And I wanna add to that too to be careful about over the counter cold medicines. Because they can interact with heart medicines and heart conditions.

Deborah Duncan: Yeah, yeah. ‘Cause that’s a big issue. A lot of times what we do is we grab the one that has all the symptoms on it and just say, “Okay. That one is probably the most effective.” And take that. And then if it’s not working 45 minutes later, we’ll take another one, right?

Robert Palmer: Well the problem with over the counter, they always put a decongestant with the antihistamine. And decongestants are essentially cardio vascular drugs. They increase your blood pressure and so on. And you can’t use those much longer than four to five days.

Deborah Duncan: Yeah. Which the important thing go ask the pharmacist. I think a lot of times people forget that the pharmacist actually knows what those interactions could be and they’re there to help you. Even with the over the counter stuff. Walk up and say, “Hey, look. These are my symptoms. Here’s what I’m taking otherwise. What should I do?”

Terri Alani: Pharmacists are very smart.

Deborah Duncan: Yeah. Exactly. All right. Up next. Could Botox stop teeth grinding? Botox is a miracle.

Terri Alani: Botox is awesome. We all love Botox, all the ladies out there, but absolutely-

Deborah Duncan: I just get it for teeth grinding.

Terri Alani: Absolutely yes. It’s safe and it’s effective. We do it in our office. What you try to do is you inject the Botox, it’s painless, into the two major muscles that clench when you grind. It’s your masator muscle and your temporals muscle. And so unlike a night guard, which actually just keeps you from grinding, the Botox actually addresses the problem. So yes, it works wonderfully.

Deborah Duncan: Can we get like a little right here?

Terri Alani: Absolutely.

Deborah Duncan: And a little right here too.

Terri Alani: Absolutely.

Deborah Duncan: You have some extra left over there. All right. It seems like everything causes cancer or heart disease. And so is there a cancer link with cell phones? There’s a study that tested cell phone radiation on rats and they found a very weak link between cell phones and cancer. So kind of reaffirming what I think we’ve heard before in certain things.

Terri Alani: Deborah, I think that you have a higher chance of having a car accident, talking on your cell phone, and texting, than you do getting cancer from a cell phone.

Deborah Duncan: Yeah, yeah. All right. And finally, I love this. This is another study that keeps coming up for every single ailment there is. Could two drinks a day help fight Alzheimer’s? And could drinks help fight heart disease? All those types of things.

William Ross B.: We do see a connection between alcohol and the prevention of heart disease. Of course in moderation. I think overall, we were talking about a general inflammatory stress on the body then alcohol has been shown to minimize that.

Deborah Duncan: Okay. It’s like two doses a day could increase the function of lymphatic system, which removes waste products from the brain. So drink up people, but I think it’s all in moderation, as you say.

William Ross B.: Moderation.

Deborah Duncan: Yeah, that’s the key right there. All right. Thank you all very much.

Removing Sinus Infections – Great Day Houston

great day houston sinus infections

Dr. Robert Palmer joins with Great Day Houston to talk about a procedure that removes sinus infections.


Video Transcript:

Speaker 1: Welcome back to Great Day. It is everyday life for so many people living in Houston. Wheezing, sneezing, stuffy nose and headaches. Dr. Robert Palmer from American sinus institute says you don’t have to live that way. His patient Sherri Lockstercamp is proof of that. Welcome.

Alright. We were talking during the commercial break, and you said, if you’re living in Texas, you have a higher chance of dealing with allergies, but Houston does it bigger and better than anybody.

Dr. Palmer: So true, much more than Dallas Fortworth.

Speaker 1: Give us that comparison.

Dr. Palmer: In Houston and Austin as well, an allergy count that’s bad is probably about 150 thousand. I live near Fortworth, and when it was 12, they thought it was bad.

Speaker 1: Oh, wow.

Dr. Palmer: So it’s quite a bit different.

Speaker 1: And you felt every bit of it, didn’t you?

Sherri: Oh yes. For many years.

Speaker 1: And so, for many years, what were you dealing with? I think sometimes, people, if they don’t suffer from this, they don’t understand how it definitely shuts you down.

Sherri: It does shut you down. Probably 20 plus years, I was dealing with just not being able to breathe. Literally, I couldn’t leave the house without my nasal spray, just to get me through the day. When I was flying, I would get these sinus pressure headaches, just awful.

Speaker 1: And then taking all the over the counter medications.

Sherri: Yeah, that’s true.

Speaker 1: How did you find out about this procedure we’re about to talk about?

Sherri: Well, I was watching your show and I saw it on the television, and I was like, this sounds like something that could really work for me. I want to do the … trying to see if this is right. So, I saw the doctor and he gave me just an initial exam, and he’s like, you’re a candidate.

Speaker 1: Right. Okay. What makes a candidate and what types of symptoms are we talking about? Some of the things that she mentioned.

Dr. Palmer: There’s a lot of different things that can cause problems, have sinus … but she’s the perfect candidate for what we do. You heard what she said, she couldn’t breathe, she couldn’t fly, she had pressure headaches. What she’s describing is a ventilation problem. She probably had sinus infections and didn’t even know about it, but that’s the point.

Speaker 1: As you said earlier, sometimes those sinus infections will clear themselves up, but you’re miserable during the process.

Dr. Palmer: Exactly. So, what we do, is we reestablish ventilation. That cuts down on the negative pressure, you don’t have the headaches, and then we shrink the mucosa in the nose so you can breathe. Because when your mucosa is swollen, your sinuses get blocked. It’s a ventilation drainage problem. We did the balloon sinuplasty on her and opened her nasal passage and she’s doing wonderfully.

Speaker 1: Now, there are a lot of folks who may have had a procedure several years ago, where they remove the tissue and the bone and all that type of stuff and it’s a much more aggressive surgery, so they’re thinking they might not want to do that. This is new technology, this is a new procedure.

Dr. Palmer: Exactly, it’s not surgery at all, it’s a procedure. It’s essentially just dilating the sinuses and not damaging them. That’s the point. You can’t damage the sinuses. They work by mucociliary flow, and when you go in surgically and cut things, you make that inefficient.

Speaker 1: It causes problems, but that’s not what you’re doing right here. You’re opening them up.

Dr. Palmer: No, we’re opening them up.

Speaker 1: So, once they’re opened up, is that for good?

Dr. Palmer: I hope so. Let’s put it this way, it should be. Now, if somebody has bad allergies, I can’t change their allergies with this procedure. I make people who have allergies live with them much better with this procedure.

Speaker 1: Because things are flowing now.

Dr. Palmer: But if they do get into that congestion again, it can easily be done again.

Speaker 1: Alright. So, you had the procedure done.

Sherri: I did.

Speaker 1: And, when did you first notice that-

Sherri: Within 12 hours.

Speaker 1: Really?

Sherri: Oh yeah, I had no swelling, I had no nothing, no bruising. I was able to just breathe immediately.

Speaker 1: How long did it take you before you weren’t searching for your nasal spray?

Sherri: Well, three days, maybe.

Speaker 1: It’s funny because people often times go, where’s my nasal … oh wait, I don’t need it anymore.

Sherri: Exactly. Now, my new normal is, I can breathe. I don’t have to be searching for the nasal spray. It’s just a normal … I was gonna say, you’ve heard that old adage if it’s too good to be true it probably is. In this case, it’s true. It’s so good and it’s true.

Speaker 1: You suffered all that time and didn’t have to. Alright. When someone … another important point she made, is that when she came in, you did an evaluation. People need to go to the right doctor, preferably you, right, to understand what the procedure is and what’s actually happening. We think about the nose as just being right here, the nose is really … all the stuff is connected.

Dr. Palmer: Exactly.

Speaker 1: Importance of going to the right doctor.

Dr. Palmer: Exactly. You need to go to somebody who has … understands the sinuses and also understands balloon sinuplasty. I did thousands of endoscopic sinus cases and got reasonable results, but what I found, the less I did, the better I got with that procedure. But that procedure still damages the sinuses. This procedure does not.

Speaker 1: So, again, when you ask the doctor, this is the procedure you want. Cause a lot of time, people say, we can fix it, or if it’s medications, but medications don’t get to the root of the problem, right. They just deal with the symptoms. And so, now, she can breathe again.

Sherri: I can.

Speaker 1: Doesn’t need her best friend anymore, that nasal spray.

Sherri: That’s right.

Speaker 1: Alright. Thank you very much. To make your appointment with the American Sinus Institute, call 713-Balloon. That works out to be 713 225 5666. For more information on … you can log onto AmericanSinus.com

 

New to Texas? Learn About Common Seasonal Texas Allergies

texas allergies flag

Texas continues to be a very popular destination among people from all walks of life. In fact, Texas has consistently held the record for the largest annual growth in population from 2010 to 2016, the last year for which official statistics are available. The state of Texas has been growing by approximately 211,000 people per year, according to the Census bureau. With so many transplants arriving in Texas every year from different regions, newcomers may not be used to the common Texas allergies that many locals are already accustomed to.

About Seasonal Texas Allergies

About 10% of the population of the United States suffers from allergies, and Texas is no exception. Major cities in Texas, including McAllen and San Antonio are among the worst in the country for people suffering from allergies.

  • Winter: In some locations in the U.S., allergies disappear during the frigid months of winter. But the opposite is the case in Texas, where winter is the worst season for allergens. The state is known for annual cases of cedar fever, which are allergies provoked by cedar trees, sometimes so strongly that victims think they have a case of the flu.

texas allergies cedar

  • Spring: Allergies tend to occur nationwide during the spring. The main cause of spring allergens is pollen from oak trees. To a lesser extent, other allergen-producing trees include cottonwood, elm, ash and pecan.

texas allergies oak

  • Summer: Allergy sufferers in Texas are typically reacting to grasses, including Bahia, Bermuda, Orchard, Sweet Vernal and Timothy. You will often encounter these grasses on the side of the road, lots and other abandoned areas.

texas allergies grass

  • Fall: Ragweed is a major allergen affecting Texas residents during fall. Temperate areas in Texas will often experience strong reactions to ragweed because the plants grow more freely, emitting as many as one billion pollen grains each season.

texas allergies ragweed

Coping With Allergy Season in Texas

When it’s allergy season in Texas, you’ll know soon enough, without needing to consult the news for the latest allergies forecast. There are steps you can take to minimize the effects of allergens, including:

  • Replace carpeting with floors in your home. It’s easier to sweep away allergens than to vacuum them up (vacuuming can spread more allergens)
  • Try over-the-counter allergy medication.
  • Use prescribed medication recommended by your physician.
  • Irrigate your nasal passages with a warm water solution from a neti pot.

Still Suffering From Allergies in Texas?

If standard over-the-counter allergy medications are not proving effective in combating your body’s reactions to common allergens in Texas, there’s no need for you to suffer. Many patients find it beneficial to treat their sinus issues stemming from allergies by undergoing a safe and minimally invasive procedure known as balloon sinuplasty.

This procedure is quite safe and has been approved by the FDA for treating patients in the United States. The surgeon inserts a balloon into the nasal cavity and then inflates it gently to reshape the passages, providing relief. To learn more about the balloon sinuplasty approach or to make an appointment with the American Sinus Institute, please get in touch with us today.

A Permanent Solution to Sinus Problems – Great Day Houston

sinus problems community show

Dr. Kevin Smith joins with Great Day Houston to talk about a more permanent solution to sinus problems.


Video Transcript:

Speaker 1: Welcome back to Great Day Medical Monday. Okay, so one medication dries you out too much, the other addresses the sneezing, but does nothing for the watery eyes, and the stuff that helps you to breathe through your nose, it says you should only use it for a few days at a time. If you’re tired of trying to medicate away your sinus problems, why not just fix it and forget about it? You’ll be in and out and breathing through that snout in no time. How about that?

Okay, joining us with a more permanent solution to sinus problems, welcome Dr. Kevin Smith with American Sinus Institute. Good morning.

Dr. Kevin Smith: Good morning.

Speaker 1: All right. That is what we do. We touched on that in the earlier segments, that we have a symptom, we want the symptom to go away, we don’t really look at what’s causing it. Temporary relief of over the counter medications, obviously fine?

Dr. Kevin Smith: That’s fine, but you want to get to the root cause of why you’re having all these symptoms. People in Houston suffer every day from sinus, allergies, stuffiness, inability to sleep, and so you need to find out what is the root cause of that and address it and move on with life.

Speaker 1: Yeah, okay. So I usually get hit one time a year with ragweed and that’s it. So over the counter medications in that case …

Dr. Kevin Smith: That’s fine, but we’re talking about the chronic problems where you’re chronically sniffing and snorting, coughing at work, you know, what have you, you’re not sleeping at night.

Speaker 1: You’re miserable.

Dr. Kevin Smith: Yeah, you’re just miserable.

Speaker 1: Okay. So that facial pressure, the headaches, the runny nose. How often would you say, if somebody’s dealing with all these symptoms that we see up there, what person should come in and say, “Okay, we need to look at another procedure?”

Dr. Kevin Smith: If you’re having sinus infections more than three times a year, you’re congested or can’t breathe more than 50% of the time, every morning, every night you’re congested, you have headaches that are chronic. It’s not normal to have a headache, first of all. So any headaches that are once a week, once a month even, that’s too many.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Now here’s the problem. A lot of times people will go to a doctor and list maybe some of their symptoms, and they’ll treat for the migraines, they’ll treat for the sleep apnea, they’ll treat for the gastric reflux, all these things, not realizing that it all kind of centers right here. And then, of course, there’s allergies and sinus issues, sometimes you get one or the other, or both [00:02:00] together.

Dr. Kevin Smith: That’s right. They can be a combination of both together, which is really horrible. You have the allergies, which cause the swelling in the nose, you can’t breathe, it blocks the sinus passages. The passages then get infected, then you have to get the antibiotic to get it treated. It’s just a vicious cycle that you’re going through.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Okay. So, we can take care of this once and for all in many cases.

Dr. Kevin Smith: We really can. The American Sinus Institute, what we do is we use the balloon sinuplasty, which is a very easy technique that we use to open up the sinuses naturally. We don’t take [00:02:30] out or remove any tissue, and we help you breathe better, feel better, gives you much more energy, and you’re back at work or back at school the next day after the procedure.

Speaker 1: So it literally, what just goes in there like a Roto-Rooter? What does it do?

Dr. Kevin Smith: Well, it’s like a little balloon. It’s a six by 16 millimeter balloon. The wire helps find the track, the balloon then slides over the wire, we blow it up then we take it out and move to the other side and do the other sinuses. It takes literally … I’ve done this, shortest 13 minutes …

Speaker 1: Wow.

Dr. Kevin Smith: … to get everything done and have you feeling better.

Speaker 1: Yeah, yeah. All right. So once that’s done, is it done for good or is it something you keep under maintenance?

Dr. Kevin Smith: Well about 90 … More than 90% of the balloon sinuplastys we do are permanent. There are occasions where you might get a little scar tissue, you may have to redo it, but it’s nothing really major. You come in, you get it done and you’re out.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Now what were people doing before? ‘Cause I know, I’ve had other friends who’ve dealt with this. I’ve said, “Just go get taken care of, there’s this procedure.” They’re like, “No, my mother had that years ago. I hated it, she hated it.” But it’s not the same thing.

Dr. Kevin Smith: It’s nothing like that. If you go on YouTube and look at sinus surgery, you’re gonna see all these horrific stories about using packing, taking out tissues, post-operative bleeding, those types of things. Well, with the balloon sinuplasty, we’re not removing any tissue. What we’re doing is just dilating up the normal passageways and allowing it to do what it’s supposed to do, drain the sinuses and help aerate the sinuses.

Speaker 1: Yeah. Now one reason why people may put something like this off is cost, but if you look at if you’re constantly using the decongestants, the anti-histamines, the nasal sprays, you’re spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on this.

Dr. Kevin Smith: You really are, and when you’re looking at people who are suffering on a yearly basis. I mean, you’re looking at nose sprays. Sometimes I even hate to tell people to take nose sprays, even if it’s temporary, they cost so much. So with the nose sprays, the decongestants, all those things, if you look at that annual expense, you could take that, pay us the co-pay, which is usually 25, 30 dollars, and maybe your out of pocket might be $1500 or so. And you get the balloon sinuplasty done and you’re on with life.

Speaker 1: And when you feel better, that’s priceless.

Dr. Kevin Smith: Oh, it is.

Speaker 1: All right. Dr. Smith, thank you very much. To schedule an appointment with American Sinus Institute, you can call 713 BALLOON. 713 BALLOON. That’s 713-225-5666. 713-225-5666. Or visit them online at AmericanSinus.com. You also deal with allergy issues and the whole bit, but the bottom line is if you keep suffering with this, go in, at least know where you stand and if this will work for you.

Dr. Kevin Smith: Exactly.

Speaker 1: All right. Thank you very much.

Dr. Kevin Smith: Thank you.

 

How You and Your Family Can Live With Pet Allergies

managing your pet allergies

You consider your pet to be a part of the family. Unfortunately, you’ve discovered that at least one member of your family is actually allergic to pets. Now you are trying to figure out how you can live with pet allergies, or more specifically, how to coexist with a pet despite the fact that it is causing unpleasant allergy symptoms.

People who suffer from allergies should know they’re not alone. About 3 out of 10 individuals have allergies to dogs or cats, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Allergies to cats occur about twice as often as allergies to dogs.

Symptoms of Pet Allergies

A range of symptoms can occur when you have an allergy to your animal companion, including:

  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Wheezing
  • Rash or hives on skin
  • Pain in the face (due to congested nasal passages)

Dog allergens are located in urine, saliva, dander and dog hair. Cat allergens can be found in the animal’s saliva, skin and fur. So, it’s no wonder that you will start to experience an allergic reaction just by petting your beloved dog or cat.

Managing Your Pet Allergies

To avoid unpleasant allergic reactions, there are things you can do to manage your pet allergies starting today.

Begin by installing an air filter for use with your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Take note of how often replaceable filters must be changed and mark the date on your calendar to avoid clogging the filter and causing your HVAC system to work harder than it should.

Give your dog or cat baths on a regular basis.

If your home has carpeting, consider removing it, since it’s easier to sweep floors clean of allergens than it would be to vacuum them away. You should also vacuum upholstery.

Start taking allergy symptom medication, available over the counter at your pharmacy. If conventional allergy medicine doesn’t work, you can visit your doctor for a prescription allergy medication.

Coping with pet allergens can be difficult, especially when symptoms seem to worsen even when you try using stronger medications and are vigilant about keeping the home clean and free of clutter.

Stop Suffering From Pet Allergy Sinus Problems

Sometimes allergies caused by exposure to pets do not respond well to standard allergy symptom methods of treatment, such as using medications (prescribed by a doctor or something milder available over the counter at the pharmacy) or inhaling steam.

If you have been experiencing nasal discomfort because of an allergic reaction to your pet, there is no need to choose between which gets to stay in the home and who must leave. Texas residents with sinus problems can now take advantage of balloon sinuplasty.

This procedure was granted approval by the FDA in 2005 and is available now at the American Sinus Institute. You can take advantage of balloon sinuplasty, which uses a balloon inserted into the nasal cavity to inflate and adjust the nasal passageway with no need for a surgeon’s knife. Please contact us for an appointment today.

The Six Weirdest Allergens on Earth

weirdest allergens featured image

When most of us suffer a bout of itching eyes and a runny nose, the allergy trigger is something common, such as pet dander or pollen. However, some people have unusual allergies that are triggered by the weirdest allergens. How many of these surprising allergens were you aware of?

1. Sunlight

We’re not talking about people whose sneeze reflex is triggered by bright light. “That is actually a common phenomenon called the “photic sneeze reflex” and it is not an actual allergy,” says Dr. Shah. People who are allergic to sunlight, on the other hand, have skin that is so sensitive to sun that even mild exposure to light can leave them with dangerous rashes. In severe cases, sufferers must remain indoors in dark rooms to avoid light.

weirdest allergens allergic to sun

2. Vibrations

This is another allergy caused not by a substance, but by movements. People who have vibratory angioedema can develop painful rashes when exposed to vibrations. The vibrations can be caused by a loudspeaker, a running motor or anything else that moves rapidly against the skin. Luckily, this is one of the least common allergies in the world.

3. Exercise

Many of us joke that we’re allergic to the treadmill. For around one in one thousand people, however, exercise-induced anaphylaxis is not a joke. Individuals who suffer from this unusual allergy can experience nausea, vomiting, hives or rashes in response to exercise.

one of weirdest allergens is exercising

4. Meat

Allergies to milk or eggs are not at all uncommon. What is far more unusual, however, is an allergy to the animals that these products come from. At least one man has been shown to have allergies to pork, beef and lamb, as shown through a skin prick test. After consuming these products, he experienced severe allergic reactions. His doctors, as a result, recommended that he eliminate all meat from his diet. Even more unusually, he was shown to tolerate far more common allergens such as milk, mites and cats.

5. Your own child

Pregnancy comes with many discomforts, particularly in the third trimester. One of the more unusual ones involves developing an allergy to the baby the mother is carrying. Women who have the rare condition pemphigoid gestitionis develop a blister and rashes across their bellies and upper torsos. Their babies may also be born with a similar rash if they also have the condition. The rash and blisters typically go away a few months after birth.

weirdest allergens allergic to baby

6. The cold

Here’s one reason to love Texas’s climate, at least for some: a few rare individuals are actually allergic to the cold. When they are exposed to cold temperatures, they will experience symptoms that include itching and swelling in their skin. In extreme cases, exposure to mild cold temperatures can result in collapse and death.

While you may not be susceptible to the weirdest allergens, there are still many things in the Texas environment that can lead to sinus problems and nasal allergies. Are seasonal allergies causing you misery? We can help! Get in touch with American Sinus for an appointment today.

The Best Over-the-Counter Treatment Options for Allergies

over-the-counter treatment

When you are coping with constant sneezing, headache, a runny nose, an itchy throat and other allergy or sinus symptoms, you want relief right away. While you may need a doctor’s care to get lasting relief, there are many over-the-counter treatment options that can at least temporarily ease allergy symptoms. If seasonal or indoor allergies have you suffering, look to the allergy and sinus treatment choices below:

If you hate feeling drowsy….

… try one of the non-drowsy antihistamines that are available. Consumer Reports rates Loratadine and Fexofenadine as the best picks for convenience, effectiveness, cost and safety. These are all available as generics. “Pick either a brand name or generic version in the formula you like best,” says Dr. Shah.
Many individuals take these medications once a day as a prophylactic measure against allergy symptoms. Most are effective for 24 hours. You can take one in the morning if you plan to go hiking after work or if you know that later in the day you’ll be exposed to indoor allergens like animal dander or dust.

drowsy over-the-counter treatment

If you are experiencing sinus pain…

… you can get relief from products that combine a decongestant with a pain reliever. There are a number of versions available with either Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. Some may also include the chest congestion reliever Guaifenesin. If you are taking any other cold or allergy medications, read your labels carefully. Many remedies combine several medications in a single pill. It can be easy to accidentally take too much of any one medication.

Many people also find relief from sinus pain by taking either an over-the-counter painkiller or decongestant on its own. If you decide to take decongestants alone for sinus pain and pressure, taking them early is key. They are most effective if you take your medication at the first sign of sinus pressure.

pain over-the-counter treatment

If you are looking for medication-free relief…

… consider buying a Neti pot or another nasal irrigation device. These can usually be purchased in the drug store in the same area you can buy over-the-counter drugs for sinus and allergy troubles. A Neti pot uses a saline solution to flush your nasal cavities and reduce the inflammation that can contribute to congestion. The salt in the saline solution draws fluid out of tissues, which can provide soothing relief.
If you choose a Neti pot, always follow instructions. Use distilled water in the solution to avoid the possibility of contaminants or irritants. In studies, people found relief by using a Neti pot daily at first, then going to a few days a week once their symptoms resolved.

nasal irrigation over-the-counter treatment

While these over-the-counter treatment options can provide relief for many people, it’s not optimal to be on allergy medications every day. In addition, some people will need medical care to permanently defeat their allergy and sinus problems. Balloon Sinuplasty and other therapies can help with underlying issues that contribute to allergy woes to help reduce or eliminate the need for medications.

Plagued with chronic sinus or allergy problems? American Sinus Institute can help. Call for an appointment today.

