What doctors treat chronic sinusitis?
Many types of healthcare practitioners can diagnose and treat sinusitis, and the most appropriate choice depends on the individual situation. A primary care physician or family practice doctor may be suitable in the case of acute sinusitis. Pediatricians, allergists, and even nurse practitioners may prescribe medication for acute sinusitis.
Chronic sinusitis, however, may suggest that a specialist is needed. This is most often an otolaryngologist, also known as an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist. An ENT can do a more thorough exam than a primary care doctor, and this type of referral is common in cases of chronic sinusitis, especially when there’s reason to suspect nasal polyps or some other condition is blocking the nasal cavity or sinus entrance.
How is sinusitis treated?
The goal of sinusitis treatment is threefold: to reduce inflammation, to keep the nasal passages draining, and to correct the underlying cause of the problem, whether that is a virus, a bacterial infection, or an anatomical problem.Sinusitis treatment usually begins with conservative measures. This may include both over-the-counter and prescription medications.
Corticosteroids are often used to reduce inflammation, and may be prescribed as a nasal spray, as an injection, or occasionally in oral form. Antibiotics are necessary if sinusitis is due to a bacterial infection.However, more than half of chronic sinusitis sufferers don’t achieve relief from medication. When this is the case, sinus surgery may be recommended.
Conventional sinus surgery removes blockages or enlarges the sinus opening surgically by removing tissue and in some cases bone. Unfortunately, this can result in scarring, and many patients may need a second surgical procedure.
Balloon sinuplasty is a cutting-edge, minimally-invasive procedure that achieves the same result with less likelihood of scarring. Rather than removing inflamed tissue and bone, a tiny balloon is inserted into the sinus opening and inflated, restructuring the sinus cavity. This results in faster recovery time and fewer complications than traditional surgery.
Is Balloon Sinuplasty cleared for use by the FDA?
Balloon Sinuplasty received FDA clearance in 2005. Over 150,000 patients have had the procedure.