What Are the Most Common Allergies in America?

common allergies

About 50 million people in the U.S. have some sort of nasal allergies. In 2015, a little less than one in ten individuals had diagnosed hay fever. While there are a wide array of allergy symptoms, the triggers for these symptoms are typically very similar. If you are one of the many Americans who have allergies, chances are good that you have one of these common allergies:

Weeds and Pollen

Weeds, grasses and the pollen they produce are the most common reason for people to reach for common allergy remedies. Since these tend to be seasonal allergies, many people do not realize they are allergic and instead mistake their symptoms for a cold. “If you find you develop a ‘spring cold’ every year without fail, your symptoms are more likely to be hay fever caused by pollen exposure,” says Dr. Shah.
For most people, limiting exposure is the best way to reduce the chance of allergy attacks from weeds and pollen. Check the pollen count before making plans for outdoor activities. You are most likely to see high levels of pollen on windy days.

pollen common allergies

Mold

Mold spores are everywhere, just waiting for a chance to grow. When they find a spot that is suitably damp, they’ll show up with telltale musty smells and black, powdery staining. Many people with allergies react to mold.
Mold is often first apparent through smell. You may also see visual signs either in the form of stains or in damp spots on walls and ceilings. Any area of your home that is not sufficiently dry, with ample air movement, can develop mold. It is most common in bathrooms, under sinks and in basements. If you find mold in your home, airing out the area where it’s found can help keep it from growing back.

mold common allergies

Dust Mites

Dust mites are too tiny to see with the naked eye; each one measures only about one-third of a millimeter in length. However, these tiny pests can cause big problems for allergy sufferers. Most thrive in Texas’s humid climate and make their homes in bedding, stuffed animals, carpets and furniture. If you suspect you have dust mites in your home, special pillowcases and mattress covers can help reduce your exposure.

dust common allergies

Animal Dander

We all love our furry friends, but our noses may not like the bits of skin and saliva that they can leave behind. The most well-known allergies are those to dogs and cats, but rats, bunnies and even horses can cause allergy symptoms.

Banning pets from the bedroom and changing clothes after animal exposure can help curb your allergy symptoms. Bathing your pet regularly and washing their bedding and toys can also cut down on levels of dander in the home.

pet common allergies

While allergies are common, living with allergy symptoms is not inevitable. Many people are able to find an effective allergy treatment after working with the doctors at American Sinus Institute. We can help identify your allergy triggers and work together with you to choose the right treatment path to provide lasting relief. Get in touch for a consultation today.

10 Chronic Sinus Headache Symptoms

fever sinus headache

The symptoms of different kinds of headaches may overlap a lot, but the causes can be very different. If you’ve been having frequent pain in your head and face, you may be surprised to learn that the issue may be your sinuses. Figuring out the source of your pain can help you find lasting relief from your sinus headache.

What is a sinus headache?

Your sinuses are open structures inside your head that help humidify the air that you breathe and enhance your voice. These cavities are lined with soft, pink tissue that is known as mucosa. When inflammation or infection occurs in the mucosa, a sinus headache can result.

“Many people mistake sinus headache symptoms for migraines or even infected teeth,” says Dr. Shah. “Properly diagnosing the cause can help us find a lasting solution for you.”

Common Signs It’s Really a Sinus Headache

If you’ve been having repeated headaches, issues with your sinuses may be the cause. Look for these telltale signs that what you have is a sinus headache:

  1. Pain in your cheeks, forehead and brow
    A tension headache or migraine is typically felt around the back of your head. A sinus headache, by contrast, is felt mostly in the face.
  2. A stuffy nose
    Congestion is a frequent symptom of a sinus headache.
    stuffy nose sinus headache
  3. A runny nose
    If your sinus headache is associated with a bacterial or viral infection, a runny nose can result.
  4. Pain that gets worse when you bend down
    Bending adds pressure, which adds pain.
    pain sinus headache
  5. Aching in your upper teeth
    The lowest set of sinuses may be up against the roots of your upper teeth. If you know that you have healthy teeth, your sinuses are a more likely culprit for tooth pain.
  6. Fatigue
    Pain can put a lot of stress on your body. It may cause you to miss sleep or make you feel drained all on its own. Feelings of fatigue often result from sinus headaches.
    fatigue sinus headache
  7. Pain when you lie down
    Gravity can allow more pressure when you are in a lying position. You may find that pain is worse after lying down to sleep overnight. Try putting multiple pillows on the bed to elevate your head.
  8. Nausea
    If your headache is accompanied by postnasal drip, nausea can result. Taking a decongestant and being careful to spit out any mucus can help you avoid this symptom.
    nauseous sinus headache
  9. Swelling in your face
    The inflammation of sinusitis may be apparent in your face, particularly around your cheeks and your eyes. This swelling may become less severe when you take a decongestant or an anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen.
  10. Fever
    If the cause of your sinus headache is a chronic sinus infection, your body may fight it off with a fever. You may also see discolored mucus. Any high fever or a fever that lasts more than a few days is a reason to consult with a doctor.
    fever sinus headache

Could the pain you’ve been experiencing be chronic sinus headaches? Balloon sinuplasty can solve sinus problems for good. Call today to make an appointment for a consultation.

Don’t Fall for These Five Fake Allergy Remedies

allergy remedies featured

Allergy myths abound, especially at times of year that people are suffering from allergy symptoms. While most of the so-called allergy remedies are basically harmless, they may prevent you from seeking allergy treatment that could provide genuine, lasting relief. Tempted by an easy cure? Make sure it isn’t on the list below.

1. Eating honey will cure your allergies.

On its face, this myth seems to make sense. The principle of exposing a patient to tiny amounts of allergens is the basis of allergy shot treatments. And, bees collect pollen to make honey. However, the pollen that bees are collecting is rarely the pollen that causes hay fever symptoms. Most people react to pollen from trees or bushes. Since this is not the pollen that bees are using for honey, you are unlikely to see any health benefits to adding local honey to your diet.

honey allergy remedies

2. Drink apple cider vinegar for relief.

Many websites recommend drinking a tablespoon or so of apple cider vinegar to get allergy relief. While vinegar has dozens of culinary and household uses, it will not affect your allergy symptoms at all. This is true whether you are using a natural vinegar with the mother or conventional apple cider vinegar from the grocery store. There is no harm to drinking this apple cider vinegar tonic if you enjoy it, but any difference in your allergy symptoms is likely the placebo effect.

vinegar allergy remedies

3. Continued exposure to an animal you are allergic to will desensitize you.

While some people do become less sensitive to a particular allergen over time, the opposite effect is just as likely. Around one in three people who have allergies will react more strongly to a trigger over time and will require more treatment. The best way to avoid allergy symptoms is to avoid exposure to your trigger.

exposure allergy remedies

4. Chiropractic care can cure allergies.

There is research that shows that chiropractic care is good for back pain. However, no studies support the notion that chiropractic can cure any type of allergy. You are far better off seeking care from an allergy and sinus medical practitioner.

chiropractic allergy remedies

5. OTC remedies are just as effective as prescription.

Many people who suffer from periodic seasonal allergies do find relief with the use of over the counter medications. However, a far wider range of medications, often with fewer side effects, can be acquired with a prescription from your doctor. For instance, a nasal spray with a steroid can help you avoid sneezing and stuffy nose far more effectively than an OTC decongestant nasal spray. Additionally, the prescription spray is designed to be used daily and to give lasting relief. OTC sprays can cause a rebound effect when overused, and should not be used more than three days in a row. “We can recommend a treatment that has few side effects while providing the relief you need,” says Dr. Shah.

OTC allergy remedies

At American Sinus, we provide expert care and tested allergy remedies and other sinus issues. Tired of dealing with allergy symptoms? Get in touch. We’ll go over your symptoms and recommend the best treatment for lasting allergy relief.

How to Avoid Sinus Pressure When Traveling by Airplane  

comfortable-traveling-by-airplane-no-sinus-pressure

What could be worse than sitting next to a crying baby during your flight? If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having sinus pressure when traveling, you know how uncomfortable and even painful the experience can be. In fact, when travelers have severe symptoms, they sometimes postpone the trip until things clear up because it would be excruciating to fly in a pressurized cabin with severe congestion and swelling.

Whether your next airplane trip is for business or pleasure, here are a couple of methods you can use travel and breathe freely:

Things You Can Try at Home to Relieve Sinus Pressure When Traveling

A time-honored method to relieve sinus pressure is to drink a hot steaming bowl of soup, especially when the recipe comes from your grandmother’s kitchen. When soup is impractical, you can benefit from other hot liquids, such as a cup of herbal tea.

The rising steam from the cup and the warming liquid you drink help to stimulate the cilia in your mucus membranes to reduce congestion.

Some passengers find relief for their sinus problems by visiting an acupuncturist, an approach noted by a report from the U.S. government’s PubMed Health on treating chronic sinusitis.

Place a warm compress on your face. All you need to do is soak a towel in warm water, then squeeze out excess moisture and apply it to your face for about 5 minutes at a time.

Eat spicy food. This is a quick and easy way to unclog your painful sinus passages.

Just Prior to Boarding the Plane

Nasal decongestants, whether over-the-counter or prescribed by your physician can help reduce sinus issues while traveling by airplane, noted the Centers for Disease Control’s report on travelers’ health and air travel.

Of course, you must make sure that decongestants are not contraindicated when taking any other medications or herbal supplements. The CDC also pointed out that patients can resort to pain-relieving drugs as well as anti-inflammatory medications when sinus pain would otherwise be hard to bear.

Remember to drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids while in flight, as hydration is key for avoiding irritation to the nasal passages.

If you’ve tried various remedies at home and on the plane only to be frustrated because they didn’t solve your painful sinus pressure when traveling, you’ll be glad to know that balloon sinuplasty, a relatively new method that has been approved by the FDA since 2005, is another option to relieve these symptoms. Balloon sinuplasty, a procedure available at the American Sinus Institute, involves a medical professional placing a small balloon into your sinus cavity. The balloon is then inflated to gently adjust the structure of your nasal passages.

To learn more about balloon sinuplasty benefits about this procedure or to set up an appointment, please connect with American Sinus Institute before you plan your next trip.

What You Should Expect from an Allergy Skin Test

sneezing allergy test

Many people who have chronic sinus issues are actually suffering from nasal allergies. Identifying your allergies is a key part of finding lasting relief. When it’s likely that a nasal allergy is behind your symptoms, an allergy skin test can help us learn your triggers and create a treatment plan for you.

What Happens During Testing?

The most common test for identifying allergies is the skin prick test. This test allows us to test you for allergic reactions to up to 40 substances at a time. Typically, the test will include the most common nasal and food allergies, such as mold, pollen, dust mites and pet dander.

The test does not hurt. The allergens are put on tiny lancets that just barely penetrate the skin’s surface. This does not cause bleeding. At worst, there is usually some mild discomfort. On adults, the test is usually done on your forearm. Children are usually tested on the skin of their upper backs.

child allergy skin test

We start by cleaning the test site with alcohol and then drawing small marks on your skin and applying allergens. Then, the lancet is used to allow the allergens to penetrate the skin’s surface. We’ll also typically apply histamine and either glycerin or saline to ensure that the test works properly. Histamine will almost always cause a skin reaction and the inert materials almost never do. By seeing your reactions to these, we can be sure that the test works on you.

In most cases, we’ll be done with the allergy skin test in 20 to 40 minutes. We’ll monitor your reaction to the test to see which substances cause a reaction. In some cases, a reaction will be seen in minutes. In others, a delayed reaction may develop over a period of a few days. Small wheals on your skin will develop where we have applied substances that trigger your allergies, allowing us to determine what triggers your symptoms.

What Do We Do with What We Learn?

We will discuss the results of your test and what we’ve learned about your allergy triggers.  From there, we can develop a treatment plan that will help you find lasting allergy relief.

Treatment of allergy symptoms almost always starts with conservative measures. In some cases, reducing or eliminating your exposure to an allergen will be part of your treatment. “For someone with dust mite allergies, this may involve using anti-dust mite coverings on pillows and washing bedding more frequently,” says Dr. Shah. Our doctor may also prescribe antihistamines and decongestants to reduce allergy symptoms.

antibiotics allergy skin test

In some cases, balloon sinusplasty can be the key to relief. By allowing sinus passages to drain more effectively, we can help you avoid painful sinusitis and allow other treatments to work more effectively.

Are you plagued by nasal allergies? You don’t have to suffer! We can find the cause of your symptoms and create a treatment plan that will allow you to feel more like yourself. Get in touch today for a consultation.

Balloon Sinuplasty Solves Sinus Problems – SA Live KSAT

sinus problems relief

PA Katrina Zedan joins client Roland Navaira and his wife Alice on SA Live to talk about how resolving Roland’s sinus problems has changed his life.


Video Transcript:

Fiona: Welcome back to SA Live. Well, the cold front has moved in and brought those dreaded sinus diseases along with it. Joining me today is Katrina Ze- Zedan with the American Sinus Institute. Thank you so much for being here. What are some of the signs and symptoms of having sinus problems?

Katrina Zedan: Sinus pain, sinus pressure, frequent sinus infections. When medications fail to work …

Fiona: Yes.

Katrina Zedan: … patients end up in our office.

Fiona: (laughs) Because sometimes they don’t always work. You’re like …

Katrina Zedan: That’s right.

Fiona: “Oh, my goodness. I can’t take it anymore.” How is American Sinus helping those sinus problems to the curb?

Katrina Zedan: We do an evaluation on the patient. We do a CT scan, we fully examine them, and we look at to see if balloon sinuplasty would be the, the, the way to go.

Fiona: So what kind of results are people going to see after this procedure.

Katrina Zedan: Well, it’s great because we have patients here to tell us exactly how they feel. The great thing is is there are symptoms that people don’t associate with sinuses, like the trouble sleeping, the snoring that people get, or the headaches. People think it’s migraines, and they end up being sinus headaches, so we’re going to see wha-

Fiona: Yeah, you mentioned we have patients here today.

Katrina Zedan: Yes, exactly.

Fiona: And Mike is standing by with both of them.

Mike: Roland and Alice Navaira. By the way, married 52 years.

Alice: Yes.

Mike: That is absolutely wonderful. You were just a child, weren’t you? So, anyway, back to the topic at hand, you had the, the operation, the surgery, Roland, right?

Roland: I, I did.

Mike: What was it like before you had it?

Roland: Well, before I had a lot of congestion.

Mike: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Roland: Uh, a lot of sinus headaches, pressure …

Mike: Okay.

Roland: I snore like a bear at night.

Alice: That he did.

Mike: That he- Okay. No getting away from that one, is he? So …

Roland: No, I didn’t.

Mike: Okay, so …

Roland: And I probably won’t.

Mike: Now, after you had it and they took out all the packing and everything like that, did- was it an immediate just …

Roland: Oh, I could feel the difference immediately.

Mike: Okay.

Roland: I mean, um, I was breathing a lot easier, I no longer had the sinus pressure, I no longer had the headaches, or I- nil- I- I’m not- um, any longer had to get up in the morning and rush to the bedroom to blow my nose. That was …

Mike: Okay.

Roland: That was-

Mike: How did it change your life?

Alice: I could sleep better because I didn’t have to nudge him all night long because he was snoring. And I noticed that instantly. You know, I said, you know, a day later, I said, “You know what? I didn’t hear you snore today.”

Mike: And so, one of the other benefits, I would assume, because you slept better, you’re more rested and you said he- in a better mood basically, so …

Roland: Oh yeah.

Alice: Exactly, exactly.

Mike: Okay.

Alice: I could tell. In the morning the first thing he would do, run to the bathroom, blow his nose …

Mike: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Alice: And then, all day long, you know, I could tell in his facial expressions that he just wasn’t feeling good. You know?

Mike: Okay.

Roland: It’s funny. I’m laughing because of the fact that she used to tell me in the morning when I wa- she heard me blow my nose, she says, “You’re going to blow your brains out.” (laughter)

Alice: Yes. He would. He doesn’t do that.

Roland: I feel something stuck in there, you know, so I got to get it out.

Mike: How- How did you- How long ago did you have the procedure?

Roland: I had mine back in January, I believe.

Mike: Okay. And then ever since then, it’s just been fantastic, right?

Roland: Oh. No more headaches.

Mike: And about how long was the recovery period?

Roland: For me was like about two or three weeks.

Mike: Okay.

Roland: But it was- I’m pretty good at [crosstalk 03:04].

Mike: And you’re, you’re a new person, basically, right?

Roland: Oh, yeah.

Mike: Okay. Are those results typical, Doctor?

Katrina Zedan: They are typical. Uh, we have many patients that think, like I said, they have migraines and they end up being sinus headaches. We have patients that are breathing better now.

Roland: Oh yeah.

Katrina Zedan: And like you said, when they’re sleeping better, you know, they wake up with more energy and they’re not so irritated or fatigued right, throughout the day.

Roland: Exactly.

Katrina Zedan: So it makes a big difference. But the big thing is the sinus pain, the pressure, and the infections that patients get, they no longer get. So again, when medicine fails to work, come see us. We’d be happy to, to help you live a lot better …

Roland: Oh, yeah.

Katrina Zedan: … than you are now. (chuckles)

Fiona: Roland, what would you tell to viewers who might be unsure or scared to make that appointment?

Roland: There’s nothing to be scared of. I mean, you know, just, if you’re having sinus problems, make the call. I did. I mean, and I’m glad I did, because, uh, I’ve- I’ve- I breath a lot easier now.

Fiona: And she’s so happy. (laughter)

Mike: And you’re …

Roland: Oh yeah. And a happy wife is a happy life. You know, like just what they say, so … (laughter)

Crowd: (cheers)

Mike: Another 52 years, so it’s worth it. So …

Roland: Yeah. All set for ten more.

Mike: Thank you both for being here.

Fiona: All right, Roland, thank you so much for telling your story. You too, thank you. For more information you can call 225-5666, that’s 225-5666. Or head to americansinus.com. All right, coming up-

Dealing with Allergies in the Workplace

sneezing allergies

The seasonal allergies caused by pollen typically cause symptoms such as sneezing, watery eyes and a scratchy throat. These symptoms not only make you feel miserable but having allergies in the workplace can kill your productivity at the office. Staying at home and taking medication during allergy season might be an effective method of handling a severe allergy, but it’s not always an option if you need to earn a living. The best strategies for dealing with allergies at work generally consist of minimizing your exposure to allergens.

Allergies in the Workplace

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that 50 million people in the United States have significant allergies to pollen. Allergy season generally corresponds to the time of year when most flowers and trees release their pollen. This period generally depends on your latitude, which determines the length and duration of spring. For most parts of the continental United States, allergic reactions are generally most common during late March, April and early May.

pollen allergies

However, this isn’t the only time of year that you can be affected these symptom, since it really depends on what your allergens are. While allergens are often some type of pollen, they also include other sources such as pets, mold and dust mites. Pets can cause allergies throughout the year, although the symptoms are likely to be most severe when they shed in the spring. Allergies to mold and dust mites depend more on environmental conditions that favor the growth of these organisms.

Effect on Productivity

Allergic symptoms generally reduce worker productivity in two ways. First, they interrupt your work when you have to constantly perform other activities such as blowing your nose or pumping nasal spray. Second, these symptoms can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, which impairs your ability to perform mentally challenging tasks at work. In addition, oral antihistamines can offer allergy help, but they can also make you feel drowsy. The combination of these factors often causes your productivity to take a nosedive.

tired worker allergies

Many studies show the effect of allergies on worker productivity. For example, a 2014 study published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology shows that allergies cost business in the United States about $250 million per year. A 2001 study in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine also estimated that the use of antihistamines could result in a 25 percent reduction in productivity for two weeks each year.

Allergy Strategies

Strategies for avoiding your exposure to allergens primarily depend on the type of allergen. Use a portable filter to help remove pollen from the air. Ask your office manager to install high-efficiency filters in the air system and remove the carpet from your cubicle. Change your clothes every day and eat inside, especially on days when the pollen count is high.

eating inside allergies

We Can Help

Schedule an appointment with American Sinus Institute today to find out how we can help you with your allergies and sinusitis. We specialize in balloon sinuplasty, which involves inserting a tiny balloon into the sinus opening and inflating it to restructure the sinus cavity. Balloon sinuplasty received FDA clearance in 2005, and over 150,000 patients have had this procedure.

Suffering From Sinus Issues? A Neti Pot Can Provide Relief

sinus problem neti pot

Many people are interested in health solutions that do not rely on prescription or over-the-counter medications to bring them relief. If you are suffering from sinus infection with allergy symptoms and would like to try a natural solution, you may be interested in using a Neti pot.

What Is a Neti Pot?

Developed by Ayurvedic medicine practioners in India, a Neti pot is typically made from ceramic or plastic and comes in the shape of a small pot you would use to serve tea. The term “Neti” in Sanskrit refers to “nasal cleansing,” according to a report from Dr. Axe.

Net Pot relief

How to Use a Neti Pot Correctly

If you’re new to this form of sinus relief, chances are you are wondering how to use a Neti pot correctly.

Fill the pot with a cup of purified, sterile water and stir in Neti pot solution powder. You can buy premixed packets at the store or make your own with a half-teaspoon of non-iodized salt and a pinch of baking soda.

Then lean your body forward while standing over a kitchen or bathroom sink and tilt your head to the side. Position the spout of the Neti pot inside the nostril that is closer to the room’s ceiling.

Relax and breathe through your mouth as you pour the water into your nostril. Water will begin pouring out of the other nostril into the sink as you irrigate your nasal passages. After pouring half of the water into one nostril, shift to the other nostril.

Pure Water Is Essential for Healthy Use of a Neti Pot

Keep in mind the source of water before you put it in your Neti pot to relieve sinus symptoms. If the water coming from your tap contains bacteria, the disease-carrying microbes can lead to a dangerous or even fatal infection when poured directly into your sinuses.

Sterile water is required. You can use distilled water purchased from a store or water that has been filtered for disease-carrying organisms.Pure water neti pot

If using tap water, you must boil it and then let it cool to a comfortable temperature before you pour it into your nasal passages.

You must always clean the Neti pot in between uses and let it dry in the air or with towels. If you purchase a dishwasher-safe Neti pot, then use your washer to keep it sterile.

You wouldn’t share your toothbrush with someone because of hygiene, and this applies to Neti pots too. Each person in your home should have his or her own Neti pot.

Need More Help?

While it would be great if using a Neti pot would take care of all your painful sinus issues, in some cases this form of treatment can be insufficient. You can find relief by undergoing a safe and gentle known as balloon sinuplasty.

Doctors have been using balloon sinuplasty in the United States since 2005 after the procedure gained approval from the Food and Drug Administration. It’s a minimally invasive method in which a doctor places a balloon into your sinus cavity. Then, the balloon inflates to change the structure of the cavity without the need of a surgeon’s knife.

If you would like to learn more about how balloon sinuplasty can improve your painful sinus condition or are ready to book an appointment for a consultation, connect with the American Sinus Institute today.

Using Foods to Fight Fall Allergies – KPRC Click2Houston

Foods to fight fall allergies

Dr. Anand Shah talks to the KPRC Click2Houston team about how you can fight back against your fall allergies with different kinds of food.


Video Transcript:

Speaker 1: This is the itchy eyes and that scratchy throat. Yeah, fall allergies are leaving us pretty miserable. But, there are ways to relieve symptoms without heading to your medicine cabinet.

Speaker 2: Go to the kitchen instead, change your diet here. Health department reporter Hailey Hernandez talking about some foods that might be able to help out.

Hailey H.: Right, food for thought.

Speaker 2: There you go.

Hailey H.: Produce could help serve the purpose of relieving some allergy symptoms. And, one doctor says that this year we need help everywhere we can get it. Mold, pollen, and ragweed, here to stay indefinitely.

Dr. Shah: It’s gonna be pretty severe this year here in Texas because of a lot of the things that have happened with all the rainfall and water. Definitely eat your vegetables.

Hailey H.: That’s right. For all the fall sniffling, sneezing, and itchiness, doctor Shaw from the American Sinus Institute says to eat vegetables. With antiinflammatory elements in vitamin C, he recommends veggies like broccoli and celery.

Dr. Shah: The thought process is vitamin C, which is found in many plant-based foods, broccoli for example, may have an antihistamine effect, which is beneficial. And then, vitamin A, found in carrots for example, can just directly enhance the immune system.

Hailey H.:  In addition to carrots, onions and garlic can help in a similar way.

Dr. Shah: Onions and garlic are also thought to enhance the immune system. Not quite through that mechanism, but they’re also beneficial.

Hailey H.: They have another immune fighting property, Corcidin, which Dr. Shaw says also helps with inflammation. And, vitamin A foods are thought to improve allergies since some studies show people with low vitamin A are more likely to have asthma and allergies. This season, you can eat pumpkin to get lots of vitamin A. Yeah, you see how nature gives the foods during the seasons that we need them most? Don’t forget that if you boil any of those vegetables, then you still have some of the vitamins and nutrients in the water. You can use that to make soup. As a matter of fact, I’m putting an anti allergy soup on click2houston.com right now under the health section. I also put a video on my Facebook of me making it.

Speaker 2: Oh, so you’re doing recipe now Hailey? How about it?

Hailey H.:  I’m a terrible cook.

Speaker 1: I thought you said you were bringing in soup.

Hailey H.:  I don’t know if you…

Speaker 1: I don’t need a recipe.

Hailey H.:  Every time I bring you guys health foods, you all tell me how terrible it is.

Speaker 1: That is true.

Speaker 2: Fair point.

Speaker 1: It’s definitely terrible.

Hailey H.:  And, this one, I forgot an ingredient, so I’m not gonna torture you with that.

Speaker 2: Alright, so followup question. Foods we should avoid?

Hailey H.: Right. So, there are some foods that you should avoid. A lot of foods that are associated with ragweed, so if you have an allergy to ragweed, bananas, melons, cucumbers, zucchini, chamomile, and hibiscus tea.

Speaker 2: Whoa.

Hailey H.:  It’s so interesting-

Speaker 1:  Really?

Hailey H.:  … because every time I drink hibiscus tea, it feels like my sinuses are just closing in on me. I hate it.

Speaker 1:  Interesting.

Hailey H.: And, I have an allergy to ragweed. So now, I’m putting the two together. Pretty interesting.

Speaker 2:  That’s why I stopped eating bananas, I think. Subconsciously, maybe. Because of the ragweed and the banana thing.

Hailey H.:  That’s it?

Speaker 1: That’s so interesting.

Hailey H.:  Really?

Speaker 2: No, seriously. Because, I don’t know why, I just stopped because I think in the winter it was too much.

Speaker 1: Who knew?

Hailey H.:  Yeah.

Speaker 2: That makes sense now.

Hailey H.: It just kinda leaves you funny feeling? That’s what hibiscus tea does to me. I don’t like it.

Speaker 1:  Alright.

Speaker 2: Yeah.

Speaker 1:  Thank you.

Hailey H.: Thanks guys.

Speaker 1:  Good information. Wow.

Speaker 2:  Really.

Speaker 1: All right, who can forget this little mama?

Speaker 2: This is so good.

4 Natural Remedies for Sinus Pain

Have you been experiencing sinus pain for a while now, with no obvious sign of relief available? Many patients pursue natural remedies for sinus pain because they wish to avoid undergoing a complicated and invasive surgical procedure. When over-the-counter or prescription drugs will not take care of the problem, individuals will often be motivated to find a gentler solution. With that in mind, here are four all natural remedies for you to consider

Steam

The industrial revolution exploded because of the innovative use of steam to power engines, from factories to trains that transported new manufactured goods to a growing nation of consumers. Steam also happens to be a time-honored natural remedy for sinus pain.

You can use a humidifier to produce clouds of steam to soothe your painful condition. Keep in mind that you should fill the humidifier’s reservoir only with distilled water (minerals suspended in ordinary tap water would start building up inside the humidifier, reducing its effectiveness over time if not cleaned).

For patients who aren’t yet ready to buy a humidifier, you can close the door to your bathroom and let the hot water run to fill the room with steam. Once you see how well it can produce results, you may wind up getting an actual humidifier. This gives you the benefit of running it all night long in your bedroom while you sleep.

Essential Oils

Many people swear by essential oils in their fight against nasal congestion and sinus pain. A range of oils can provide relief.

For example, menthol is prized for clearing up sinus cavities. Patients turn to peppermint, which is another strong oil used for clearing blockages. Oil of cloves helps with sinus congestion too, while others prefer eucalyptus oil to reduce inflammation.

Neti Pot

A Neti pot is an excellent option when you’re focused on natural remedies for sinus pain. All you do is fill the Neti pot with warm water that contains dissolved salt and baking soda (or a prepackaged mix that you can purchase in small, single-serve packets at your local pharmacy).

To avoid making a mess, stand over a sink or in the shower when you irrigate your nasal passages. You start by inserting the Neti pot’s spout into one nostril, to pour the soothing solution into your nasal passages. The water will come out of your other nostril. Then, repeat the procedure by switching nostrils.

Warm Washcloths

The sinus pain you’re experiencing may go away thanks to the simple application of warm washcloths.

Soak a washcloth in warm water from the tap and then apply it to your face periodically throughout the day. Moist heat and residual vapors tend to help open the nasal passages to relieve discomfort.

In cases where natural remedies don’t bring the required nasal relief, many people who are in search of a minimally invasive procedure to address their sinus pain have found that balloon sinuplasty is an ideal option.

An FDA-approved procedure since 2005, balloon sinuplasty has provided relief to more than 150,000 patients so far, and you might be eligible to join this group too. It involves inserting a balloon in the sinus cavity and inflating it to actually restructure the cavity.

To learn more about treating sinus problems with balloon sinuplasty or to make an appointment for a consultation, please get in touch with the American Sinus Institute today.

Discover: Post Nasal Drip Relief

post nasal drip relief

Many allergy sufferers rate post nasal drip as their most irritating symptom. It can show up during even mild allergy attacks. If you are out in public, it can mean hours of discreet nose blowing or choking down the urge to cough and clear your throat. Post nasal drip often seems to hit at the most inopportune times. Learning more about this symptom can help you find post nasal drip relief.

What are the symptoms of post nasal drip?

While post nasal drip is, itself, a symptom of a sinus or respiratory problem, it can cause a number of secondary symptoms to appear. Coughing is common as mucus drips from your nasal cavity and sinuses down into your throat. A sore throat is common because of the irritation that this causes. Many people will develop bad breath. You may also suffer nausea from the swallowed mucus.

Post nasal drip is quite often also accompanied by a feeling of congest or a runny or stuffy nose. If symptoms are severe or frequent enough for concern, come in for a consultation.

What causes post nasal drip?

Your body produces quantities of nasal mucus every day. If you are having an allergy attack or are suffering from a cold, increased mucus production is designed to flush out irritants or viral or bacterial invaders. However, if these maladies are also causing congestion, mucus has nowhere to go but back into your head where it drips down into your throat.

While commonly a symptom of allergies, post nasal drip can also have other causes, too. As mentioned, some people experience it when they are suffering from a cold or the flu. Doctor Shah elaborates that, in other cases, post nasal drip can be a result of gastric reflux. He says, “reflux allows stomach acids to irritate the mucus membrane at the back of your throat. Dairy products can cause congestion in some individuals, resulting in symptoms when milk, cheese, yogurt or other dairy products are consumed.”

How long does post nasal drip last?

In most cases, this symptom is temporary. People who have allergies, for instance, may find that it abates after they’ve taken an antihistamine or have found a respite from their allergy triggers. If it’s the result of a cold, flu or a sinus infection, it will often go away when you begin healing.

However, if you have not yet identified the cause of your post nasal drip, you may find that they are persistent. They may linger for days on end and make it hard to get adequate sleep each night.

What can you do about post nasal drip?

Often, taking a decongestant can get mucus flowing again and allow your body to flush it properly. Medication that relieves underlying causes like GERD can also give you relief. In other cases, chronic sinusitis, however, may require a greater degree of treatment than you can get at home.

We believe you can have post nasal drip relief. Get in touch today to learn how we can make post nasal drip a thing of the past.

Finding Fall Allergy Symptoms Relief

Fall allergy symptoms

Just at the time of year that allergy sufferers in most areas are getting some relief, San Antonians and Houstonites are seeing fall allergy symptoms pop up. If you find that you are always kind of sneezy and itchy at this time of year, fall allergy can be to blame.

What are some fall allergy symptoms?

Many people mistake fall allergy symptoms for the symptoms of a fall or early winter cold. Dr. Shah states that “while there is a large overlap in symptoms, allergies have a few that distinguish them.” The symptoms you are most likely to suffer from if you are experiencing fall allergies:

  • a runny nose with thin, clear discharge
  • sneezing
  • itchy nose and eyes
  • an itchy, irritated throat
  • congestion
  • watery eyes

If you have a fever or if you have thick green or brown mucus, you may be suffering from a sinus infection instead. Additionally, you can often tell if you are suffering from allergies because you’ll experience symptoms only after exposure to your triggers or only during a specific time of year.

What is causing your fall nasal allergies?

In most parts of the country, ragweed is the number one allergen. This blooms in the spring and releases pollen that causes irritation. “Hay fever” is, in fact, a misnomer; most people who have it are reacting to other plants that grow alongside grasses and hay.

In Texas, the most common allergen is mountain cedar. This tree is unlike others and blooms in late fall and winter. Heavy rains in September can often be a predictor of high pollen counts later on. With the wet season we’ve had, it is likely to be a high pollen year.

Mountain cedar is most common in the Hill Country near San Antonio. When the trees turn red with pollen, it’s a sign that the city will soon be full of this common allergen. Houstonians are not safe, either; winds can blow pollen down into Houston and cause residents there to suffer allergy symptoms.

Many people also find that this time of year brings other irritants that can cause allergy symptoms. Fall means bonfires for many people, and the resulting smoke can irritate your eyes and nose.

Wet weather can also make it easy for mold to grow and release spores. A number of allergy sufferers experience mold allergies, making rainy weather a common precursor to severe allergy symptoms.

How to find relief

Many allergy sufferers find that their symptoms are better when they avoid their allergy triggers. If pollen is one of yours, avoiding outdoor activities may be a short-term answer. Allergy medications that range from over the counter antihistamines to more sophisticated nasal steroids can help. Having treatments that include balloon sinuplasty can open up airways and provide lasting relief that reduces your reliance on allergy medication.

Also, check out the 5 tips for San Antonio allergy sufferers from CultureMap San Antonio.

Come in for a consultation at American Sinus for balloon sinuplasty. This can help alleviate your worst allergy symptoms and let you get back to your normal life. You can give us a call at 210-BALLOON or request an appointment online.

 

Allergies Can Cause Recurrent Sinus Infections

Dr. Robert Palmer from American Sinus Institute stopped by Houston Live to discuss how allergies can cause recurrent sinus infections and who can benefit from the balloon sinuplasty procedure.


Video Transcript:

Sharron Melton: All right, we got a live look at Galveston. It’s the pyramids in Galveston it looks like overcast and we are getting rain all day long, probably

Derrick Shore: Certainly will. So, you know part of living in our great city of Houston is that allergy season can be brutal.

Sharron Melton: Did you say great for living is allergies?

Derrick Shore: Nobody warned about this before I moved here.

Sharron Melton: Sorry.

Derrick Shore: The sinus pressure, the difficulty breathing…

Sharron Melton: Me

Derrick Shore: Me too.

Sharron Melton: We all deal with it and now with flu season in full swing, that can make things even worse. So what do you do, and how do you handle all this; especially when it comes to your symptoms? Joining us now, with more of those answers is Dr. Robert Palmer with American Sinus Institute. Hi! Dr. Palmer. Thank you so much for joining us. Because, especially as a sinus sufferer myself, I really have questions for you. Now tell me first of all, a lot of people are dealing with their sinuses and probably not even tackling them right now because of Harvey and all of that. But what should people be doing now to prepare themselves for this season, that is going to be a long one for a lot of people?

Dr. Robert Palmer: Well most people are having an extra whammy because of what happened. And the allergen count is high, there’s bacteria counts that are higher and there’s the moles, but in any event, this time is gonna be tough because they’re trying to take care of their priorities at home…

Derrick Shore: Yeah!

Dr. Robert Palmer: but they probably should use some saltwater solutions and some over-the-counter medication for allergies which will help them out.

Derrick Shore: So, the saltwater solution sort of flushes out some of those contaminants?

Dr. Robert Palmer: Exactly.  It’s particular, it’s not an allergen per say, like you know, molds and your trees and pollen. These are actually particulates, you know, from sawdust, from sheetrock. Gets into your sinuses. It becomes an irritant, can cause recurring infections.

Dr. Robert Palmer: So, this is like a one-two punch, by the way, for the people who have been tearing stuff out of their homes. We’re dealing with all of the dust and everything. One thing that we’ve talked about before, is when people are experiencing these symptoms, a tricky, tricky part, is figuring out the cause of those symptoms.

Sharron Melton: All the time.

Derrick Shore: So, can you explain how you guys were able to diagnose and treat the problem?

Dr. Robert Palmer: Exactly. I mean the symptoms are the same with allergies and an infection. The infection may be more intense. It’s essentially the sinuses get blocked, they can get blocked from allergies, they can get blocked from particulate matter, and they can get blocked from upper respiratory tract infection which is viral.

Derrick Shore: and that can lead to facial pressure?

Dr. Robert Palmer: That leads to pain, the drainage and essentially will eventually become a sinus infection. And people who have that recurring, greater than three or four times a year, fall under the category that they need to have a procedure that will reestablish ventilation and that’s what we do at the Sinus Institute.

Sharron Melton: I know one thing I’ve always been taught is, okay this is probably gonna be gross, but to look at, when you sneeze, of course your mucus, and the color of the mucus to determine, you know if it’s just an allergy, if it’s just regular sinus or something more than that. Does that still help and hold true?

Dr. Robert Palmer: Yeah! It does. I mean, you can have particulate matter that can cause the mucus to change, but most of time it’s a discoloration with the facial pain that suggests that you have a sinus infection and you will need antibiotics…

Sharron Melton: mm-hmm

Dr. Robert Palmer: you just have allergies and the mucus is clear but you still have pain, you don’t need antibiotics for that you need some type of topical spray, antihistamines, decongestants to help you breathe and help you ventilate.

Sharron Melton: So what happens, though, if you are on medication but the medication isn’t working anymore? What should you do next?

Dr. Robert Palmer: You need to come and see the American Sinus Institute. That means that you’re not ventilating or you’re not draining. Okay, you have to drain. The sinuses are active. They’re always producing mucus. If they get blocked and retain fluid, the fluid is nothing more than protein and sugar and guess what likes protein and sugar, besides us?

Sharron Melton: Bacteria, yeah!

Dr. Robert Palmer: If it stays in there and nasal passages are blocked that bacteria gets into the sinus and you end up with the sinusitis.

Derrick Shore: Oh interesting! That makes total sense. So, listen you mentioned the procedure opening up these passageways, can you describe to us exactly how it’s done, it’s a balloon sinuplasty?

Dr. Robert Palmer: Yes, exactly. The reason it’s such a wonderful procedure, we’re not damaging the sinuses. In the past, we would go in and remove tissue; that’s not good. Sinuses do not like to have their tissue removed. What they want to have is an opening that will ventilate so the fluid can get out.

Derrick Shore: Can drain out and that’s what we’re seeing right now.

Dr. Robert Palmer: Exactly, and if you go in and scar the mucosa, then it can’t move because it works on a mucociliary flow, it’s like a moving carpet and if that mucus that’s in the sinus, that’s been blocked and retained, its that opening that you scarred, where does it go? It falls back into the sinuses. Now you’re into recurring infection…

Sharron Melton: Right!

Dr. Robert Palmer: with the balloon sinuplasty we don’t do any damage to the sinuses. We just re-established ventilation.

Sharron Melton: How long does this procedure take?

Dr. Robert Palmer: 15 to 20 minutes, sometimes 45.

Sharron Melton: And do you have to go back, and is it a reoccurring surgery you have to have, or what happens?

Dr. Robert Palmer: We hope not. I’ve done some people over again, you know nothing’s perfect, but compared to endoscopic sinus surgery, we get about an 80 to 90% success rate. Whereas, when we were doing endoscopic sinus surgery, I did three thousand of in my career, I was happy if I got a 50% success rate. We were doing too much, less is better. Very important.

Derrick Shore: But also, American Sinus Institute, you guys do the most procedures, I understand in Texas?

Dr. Robert Palmer: Yes, between the three offices, exactly.

Derrick Shore: And for most of your patients, are they immediately getting relief? I mean can they, how long until they can go back to work or until they’re feeling like they can breathe again?

Dr. Robert Palmer: If they don’t have a job that requires heavy lifting, they can go back the next day…

Sharron Melton: Oh! really!?

Dr. Robert Palmer: getting relief within the first 72 hours. I see them at two weeks and when they come in at two weeks most patients are very happy. Already they don’t have the headaches, they don’t have the blockage, they can breathe and they feel a hundred percent better.

Sharron Melton: Oh! that’s fantastic. Anytime you can breathe is a good thing, yes all right.

Derrick Shore: Almost out of time, by the way, about 30 seconds left. Any advice you have for all of us as we are moving into the lovely flu season?

Dr. Robert Palmer: I mean, let me explain. We don’t operate because you have an upper respiratory tract infection, that’s just the cause. You’re gonna have to go through that like anybody else. You get a virus, it’s gonna go away. You need to treat yourself with decongestants and get through that period. If however, after the flu resolves and you’re still having facial pain, then you come and see us for that. That’s the idea. That’s the thing I wanted to explain, it’s very important. We talk about allergies, we talk about upper respiratory tract infections, we talk about sinusitis. The most important thing is that, if you just have allergies, and you think you may not benefit from this, allergies can cause recurrent sinus infections okay? It’s an inflammatory reaction to an allergen. It’s not an infection of itself, but if it blocks your sinuses then you’re susceptible to the recurring infections, so people who normally never would have had endoscopic sinus surgery can benefit from the balloon sinuplasty.

Sharron Melton: All right, Dr. Palmer thank you so much. We really appreciate your time and also for more information on this procedure and ways to improve your own sinus health contact American Sinus Institute at 713-BALLOON which is 713-225-5666 or make sure you check out their website americansinus.com

Ad:

I came to American Sinus Institute, well one, because my husband said that I snored really, really loud, but then I noticed that I also sniffed a lot. I work in an environment where there’s lots of trees and pollen. After my balloon sinuplasty at American Sinus Institute, I feel like I could breathe again. You don’t realize that something isn’t quite right until it’s right again.  I don’t feel congested or stuffy or even like I have a sinus headache. Schedule your appointment today.  American Sinus Institute.

Black Mold Risks Are Rising in Houston

Black Mold Risks Are Rising in Houston

Houston’s high humidity levels make for a constant battle against mold and mildew. If you have a mold allergy, it can often mean living with persistent symptoms that include runny nose, headaches, itchy and watery eyes and a hoarse cough. The recent hurricane and resulting flooding and debris can make black mold in Houston worse than ever. To help affected citizens cope with the damage, American Sinus Institute is donating $10 from every copay to the Mayor’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund in Houston through the month of October.

Why Has Hurricane Harvey Made Mold Worse?

Mold spores are constantly present. You can’t see them, but they float on the air and land on surfaces waiting for the chance to develop. After a hurricane like Harvey, flooded and damp areas make the perfect mold hosts. FEMA says that mold can begin developing as little as 24 hours after water exposure. In the wake of 2005’s Hurricane Katrina, investigators found that almost half of the homes that were damaged by floodwaters contained mold after the storm.

What Is Black Mold?

Mold comes in many colors. Most people are allergic to mold do not specifically have a black mold allergy. Rather, they are allergic to any of many kinds and can experience allergic symptoms when exposed.

In the 1990s, the CDC explored the possibility that specific molds such as Strachybotrus chartarum were connected to certain severe respiratory disorders. While their studies showed that there was no connection, the “toxic mold” misnomer stuck.

The truth is that many types of mold you encounter inside homes or businesses can cause allergy symptoms and can aggravate conditions such as asthma. These reactions can be found even in people who do not exhibit other respiratory conditions or nasal allergies. Mold exposure, whether it is black mold or another type, can be harmful to your health. For this reason, the World Health Organization has created guidelines to help improve indoor air quality and reduce exposure to mold.

What Are the Symptoms of Mold Allergy?

The most common reaction when exposed to mold include the usual array of hay fever symptoms: a runny nose, congestion, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, coughing and nasal irritation. In young children, early and frequent exposure has been linked to a higher chance of developing asthma. Individuals who have chronic respiratory illnesses may find their conditions exacerbated by exposure to mold.

What Can I Do About Mold?

The best way to avoid mold allergy symptoms is to avoid exposure to mold. If your home has been water damaged, you may need professional mold mitigation to remove it from inside carpet pads, behind walls and cabinets and underneath your floor. Items like mattresses, pillows, stuffed animals and soft furniture that have been exposed to flood conditions may need to be discarded.

Can I Reduce My Susceptibility?

Allergy treatment that includes medication or allergy shots can help eliminate reactions to black mold and other allergens. If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, you can also find relief through treatments like balloon sinuplasty that open up airways and help you breathe more easily.

Do you think that you may have a black mold allergy? Making an appointment to come in this month has an added benefit: we are donating $10 from every copay to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. Get in touch today to learn more about allergies and the best ways to protect your health and to help others recover from the storm.

Have You Been Misdiagnosed With Allergies?

misdiagnosed with allergies

Do you sneeze so much that at times you feel like you should own stock in a facial tissue company? Or are your nose and nasal passages often feeling like they’re completely stuffed? Wear and tear on your nose from chronic sneezing and blockages is a drag. Many patients would prefer it if they could no longer need to take anti-allergy medications to clear up their sinuses and avoid infections, but what if you’ve been misdiagnosed with allergies all along?

Severe allergy symptoms can make you feel miserable and keep you from enjoying your favorite outdoor activities. They may even affect where you choose to live or work. But what if the sinus problems you are experiencing have nothing to do with allergies?

It can be difficult for patients to tell the difference between having full-fledged allergies or sinusitis, but healthcare providers can give you a more definitive answer.

Ruling Out Allergies

It’s entirely possible that your primary health care provider diagnosed you too quickly as having allergic sinusitis, rather than taking the time to conduct a more comprehensive examination to reach a more accurate diagnosis. However, you might have misdiagnosed yourself.

According to an ABC News report focusing on the question of whether allergies or sinusitis is the problem, approximately 50 percent of 600 allergy and asthma patients reported in a survey that they had diagnosed themselves as having allergies when the issue was actually sinusitis.

Fortunately for patients in this type of situation, once you have ruled out allergies as being the cause of your sinus issues, you can take advantage of a drug-free solution. Patients looking to prevent frequent sinus infections from coming back can opt for balloon sinuplasty, a safe and quick solution that was approved by the FDA back in 2005 and which is available now at the American Sinus Institute.

Balloon Sinuplasty for Opening Your Nasal Passages

The goal of balloon sinuplasty is to open blocked sinus passages in a minimally invasive procedure.

More than 150,000 patients have undergone this safe procedure. Here at the American Sinus Institute, we employ the Honrubia Technique for Balloon Sinuplasty, which involves the patient undergoing general anesthesia. We follow this protocol rather than using local anesthesia because patients find it more beneficial and relaxing, which is key to a successful sinuplasty procedure.

With balloon sinuplasty, the doctor inserts a small balloon in the area where the sinuses are blocked. Then, the balloon is inflated gently and slowly.

While inflating, the balloon presses against sinus walls, compacting them and opening up the passage. It’s that simple. Once complete, we flush the nasal passage with saline solution. This outpatient procedure typically takes less than 60 minutes and involves less risk and faster recovery than other sinuplasty methods that do not use a balloon.

Enjoy Easier Breathing With Sinuplasty

The sinus headache that you dread experiencing may actually not be caused by a reaction to allergies but in fact could be the result of inflamed or swollen tissues in the nasal cavities that can be treated with balloon sinuplasty. To learn more about balloon sinuplasty in our location for Houston and San Antonio patients or to book an appointment for a consultation, please connect with the American Sinus Institute today.

Did The Storm Stir Up Your Sinus Symptoms? – Houston Life on KPRC Click2Houston

Sinus problems after the hurricane balloon sinuplasty

Dr. Vincent Honrubia talks to Houston Life about how a storm stir up your sinus symptoms and the nonevasive procedure he recommends to fix them.


Video Transcript:

Derrick Shore – Here’s a live look outside from our Avenida-Houston cam; looking over Discovery Green folks. Welcome back to Houston Life. So, chronic sinus symptoms like headaches, facial pain and breathing problems can all affect your quality of life and unfortunately, the recent weather we’ve been having, maybe a hurricane or two could make those existing issues even worse.

Jennifer Broome – But there’s good news. There is a minimally invasive technology that could help put an end to your sinus pain. Dr. Vincent Honrubia with the American Sinus Institute is here with the details. Hi, Dr. Honrubia.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Hi! Thank you for having me.

Jennifer Broome – Okay let’s talk about this. Have you been noticing kind of an uptick in folks coming to see you since the storm and since our air quality has gotten so bad?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Yes, we have noticed that and also that this recent exposure to all this dirty water, people swimming out of restaurants, people moving around in the water. Put off their head under this water that has a lot of bacteria causing, lots of problems and a lot more complicated infections that people ordinarily wouldn’t be exposed to.

Derrick Shore – And in the beginning, I mean a lot of people didn’t really have a choice but to go through the water, I mean a lot of people were sort of recreating in the water. I don’t know if you saw those videos on YouTube of people like jumping in, waterskiing in it. But, some of those people may have residual issues as a result.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – That’s correct. You know just like people are getting these chronic skin infections and things like that, the sinuses are open cavities that aren’t supposed to be exposed to this type of bacteria. And one of the things we do with this procedures not only we open and clean the sinuses, but we also rinse the sinuses out.

Jennifer Broome – So talk a little bit about the procedure because this is designed to be minimally invasive, this isn’t to give you a bunch of downtime, later.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Correct. This is a procedure done in the office that takes about 20 to 25 minutes. It’s done with anesthesia, with an anesthesia provider there, using small balloon catheters to go into the sinuses open the sinuses through their natural opening, and at the same time rinse out the chronic infection that sits in the sinus.

Derrick Shore – So, when you say anesthesia, you’re not like totally out right? It’s not general anesthesia?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – It’s not general anesthesia. It’s IV sedation.

Derrick Shore – So you are awake during the process. We’re seeing some video actually behind you. So, as you mentioned that tiny little balloon flips up there.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Right, the tiny little balloon goes in. It then it opens the sinus by pushing away and creating space by compressing tissue in certain positions. And then after that’s done, we rinse it, clean the sinus out. So when you do have the procedure, this procedure in our office with the Honrubia technique, you are not conscious that you’re having the procedure so there’s no pain, no discomfort but people can return to work the next day. There’s no bleeding, there’s no bruising, there’s no indication you had a procedure done.

Jennifer Broome – How does somebody know, if what they’re going through it’s just kind of seasonal stuff, seasonal allergies or if they really do maybe need something like this?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Well, I think in the past before this incident, it was easy to tell because you’d be in a long-term situation where you’re chronically taking medications over and over. Now it’s gonna be very hard to tell especially if you didn’t have any sinus problems before and now you’re having a problem it’s gonna be hard to tell without having someone examine you, do a cat scan, study what’s going on if you really have some acute unusual bacteria, bacteria in your sinuses it’s hard to figure that out without professional advice.

Derrick Shore – And Dr. Honorubia, we’ve spoken you’ve been on the show before, but it’s interesting I’ve heard from your clients say I can’t believe I waited so long to do something like this, it made such a difference and I think many of us who maybe are a little adverse or averse rather, to having any sort of surgery done. This is an outpatient procedure, there’s no pain, you’ve done more than 3000 of these surgeries, so there’s really not a lot to worry about.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Right, not a lot to worry about. Covered by your insurance; not a lot to worry about. People turn to work very very soon after the procedure and we have a long track record of working well with the patients, getting good results, publishing our data. We’re very open about what we’re doing.

Derrick Shore – So instead of just continuing to live with the symptoms, people can go in, and actually we’re seeing some video right now of the office. I mean how much time would someone expect to pass until they’re breathing normally again?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – People come in with this procedure, you see them they’re getting the cat scan on the TV, but what they do is they come in, they get scanned they get examined, the procedure like I said it happens in the mornings, often patients go to work the following day, some patients have gone to work the same day. That’s depending on how bad they want to go to work, but like I said, it’s a minimally invasive, effective way of treating your sinusitis. Getting you off medications, cleaning your sinuses out, give you a peace of mind that you can do well and have good results with a very minimally invasive procedure.

Jennifer Broome – Do you hear from people that this really is life-changing for them, you know from that life of the Sudafed and the Advil and all of that to keep the pain and pressure down and now they can breathe again?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – I have patients that after they have the procedure they ask the nurse to lay them flat and they’ll breathe through their nose for the first time, laying flat and they’ll cry because I’ve never breathed through my nose laying flat, ever. Whenever I went to sleep, I was snoring, I couldn’t breathe. I’ve seen 250 pound men lay flat and start crying; I can breathe through my nose. So it is a very dramatic thing once your nose is open, you can breath better, less headaches, less drainage, less infections, better sleeping patterns.

Derrick Shore – You mentioned the headaches too, it’s not just about breathing. A lot of people have that pressure that leads to headaches, that really can distract you from your day and be debilitating.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – That’s correct. So people that have chronic facial pain, headaches, drainage, even ear symptoms, ear popping, you do balloons with the ears as well. So there’s a variety of symptoms that you may not think connect to your sinuses but they are. Smell issues, headaches, sleeping problems, ear popping, sore throat, clearing the throat, all those can be related to the sinusis.

Derrick Shore – All connected. You guys are doing something really cool. You’re donating $10 of every co-pay toward the Harvey Relief Fund right?

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Right, so we try to give some relief to the citizens of Houston. We’re taking $10 of each co-pay from each patient a donate the Hurricane Relief Fund here locally in Houston.

Jennifer Broome – And this is so easy. If you want more information, you want to talk about if this is right for you, you want to schedule an appointment, all you have to do is call 713-balloon, 713-225-5666. You can also visit online. You guys have a really informative website online at americansinus.com. So that was really, it’s really helpful.

Derrick Shore – Yeah! worth looking into, for sure. Because I know when I moved to Houston I suddenly started having these issues.

Jennifer Broome – It’s a different world here. Air quality’s not the best, we have all these allergens and now these people have been in their houses cleaning out mold and drywall of the last couple of weeks.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Mold is a big deal in the sinuses; it’s a big deal, it’s bad. Sinuses do not like mold

Derrick Shore – Dr. Honrubia, thank you so much for stopping by.

Dr. Vincent Honrubia – Thank you for having me.

Symptom Checker

Surprising Indoor Allergy Triggers

Indoor Allergy Triggers

When people think of nasal allergies, they usually connect them to either pollen or pets. However, some individuals regularly suffer from the characteristic sneezing, runny nose and other symptoms of allergies without exposure to either. In these cases, they may be suffering one of the many surprising triggers of indoor allergies. These indoor allergy triggers can include any of the following:

1. Pet rats, rabbits, hamsters or mice

Many people believe that only dogs and cats cause allergic reactions. Many people are sensitive to a far wider range of common pets, though. If someone in your household has a pet of any kind, you may wind up having reactions to their dander.

2. Mold

Mold spores are everywhere. These particles just need a little exposure to water to begin to grow and multiply. While many people are afraid of “toxic black mold,” the truth is that many types of mold can cause nasal allergy symptoms in someone who is susceptible. Mold can hide in bathrooms, basements, closets and other areas of your home undetected, causing indoor allergies when someone is exposed.

3. Horse hair

If you don’t own a horse, how would you be exposed to horse hair? Many people are surprised to learn that this substance was once a common upholstery stuffing. If you have recently purchased an antique sofa or stuffed chair, there is a chance that it is stuffed with horse hair.

4. Pollen

Pollen doesn’t stop outside your front door. It can float inside your home on air currents or hitch a ride on clothing. Frequently worn but less frequently washed items like jackets, backpacks and purses are a common vector for pollens to get indoors. People who suffer from allergies should be very consistent about frequent laundering during pollen season.

5. Your pillow

The pillow you sleep on is probably not made from substances that trigger your allergies. However, it can harbor a wide range of allergens. If you have a cat, she may choose your pillow as a favorite lounging place, leaving behind large amounts of dander. You may deposit pollen and other allergens on it yourself when you put your head on it each night. Then, while you are sleeping, you inhale the allergens that have been put right next to your nose and mouth. People who wake up feeling stuffy and congested may be exposed to allergens overnight while they sleep.

6. Household cleaning products

Researchers are still investigating the role of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in indoor allergies and asthma. Their findings so far seem to indicate that VOCs in household cleaning chemicals, scented candles and other substances used indoors may exacerbate allergy symptoms. While you may not be allergic to the chemicals in your cleaning products, they may be making your reaction to allergy triggers worse.

Get Allergy Relief

Acute sinusitis plays a role in the severity of your allergy symptoms. If you suffer from nasal allergies on a regular basis, treatment for sinusitis can help reduce inflammation and keep nasal passages clear. We offer several treatment options that can help. Get in touch today for a consultation.

Are You Hearing Complaints That Your Snoring Is Getting Out Of Hand?

Is your snoring getting out of hand?

Not all snores are created equal. Sometimes snoring can sound like a raging buzz saw that shakes the ceiling and floor, keeping family members up past their bedtime.

In other situations, the snores of a sleeping bed partner can be less profound and are actually comforting, serving more to provide just the occasional sounds that signal the presence of the other person.

This is much like cases where individuals accustomed to big city life can only seem to fall asleep to the sounds of traffic. They find themselves staying up when trying to sleep in suburbia or a rustic setting that lacks the noise of honking cars and security alarms.

But what if your significant other has been complaining that your snoring is getting out of hand, occurring so often and so loudly that it prevents the both of you from getting the restful sleep you so desperately need?

Instead of having to resort to sleeping in separate beds, the person who is snoring can undergo a simple procedure at the American Sinus Institute. You should know that for many snoring patients, balloon sinuplasty, a procedure at the American Sinus Institute, can improve the situation and bring peace and comfort back to the bedroom.

Treating Sinusitis with Balloon Sinuplasty to Improve Snoring

People snore for a variety of reasons. In severe instances, the problem might be sleep apnea, which causes patients to stop breathing periodically and then snort and snore as they wake up for brief moments numerous times each night to fight for oxygen and resume slumbering.

Evaluation at a sleep center is essential for diagnosing a case of sleep apnea, which can be addressed with a CPAP machine that blows air through a tube connected to a mask that the patient wears to keep the airway open during sleep. Left untreated, sleep apnea can contribute to health issues including cardiovascular disease.

But when doctors rule out sleep apnea being associated with a patient’s snoring and instead determine that the cause is actually obstruction of the nose, patients can seek relief with time-tested procedure called balloon sinuplasty. Nasal obstruction can be due to sinus dilation, turbinate hypertrophy or inflamed sinuses and nasal mucosa. Normally, sinuses contain air, but if they become blocked, the fluid that fills up the sinus cavities can lead to infections.

Sinusitis occurs when the tissues lining your sinus become swollen or inflamed. People can get sinusitis for a variety of reasons, from allergies, the common cold, polyps in the nasal cavity or sinus structural issues that cause drainage ducts to be narrow or blocked.

To date, more than 150,000 patients have undergone balloon sinuplasty since its FDA approval in 2005.

It’s a safe and effective procedure in which the doctor inserts a small balloon into the patient’s sinus cavity. The balloon is gently inflated, which then actually restructures the sinus cavity without the need for invasive surgery. Patients benefit because recovery time is much faster and typically with fewer complications.

Ready to Explore Your Snoring Treatment Options?

If snoring is becoming a growing issue in the bedroom lately, you can start by determining the severity of your sinus problem with our easy sinus symptom checker. The results may indicate that balloon sinuplasty is your best option for a non-invasive treatment.

We are a balloon sinuplasty center with facilities providing services to individuals in the greater areas of San Antonio and Houston, Texas. For more information about how balloon sinuplasty could help reduce your snoring problem or to set an appointment for a consultation, please contact the American Sinus Institute today.

Is Balloon Sinuplasty Safe

American Sinus Institute Happy Woman

As the Honrubia Technique for balloon sinuplasty has been around for a few years now, there have been several great studies conducted into the safety and effectiveness of this procedure. For those wondering about whether or not balloon sinuplasty is safe for use in adults or children, three recent studies shed light on the issue.

Effectiveness

In order to understand the effectiveness of balloon sinuplasty, researchers had to look at both short-term and long-term effects. One study looked at patient results in a 24-week timeline. This study shows that that the effective rate of balloon sinuplasty was greater than 97 percent for improving sinus blockages.

The next study took a long-term approach, following patients for more than two years. This study found that even after two years, the majority of patient results remained stable and there was minimal need for secondary treatments following the balloon sinuplasty procedure.

These studies used a variety of diagnostic tests such as SNOT 20 and CT scores to gauge the effectiveness of the treatment.

Safety

Many people want to know: Is balloon sinuplasty safe? The answer is, yes! Among both of the above-mentioned studies there were no instances of complications or health risks discovered. In addition, a third study that looked into the safety of this procedure for children found that the vast majority of children responded favorably to the treatment, and even for those whose symptoms did not improve dramatically, there were no harmful complications.

The next time someone asks is sinus surgery safe, you can firmly tell them yes. Not only is sinus surgery frequently performed, we now know that balloon sinuplasty risks, in particular, are lower than other forms of sinus surgery. This is because the procedure does not involve cutting or removal of any tissue. Nevertheless, it remains an extremely effective means of treating chronic sinusitis.

American Sinus Institute

To learn more about the Honrubia Technique for balloon sinuplasty, contact the American Sinus Institute today. Schedule your consultation and we will discuss whether or not you are a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty or another form of sinus treatment. You may also visit our FAQ page to learn more about the history of balloon sinuplasty.

When Is Sinus Surgery Necessary?

when is sinus necessary American Sinus Institute Balloon Sinuplasty

Sinus surgery is a relatively common procedure performed on anyone who is suffering from chronic or acute sinusitis. If you’ve already tried other common sinus treatment options but are still suffering symptoms, it may be time to consider a surgical procedure. 

When is Sinus Surgery Necessary?

Despite the fact that this procedure is performed regularly, most doctors consider surgery a last resort in your treatment regimen. You should never aim for sinus surgery until you have exhausted all other available treatment methods, including antibiotics, nasal rinses and other medications.

How to Know When Sinus Surgery Is Necessary

You will work with a sinus specialist in Houston, Texas, for an extended period of time before surgery is on the table. You may be sent for a CT scan by the American Sinus Institute. The CT scan will tell your doctor if there are any abnormalities or other causes of your sinus symptoms, but this isn’t necessarily a commitment to surgery.

It is important to note that some of your sinus symptoms may be caused by outside factors and will not improve with surgery alone.  Usually, abnormalities and infections are treated with medication first. If the symptoms do not improve with time, then your doctor may decide that it’s time for surgery.

Use our quiz below to get a better idea of which symptoms you’re experiencing and how to best treat them:

Symptom Checker

If sinus surgery is your best option, your doctor will discuss with you all of the different types of sinus surgery currently available. You can read more about them in this blog. Once you’ve decided on a surgery that fits your needs, your doctor will instruct you on what you should and shouldn’t do as you prepare for your procedure.

What You Need to Know

While there are a variety of procedures being used today for sinus surgeries, there have been many significant advancements in sinus technology in the last few years. You can read more about how to choose the right treatment for you in our blog. Currently, the Honrubia technique for balloon sinuplasty is one of the most popular methods available because it is minimally invasive. If you are nearing the point where sinus surgery is the next logical step, visit our blog or call us today to learn more about the treatments we provide at the American Sinus Institute in San Antonio and Houston, Texas.

Balloon Sinuplasty Recovery – What To Expect

American Sinus Institute Balloon-Sinuplasty-Recovery

The recovery time for Balloon Sinuplasty is far less and is one of the most preferred methods used today for treating sinus patients. It offers the same benefits as other sinus surgery procedures.

Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect during your balloon sinuplasty recovery.

What to Expect After Sinus Surgery

The recovery after balloon sinuplasty tends to be much simpler than the recovery after more invasive procedures. You will be released shortly after your procedure is completed, and you will be able to go home. Since there are no incisions, you will have minimal pain following the procedure, which is generally treated with acetaminophen.

Your doctor will instruct you on the proper procedure for cleaning your sinuses after your procedure. You will need to rinse your sinus passages with a saline solution several times each day to wash away mucus or allergens and to allow your sinuses to fully heal. You should also avoid strenuous activity for the first week, and not blow your nose for the first 24-48 hours.

By the end of the first week your sinuses will be nearly healed, and by the end of two weeks, you should be ready to return to normal activity. Keep in mind during the first two weeks that strenuous activity will increase the drainage from your sinuses.

How Long Does Balloon Sinuplasty Last?

Balloon sinuplasty is a long-term option that will relieve most or all of your sinus infection symptoms. Most patients report no relapse in their symptoms in the two years following the procedure. However, a small percentage of patients may need additional treatment after the sinuses have healed and the full effects of the procedure can be seen.

American Sinus Institute

If you have been considering balloon sinuplasty but aren’t sure about the recovery process, contact the American Sinus Institute today. Balloon sinuplasty has been giving people great results with minimal downtime. You could be in and out of the office in no time with a life free of sinus infections from here on out.

Call today to schedule your first consultation and see if balloon sinuplasty is the right solution for you!

Will Sinus Surgery Help My Allergies?

American Sinus Institute sinus-lungs-breathing

If you’ve been diagnosed with a serious sinus issue related to allergies, you might be wondering how effective sinus surgery for allergies really is. There is a lot of information available about the effectiveness of endoscopic sinus surgery for those who experience chronic sinus infections and the resultant symptoms.

Treating Allergies

Numerous studies have found that balloon sinuplasty and other sinus surgery methods are extremely effective at eliminating sinus infections and reducing pain and discomfort. While the surgery does not necessarily stop you from being allergic to the various particles that cause your allergies, but they do open up passageways and help your sinuses drain before they can get infected.

While it may seem drastic to shoot for surgery without first attempting other forms of treatment, those studies also show that the sooner you take this step, the fewer health problems you will develop due to your allergies – for instance, asthma and chronic fatigue caused by being unable to sleep with blocked sinuses.

The Link Between the Sinuses and the Lungs

Many people who experience regular sinus infections also develop asthma with time. This is because the same irritants that cause infections in your sinuses also cause infections and irritation in your lungs.

Due to the close connection between the nose and lungs, more doctors are recommending sinus treatment to patients who have a definitive allergy diagnosis. By treating your sinus condition as soon as possible, you can potentially avoid developing lung problems like asthma. If you already have asthma, sinus treatment can provide relief from your asthmatic symptoms.

Your sinuses can actually affect your health in numerous ways. Fortunately, sinus treatment and sinus surgery have both proven successful at ridding patients of the effects of sinus infections. The earlier you put a stop to your sinus infections, the less bacteria is able to move to your lungs and the better health you will have all around.

So if you’ve ever wondered, “Will sinus surgery help my allergies?” the answer is almost certainly yes. However, we strongly recommend using conservative treatments such as medications to treat your sinus problems first. If these fail or are not a good solution for you, then sinus surgery can be a great alternative.

To figure out if you are a good candidate for sinus surgery, contact the American Sinus Institute today and schedule your consultation.

Even after receiving sinus treatment, symptoms of asthma tend to stick around while your body recovers and clears itself of all related bacteria.

Sinus Surgery Recovery Tips – What You Should and Shouldn’t Do

American Sinus Institute Time to Relax in the sand

In the immediate aftermath of sinus surgery, there are a few simple do’s and don’ts that you need to be aware of. While your doctor will give you basic care instructions for your sinus surgery recovery period, it’s possible that you will be more focused on how you feel than thinking about the next two to three weeks. In general, you should be prepared to give your body several weeks to fully recover after your procedure.

Here are a few of the best sinus surgery recovery tips from the experts:

Get Home Safely

When you are ready to go home after your surgery, be prepared to have a responsible adult drive you home. Considering that you will have just undergone anesthesia, you likely won’t be in the right state of mind to drive or operate heavy machinery.

Take it Easy

During your recovery, it’s best that you exert as little effort as possible. Avoid pushing or pulling anything heavy, and try not to bend or strain your body in any way. Following these instructions will help you avoid potential complications such as nosebleeds.

Elevate Your Head

Following any kind of surgery or procedure, your sinus passages will likely become swollen. To help the swelling go down, it is important to keep your head elevated – even when you are sleeping. Plan on using some extra pillows to prop your head up at night.

Stay Hydrated

Many people are forced to breathe through the mouth instead of the nose following their procedure, which leaves you with a dry mouth. Consume juicy fruits to keep your mouth moist, and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Avoid drinking alcohol or other beverages that can dehydrate you or irritate your sinuses. You should also avoid spicy foods that are known to cause sinus drainage.

Medicate Carefully

In the two weeks following your balloon sinuplasty procedure, there are certain medications you must take and must not take. For the ones that you must take, your doctor will provide you with specific post procedure medications and directions for you to follow.

After your sinus surgery, avoid taking blood-thinning medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, Excedrin and Advil. Prescriptions like Heparin, Warfarin and Lovenox should also be avoided, as they are blood-thinners too. Finally, do not use any allergy medications or nasal sprays unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

Check the Gauze Beneath Your Nose

Most likely, your doctor will place a small piece of gauze beneath your nose to catch any drainage that results during your balloon sinuplasty recovery. There may be a small amount of blood drainage as your sinus passages heal. You should keep an eye on the gauze and change it regularly. If you notice a significant amount of blood, contact your doctor immediately.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institute is happy to answer any of your questions and concerns about your recovery from sinus surgery.

Our Balloon Sinuplasty procedure is an excellent option for many patients and offers significant advantages over traditional sinus surgery. Balloon Sinuplasty is non-invasive and reshapes the sinus cavities via a balloon that has been inserted with a catheter and then inflated, rather than the cutting away of sinus tissue and subsequent stitches and gauze packing of traditional sinus surgery. As a non-invasive procedure, the recovery time from Balloon Sinuplasty is much shorter than that of traditional sinus surgery.

We have helped hundreds of patients breathe better, and we are confident that we can help you as well. Please contact us today to learn more.

The Different Types of Sinus Surgeries

types-of-sinus-surgeries-american-sinus American Sinus Institute Balloon Sinuplasty

Sinus surgery is quickly becoming one of the most common procedures performed across the nation. Sinus surgery is used to treat sufferers of acute and chronic sinus issues. Sinus infections are attributed with pain and discomfort in millions of Americans ever year, and now they have a way to fight back.

What is Sinus Surgery?

Sinus surgery is a procedure aimed at helping relieve sinus pressure in patients. The sinuses are tiny passageways connected to the nose and mouth which help purify the air we breathe.

Occasionally, our sinuses get blocked, which causes them to swell and exert pressure on the nerves of the face. This causes pain and makes it difficult to breathe, but it can also leave you with an uncomfortable drainage problem. If these problems persist, sinus surgery is used to re-open the sinus passageways and make it easier to breathe. So what does sinus surgery entail?

Types of Sinus Surgery

There are three main types of sinus surgery. Depending on the procedure you choose, here is a breakdown of what each sinus surgery is like:

Functional Endoscopic Surgery

Functional endoscopic surgery uses a tiny endoscope inserted through the nostrils to correct sinus problems. This is a true surgical procedure that actually involves cutting away sinus tissue and physically widening the sinus passageways. This procedure is very common and requires several days of recovery time.

Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon sinuplasty is a newer procedure that uses a tiny balloon on the end of an endoscope to widen the sinus passages. Instead of cutting away tissue, the balloon gently inflates, pushing against the sinus tissue and causing it to compact against the walls of the sinuses. Since there is no cutting or removal of tissue, this process is typically less painful and requires less recovery time.

Open Sinus Surgery

In some extreme cases a doctor may opt to do open sinus surgery. This is an invasive procedure that often requires accessing the sinuses through an incision in the mouth or the face. This procedure can be used to correct sinus passages, as well as remove major blockages, such as bone spurs, that are causing problems.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institute is happy to help you address your sinus issues today. Our balloon sinuplasty team is ready to take on even the most challenging sinus cases any time. Contact us today and schedule your consultation.

Is A Sinus Infection Contagious?

American Sinus Institute is sinus infection contagious

Throughout the year, people across the United States are fighting off sinus infections. During allergy season especially, it seems as if they are contagious. However, the actual risks associated with spreading sinus infections are a little more complex than the typical cold or other illness. Here’s what you need to know.

Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

The answer is maybe. There are several different causes of sinus infections, but not all of them are contagious. For instance, sinus infections caused by allergies or narrow nasal passageways are caused by your personal biology and cannot be spread.

On the other hand, viral sinus infections may be spread, but not directly. The sinus infection itself is not the contagious part, but rather the virus, and even after the virus spreads, it may not present as a sinus infection in all those affected. So it’s hard to say that a sinus infection is truly contagious on its own.

Is a Bacterial Sinus Infection?

A bacterial sinus infection is caused when mucus builds up in the sinus cavities and bacteria begin to grow. Since bacterial sinus infections generally happen as a result of some other mucus buildup, and the bacteria is largely contained within the sinus cavities. They are not considered contagious.

If I Have a Sinus Infection am I Contagious?

It is difficult to know if you are contagious or not if you have a sinus infection. Since the symptoms are mostly the same across all types of sinus infections, and there are no simple tests for determining the cause of the infection.

The best thing to do is visit a sinus specialist. They will be able to treat your symptoms and the underlying causes to prevent future infections. They may also be able to tell you how your infection was caused and if you are at risk of infecting others.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institute has locations in Houston and San Antonio to help you ward off sinus infections. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and we will go over your symptoms to determine the best possible treatment path for you.

Where Does Sinus Drainage Go?

American Sinus Institute Human Nose diagram

Updated April 24th, 2017.

Do you suffer from sinus drainage, post nasal drip or other sinus issues? If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience symptoms ranging from the annoyance and discomfort of sinus drainage to the throbbing pain of a blocked sinus. But what causes sinus problems, and how can you prevent them from getting out of hand?

What Causes Sinus Drainage?

It’s actually perfectly normal for sinuses to produce and drain mucus down the back of your throat. In most normal conditions, you wouldn’t even notice. It’s when sinuses develop a problem that the drainage becomes an issue.

Sinus drainage can be worsened by a number of factors, such as:

  • Dry air
  • Dehydration
  • Weather changes
  • Allergies
  • Cold and flu
  • Sinus infection (sinusitis)

As long as your sinuses are draining properly, the increase in mucus isn’t a problem, although it can be annoying. The real problems start when the passages become blocked or fail to let the sinuses drain effectively. The resulting pressure can be intolerable for many people.

Sinus infections sometimes resolve themselves, but often require antibiotics. Chronic sinus infections may indicate a need for further treatment, such as balloon sinuplasty to open sinus passages and allow effective drainage.

Where Does All That Drainage Go?

An excessive amount of drainage can be cause for concern. Normally, the drainage harmlessly passes down your throat and into your stomach. Sometimes, when the drainage is thicker or excessive, it can cause irritation in your throat, coughing, and discomfort.

Many people fear the drainage could end up in your lungs. Normally that would be prevented by the epiglottis, the little flap in your airway that automatically covers the entrance to your lungs when something other than air is in your throat.

However, when you lie flat on your back at night post nasal drip can actually seep around the epiglottis, exposing your lungs to the bacteria in the mucus. Pneumonia (an infection in your lungs) and bronchitis (irritation of the bronchial tubes in your lungs) could develop.

How Do I Prevent Sinus Drainage from Developing into Problems?

No one likes the feeling of chronic post nasal drip. Here are a few tips for dealing with the drainage and preventing larger problems from developing.

  • Thin the drainage by staying well hydrated and using a humidifier at home, especially in your bedroom.
  • Flush your sinuses regularly with a salt water solution to encourage healthy drainage and prevent blockages.
  • Prevent sinus drainage from being a problem at night by propping your head, neck, and shoulders up on pillows, or by using a foam wedge.
  • Talk to your doctor about medication, such as allergy medications. If your sinus problems persist, a minor procedure such as balloon sinuplasty may promote healthy drainage and provide the relief you need.

American Sinus Institute

Sinus sufferers needn’t fear. You are not alone in your discomfort, and you don’t have to continue to suffer. Contact the American Sinus Institute today to find out how balloon sinuplasty can help relieve your sinus problems.

The Most Common Causes Of Snoring

American Sinus Institute causes of snoring

Did you know there is medical science behind the causes of snoring, and you don’t have to live with disruptive snoring for the rest of your life? Snoring isn’t just something everybody does. Many people have underlying causes that can be treated directly, which leads to more restful sleep for the whole family.

What Causes Snoring in Adults?

Some of the most common reasons for snoring include poor sleeping position, alcohol consumption and anatomical issues in the throat and mouth. However, it is actually the sinus passages that are responsible for much of the snoring we hear.

If you’ve ever asked, “What causes someone to snore?” you’ll know that snoring often increases during allergy season and when someone is suffering from a sinus infection. On a grander scale, the individual’s sinus passages may be too narrow, even when not obstructed, to allow for normal breathing at night.

What Can Be Done About Snoring?

For snorers in Houston and San Antonio, the answer can be as simple as visiting a sinus specialist. There are a variety of treatment options available, including minimally invasive methods of widening the sinus passages to allow for better drainage and fewer obstructions.

Many of these procedures are designed to last a lifetime, so once you’re done, you won’t have to worry about ongoing treatments.

Why You Should Treat Your Snoring

Snoring directly impacts the quality of the sleep you are getting. Those who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, stroke and heart problems. In addition, lack of sleep can have a large impact on your ability to concentrate at work and your ability to manage stressful situations, including anger management.

Members of your family may be suffering at the hands of your snoring without you even realizing it. Spouses often bear the brunt of a snorer’s symptoms and share in the negative health effects.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institute has created a handy Sinus Symptom Checker that allows you to check your symptoms before you schedule an appointment and to determine whether or not sinuses are the culprits. Check out the Sinus Symptom Checker today or visit one of our Houston or San Antonio locations to schedule your consultation today!

Is Chronic Sinusitis Hereditary?

American Sinus Institute sinus hereditary

Before you blame your parents for your chronic sinusitis, you may want to reconsider. The causes of sinusitis vary greatly by individual, and while there are a handful of indicators that may correlate with sinusitis, it has yet to be proven that sinus problems are hereditary.

What Causes Sinusitis?

In general, chronic sinusitis causes include things like allergies to fungus or mold and unexpected blockages of the sinus passages. In addition, a deviated septum caused by past nose injuries is one of the most common causes of sinusitis.

As it turns out, these things have little to do with genes at all, and more to do with your lifestyle and history. Even people with narrow sinuses can’t attribute their sinus infections to heredity alone. It turns out that nearly 10 percent of people have an extra sinus cavity that gets in the way of other sinus passages.

Aside from these anatomical reasons for sinus infections, many smokers and people who work around young children are especially susceptible to sinus problems. Certain diets and medications may also be at fault. Finally, air pollution and pet dander in the home are also known culprits to be aware of.

Sinusitis Treatment

No matter what the cause of your chronic sinus problems is, the American Sinus Institute offers a variety of treatment options. In most cases, a procedure called balloon sinuplasty can be used to open sinus passages and encourage drainage of the sinus cavities.

Balloon sinuplasty is a long-lasting procedure that will relieve even the most serious chronic infections. It is a minimally invasive procedure that involves compacting sinus tissues rather than removing them, so you do not have to undergo surgery to achieve results.

American Sinus Institute

To learn more about balloon sinuplasty at the American Sinus Institute, call our Houston or San Antonio location today to schedule your consultation. You can also take our handy Sinus Symptom Checker quiz to determine how serious your sinusitis really is, and if it’s time to take action to breathe easier in the future.

If chronic sinusitis has become a permanent problem for you, the American Sinus Institute can help today.

The Most Common Types Of Sinus Inflammation

types of sinus problems

Did you know that not all sinus infections are alike? Even people who have struggled with recurring sinus infections may find that they are caused by any of a variety of sinus irritants. When it comes to diagnosing different types of sinus infections and sinusitis, you need the help of a professional to determine why your sinuses are infected and how to stop it from happening.

Types of Sinus Infections

First of all, it is important to know that not all cases of sinusitis are indicative of a sinus infection. While the two share many similar symptoms, they are not exactly the same. Sinus infection types include:

  • Acute Sinus Infections: Typically lasting one to two weeks, but sometimes lingering as long as four weeks, acute sinus infections are characterized by rapid onset. However, once they are gone, the patient does not continue to experience symptoms. These are usually caused by bacteria entering the sinuses.
  • Subacute Sinus Infections: Generally last between one and three months, but also do not show any signs of ongoing symptoms once the infection has passed.
  • Chronic Sinus Infections: Any sinus infection lasting more than three months, which may get better or worse from time to time. However, patients report ongoing symptoms in between flare-ups.

Types of Sinusitis

In addition to the above classifications, sinusitis may be categorized by the type of infection and inflammation experienced:

  • Recurrent Sinusitis: Refers to anyone who suffers more than four sinus infections per year. This is often seen among acute sinus infection patients who go several months without any symptoms between month-long bouts of infection.
  • Infected Sinusitis: Usually caused by a viral infection, which may be treated using medications. However, if the treatment course does not fully eliminate the virus, the situation may worsen over time. In addition, certain fungal infections fall into this category.
  • Non-Infectious Sinusitis: This is caused by environmental factors such as smoking, pollen, pet dander or poor air quality. Since it is not caused by any particular virus or bacteria, it cannot be treated easily with medication.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institutes in Houston and San Antonio are equipped to diagnose and treat any of the above sinus infections ranging from acute episodes to chronic cases. You can make an appointment with your Houston sinus doctor today, or contact our sinus doctors in San Antonio to learn more about treatment options.

Chronic Sinusitis Treatments – Which One Is Right For Me?

American Sinus Institute Women with sinus problems

Chronic sinusitis can be treated with a variety of different methods. Most doctors start with corticosteroids and antibiotics to relieve the symptoms before they move to more extreme measures. Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about chronic sinusitis treatments, and how to choose the treatment that’s right for you.

Antibiotics and Corticosteroids

Sinus infections can be caused by both viruses and bacterial infections. If your sinus infection is caused by bacteria, it may be treated effectively with antibiotics. However, most people experience viral infections that cannot be treated with antibiotics. In this case, corticosteroid nasal sprays can be used to reduce the swelling of the nasal passages and loosen up mucus. Corticosteroids can also be taken orally or injected directly into the sinuses for more stubborn cases.

Immunotherapy

A large number of people suffering from chronic sinusitis associate their symptoms with allergies. Immunotherapy is a series of allergy shots given to the patient that increase the body’s ability to fight off allergens without reacting, and is another common chronic sinusitis treatment. Immunotherapy is an ongoing treatment method that will require weekly or monthly shots for most patients.

Traditional Sinus Surgery

When simpler chronic sinus infection treatment options aren’t getting the job done, doctors turn to surgery to remove sinus tissue and open up sinus passages. During this process, small slivers of sinus tissue are removed, and the sinuses are flushed with a saline solution. This is an invasive procedure and does require some recovery time.

Balloon Sinuplasty

A more modern approach to sinuplasty is the balloon sinuplasty method. This procedure uses a tiny balloon that is inserted through the nasal cavity into the sinuses. The balloon is inflated gradually and pushes sinus tissue out of the way, compacting it. This is a minimally invasive procedure with few risks and requires far less recovery time than traditional surgery. There is no cutting involved and you will feel immediate relief. Additionally, the results are proven to last long-term so you will continue to benefit from the procedure for years.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institute offers a wide range of sinus treatment options for our patients. To schedule your consultation or learn more about balloon sinuplasty options, contact us today. We would be happy to discuss all of our treatment options and determine which one is right for you.

Eight Essential Oils That Can Help Relieve Your Sinus Congestion

American Sinus Institute essential oils for congestion-american sinus

If your nose is congested and you’re fighting constant sinus drainage, you may be wondering about the benefits of essential oils. The good news is that there’s a long list of what essential oils are good for, and relieving swelling and opening nasal passages are on the list.

Eight Essential Oils For Nasal Congestion Relief:

  • Menthol: The icy effects of menthol have long been used to soothe sore throats and improve breathing. Menthol essential oils also can help clear up your sinus cavities.
  • Peppermint: Another strong minty scent similar to menthol, peppermint also is effective at relieving sinus congestion thanks to its strength and ability to overcome nearly any blockage.
  • Lemon: Lemon oils are common in antibacterials and anti-inflammatory, and they make a great addition to your medicine cabinet when you are experiencing sinusitis.
  • Frankincense: Another powerful addition to the essential oils list, frankincense is especially strong and fragrant. It helps relax the lungs and makes for easier breathing all around.
  • Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is widely used in over-the-counter medicines thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. Since sinusitis is caused by inflamed tissue in the sinuses, it is a natural choice.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is known for its antiviral and antimicrobial properties. Those who suffer from sinus congestion due to allergies can benefit from the relief that tea tree oil has to offer.
  • Clove: Cloves are widely known for their very strong scent and soothing properties when you have a cold. Clove oil also can be used to effectively combat sinus congestion with its antimicrobial properties.
  • Rosemary: Rosemary has been commonly used to alleviate coughing and colds. It even is effective against particularly resistant bacteria that cause chronic congestion.

Once you’ve selected your favorite essential oils, there are several methods for putting them to use. Some oils are effective as aromatherapy agents, as the strong scent carries well and permeates your sinuses. You also may apply them topically around your nose, mouth and throat, as long as you dilute them first with safe oils like coconut or avocado. Lastly, if you purchase pure oils with FDA clearance you can take a few drops by mouth.

American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institute can help you get the treatment you need if other sinus treatments are not working. Contact us to learn more about your options and schedule a consultation today!

Balloon Sinuplasty: Myths And Facts

American Sinus Institute Fact or Myth

Updated January 24th, 2017.

The Balloon Sinuplasty procedure is used to treat chronic sinusitis and other related conditions. There are over-the-counter and prescription remedies to help bring sufferers relief, but balloon sinuplasty offers a more lasting solution.

Balloon sinuplasty is a relatively new procedure and there are many myths surrounding it, but the truth is that it is a safe and effective treatment for many people.

Sinuplasty Myths and Facts

MythAfter the procedure, a patient’s nose needs to be packed with gauze, and the removal of the gauze is uncomfortable. People who have had traditional nasal surgery are aware of how uncomfortable this was, even years after it has been removed.

Fact: New technologies have eliminated the need for nasal packing post-procedure. Whether the patient needs traditional sinus surgery or is having balloon sinuplasty, the gauze is no longer required.

 

Myth: Sinus surgery has to be repeated because it often doesn’t work.

Fact: The majority of people who have sinus surgery or balloon sinuplasty see improvements in their quality of life after the procedure and it does not need to be repeated.

 

Myth: Recovering from these procedures is difficult and takes a great deal of time.

Fact: Traditional sinus surgery does require a few days of recovery time and you might have to take more time off work if you have a manual labor job. When it comes to balloon sinuplasty, there is almost no down time. Patients can often return to work and normal activities after a single day of rest.

 

Myth: After the procedure, people will have black and blue eyes.

Fact: There is normally no external change to a patient’s appearance unless they have cosmetic nasal work done at the same time.

 

Myth: Balloon sinuplasty is not covered by insurance.

Fact: Many plans cover the procedure, but there might be a pre-authorization required before the procedure is completed. The medical office where you are having the balloon sinuplasty should handle these details with you.

 

Myth: Balloon sinuplasty might not be safe.

Fact: The devices used in balloon sinuplasty were approved by the FDA in 2005 and thousands of these procedures have been performed since. The procedure’s safety profile is excellent.

 

Myth: Every patient who has sinus issues is a candidate for balloon sinuplasty.

Fact: When a patient has a deviated septum or large polyps, they may be better suited to traditional sinus surgery that is done under a general anesthesia. Some patients with these issues can still benefit from balloon sinuplasty with less recovery time.

 

Myth: There is no good treatment for nasal polyps because they always reoccur.

Fact: While they can reoccur, advances in the treatment options reduce the likelihood of them coming back. A doctor can provide navigation of a patient’s polyps so they can identify where they occur and treat them more accurately.

 

Myth: The procedure is so painful that it is intolerable.

Fact: Balloon sinuplasty involves the use of local and topical anesthetics to make the procedure more tolerable. There is a good chance the patient will feel a sensation more like pressure and less like pain.

 

Myth: Balloon sinuplasty will not be effective in relieving symptoms.

Fact: Balloon sinuplasty has proven very effective in providing lasting relief of chronic sinusitis symptoms.

 

Sinuplasty Benefits

Balloon sinuplasty is a less invasive, alternative treatment to the traditional endoscopic sinus surgery. A balloon is used to dilate the sinuses instead of using metal surgical tools to cut and remove tissue. This increases the sinus openings with fewer complications and less risk.

As local anesthesia is used as opposed to the general anesthesia used in traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty works well for patients who would not be candidates for traditional surgery because of their health, age, previous reaction to anesthesia, or fear of being put under general anesthesia. For many patients, balloon sinuplasty can reduce symptoms as much as traditional surgery.

Please consult the American Sinus Institute for further information on balloon sinuplasty.

Most Common Holiday Allergens And How To Prep Your Sinuses For The Season

American Sinus Institute Sick Woman Blowing Her Nose With Tissue In Christmas Setting

While most people associate allergies with the spring and fall, thousands of people suffer from holiday allergens, specifically those that we bring into our homes as we decorate trees and gift poinsettias to friends and family. Here are a few of the most common holiday allergies that afflict people this time of year, and how to fend them off.

Pine Tree Allergies

If you’re a stickler for real trees at the holiday, you may be surprised to find that they are the cause of your Christmas tree allergy symptoms. Those who have a pine tree allergy actually may be suffering from one of two different allergens present on their trees. People who are sensitive to pollen during the spring and early summer also may be sensitive to pine tree pollen.

On the other hand, some people are allergic to pine nuts. This allergy is less common, but may appear in those who are allergic to other tree nuts. If you believe you are having symptoms related to your Christmas tree, you may want to consider the switch to an artificial tree. Keep in mind that burning fire wood also can cause reactions due to smoke and bringing wood into your home.

Food Allergies

The holidays are a time when many of us attend potlucks and other parties full of exciting foods. Unfortunately, if you have known food allergies it can be difficult to navigate the smorgasbord. Longtime favorites like pecan pie and holiday cookies are known for increases in allergic reactions during the holidays. Be careful what you eat and always ask if you are unsure about the ingredients.

Pet Allergies

Your furry friends also may be a culprit in your allergy issues during the holidays. Most animals go through a period of adjustment as their winter coats grow in. The additional fur and dander in the air can cause reactions even if you live with your pet just fine the rest of the year. The best way to handle this is to keep your animals well-groomed and be prepared with allergy medicine if you start noticing symptoms.

American Sinus Institute

As the holidays draw nearer, we invite you to speak with a specialist at the American Sinus Institute if you are worried about allergies interrupting your celebrations. Our minimally invasive balloon sinuplasty procedure can provide relief from many debilitating seasonal allergy symptoms, and time to recover is typically brief. Contact or visit our locations in Houston and San Antonio to learn more.

What Sinus Medicine Is Safe When Pregnant?

American Sinus Institute Checking with stethoscope

The Hippocratic Oath takes on a much greater meaning for a pregnant woman: “I will apply dietetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice.”

Most people mistakenly assume it says, “First, do no harm,” but whichever way a patient wishes to take it, the pregnant patient is thinking not of herself, but of her baby. Sinus medicine may relieve the woman’s symptoms, but at what cost to the baby?

No Such Thing as a Safe Medication List

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautions that pregnant women seeking sinus relief should first consult their doctors, because many medicines in online “safe medication lists” could have unknown side effects on fetuses.

The CDC states, “A conversation with a healthcare provider can help ensure that you are taking only what is necessary.” The trained professionals at the American Sinus Institute can work with a pregnant patient to find the minimal medication needed to provide sinus relief.

Sinus Medicine Alternatives

Consumer Reports suggests that pregnant women consider non-drug solutions to issues like sinus headache and sinus pressure. Getting rest, increasing fluids and having chicken soup can relieve sinus pressure and headaches. Other recommendations:

  • Avoid combination products, such as multi-symptom cold or allergy medicines that may combine safe acetaminophen with potentially unsafe phenylephrine
  • Read labels—Alcohol and caffeine (both not recommended for pregnant women) can appear in over-the-counter medications
  • Talk to a doctor—Expectant mothers should consult an ENT specialist, Ob/Gyn, or family doctor about sinus medicine pregnant patients can safely take

Another excellent alternative to medication for sinusitis, say the experts at The Bump, is a vaporizer. Especially in combination with doctor-prescribed Augmentin, which is used in chronic sinusitis treatment even with pregnant women, such complementary treatments can bring relief.

Keep Them From Harm

Pregnant women must think first of their babies before themselves, so preventing sinus headaches and sinusitis in the first place helps avoid struggles with medications.

Especially important in prevention is monitoring indoor air quality for proper humidity levels and minimal allergens. Keeping indoor air between 35 percent and 50 percent humidified can prevent sinusitis, while regular monthly air conditioning air filter changes can reduce pollen and other allergens.

Sinus issues increase during pregnancy because blood vessels in the nose swell with the hormonal changes. Saline nose drops are always safe, as they have no medicine to interfere with the baby, and can provide relief from the stuffy nose and breathing difficulties the swollen nasal passage causes.

Antihistamines

If a pregnant woman has allergy-related sinusitis, the CDC notes that many antihistamines are not linked to birth defects. The pregnant woman is advised to consult her ENT specialist or Ob/Gyn, but specific medications that appear to be safe include:

  • diphenhydramine (Benadryl®)
  • loratadine (Claritin®)
  • cetirizine (Zyrtec ®)

Balloon Sinuplasty

The specialists at the American Sinus Institute can help pregnant patients to find a safe, effective course of treatment for acute or chronic sinusitis. Treatment may include balloon sinuplasty to relieve sinus pain symptoms. Contact the experts at American Sinus Institute today to schedule an appointment today.

How To Prevent Sinus Issues When Weather Changes

Fallen leaf covered in winter frost

For most people, a change in the weather isn’t a big problem. It means changing their wardrobe and resetting their thermostat. However, for some unlucky individuals, a change in the weather can bring severe sinus problems and can even cause migraine headaches.

Read on for tips on preventing weather-related sinus issues, as well as information on when the problem might require a visit to a specialist.

Determining the Cause of Sinus Problems: Weather vs. Allergens

Stuffiness, sneezing, and other problems can arise from different sources and understanding the culprit is essential in determining the correct treatment. Weather-related stuffiness and sneezing aren’t caused by allergens; it’s called non-allergenic rhinitis.

Temperature and humidity are often the triggers for this type of rhinitis, whereas allergic rhinitis is caused by allergens like pollen. Non-allergic rhinitis won’t respond to antihistamines because there isn’t an allergenic trigger.

Taking a decongestant, rather than an antihistamine, can help clear up minor weather-related stuffiness and sneezing. Sufferers should speak to a doctor if a formal diagnosis hasn’t yet been made.

Barometric Pressure: Effects on Sinuses

Most people don’t think much about how barometric pressure might affect them, especially when they’re younger. However, as the body ages, it may become more susceptible to environmental triggers for pain. When the barometric pressure changes, it can cause changes to the way blood flows through the body, causing increased or decreased blood pressure, sinus pressure, and more.

A change in barometric pressure may be responsible for increased instances of migraines and weather may cause changes so subtle that it’s difficult for sufferers or their physicians to discern the problem.

Barometric pressure and sinuses also share connections that are not yet fully understood by the scientific or medical communities, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact changes that trigger migraines, stuffiness, changes in blood pressure, and more.

Watching the weather for upcoming changes in the barometric pressure, and being aware of when those changes are taking place, can give sufferers a chance to head off problems and pains before they begin with a proactive, preventative approach as recommended by their physician.

Exploring Options for Relief: Medications & Medical Interventions

There are many decongestant and antihistamine remedies available in today’s pharmaceutical market. Some are effective, while others are less so. Whether or not medications will be effective depends on the type of problems being experienced, as well as their severity. Some of these issues are too severe and complex to be effectively treated with medications, and that’s where medical interventions come into play.

A balloon sinuplasty treatment can help chronic sufferers without the painful traditional surgical procedures of cutting through nasal bone and tissue. Balloon sinuplasty allows a specialist to clear out the sinuses with no incisions. This means patients feel less pain and heal more quickly than with other types of sinus treatments.

Anyone seeking relief from severe sinus problems may benefit from a consultation with the friendly professionals at the American Sinus Institute, where we employ the minimally-invasive Honrubia Technique in our balloon sinuplasty procedures. Please contact us today for more information.

What Is A Sinus Lift And What Are The Benefits?

American Sinus Institute Dental X-Ray

A sinus lift, in name alone, sounds like a traumatic procedure that nobody would want to undergo under any circumstance. While any type of surgery isn’t exactly a walk in the park, sinus lifts are safe, effective procedures that are performed regularly around the world.

What most people don’t realize is that a sinus lift can greatly improve their dental health. Keep reading to learn more about why sinus lifts can be so effective for many people, as well as why many doctors routinely recommend them to their patients.

Loss of Teeth

When a tooth is lost, either due to trauma, decay or because of overcrowding, sometimes the bone around that area is reabsorbed into the jaw. While this isn’t always a problem, it can be impossible to place a dental implant when the patient has gone too long after the tooth has been removed to get the implant.

To remedy this situation, a sinus lift is commonly performed to ensure that there is ample room and enough supporting structure for a dental implant to be effectively placed.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease occurs when tooth or gum damage, often from decay or other health problems, becomes so bad that damage to the jawbone occurs. When damage to the jaw occurs, the problem may be so extensive that the structure itself is too weak to properly support a dental implant.

In the case of dental implants or necessary dental work, a sinus lift can help replace any bone that was lost because of periodontal disease.

Maxillary Sinus Issues

When a person’s maxillary sinus is too close to their upper jaw there also can be issues that occur when an individual needs a dental implant. To fix this issue, more space is made in that area through the sinus lift procedure. Once completed, people with maxillary sinus issues can get regular dental implants that will last their lifetime, with proper care.

American Sinus Institute

Contact American Sinus Institute to learn more about the sinus lift procedure and its many benefits.Our Balloon Sinuplasty procedure is also effective at treating many sinus issues. We will be happy to consult with you to determine the best procedure for your individual case. Please contact us today.

Balloon Sinuplasty For Teens

American Sinus institute Doctor Exam

Balloon Sinuplasty is a relatively new procedure that has been designed to treat the pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis in people of all ages. The Balloon Sinuplasty procedure provides relief to those who suffer from blocked sinuses and it allows patients to breathe normally again.

This minimally invasive procedure is the perfect choice for those who have not responded well to medical treatments, antibiotics, nasal steroids or over-the-counter drugs in the past.

Balloon Sinuplasty is similar to an angioplasty. Angioplasties use balloons to open blocked arteries, while Balloon Sinuplasty uses a balloon and catheter-based instruments to open blocked sinuses.

For Teens

Doctors often choose Balloon Sinuplasty as an alternative to more invasive procedures. They typically suggest this procedure for children and teens. Often teens do not respond well to antibiotics, which have been prescribed for their chronic sinusitis, so Balloon Sinuplasty is often the better option.

Teens and Sleep

Teenagers need to make sure they get enough sleep for their growing bodies. Teens can suffer from fatigue due to both growth spurts and their activity levels and chronic sinusitis can keep them from sleeping soundly through the night. Sleep deprivation can result in teenagers not being able to get up in time for school, falling asleep during the day, being irritable, and even being unable to concentrate in class.
Balloon Sinuplasty can help teens sleep better and feel more refreshed in classes and better able to concentrate while they are there.

The Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

First, a doctor will dilate the teen’s sinus passages – this is done by inserting a wire catheter into the sinus passage and advancing a balloon over the wire. The balloon will be inflated and, as it inflates, it opens up the sinus passages and drains blockages. This helps to restore normal sinus functions.

The procedure is performed in an operating room on an outpatient basis and teens will be given general anesthesia.

Balloon Sinuplasty is a great option for teens is because there is less scarring, less post-op pain and less bleeding when compared to more invasive procedures, such as traditional sinus surgery that includes the surgical removal of sinus tissue. This is because the sinus tissues are simply widened, not removed. Teens will be back to their normal activities in a very short time. With Balloon Sinuplasty there are very low complication rates.

American Sinus Institute

Parents interested in relieving their teens’ chronic sinusitis are invited to contact the American Sinus Institute to find out more about Balloon Sinuplasty. We have performed this procedure successfully on hundreds of patients and we look forward to speaking with you about it and how it can help your teen.  Contact us for more information.

Where Does Sinus Drainage Come From?

American Sinus Institute Sinus Drainage

Sinus drainage problems can point to several different sinus problems or root causes. These symptoms include blockages, post-nasal drip, a runny nose and associated secondary symptoms such as headaches and sore eyes.

Let’s take a look at the different causes of sinus drainage issues and what a person can do to treat these ailments.

Causes of Chronic Sinus Problems

Sinus drainage and related symptoms can point to several different underlying root causes. These include:

  • Illness: Colds and flu are a common cause of increased mucus production. In cases such as this, the best solution is to let the illness run its course. In severe cases, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics to aid in the healing process.
  • Allergies: Another cause of sinus drainage issues is common allergies. Allergies can be caused by a reaction to the environment and include triggers such as ragweed and pollen. Food allergies, such as dairy allergies, can also cause sinus issues. Aside from avoiding allergens, anti-allergy prescriptions can also aid in reducing symptoms.
  • A Deviated Nasal Septum: the result of injuries or genetics, a deviated nasal septum causes one nasal passage to be smaller than the other. In an ideal situation, both passages should be the same size. A deviated nasal septum can cause drainage issues as well snoring but can be corrected with Septoplasty surgery.
  • Narrow Sinus Passages: Due to biological variance, some people simply have narrower sinus passages than others. When a person has narrow sinuses they become far more sensitive to blockages and the related ailments this can cause. Like a deviated nasal septum, surgery can be required to correct this issue.
  • An Extra Sinus: Ten percent of the human population has an extra sinus. Sadly, having three sinuses instead of two is not beneficial to breathing health. By having three sinuses areas instead of two, the breathing passage is narrowed, creating many of the same issues you see with narrow sinus passages and deviated nasal septums. Because the root cause is genetic, corrective surgery is required to remove the extra sinus. Such corrective surgery reduces drainage issues and optimizes breathing health.

American Sinus Institute

People suffering from debilitating sinus drainage are invited to contact the American Sinus Institute today. Repeated sinus drainage issues can be a sign that sinus surgery, such as Balloon Sinuplasty, may be required to reduce the severity and rate of sinusitis symptoms.

The American Sinus Institute helps their patients with a wide assortment of sinus issues and their experienced staff uses the latest in treatment methodology to ensure patient recovery. As noted by multiple satisfied customers, the quality of treatment at the American Sinus Institute can improve lives.

Where Are Sinus Cavities In The Head?

American Sinus Institute Sinus Cavity

Human bone is remarkably strong yet lightweight, but if people did not have sinus cavities, they would not be able to lift their heads off their pillows. The four major sinus cavities lighten skulls, giving the head the ability to turn and roll, and look up and down, usually without pain.

Purpose of the Sinuses

Sinuses are open cavities in the head, but they are not bare bones. Each sinus cavity has a mucous membrane lining that allows very slow ventilation into and out of the sinus. The slow ventilation allows the space in sinus cavities to be filled with a high concentration of carbon dioxide and a low level of oxygen. This creates an environment hostile to most germs.

Where Are the Sinus Cavities?

The four major sinus cavities that sometimes bring the pain of sinusitis are:

  • Frontal sinuses – Just above each of the eyes, these two sinuses often inflict cringing pain.
  • Maxillary sinuses – The largest cavities, these two sit behind the cheekbones.
  • Sphenoid sinuses – The sphenoid sinuses sit very far back in the head, near the optic nerves and pituitary gland, behind the eyes.
  • Ethmoid sinuses – A collection of six to 12 tiny air sacs, the ethmoid sinuses behind the nose separated into front, middle and rear groups.

What Causes Sinusitis?

When a person’s sinuses become infected, the slow transfer of mucus and gasses may stop and mucus builds up. This causes pain behind and around the eyes. It makes tipping the head forward almost unbearable.

What does a person generally do when they have sinusitis? They rub the side of their nose (ethmoid sinuses), their temples (frontal sinuses) or their eyes (sphenoid sinuses) in search of relief.

Sinus Infection Symptoms

If a person has sinus problems regularly, he or she may be familiar with many of the following symptoms of a sinus infection.

  • Pain – Not just around the eyes, but pain in the jaw, teeth, and on either side of the nose.
  • Sinus discharge – Greenish yellow goo that can also cause post-nasal drip.
  • Congestion – A clogged nose may force a person to breathe only through the mouth.
  • Coughing – From the post-nasal drip.
  • Sleep deprivation – Sinus headache, coughing and post-nasal drip can ruin healthful sleep.
  • Loss of smell – A stuffy nose can affect one’s ability to detect odors and can also lead to a loss of appetite.
  • Halitosis – Infected sinus cavities can lead to bad breath.

Remedies

The experts at American Sinus Institute can recommend a course of treatment specific to each individual’s issues. After a careful individual examination, options include:

  • Medication – Over-the-counter pain medicines or, possibly, antibiotics.
  • Nasal sprays – Decongestants and mucolytics may offer temporary relief.
  • Balloon sinuplasty – A doctor carefully places a small balloon in the sinus, inflates it, and restructures the cavity.

For anyone whose sinuses are constantly reminding them exactly where they are in their head, contact the American Sinus Institute today to learn more about sinus treatments. From pharmaceutical solutions to balloon sinuplasty, the American Sinus Institute can provide welcome relief from sinus pain and infection.

What Is Sinus Arrhythmia?

American Sinus Institute Sinus Arrhythmia

A person’s heart is a pump that beats according to a particular rhythm. Every individual’s heartbeat is different and will speed up and slow down according to their individual level of activity.

The sinus rhythm refers to a person’s heartbeat. In this case, the word sinus does not refer to the sinus cavities in the face, but the sinoatrial node. Also called the “sinus” node, it is located in the upper chamber located on the right side of the heart (right atrium). An abnormal heartbeat, or sinus arrhythmia, is any disruption that occurs during a person’s resting phase.

The heart can begin to beat in a different rhythm when a person breathes differently, becomes excited or performs strenuous activity. As long as the heart beats in a steady rhythm, it is said to be normal. If it deviates, especially during the period between heartbeats, a sinus arrhythmia has occurred.

What Is Sinus Arrhythmia?

An irregular heartbeat often occurs when a person’s heartbeat begins to speed up as they breathe in. Known as respiratory sinus arrhythmia, this is rather harmless. It occurs more frequently in children than adults and is considered to be a psychological response to a stressful event or physical activity.

The sinus node is also referred to as the “pacemaker” of the heart. When the heart’s rhythm is off, especially when it refers to the arrhythmia associated with reception, it is not thought of as a significant health problem. It will normally correct itself when the stressor goes away or the physical activity is completed.

Is It Dangerous?

While respiratory sinus arrhythmia is not considered a major health concern, non-respiratory sinus arrhythmia may have substantial repercussions. This is when the heart beats abnormally at other times, aside from during a regular breathing cycle. This type of arrhythmia often occurs in the elderly and may be indicative of various stages of heart disease.

While the exact cause of both types of arrhythmia is unknown, when it pertains to the elderly, the arrhythmia occurs most often when the heartbeat is slow or the person is at rest. People who suffer from sleep apnea may be more apt to suffer from irregular heartbeats or an arrhythmia than someone who breathes normally when sleeping.

How is Sinus Arrhythmia Treated?

Depending on what type of sinus arrhythmia a person has, a doctor has various ways to treat the condition. If the condition persists and has been associated with other types of heart disease, certain procedures may be recommended. Pacemakers, for example, are commonly considered for elderly individuals who may exhibit an abnormal heartbeat. For some people, a slight abnormality in their heart rate may be normal. For others, it may indicate the need for immediate treatment.

When an irregular heartbeat occurs in a child, the condition often rectifies itself as he or she gets older. A child’s heart is still growing and developing, so an abnormal heartbeat is often times attributed to the changing of the heart muscle as the body grows. Although the doctor will closely monitor a child’s heart if an abnormal rhythm presents itself, most will not attempt to treat the problem unless it becomes extremely severe. If the child does not grow out of the sinus arrhythmia, a doctor may choose to treat it as the child begins adolescence.

American Sinus Institute

At the American Sinus Institute, our doctors can answer any questions a person may have about sinus arrhythmia. Individuals who have trouble breathing due to blocked sinus passages may experience respiratory sinus arrhythmias that can eventually damage the heart if not treated effectively. Contact us for more information.

What Are Tonsil Stones And How To Treat Them

Tonsil Stones American Sinus Institute Balloon Sinuplasty

Tonsilloliths, or tonsil stones, are lumps of calcified material that form within the crevices of the tonsils, which are fleshy pads located at the back of the throat. The tonsils contain lymphocytes, which are cells that the body produces to help fight and prevent infections from forming.

The tonsils, in general, play a huge role when it comes to immune system function because they are able to trap bacteria and virus particles that cause illness such as the common cold and flu. When the tonsils are not functioning properly, bacteria, dead cells and mucus can become stuck inside the tonsil pockets and become calcified, forming white stones that are difficult to cough up, have an unpleasant odor and taste.

Sometimes, these stones can cause soreness, dryness and itching in the throat along with redness and inflammation. Thankfully, there are ways to treat tonsil stones effectively with home remedies and over-the-counter oral care products.

What are some of the treatments for tonsil stones?

There are various treatments for removing the stones from the tonsils. One of the ways is by removing the stones physically with a cotton swab, if they are visible. Another remedy is salt-water gargles that help loosen the stones from the pockets so coughing the stones up is easier.

Some people find oral care products such as herbal oral rinses that are alcohol-free work well. Oral care products not only help loosen the stones so they come out of the tonsils more easily, but also most kill the harmful bacteria that cause the stones’ odor and cause bad breath.

Gargling with hydrogen peroxide can aid in bubbling tonsil stones out of soft tissue pockets and out of the throat so symptoms of this condition abate. In rare cases, surgery is sometimes required to remove large, painful stones that make it difficult to swallow.

How to prevent tonsil stones from forming

To prevent tonsil stones from forming, removing the tonsils completely through a procedure known as a tonsillectomy is sometimes performed. A tonsillectomy is a procedure performed by an oral surgeon, usually while a person is under general anesthesia.

After the surgery, all tonsil stones will be gone, along with the tonsils, but a sore throat and swallowing difficulties will occur for a few days until the throat heals. Some of the ways to help with faster healing after undergoing a tonsillectomy include:

  • Sucking on vitamin C popsicles and cough drops
  • Taking daily vitamin supplements
  • Sipping on warm herbal teas that soothe inflamed tissues
  • Taking a few tablespoons of raw organic honey each day
  • Snacking on cold foods such as fruits, yogurt, frozen yogurt and shaved ice
  • Drinking plenty of cool water
  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Taking herbal supplements such as Echinacea to keep the immune system strong and promote faster healing
  • Restrict the amount of talking
  • Rinse with salt water gargles throughout the day

American Sinus Institute

One method that can help prevent tonsil stones from forming in the first place is by preventing sinus issues from occurring. Often, when sinus issues occur, it causes post-nasal drip which can lead to bacteria dripping down the back of the throat and into the tonsil pockets creating stones.

One of the ways to prevent sinus issues from occurring is by receiving a balloon sinuplasty treatment, as offered by the American Sinus Institute. To learn more about balloon sinuplasty and preventing tonsil stones read more at the ASI website, and use this sinus symptom checker.

Contact us for additional information.

A Cold Or A Much Larger Issue? How To Tell The Difference

American Sinus Institute Cold-or-Much-Larger

It’s that time of year. People everywhere are coughing and sneezing, suffering from stuffy heads and runny noses. Cold and flu season isn’t over yet, and allergy season will be hard on its heels. At this time of year it may be hard to know if you have a cold, allergies, a sinus infection, or even the flu.

While the symptoms of all these illnesses are similar, there are differences. Below is a simple guide to telling the difference between a cold and a more serious problem.

Is it the common cold?

Most people associate coughing and sneezing with the common cold, but the first symptom is usually a sore throat. This generally lasts a day or two, followed by the stereotypical runny nose, sneezing, and congestion, which also lasts a day or two.

Around the fourth or fifth day, a cough usually develops. By the seventh day, symptoms should start improving. A cold normally lasts from three to 14 days. Cold symptoms usually come on suddenly and resolve themselves suddenly, too. A fever, however, is uncommon – although children are more likely to develop a fever than adults – and may be a sign that something more serious is going on.

Is it the flu?

Influenza – “the flu” – hits suddenly, too. Unlike the common cold, in which symptoms build on each other, flu symptoms tend to happen all at once. Symptoms of influenza include fever, headache, coughing, head and chest congestion, and muscle or joint aches. Influenza symptoms are also much more severe than cold symptoms. A fever of 102 or possibly higher is common, and the headache can be incapacitating. Muscle aches are severe. Extreme fatigue is also a common symptom of the flu.

Influenza usually lasts about seven to 10 days. Unlike the common cold, flu symptoms improve gradually and the fatigue can persist for up to three weeks after the virus has run its course.

Is it allergies?

It’s fairly easy to tell the difference between a cold and the flu. Cold symptoms and allergy symptoms, however, have much more overlap and are more difficult to differentiate.

A cold usually causes a runny nose, sneezing, a cough, and a sore throat. Allergies often cause sneezing and a runny nose, and may also cause a cough or a sore throat due to sinus drainage.

Another common symptom of allergies is itchy, watery eyes, although this isn’t always present. Unlike those of colds, allergy symptoms don’t dissipate after a week or two. Allergy symptoms continue for as long as a person is exposed to the substance they’re allergic to, such as mold or pollen. If cold-like symptoms persist for more than two weeks, there’s a good chance its allergies.

Is it a sinus infection?

Sinus infections – or sinusitis – can be caused by either viruses or bacteria. When you have a stuffy nose, it means your sinuses aren’t draining. And when they can’t drain, they become the perfect breeding ground for these bacteria and viruses.

Classic symptoms of sinusitis include pressure behind the eyes and cheeks or in the forehead, a headache, and a stuffy nose that lasts more than a week. Sinusitis can cause a fever, a cough, decreased sense of smell, and even bad breath. Postnasal drip – mucus draining down the back of the throat – is a common feature of a sinus infection, and may sometimes cause a sore throat.

If it’s due to a virus, sinusitis may sometimes resolve itself on its own, and antibiotics will usually clear up bacterial infections. Sometimes, however, sinusitis can last for weeks or even months. If this is the case, or if it recurs often, it’s called chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis may require sinus surgery. Balloon sinuplasty, as offered by the American Sinus Institute, can help with chronic sinusitis.

American Sinus Institute

Still not sure if it’s a cold or something more serious? Take the sinus symptom quiz. For more information, contact the American Sinus Institute today, and start breathing easier.

What You Need To Know About Post-Nasal Drip

American Sinus Institute Post-Nasal-Drip

Chronic sinus issues have a tendency to lead to post-nasal drip. The causes of sinus issues include allergies, bacterial and viral infections, pregnancy, medications, environmental factors, spicy foods, cleaning products, perfumes, smoking, and autoimmune diseases related to the respiratory tract.

There are treatments that are useful for treating post-nasal drip, but knowing what post-nasal drip is can help with treating it, too.

What is post-nasal drip?

The post-nasal drip condition occurs when too much mucus is present in the sinuses and begins not only running out the nasal passages continually, but it drips into the back of the throat as well. This can cause coughing, throat irritations and sinus infections. Sometimes a hoarse voice can occur from this condition, making talking difficult. It can also cause an extremely painful ear infection that usually needs pain medication and antibiotics to treat it.

With post-nasal drip, mucus is noticeable because it mixes with saliva that the body produces and forms a watery substance. That watery substance is capable of washing harmful substances from the respiratory tract. Some of those substances are dust, dander, pollen, cigarette smoke, chemical fumes from beauty care and cleaning products and mold spores.

Without the mixture of saliva and mucus, irritating or even harmful substances can wreak more havoc on the body, causing serious health issues and respiratory illnesses that can lead to long term chronic disorders. Some of those respiratory conditions are asthma and COPD.

Thankfully, there are treatments that are effective at treating this nasal condition. Some of them are natural home remedies while others are prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs.

At times, all it takes to relieve post-nasal drip is removing particular irritants from an environment if possible. Consider installing an air-purifying machine for your home or workplace that cleanses the air of allergens and fumes that cause irritation to the respiratory system. Humidifier and vaporizing systems can help, too.

How to stop post-nasal drip

There are many medications and home remedies that can help relieve post-nasal drip. What works best for one person, may not work best for another, so you may have to do some experimenting to see what brings you relief.

  • Antibiotics
  • Decongestants
  • Antihistamines
  • Nasal Sprays
  • Nettle Pots
  • Steamy Showers or Baths
  • Echinacea
  • Goldenseal
  • Sting Nettles
  • Butterbur
  • Herbal Teas
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Drinking More Water
  • Sipping Hot Broths and Soups
  • Spices such as Cinnamon
  • Raw Honey
  • Manuka Honey
  • Antiviral Medications
  • Steroids
  • Allergy Shots

Are there ways to help prevent the condition?

Again, installing an air-purifying machine and/or humidifying system to a home or business can help not only relieve post-nasal drip, but it can also help prevent it. Keeping homes free and clean from dust particles and dust mites helps as well. In order to keep homes free of mites and dust, regular washing of bedding needs to occur often as well as vacuuming and dusting.

Other ways to help prevent post-nasal drip include switching beauty care products as well as household cleaning products to organic, all-natural ones that do not contain perfumes or harsh chemicals. Quitting smoking is helpful, too, and to your health in general.

American Sinus Institute

When post-nasal drip conditions are severe and none of the above treatments are helpful for finding relief or solving the health issue, balloon sinusplasty – as offered by the American Sinus Institute – may help. For more information on balloon sinuplasy or post-nasal drip, please visit ASI.

Holiday Get-Aways – What To Bring If You Have Allergies

American Sinus Institute Holiday-Get-Away

People planning a vacation should consider their destination and how it will affect their allergies, especially rhinitis. Many beautiful areas have excessive pollen, especially in the spring season. Visitors should be aware that they may experience nasal allergies at their vacation destination, but that should not keep them from enjoying their vacation if they are prepared.

Personal Products

People with nasal allergies should take their usual antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, inhalers and eye drops with them on vacation in case they are needed. Consider this as the allergy relief kit. All medications should be in the prescription bottles or original packaging.

Many people head to desert resorts for a vacation in the winter and spring. Dust and other allergens can be a problem in desert areas. Many desert resorts have green golf courses and lush landscaping with trees and flowers that pollinate.

Dust storms can trigger allergies, so it is best to stay indoors should one occur. Hotels should have adequate air conditioning and heating so that windows can stay closed until the storm passes. Shower in the evening to wash off any pollen or dust that might accumulate on clothes or on your body and hair. You can bring your own dust-mite proof pillowcase.

Visitors to tropical islands in the Caribbean or Hawaii may be exposed to mold spores, which are common allergens. Hotel guests are advised to check their rooms or rented condos for mold build up in the bathrooms and kitchens.

Tropical resorts also often have golf courses with lush vegetation so it may not be unusual to experience some sinus irritation. It is advisable to check with a doctor and make sure you have the right products before your vacation. A steroid nasal spray or inhaler may be the best defense against respiratory irritations at your destination.

Insect bites

Wear protective clothing and use insect repellent if you are visiting a region with mosquitoes and other flying insects. Wear closed-toe shoes rather than flip-flops if you are in areas with crawling insects.

Take anti-inch creams, aloe vera gel and other lotions with corticosteroids that can help with insect bites. Antihistamines such as Benadryl also help with common itching from bites. Ice helps with itching and acetaminophen can reduce minor pain and swelling.

The same products can also be used after exposure to poison oak, ivy or other plants. Colloidal oatmeal products, including soap, are also helpful with allergic plant reactions.

Be aware of other abnormal reactions such as swollen feet or eyes.  Severe hives, rashes and other reactions may need to be treated at a local clinic.

Food allergies

Be careful of the meals you order if you have allergic reactions to some foods. Most airlines no longer serve peanuts out of respect for passengers allergic to nuts. Eat in recommended restaurants and drink bottled water if you are concerned about food and drink in the areas you visit.

Too much sun and alcoholic drinks can make people sick. Some people experience swelling in the sinus passages from various alcoholic drinks.

Take antacid medication with you if you have a sensitive stomach. You may also want to carry anti-diarrhea medication.

Anaphylaxis shock

People with severe allergic reactions can experience shortness of breath and even cardiac arrest from some insect bites, foods and drinks. If any of these symptoms appear, seek immediate medical attention. Epinephrine is usually administered to counteract anaphylaxis reactions. If you have an EpiPen, keep it with you at all times if you are in danger of a severe allergic reaction.

Nausea, dizziness and a weak pulse are also symptoms requiring immediate medical assistance.

Jellyfish stings

These colorful creatures may not actually be seen when you are swimming in the ocean. Their tentacles can break off and float in the water. You may experience a stinging sensation and see a string of little red circles on your arms and legs if you come into contact with the often invisible tentacles. The stinging will eventually go away but the area should be washed with fresh water and vinegar. Vinegar neutralizes the toxins. Aloe vera gel can also ease the stinging and itching.

Atmospheric conditions

Changes in the weather can affect sinuses. Traveling from cold to warm weather, or from wet to dry weather can trigger nasal allergies. Altitude can also impact sinuses. Airplane cabins are very dry, so drink lots of water and other non-alcoholic drinks during long flights.

American Sinus Institute

People with serious sinus allergies should contact the American Sinus Institute for information on the balloon sinuplasty procedure using the Honrubia Technique to treat severe conditions. ASI is a leader in this non-surgical procedure that reduces swelling in the nasal passages for people with allergies and other sinus problems.

Contact us for any additional information.

Balloon Sinuplasty

American Sinus Institute Balloon-Sinuplasty-XRay

Anyone who suffers from seasonal allergies and recurring sinus infections is likely looking for a long-term treatment option that will help them overcome the discomfort associated with sinus blockages. Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive treatment technique that opens up nasal and sinus passages without the need for surgery.

During the balloon sinuplasty procedure, general anesthesia is used to keep patients comfortable while an endoscope is inserted through the nasal cavity into the affected sinus passage. A small balloon at the end of the endoscope is then slowly inflated, pushing back the tissues of the sinuses and restructuring the passageway to allow for proper drainage in the future. A gentle saline solution is then used to flush the area and remove any built up mucus and bacteria. Patients are able to see immediate results after a single 20-30 minute procedure and require very little recovery time after treatment.

SA Live host Jeff Roper did a four-part special report covering all of the different aspects of balloon sinuplasty. ASI Director of Marketing Courtney Schultz appears on the show to answer questions and explain the process from beginning to end. In addition, guest patient Arianna Wilson demonstrates her experience with the procedure with both before and after tests to show how much her sinus passages have improved with treatment.

ASI SA Live Segment 10-19

In this first video clip with Jeff Roper and Courtney Schultz, the patient, Arianna Wilson, starts by describing the symptoms of her sinus problems. She reports long-term stuffiness, headaches and inability to sleep due to trouble breathing normally and pressure in her head.

They conduct a simple smell test where Arianna is asked to identify a variety of foods while blindfolded. In three of the four samples, Arianna is barely able to identify that she is even being presented with something to smell, and she is only able to correctly identify one item out of four.

ASI SA Live Segment 10-26

In the second video of this series, Jeff Roper and Arianna Wilson go to the American Sinus Institute to meet Dr. Honrubia, creator of the Honrubia balloon sinuplasty technique. After further discussion, Arianna says that pressure headaches are her number one concern, and that she now realizes how much of her sense of smell is missing.

Dr. Honrubia explains that the procedure will be done within 45 minutes and that she should be able to tell an immediate difference once her sinus passages have been opened up and dried out. He assures her that there will be positive results and that she will be able to breathe much easier as soon as the procedure has been completed.

ASI SA Live Segment 11-2

The third video in the SA Live series showcases Arianna Wilson after completing her treatment. Dr. Honrubia interviews her approximately 30 minutes after her balloon sinuplasty procedure has been completed and she is already feeling significantly better.

He mentions the fact that balloon sinuplasty does not involve any of the pain and facial bruising that other sinus treatment methods are known to cause. Instead, she is ready to walk out of her appointment without any of the pressure or blockage that she had before and no visible signs that she underwent the procedure at all.

Another doctor comes in to explain the healing process going forward. Arianna will need to do regular nasal flushes for the first few weeks after the procedure to help the tissue in her sinus passages to heal completely and properly, and reduce scabbing.

Jeff Roper notes that Arianna appears to feel better already, stating that the stress and tension that she was living with previously have already begun to subside.

ASI SA Live Segment 11-9

The final segment about Arianna Wilson’s balloon sinuplasty treatment is conducted in the SA Live studio once more with Jeff Roper and Courtney Schultz. Arianna reports that after her healing began, she could tell an immediate difference in her ability to smell and breathe normally. She suggests that anyone who suffers from chronic congestion and pressure headaches seek treatment because it isn’t normal to live with those symptoms for prolonged periods of time.

Courtney sets up a second smell test in which Arianna is not only able to identify the foods correctly, but also has a much stronger and more immediate response to the foods being presented to her. She is now able to pick out scents that she was completely unable to identify in the past.

American Sinus Institute

The truth is that chronic sinus infections and the pain associated with them can be treated more easily today than ever before. When over-the-counter allergy medications no longer work, it may be time to look into a treatment specifically designed for clearing sinuses permanently.

The Honrubia Technique is a patented balloon sinuplasty operation that can be done in a single sitting and allows the patient to return to work the very same day. There are instantaneous improvements in the patient’s ability to breathe and smell, which continue to improve over several weeks as the affected sinus tissues heal.

After the initial healing process no additional treatment should be required, even for people who would otherwise experience seasonal reactions to plants and other allergens.

For more information about the Honrubia Technique for balloon sinuplasty, please call the American Sinus Institute today. We will be happy to help you schedule a consultation to discuss treatment options for your sinus symptoms, and get you on your way to a happier, healthier life, free of sinus infections and pain.

Five Things Those Who Suffer From Sinusitis Can Try At Home

American Sinus Institute Sinusitis Graph

For many sinusitis sufferers, the swelling and congestion they feel is accompanied by cold symptoms, headaches, and sometimes even nausea and vomiting. Chronic sufferers also know that anything can set off their bouts of uncomfortable sinus congestion and irritation. For most, it’s not simply seasonal, but can be triggered by sensitivity to cold air – be it winter temperatures or excessive air conditioning, certain chemicals and fragrances, and organic allergies to pets, dust mites, and pollen.

Sinusitis, by definition, is a swelling, or inflammation, of the mucous membranes which line the sinuses. Irritation can come from many sources, among them, seasonal allergies, hay fever, cold, and even the overuse of over-the-counter medicated nasal sprays. In rare cases, the patient may have a condition known as nasal polyps, which are small growths and can prevent air flow through the nasal and sinus cavities.

Symptoms

The most common symptom of sinusitis is a feeling of pressure in and around the nose, forehead, eyes, and sometimes the ears. Your upper and lower jaw, and even your teeth, will be painful in some cases. Many a dentist has referred a patient to an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist because of what the patient believed to be a toothache.

When the air passages are irritated, they will produce a mucous fluid. This increases the risk of infectious sinusitis. The fluid-filled sinuses become the perfect breeding ground for viruses, along with fungus-borne infections and bacteria.

When this happens you may experience several different symptoms. From a cold, to fever and chills, a dark, thick mucous discharge and increased pain and pressure can all accompany a sinus infection. Left untreated, your sinus infection can spread to surrounding areas, such as eye sockets, and facial bones, even more serious conditions, which could land you in the hospital.

Treating Inflamed Sinuses at Home

  • Like magic, grandma’s soup seemed to make everything better. For those with sinusitis, drinking hot liquids of any kind is beneficial. The warmth makes the cilia, or tiny hairs, inside your mucous membranes work to move the congestion, causing your nose to run. The warmth moistens, soothing dry sinuses, and soup – especially grandma’s homemade soup – is good for you! Of course, if soup isn’t possible, try some calming herbal tea.
  • Breathe in the aroma as you sip, and you’ll be feeling better before you finish the cup.
  • Irrigate your sinuses. It’s become extremely popular lately to utilize nasal lavage to prevent, or inhibit, sinusitis. Try an over-the-counter nasal saline-only spray. To get the effect of a nasal lavage, set the bottle of spray in warm water before using it.
  • A warm compress to the face can bring instant relief to those who suffer from sinus pain. Take a towel and soak it in warm water, wring it and apply to your face for 5 minutes at a time, 3 times a day. Try adding a drop of eucalyptus essential oil to the water. The warmth makes your cilia move out the mucous, and the eucalyptus gives a nasal-clearing fresh scent.
  • Taking a steamy shower will also move the cilia around and loosen your congestion. Again, a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a washcloth in the shower, will add a higher degree of comfort to the experience.
    Hot and spicy food for medicinal purposes. Bring home some Thai food, spread extra wasabi on your California roll, or slather some horseradish on your corned beef. Not only will your sinuses begin to unclog, but spicy food is delicious!

Finally, for those plagued by chronic sinusitis and dreading the next occurrence, contact the American Sinus Institute to inquire about a Balloon Sinuplasty procedure. Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe and effective procedure to clear the sinuses. You’ll find instant relief from the uncomfortable effects of sinusitis, and experience life to the fullest, once again.

Contact us for additional questions or request a consultation.

Technology Advancements To Help Snorers

American SInus Institude Snoring

Technology Advancements to Help Snorers

Snoring is a chronic problem that has long-term health effects and can impact both you and your partner’s ability get a restful night of sleep. In recent years, sleep experts have focused on treating snoring with a wide variety of medical and natural methods. As more information has been gathered about the causes and effects of snoring, new technological advancements have been introduced which offer relief from snoring and can help you get a better night’s sleep.

Nasal Strips and Sprays

One of the biggest causes of snoring is nasal congestion that builds up during the night. There has been a significant success with nasal strips and sprays that help to keep your nasal passages open and unobstructed while you sleep. Most people are familiar with the strips that go across the bridge of the nose, but recent advancements have added the Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP) method to the list of nasal strip products. These EPAP devices act as a valve that moderates your breathing and the air pressure in your nasal passages to keep your throat open, preventing up to 76% of the vibrations that cause snoring.

In addition to nasal strips and sprays that treat congestion, many doctors also recommend seeking treatment for ongoing allergies. Treating congestion by itself is merely dealing with the symptoms, but will not relieve the actual cause. By getting help with your allergies you will actually get rid of the problem at the most basic level, preventing congestion altogether.

Mouthpieces and Chin Straps

Some doctors recommend the use of a mouthpiece or chin strap to stop loud snoring. The basic premise of the chin strap is that it forces your mouth closed, causing you to breathe through your nose and preventing the passage of vibrations through your open throat as you sleep with your mouth open. These devices have been met with some resistance as they can be uncomfortable and difficult to keep in place while you sleep.

By contrast, there are now numerous mouthpiece options available on the market. Mouthguards come in two varieties: mandibular advancement devices (MAD) and tongue stabilizing devices (TSD). The MAD mouthguard uses pressure to push your lower jaw up and away from your throat. When most people sleep on their side or their backs, the muscles in the neck and throat relax, allowing the passageway to get blocked. By keeping your jaw muscles tense and out of the way, your throat will stay open allowing for easier breathing. The TSD mouthguard has a similar goal as the MAD one, but it is designed to create suction that holds your tongue out of the way while you sleep. These devices are relatively inexpensive and can be a long-lasting and comfortable solution that has been proven effective.

Balloon Sinuplasty

For people who are looking for a permanent and effective means of reducing their snoring immediately, there are several procedures available. Many sinus clearing treatments are designed to widen and strengthen the nasal passages so that they are no longer susceptible to blockage from mucus and other buildup in the body.

Balloon sinuplasty is the latest technological advancement that involves inserting a tiny elastic balloon into the sinus passages and inflating it until it forces the walls of the sinus passage to open up and stay widened through pressure and restructuring. Other surgical procedures include the correction of deviated septums to correct air passages and uvulectomy to remove the tissues in the back of the throat that contribute to snoring.

As doctors continue to study the short- and long-term effects that snoring has on health, there are more and more treatment options becoming available to the general public. In cases where simple over-the-counter nasal strips or medications are not effective, certain medical devices may prove successful. Either a MAD or TSD mouthguard is one inexpensive way to physically modify the throat and airways for better breathing and sleeping. However, people who still struggle with snoring after trying these medical devices may seek out sinus and airway procedures that can provide immediate and long term relief of symptoms.

If you are interested in balloon sinuplasty and would like more information about how it can help you sleep better, please contact the American Sinus Institute today. We will be happy to answer any questions you have about the procedure and its benefits for your health and sleep.

Can Children Get Balloon Sinuplasty?

American Sinus Institute baby with allergies

Balloon Sinuplasty is a new procedure that is designed to treat sinusitis in people of all ages. It relieves the pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusits. This is an FDA-approved process that has been used safely since 2005 to provide relief to those who suffer from blocked sinuses, allowing them to breathe normally again.

While it is relatively new, this minimally invasive procedure is a good option for anyone who has not responded well to medical treatments, such as medications, in the past.

It is also a good option for those who have tried other treatments or procedures for sinusitis, but still continue to experience blocked sinuses. This includes children.

Balloon Sinuplasty works similarly to angioplasty where balloons are used to open blocked arteries. Balloon Sinuplasty uses a balloon – and other FDA-approved instruments – to open blocked sinuses.

For Children

Today, doctors view Balloon Sinuplasty as a good alternative to more invasive procedures. This is especially true for children. This is a safe, proven way to help rid patients of the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Additionally, a Balloon Sinuplasty can relieve nasal breathing problems which are often worsened by sinusitis.

Many children do not respond well to antibiotics prescribed for their chronic sinus problems. This is where BalloonSinuplasty can help.

Pediatric Balloon Sinuplasty Rhinosinusitis

Balloon Sinuplasty can also be used to relieve pediatric rhinosinusitis. Pediatric sinusitis is quite common and children who suffer from it are sometimes treated with antibiotics. However, those antibiotics don’t always work, and when they do not, treatment can become more challenging. Balloon Sinuplasty can provide relief.

The Procedure

During the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure, the child’s sinus passages will be dilated. After the sinus passages have been dilated, the doctor will insert a wire catheter into the patient’s sinus cavity. Then, a small balloon will then be advanced over the wire. Once the balloon is in place it is then inflated. As the balloon inflates, it will open up the child’s sinus passages and help drain out any blockages. This will restore his or her normal sinus functions.

Another reason this procedure is recommended for children is because there is less scarring than with other, more invasive surgical options. There is also less post-operation pain and less bleeding than with traditional procedures. This is because the sinus tissue is widened, not removed. Children will be back to their normal activities in no time.

And because this procedure is a less invasive one compared to traditional sinus surgery, there is a very low complication rate which parents can appreciate.

American Sinus Institute

Those who would like more information on the procedure, especially as it relates to their children, should consult with the American Sinus Institute. We can help stop painful sinusitis in children and adults.

How Snoring Can Affect Your Health

American Sinus Institute

While most people consider snoring a minor nuisance that sometimes disrupts their normal sleep, the reality is that excessive snoring is cause for concern and can be linked to several major health conditions. Some of these risks include heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Snoring can be an even greater issue when it affects the patient’s partner and family by keeping them awake. Here are some of the biggest dangers that snoring poses.

Cardiovascular Disease

Snoring itself is considered a side effect of a larger problem, but not usually a problem in itself. People who snore regularly can suffer from sleep apnea which makes them more prone to cardiovascular disease, which includes increased chances of heart attacks and coronary artery diseases. In fact, studies have shown that people with sleep apnea are twice as likely to suffer from at least one of these cardiovascular events.

Obstructed Breathing

One of the biggest health risks associated with snoring is the chance that the individual stops breathing for a prolonged period of time. Relaxed and weakened muscles in the neck and esophagus can collapse into the airways which disrupts the person’s normal breathing pattern while asleep. The end result is that they may wake up repeatedly when they finally catch their breath, or that they will continue to have lowered oxygen levels in their blood. This is often associated with an increased risk of stroke, pulmonary hypertension, fatigue and chronic headaches.

Depression & Other Mental Health Concerns

Restless sleeping and repeated waking caused by sleep apnea and disrupted breathing can have long term effects on mental health. In many cases, patients become sleep deprived, over-stressed and eventually depressed as they are unable to regain control over their normal sleep schedule. This can ultimately lead to reduced productivity in day-to-day activities and place a strain on their relationships.

Weight Gain and Diabetes

Excessive weight can be both a cause and an effect of snoring and sleep apnea. In some cases, weight built up in the neck area is what causes the airways to collapse during sleep, and half of all people who are clinically overweight or obese also suffer from sleep apnea. Poor sleeping patterns and fatigue can lead to weight gain and sleep apnea as well, leading to a vicious cycle. Increased weight also increases the risk of diabetes.

Treatment

The good news is that sleep apnea and snoring can be easily treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This treatment involves forcing oxygen into the body through a breathing mask so that the airways are not able to collapse and the patient does not stop breathing. This leads to more restful and uninterrupted sleep, which reduces all of the above risks and also improves sleeping conditions for the patient’s partner and family.

Sleep apnea is a serious condition that should not be ignored by those who snore regularly. The chances of a fatal heart attack or other cardiovascular event are doubled with sleep apnea, as well as increased risks of stroke and diabetes. In many cases sleep apnea is also present among people who struggle with being overweight and the condition can add to their symptoms. Lastly, the disruptive sleep patterns caused by sleep apnea have side effects such as fatigue and even depression. All of these can have a negative impact on the health and relationships of the patient both internally and externally, and put increased strain on their body.

For more information about the long term effects of snoring and effective treatment options, please contact the American Sinus Institute today.

Advancements In Sinus Surgery Technology

American Sinus Institute Sinus-Surgery

Since the 1950s there have been several major advancements made in the sinus surgery industry. Starting with the introduction of the Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS), the technology and techniques used to relieve sinus pain have continued to improve over time. Today, there are a number of different options available to those who suffer from recurring sinus infections that are resistant to standard medications.

FESS & Image Guided Surgery

The most common form of sinus surgery involves using an endoscope through the nasal cavity to open up the passageways below the eye for better drainage. The FESS surgery is typically done as an outpatient procedure and has very few side effects. It is also a simpler, but more generalized approach to sinus relief when compared to the newer Image Guided surgery options.

Image Guided surgery is a more detailed form of the FESS, which uses infrared signals and CT scans to get a more accurate picture of the sinus cavities in real time. This allows doctors to precisely target areas of concern while minimizing risk to arteries and other tissues that don’t need to be removed. The advancements made in camera and telescopic technologies have allowed Image Guided surgery to become one of the most effective sinus surgery solutions on the market.

These types of sinus surgeries are usually the last resort after a patient has struggled with repeated and worsening sinusitis over time, but can also be an effective measure for those who have had tumors or polyps removed from their sinuses as well. In addition, the proximity of the sinus cavities to the optic nerves and major arteries means that sinus surgery can be helpful for those seeking optic nerve decompression and other related services.

Caldwell-Luc

In some cases, a malignancy or abnormality in the sinus passages may prevent normal drainage from taking place, while also making it impossible to successfully perform an FESS or Image Guided Surgery. In these cases, the Caldwell-Luc method was developed, which allows doctors to enter through the upper jaw and create a new passage between the maxillary sinus passage and the nose. This will allow for better drainage while still maintaining minimal side effects and recovery time.

Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon Sinuplasty is the newest procedure in the sinus surgery world, offering patients the same sinus relief without any cutting or removal of sinus tissues. Instead, this method uses a small catheter and balloon that is inserted into the sinus cavity and inflated. As the balloon expands, it pushes the walls of the sinus cavity open and restructures them with a wider opening, without damaging the integrity of the lining of the sinus cavity.

After the opening is secured, a saline solution is used to flush out the buildup of mucus.The Honrubia technique goes one step further and uses full anesthesia to perform balloon sinuplasty on all sinus cavities in a single sitting, rather than performing multiple procedures over the course of several appointments. This method has faster and more complete results than any other type of balloon sinuplasty.

One of the biggest advantages of balloon sinuplasty is that it is far less invasive than traditional sinus surgeries, and can be performed in a regular office setting under a local anesthetic. It has been shown to have the same long-term success rate as the FESS surgery, and does not require ongoing treatment. However, the effectiveness of this method is limited, and may not be the answer for those suffering from facial trauma, cystic fibrosis or other severe illnesses.

As technology continues to improve, doctors are testing more effective and efficient methods of treating chronic sinusitis. Currently, patients are able to choose between an endoscopic procedure which removes sinus tissue, or balloon sinuplasty which compacts the sinus tissue and widens the passages. These are both effective outpatient procedures with low risk and positive results. For more complicated cases, the Caldwell-Luc method is available. It creates a new passageway, working around obstructions or malignant areas of the sinus.

If you have any questions about sinus surgery options, we invite you to contact the American Sinus Institute for more information. We recommend and specialize in the Honrubia technique for balloon sinuplasty.

 

What Are Nasal Steroids?

American Sinus Institute Nasal-Steroids

Nasal steroids are corticosteroids similar to the cortisol produced naturally by the body. People with nasal allergies may not produce enough cortisol to combat the effects of pollen, dust and other particles that cause sneezing, itchy eyes and coughing. Nasal steroid products can help to relieve these allergy symptoms.

Medical experts estimate that one out of five people experiences allergies at some time in their lives. Many people have chronic sinus conditions stemming from allergies.

Corticosteroids sprays relieve swelling in the sinus passages. They help to control mucus and congestion so that particulates in the air are less irritating. Particulates include animal dander, pollen, mold, mildew and dust.

Allergies are most common in the spring when trees, flowers and grasses pollinate. The invisible particles float through the air and they can find their way into nasal passages in seconds. These pollens can trigger allergic reactions in people. Changes in the weather can also affect people sensitive to air pressure.

Nasal steroid use

The corticosteroids are sprayed directly into the nose. Fluticasone propionate, known as Flonase, and triamcinolone, known as Nasacort, are available over the counter at pharmacies. Stronger nasal steroids require a prescription. A doctor should be consulted before purchasing even over-the-counter steroid products.

Users of these nasal steroids must follow the enclosed directions. The spray has to stay in the sinus passages to be effective. It should not drip down the throat.

Most doctors do not consider nasal steroids to be harmful, if used according to directions. They may be used along with antihistamines and decongestants. A doctor may prescribe antibiotics for a severe sinus infection and recommend that the steroids not be used until the problem has cleared.

Causes of allergies

An allergic reaction such as a stuffy nose and sinus pressure usually occurs when a particulate or other substance interacts with the immunoglobulin E (lgE) proteins in the body. Circulating granulocyte cells bind with the lgE and release histamines, sending a message that they don’t like the intruder.

Allergies related to pollen and grass can happen at any age. While most people become aware of their hypersensitivity to allergens before the age of 10, it is not unusual for adults to find they have allergic reactions as well. Each person is different. A body may not react to pollen and other particulates at a certain level. Allergy symptoms start when the level of airborne particles increases above the body’s ability to absorb them without reactions.

A very wet spring in some areas may produce above average pollen causing more people to experience allergic rhinitis. Location and exposure to the elements play an important part in these allergies, also called “hay fever.”

People moving from dry to damper locations may experience allergy symptoms based on increased pollen count or the presence of mold spores. The reverse is also possible. People living in a damper climate may react to a dryer, dustier climate with nasal allergies after a move.

Airborne particulates are the major causes of sinus allergies, but other factors can also cause problems. Certain animals may have dander that irritates the nose. Nitrates in food and sulfites (SO2) in wine and some dried fruits can cause nasal membranes to swell in some individuals. Others are allergic to insect stings or to insect droppings. Dust particles are the droppings from dust mites. Getting rid of the mites solves this problem.

Certain nuts and seeds can trigger allergies in some people. These reactions may be more severe than just sneezing and sinus pressure.

Allergic reactions

The reaction may start with a sneeze, but it can lead to coughing. This can also lead to swelling in the sinuses, throat and chest. The frontal sinuses in the forehead, maxillary sinuses in the cheekbones and under the eyes can swell and throb. The Eustachian tubes can become clogged. Itchy eyes can lead to conjunctivitis. Nasal polyps that block the flow of air and mucus can also develop over time.

Asthma, mucus in the lungs, is an allergic reaction that often accompanies sneezing and sinus congestion. Inhaled aerosol corticosteroids, similar to nasal steroids, are often used to contain asthma. Albuterol inhalers are used for quick asthma relief.

Treatment

Many doctors specialize in treating allergies and sinus conditions as they are very common. Nasal steroids or other sprays that shrink sinus membranes temporarily are often recommended as the first line of treatment. More intense treatments are available for chronic sinus conditions.

The American Sinus Institute offers the Honrubia Technique for Balloon Sinuplasty. This is a minimally invasive technique for relieving chronic sinusitis. A tiny balloon catheter is used to open the blocked sinuses and allow mucus to drain. The sinuses remain open when the balloon is removed.

Contact the American Sinus Institute for further information on nasal steroids and other sinus treatments.

Signs That Your Child Has Allergies

American Sinus Institute Child with Allergies

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cases of food and skin allergies in children have been steadily rising. Below, are some common symptoms of child allergies and what to do if your child is showing signs of an allergic reaction.

Is Your Child Likely to Have Allergies?

It’s possible for any individual to be born with allergies or to develop them at some point. However, genetics play a part in the likelihood of having allergies. If you or your partner have allergic reactions, your children will be more likely to be born with or develop them as well. Discovering symptoms and taking action early will help your child to be healthier.

Signs of Child Allergies

If you suspect that your child is suffering from allergies, there are steps you can take to remedy the problem. Start by keeping an eye out for the following symptoms and take note of when and where they occur.

  • Sneezing, coughing, and red itchy eyes
  • A runny nose with clear discharge
  • Shallow breathing or wheezing
  • Hives or rashes
  • Upset stomach, vomiting, or diarrhea

Several of these symptoms will look like the cold or flu. To distinguish between simply being sick and developing allergies, pay attention to how long the symptoms continue. If coughing and sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose continue for more than a week, allergies are more likely to blame.

Noting Triggers of Child Allergies

In addition to paying attention to the symptoms your child shows, it’s important to determine any potential triggers. When you see a reaction, such as sneezing when playing outside, make a note of where your child was and what they were doing when the symptoms started. There are several common airborne allergens that are most likely to affect children.

  • Dust mites – carried through the air and often found on fabrics and in carpets
  • Mold – which can be found outdoors or in poorly ventilated areas inside homes and other buildings
  • Pets – due to dander or saliva which can end up on the fur

Food allergies are also becoming more prevalent in children. The leading food allergens include:

  • Peanuts
  • tree nuts
  • milk
  • wheat
  • soy
  • shellfish eggs

What to Do if You Suspect Child Allergies

In some cases, it will be easy to pinpoint child allergies as the cause of symptoms and a doctor will be able to share with you the best course of action. In other cases, allergy triggers won’t be as clear. Working with your doctor will help to determine what your child is reacting to and how to deal with the problem.

An allergist will complete tests to determine allergies. To test a variety of possible allergens, the allergist will use a small amount of the allergens to observe the skin’s reaction. The area will become red and slightly swollen if an allergy exists. After being tested and showing symptoms of allergies, you can take steps to keep your child healthy.

Treating Child Allergies

While allergies cannot be cured, reactions can be avoided. Helping your child to avoid contact with their allergens is, of course, the best place to start. It’s also important to educate your child about their allergy and the possible reactions they could have if exposed.

In some cases, the symptoms of allergies may impair quality of life. In these situations, you might choose for your child to have allergy shots, use an antihistamine, or have a procedure to alleviate symptoms. A Balloon Sinuplasty is a procedure that offers relief from sinus pain, an issue that many allergy sufferers deal with.

In addition, there are several steps that can be taken at home and at school to avoid allergens.

  • For those with pet allergies, keep family pets out of the child’s bedroom or rethink having a pet.
  • When possible, choose hard floors rather than carpet, which will hold dust and dander.
  • Those with pollen allergies should keep windows closed in their home. After being outdoors, the child should shower quickly to remove pollen from their skin. Clothing worn outdoors by the child should be laundered quickly for the same reason.
  • Alert teachers, including gym teachers and lunch room monitors, about allergies, any medications your child may require, and what to do in case of a reaction.

The balloon sinuplasty treatment clears nasal passages to alleviate sinus pain and it may also help with allergy relief. Please contact the American Sinus Institute for more information on the procedure.

Is Balloon Sinuplasty Right For Me?

American Sinus Institute Sinus Cavity

Over 37 million people suffer from sinus problems every year. At a moment’s notice, symptoms can flare up bringing headaches, breathing trouble, facial pressure, constant congestion and sleeping issues to the people affected. Since 2005, almost 400,000 people who suffer daily with sinus issues have been helped by a new procedure called balloon sinuplasty.

What is Balloon Sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty has been proven safe and effective for the treatment of sinusitis. During the procedure, a wire catheter with a balloon over it is inserted into the sinus passages. The balloon is then inflated, dilating the sinus passages and widening the nasal passages to restore normal function. It is very similar to angioplasty for collapsing and clogged arteries.

Balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive, and in many cases can be performed in the doctor’s office under local anesthetic. There is no cutting of nasal bone or tissue – as occurs with traditional sinus surgeries – and patients can return to normal activities very quickly, free of the suffering of sinusitis.

For patients that suffer from problems that originate in the maxillary, sphenoid or frontal sinus, or are related to allergies or asthma, the procedure can be truly relieving. It delivers constant and lasting improvements, with very low incidence of complications. It’s even approved for children, bringing relief to young ones who suffer from recurring sinus issues.

Who Can Benefit?

In determining whether or not a person is a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, they first need to consult with an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor. After a seemingly endless line of different over-the-counter and prescribed medications, many simply cannot find relief for their sinus issues, and turn to balloon sinuplasty. It is a fairly simply procedure that can bring almost instant relief.

An ENT specialist will have a number of questions to ask to determine if a person is a good candidate for the procedure. Symptoms that can be an indicator of a possible need for the procedure include:

  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Sinus headaches
  • Nasal mucus discharge
  • Congestion
  • Changes in the sense of smell
  • Coughing
  • Ear fullness
  • Dizziness
  • Sleep patterns
  • Fatigue

In addition, the doctor will also want to know what over-the-counter medications a person may have taken to try to control the sinus issues, and the frequency at which they have been taking them. If a person has experienced four or more sinus infections over the course of a calendar year, and they have exhausted all medication options, they may make an excellent candidate for a procedure.

The Solution

Not everyone is a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, however. Unfortunately, cases involving nasal polyps, deviated septums or facial trauma can’t be helped by the procedure. Those aren’t true sinus problems as they occur outside the actual sinuses, though they also can cause breathing troubles.

Those that pursue balloon sinuplasty as a solution to their recurring sinus problems also need to take the time to investigate the procedure, and make sure the approach taken is a good fit for their individual issues. When done correctly, those who have the procedure go on to enjoy an enhanced quality of life and rid themselves of their continuing sinus issues.

American Sinus Institute

At the American Sinus Institute, we perform balloon sinuplasty using the Honrubia Technique, innovated by Dr. Vincent Honrubia. It focuses on patient comfort and safety first. This results in a procedure that eliminates the pain of traditional sinus surgery, and accelerates the healing process, getting sufferers back to a life free of sinus problems as quickly as possible.

Contact us for more information.

Symptoms Of Sinusitis

American Sinus Institute Sinusitis

Certain injuries and health conditions are well known for causing considerable pain. While some people may think that sinus issues are only mildly uncomfortable, the truth is that sinusitis is a common ailment that can be extremely painful for some. Let’s look at what sinusitis is and its common symptoms.

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, also often called a “sinus infection.” Sinusitis can occur on its own or in response to allergies, but it often happens after a cold that just doesn’t seem to go away. Inflamed sinuses make it difficult to breathe through the nose and can even cause facial pain. When the sinus tissues are inflamed, it is difficult for mucus to drain normally.

Sinus Pressure and Congestion

Sinus pressure and congestion are among the most common symptoms of sinusitis. However, these symptoms can also make it difficult to tell when sinus issues have turned from a cold-related nuisance to a full-blown infection because many common colds also include sinus pressure and congestion. Inhaling may feel sharp and painful. If the pressure and congestion are a bit worse than normal, and they seem to linger more than usual, it could be a sign of an infection.

Facial Pain

Sinusitis often comes with facial pain. The swelling of the sinuses presses down on nerves in the face, which causes the pain and sensitivity. This discomfort can radiate to the entire face, but occurs most frequently behind and around the eyes, in the forehead, nose and cheeks. Similarly, even the teeth can feel more sore and sensitive. Inflamed sinuses make it feel like the entire face is swollen.

Sinus Headache

Another very common symptom of inflamed sinuses is a sinus headache. Unlike a tension headache, which can usually be relieved with relaxation techniques and an analgesic like acetaminophen, it can be very difficult to get relief from a sinus headache. Some may be inclined to take a decongestant, which would also have the potential benefit of alleviating the stuffy nose and trouble breathing, but it can often backfire and make a sinus headache worse. A helpful hint: added moisture in the air, such as from a vaporizer, is more likely to relieve a sinus headache than a decongestant.

Loss of Smell or Taste

A distinguishing factor between a garden-variety cold and sinusitis is that the loss of the senses of taste or smell rarely happens with a cold, but is more likely to happen with inflamed sinuses.

Effects of Sinus Drainage

Inflamed sinuses also cause increased sinus drainage. This can cause bad breath, especially if using decongestants, which cause dry mouth. Sinus drainage also causes a sore throat that feels raw and scratchy. This may also be caused by post-nasal drip. The sinus drainage may also cause a cough. In addition, the mucus associated with sinusitis is often yellow and/or green.

Fatigue

A feeling of general fatigue is another common symptom when the sinuses are inflamed. The fatigue is likely due to the efforts the body is taking to fight off the infection taking place in the sinuses.

American Sinus Institute

Sinusitis comes in several stages, including the acute stage that lasts up to four weeks and usually occurs after a cold. Sub-acute cases can last up to 12 weeks without significant relief. Treatment options for both acute and sub-acute stages may be supportive, such as use of decongestants, pain relievers, saline nasal sprays and vaporizers. Depending on the severity of symptoms, patients may also be prescribed antibiotics.

Some may deal with chronic sinus inflammation, which lingers for more than 12 weeks and can last for months, and an unlucky few deal with several times a year. In these lingering or recurring cases, the doctor may consider more serious interventions such as balloon sinuplasty.

At the American Sinus Institute, we are experts in treating sinusitis. If you are experiencing regular symptoms like those listed above, please know that we can help provide relief up to and including balloon sinuplasty.  Contact us for more information.

How Long Does It Take To Recover From Balloon Sinuplasty

American Sinus Institute Balloon-Sinuplasty Blowing Nose

Recovery from balloon sinuplasty is quick and easy. Most people who have undergone this outpatient technique are back to their usual activities within two or three days.

Balloon Sinuplasty is a procedure approved by the FDA in 2005 to permanently reopen and restructure the nasal sinus area for people with severe sinusitis. Patients undergoing this procedure and recovering from it are advised not to blow their nose for 24 hours or engage in heavy physical activity.

The procedure may result in minor blood drainage and minimal swelling. There is very little pain associated with the post-operative period. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics or a steroid drug to prevent infection and control any post-operative discomfort. Each patient is also advised to sleep with their head elevated. Rinsing the nose with a saline solution may also be prescribed.

What does the procedure involve?

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure where a tiny balloon is inserted into the nasal cavities. The balloon is inserted with a catheter and it is inflated to open and restructure blocked sinuses. The balloon leaves the ostium open for drainage after it is removed. It does not harm the mucus lining of the nose. Endoscopic visualization and fluoroscopy are used to track the balloon.

There is no cutting or removal of tissue as occurs in other forms of sinus surgery.

Ear, nose and throat doctors, known as Otolaryngologists, often perform this procedure in the office or at a clinic. The average amount of time for the procedure is less than two hours. The patient may receive general or localized anesthesia. The balloon is made from a non-latex plastic which does not irritate nasal tissues.

This procedure can provide long-term relief from chronic sinusitis and it is seldom needed again. It is covered by Medicare and many insurance programs.

Who needs balloon sinuplasty?

Millions of people in the United States and other countries suffer from mild to chronic sinus problems. Many of these problems are the result of allergies that occur seasonally.

Sinus problems can occur anywhere but many people have chronic inflammation and infections that do not significantly improve with antibiotics and other medications.

The worst symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:

  • Pain in the area beneath the eyes, cheek area and temple
  • Colds and colored mucus discharge
  • Blocked nasal passages
  • A sore throat from nasal discharge
  • Continual sneezing and coughing

These symptoms, when they happen occasionally, can be treated with medication. It is the person who experiences these symptoms on a regular basis that may be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty. The decision to undergo that procedure is between the doctor and patient.

The procedure is approved for adults, including seniors.

Balloon Sinuplasty Development

The procedure was developed by Dr. Vincent Honrubia at the South Texas Sinus Institute in Edinburg, Texas. The STSI expanded to the American Sinus Institute in San Antonio and Houston where this procedure is now offered. Dr. Honrubia, a board certified ENT specialist, calls the treatment Painless Sinuplasty Anesthetic Linked Method or PSALM. He has trained ENT doctors in different parts of the country on balloon sinuplasty.

Dr. Honrubia’s method gives patients mild intravenous medication to relax them but not put them to sleep. Patients are lightly sedated during the balloon sinuplasty and they recover quickly from a procedure that is not painful.

People interested in learning more about the procedure are encouraged to consult their primary care provider and or an ENT specialist. Balloon sinuplasty is now offered in many areas across the country by doctors trained in the procedures.

Contact us for more information.

Causes Of Nasal Inflammation

American Sinus Institute Sinusitis Pain

Nasal inflammation is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue which lines the sinuses. Also known as sinusitis, this ailment blocks the air passageways, causing mucus to increase and potentially cause an infection. This type of ailment is rather common and can be caused by something as simple as the common cold. Allergic rhinitis or the swelling of the lining of the nose can also be a progenitor of nasal inflammation. A deviated septum or a shift in the nasal cavity is also one of the ways that this agitation can begin.

Types

There are four different types of nasal inflammation:

  • Acute
  • Sub-acute
  • Chronic
  • Recurrent

Acute nasal inflammation comes very suddenly and includes pain that does not go away after 10-14 days. The acute type typically lasts four weeks or less. Sub-acute lasts four to eight weeks. Chronic shares the same characteristics as the first two types and lasts eight weeks or longer. Recurrent inflammation consists of several repeated attacks, which happen within the time frame of one year.

Causes

Nearly 37 million Americans suffer from at least one episode of acute nasal inflammation each year. For those who suffer from conditions like the blockage of drainage ducts, nasal polyps, narrow drainage ducts, nasal mucous membrane swelling or those whose medications compromise the immune system could be at greater risk for this condition. Children who are subjected to second-hand smoke may also be more likely to have an attack.

Treatments

Because causes of nasal inflammation are so varied, the treatments are as well. Acute onset sinusitis comes on rapidly and healthcare professionals may diagnose it as such, simply prescribing a nasal decongestant. They may also give an over-the-counter type of nasal spray or nasal drops depending upon the severity of the condition.

If the issues lean more towards the chronic side, a doctor may suggest a vaporizer or steam machine to help soothe the nose. Antibiotics or oral steroids may also be prescribed.

For those with chronic and recurrent conditions, a more aggressive approach may be required. First, it is important to promptly identify and remove any triggers that may be setting off the attacks. For more severe cases a doctor may be able to prescribe some stronger antibiotics. It is even common to go after lifestyle changes, make definite changes to diet or environment. Some have even gone so far as to pick up and move to another locale, climate or elevation if that is something that may be setting off agitated sinuses.

Balloon Sinuplasty

Another treatment for nasal inflammation is Balloon Sinuplasty. This procedure does not cut any of the nasal bone or tissue, as is the case with traditional sinus surgeries.

A tiny balloon catheter is placed into the blocked nasal passages. The balloon is then inflated, which opens up the restricted airways from blockages. Saline is then sprayed into the opened passage, which helps to remove the remaining mucus, pus and any other infected material.

When a patient receives a Balloon Sinuplasty treatment, the integrity of the inner lining of the sinuses is maintained, therefore many people have little to no recovery time. So there is no extended hospital stay involved, or extended time off work required.

At the end of the day nasal inflammation is a condition we would all like to avoid and get relief from when we do experience it. For more information on balloon sinuplasty, contact The American Sinus Institute for a consultative appointment with an industry-leading Otolaryngologist. This treatment is available at all three Texas locations in San Antonio, Houston and Edinburg.

What Are The Causes Of Allergies?

American Sinus Institute Allergies

Allergies are a common issue among children and adults alike. In fact, roughly 50 million people in the US have nasal allergies, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The underlying causes of allergic reactions are not yet fully understood, but researchers do know what occurs when people are exposed to allergens. There are also some notable factors that can increase the risk of developing an allergy.

Immune System Response

Allergic reactions occur when the human body’s immune system mistakenly identifies certain foreign substances as potential dangers. These substances are typically harmless and only cause reactions in those with allergies. The immune system produces proteins called antibodies, which attach themselves to the foreign substances. This allows other immune system cells to easily locate and destroy them.

When people are exposed to allergens, their immune system produces a different type of antibody, called immunoglobulin E (IgE). This leads to symptoms such as a stuffy nose or trouble breathing, depending on where IgE antibodies are produced. In those with an allergy, the immune system will produce these antibodies when it is exposed to particular allergens.

Allergy Risk Factors

Although anyone can develop an allergy to certain substances, some people have a higher risk. Those with a family history of allergies, such as hay fever or asthma, have an increased risk. Having one parent with an allergy can result in a 33 percent chance of developing one, while having two parents with them can lead to a 70 percent chance.

Other factors that can lead to a higher risk of allergic reactions include having asthma or at least one allergic condition. Those who have one allergy might be more likely to develop more of them. Children also have an increased risk of developing an allergy compared to adults, although some eventually outgrow these as they get older. Adults and children who are exposed to an allergen when their immune system is weaker might also have a higher risk of getting an allergy.

Underlying Causes

Researchers don’t fully understand what causes allergies to develop. Even those with a family history of allergies won’t necessarily end up with them. Researchers believe that the exact cause of these reactions is a result of several factors coming together, although more research is needed to determine exactly what these factors are.

Common Allergens

There are several different substances that can trigger allergic reactions in people. Some of these reactions affect the nasal passages and sinuses, while others mainly affect the lungs. Some allergens trigger skin reactions, such as hives or rashes.

Common types of allergens known to affect humans include the following:

  • Animal dander
  • Dust mites
  • Insect stings
  • Pollen, ragweed and other airborne allergens that come from trees, bushes and other vegetation
  • Mold
  • Peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, shellfish and certain other foods
  • Medications, such as penicillin
  • Latex

Allergy Relief

Those who suffer from allergies can often find relief from different types of treatments. These include taking medications that help ease symptoms, receiving immunotherapy injections and avoiding known allergens. Balloon sinuplasty can also provide relief. This technique involves using a small balloon to open up the nasal passages and reduce inflammation.

If you would like more information on allergies and sinus issues, please consult with the American Sinus Institute. We offer balloon sinuplasty, which is an effective way to relieve allergy symptoms.  Contact us for more information.

 

Balloon Sinuplasty Vs. Traditional Sinus Surgery

American Sinus Institute balloon-sinuplasty-vs-sinus-surgery

Chronic sinusitis can be a literal pain. It’s a common condition in the modern world, initially triggered by allergies or a cold and then becoming a chronic problem. Diagnostic symptoms include a yellow or green discharge from the nostrils or down the throat, difficulty breathing through the nose, a reduced sense of smell, facial pain, tenderness and swelling around the nose, cheek, eyes and/or forehead. It can also cause a cough, sore throat, bad breath, fatigue, nausea, irritability and pain in the ear and/or upper jaw.

Traditional Sinus Surgeries

In severe cases of sinusitis, surgery is often recommended. Traditional sinus surgery consists of one of three procedures, depending on the problem areas:

  • Maxillary antrostomy surgery is for the sinus at the back of the cheekbones.
  • The Ethmoidectomy procedure is for behind the eyes and the bridge of the nose and powered sinuplasty.
  • The Turbiniplasty surgery is for blockage caused by enlargement of the nasal turbinates (small structures within the nose that humidify and cleanse the air) or a twisted nasal septum.

Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

The traditional sinus surgeries are established and effective, but a new procedure called balloon sinuplasty has now entered the realm of effective treatment options. This is a form of endoscopic surgery in which a balloon is inserted into the sinuses and then expanded to clean out mucus and expand blocked openings.

How to choose between the two:

So, which is the best procedure: traditional surgery or balloon sinuplasty? For many patients, balloon sinuplasty is a superior choice.

Traditional surgery requires anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks of time off work. With balloon sinuplasty, the patient can often return to work within one to two days. Both procedures can be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. With the Honrubia Technique for balloon sinuplasty, general anesthesia is used to help ensure the patient stays relaxed through the procedure and reduce complications. Balloon sinuplasty is generally done in a doctor’s office, rather than a hospital or surgical center.

When undergoing traditional surgery bone and/or tissue are often removed. This results in the lengthy – and sometimes painful – recovery time required.  Balloon sinuplasty works with the natural openings and thus causes less damage and has a much lower risk of scarring. Because of the bleeding, traditional surgery often requires uncomfortable packing of the nose afterward, which is not necessary with balloon sinuplasty.

However, not all patients are best served by balloon sinuplasty. If you have a deviated nasal septum or enlarged polyps, you will need traditional surgery to correct the problem.

Traditional surgery also has a lower chance of the recurrence of sinusitis symptoms, which can return after between six months and three years with balloon sinuplasty. This means there is a higher chance that the procedure may have to be repeated, but due to its minimally invasive nature, this is not a problem for the body. Likewise, traditional surgery may also have to be repeated due to a variety of factors.

It’s worth noting that neither form of surgery cures sinusitis. Treatment with drugs will still be needed, but symptoms are significantly reduced with both procedures. Before and after surgery, sinusitis should be managed by treating any allergies that might be present and, in some cases, treating the patient for acid reflux.

Contact the American Sinus Institute

The American Sinus Institute specializes in balloon sinuplasty and the Honrubia Technique. If you are experiences recurring or chronic sinus problems, please consult with us to determine if balloon sinuplasty would work for you.

Results Of Balloon Sinuplasty

American Sinus Institute family walking in meadow

Balloon Sinuplasty is a procedure designed to treat sinusitis. Since 2005, this FDA-approved process has been giving sufferers of sinusitis a new approach to clearing their blocked sinuses, helping them to breathe normally again.

This relatively new procedure is minimally invasive and is a good option for anyone who has not responded well to medical treatments in the past and continues to experience blocked sinuses.

Balloon Sinuplasty will dilate the patient’s sinus passages. A wire catheter is inserted into the patient’s sinus cavity and a small balloon is advanced over the wire. The balloon is then inflated. As it is inflated, the balloon opens up the sinus passages to drain out blockages and restore the patient’s normal sinus functions.

Since the sinus tissue is not removed (as it is in traditional sinus surgery), balloon sinuplasty creates less trauma in the sinus area. This means there is less post-op pain, less scarring, less bleeding and a minimal recovery time.

Doctors tend to view Balloon Sinuplasty as a useful alternative to the more invasive procedure, especially for children. This procedure is a safe, proven way to rid patients of the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. It can also relieve the types of nasal breathing problems that are often worsened by sinusitis.

What to expect after the Balloon Sinuplasty

After Balloon Sinuplasty is performed, one can expect to have cleared nasal passages, easier breathing, fewer sinus infections and an overall better quality of life. With this minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedure, patients typically do not report any negative side effects, such as those that are typically associated with traditional sinus surgery.

However, as with all medical treatments, there will be some symptoms after the procedure for which patients should be prepared. There may be some bloody drainage for the first few days after the procedure, but this will decrease, and lighten in color, quickly.

There may also be a minimal amount of swelling. This swelling may feel similar to sinus congestion. To alleviate the swelling and feelings of congestion, patients are advised to sleep with their heads elevated and to take the antibiotics given to them by the doctor. These antibiotics will also reduce the likelihood of developing a sinus infection. Many patients claim that they feel no pain after the procedure, but they may feel fatigue.

Following Balloon Sinuplasty, moderate exercise is fine, but any strenuous activity should be avoided for one week. Saline spray may be recommended in order to keep the nose lubricated and prevent any additional bleeding or complications from occurring.

Recovery after the procedure

Since Balloon Sinuplasty is performed as an in-office procedure, under local anesthesia, recovery time is usually as rapid as 24 hours. This makes it a good choice for those with minimal sinus issues who do not want to suffer through the long recovery period required with traditional sinus surgery.

Balloon sinuplasty is also a good choice for those who are adverse to surgery in general, or anyone with health problems that make surgery difficult.

After Balloon Sinuplasty, patients are typically able to drive themselves home. Generally, those who have this outpatient procedure performed say that they feel capable of completing their normal daily activities within two days. The recovery time will, however, vary from patient to patient.

Those who have had Balloon Sinuplasty performed have reported no relapses in their symptoms two years after the procedure.

If you are ready to end the pain of sinusitis and find out if Balloon Sinuplasty is right for you, please contact the American Sinus Institute today. End your suffering now!

How Does Balloon Sinuplasty Work?

American Sinus Institute Sinus Graphic

Patients with recurrent acute rhinosinusitis or chronic sinusitis symptoms that do not respond well to medication are prime candidates for sinus surgery. Often, surgery is the only recourse for severe symptoms. Many patients may try to avoid traditional sinus surgery due to its invasive and painful nature, even if they are living with constant sinus discomfort and discharge.

The traditional sinuplasty is associated with breaking tissue and bones in an attempt to widen sinus passages to facilitate easier breathing. This type of surgery is painful and takes some time for patients to recover from the invasive restructuring of bone and sinus tissue. Pain medication and extensive aftercare are essential for a full recovery. There is also the risk of infection and other complications, as there is with all surgeries that involve cutting into tissue.

Now there is another option. Balloon sinuplasty has been developed as a less invasive alternative to traditional surgery as it prevents major tissue trauma and promotes faster healing after the procedure. It is considered a true breakthrough in endoscopic sinus surgery. One of the main advantages of balloon sinuplasty over traditional sinus surgery is that patients are able to return to work after just a day or two.

What is Balloon Sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty – also known at the “Honrubia Technique,” after Dr. Vincent F. Honrubia who developed it – is performed under general anesthesia, although in some cases patients have been able to tolerate the procedure under local anesthesia. It is performed on chronic sinusitis patients to immediately alleviate discomfort.

A tiny balloon is inserted into the blocked sinus passage and then inflated, much like a heart surgeon opens up blocked arteries with a balloon angioplasty. The balloon displaces and widens the sinus passage and then the cavity is cleared of pus, mucus and debris with a saline rinse. After the sinus cavity is cleared, the balloon is removed, leaving an open and clean sinus passage.

The recovery time after this procedure is drastically decreased because very little, if any, sinus tissue is removed. The average length of the procedure is just over an hour and patients do not require an overnight hospital stay, unlike traditional sinus surgery.

Are there risks involved in the Honrubia Method?

There are always minimal risks involved with anesthesia, but balloon sinuplasty is inherently less invasive and thus the risks are very low. The procedure can be performed as an office visit and does not require extended hospitalization. There is less risk of infection and overall the patient recovers much faster. Because balloon sinuplasty is less painful, patients remain in higher spirits and follow up treatment is minimal, often requiring only a follow up walk-in visit.

What equipment is used in this procedure?

Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Acclarent, are the leaders in research and development in the field of balloon sinus surgery today. They have developed an all-encompassing Balloon Sinuplasty System exclusively used by the American Sinus Institute. The Acclarent System uses the highest quality parts and equipment and the balloon used in the procedure is made from a special plastic that does not contain any latex or potentially irritating substances.

The Honrubia Method was approved as a safe alternative to traditional sinus surgery by the FDA in 2005. Since then, more than 380,000 patients have safely undergone Balloon Sinuplasty and over 95% say they would have the procedure done again.

At the American Sinus Institute, patient comfort and safety are our number one concern. Surgeons specializing in the Honrubia Technique ensure that our patients have the most relaxing and positive surgery experience possible. Please contact us for a consultation today.