An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from allergies – making it one of the most common conditions. Allergies occur when the immune system reacts strongly to a substance it encounters either through breathing, eating or touch.
Inhalant allergies, or allergies caused by something you breathe, can be either seasonal or perennial. Seasonal allergies occur at the same time every year. Potential seasonal allergens include trees, grasses, and weeds. A perennial allergy is always present, and include molds, dust mites, and house pets.
What are the best treatments for sinusitis?
Allergy & Sinus Infection
Common symptoms of inhalant allergies include:
- nasal congestion
- runny nose
- post-nasal drip
- itchy nose
- itchy eyes
All of these symptoms can be caused by an allergic inflammation of the nose, called allergic rhinitis. When sinuses (the cavities next to the nasal cavity) become inflamed or infected, it is called sinusitis. Congestion, green or yellow discharge, pressure in the forehead, around the eyes or in the checks, headaches, and fever can all indicate a sinus infection.
At Boston ENT we continue to pursue the latest technology and advancements in medical science to help our patients alleviate the symptoms and challenges of allergic disease. Many patients are able to control allergy symptoms through a variety of classes of medications including nasal steroids, decongestants, antihistamines, anticholinergics, leukotiene inhibitors, and mast-cell stabilizers. But a variety of medical therapies including Turbinate Coblation, Balloon Sinuplasty, sublingual therapy (drops placed under the tongue) and stents are incredibly effective and limit the use of medications.
The most common cause of chronic stuffy nose is enlarged turbinates. Turbinates are small, bony structures located in the nasal airway covered with mucous membranes. Allergies or other conditions can cause irritation, inflammation, and enlargement of turbinates, resulting in the blocked nasal airway we know as “stuffy nose”.
Coblation-Assisted Turbinate Reduction is a medical innovation that provides effective, fast, and continued relief of chronic stuffy nose by both removing and shrinking soft tissue inside the turbinates.
This revolutionary treatment:
- Offers immediate and continued results
- Approximately 50% reduction in nasal blockage within one week of treatment
- Patients report sustained relief at 3, 6 and 12 months following treatment
- Is performed in the comfort of your doctor’s office, under local anesthesia
- Takes as little as ten minutes
- Is virtually painless and has a low incidence of side-effects
How Coblation Works
Coblation is a quick outpatient procedure that takes less than 10 minutes to quickly and effectively remove and shrink soft tissue inside the enlarged turbinates. Patients typically return home shortly after the procedure, and can experience a 50% reduction in nasal obstruction within one week.
After the initial healing, you should experience a notable improvement in your stuffy nose. As the turbinates continue to shrink over time, your ability to breathe will improve. Turbinate size can vary among patients. As such, it may be necessary to repeat the Coblation procedure to achieve maximum results.
Balloon Sinuplasty is a simple procedure that provides lasting relief to chronic sinusitis patients. Balloon Sinuplasty can be done in our office and is safe & less invasive than surgery and proven effective with fast recovery.
How is Balloon Sinuplasty Safe & Less Invasive?
With Balloon Sinuplasty, there is no cutting of nasal bone or tissue. More than 380,000 patients suffering from chronic sinusitis symptoms have been treated by ear, nose and throat doctors using Balloon Sinuplasty.
How do patients feel after Balloon Sinuplasty?
In a study tracking patients 2 years following their Balloon Sinuplasty Sinus Surgery in the OR, most chronic sinusitis patients report clinically meaningful improvement in sinus symptoms and quality of life.
How long does recovery take after Balloon Sinuplasty?
While recovery time varies with each patient, recovery is typically fast. In a study of in-office balloon dilation, most patients returned to work and normal activity within 2 days.
- Can be conducted comfortably without general anesthesia, meaning that food and drink are typically permitted prior to the procedure.
- Comfortable, familiar environment.
- Limited downtime, as most procedures last less than 60 minutes4 and most people return to their normal activities within 2 days.
- Some eligible patients may have lower out-of- pocket costs if the procedure is performed in a doctor’s office.
How Balloon Sinuplasty Works
With Balloon Sinuplasty, Boston ENT doctors can open inflamed sinuses in the same way that heart surgeons open up blocked arteries during balloon angioplasty. The procedure is done in our offices without the need for general anestegia, is less invasive than traditional sinus surgery, and effective at relieving symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Balloon Sinuplasty allows patients to return to normal activities quickly, becuase Unlike conventional sinus surgery, it does not include removal of bone or tissue from the nose.
Step 1. A soft, flexible guidewire is inserted into the blocked sinus.
Step 2. The balloon is advanced over the guidewire and is inflated to gently expand the sinus opening.
Step 3. Mucous is flushed and sinuses are cleaned.
Step 4. The balloon is removed, leaving the sinus open.
Allergy Testing & Treatment
ENT Allergists can test for and treat a number of environmental allergies, providing relief from seasonal allergies as well as allergies to things such as pets, mold and dust. Allergies are diagnosed via skin test, blood test (RAST) or both. After testing, your allergist will help you decide the best course of treatment for your lifestyle by deciding between two options:
Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT)
If you’re looking for allergy treaments that do not require shots, then Sublingual Immunotherapy – also known as SLIT – is the perfect solution! This procedure is a self-administered therapy that only requires placing drops under your tongue every day, and can be done at home.
Besides the avoidance of painful shots, SLIT makes it easy for those who are unable to regularly schedule appointments at a doctors office, such as college students and those who travel frequently.
Several large research studies have compared the efficacy of SLIT to traditional allergy shots and found them both to be equally effective over time.
Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots)
Allergy shots are given weekly in the office until a patient builds an immunity to their allergen.
Although sinus surgery is an effective treatment for chronic sinusitis, the majority of patients experience recurrent symptoms within the first year and as many as 25% then undergo revision surgery due to recurrent obstruction of the sinus cavity.
The PROPEL® mometasone furoate implant was developed to improve quality of life for patients with chronic sinusitis by maintaining the openings created during sinus surgery. Applying principles of coronary stents to sinusitis sufferers, the spring-like implants gradually deliver an advanced steroid with anti-inflammatory properties directly to the sinus lining, and then dissolve into the body following endoscopic sinus surgery. The result is improved surgical outcomes, reducing the need for additional surgical procedures and for systemic steroids, which can have serious side effects. Patients may breathe easier, smell things they didn’t realize they missed and resume activities they love such as traveling and exercise.
Before surgery, the sinus is closed
During surgery, the sinus is opened and cleared
PROPEL stent ensures the sinus remains open after surgery. As it dissolves, it releases just the right amount of medication to ensure clear sinuses persist.
PROPEL is a small, innovative, spring-like device. It props open the sinus after surgery. This allows air to circulate and mucus to drain, so proper sinus functioning and healing can take place.
PROPEL contains an anti-inflammatory medication. It delivers the drug in a controlled manner, directly into the heling sinus tissues that need it. This helps to decrease inflammation (swelling), and prevent scarring.
As PROPEL delivers the medication, it slowly dissolves. This takes about 30 to 45 days. Because PROPEL dissolves, there is no need to remove it.
PROPEL is clinically proven to maintain the outcomes of surgery.1 This means less likelihood for additional surgical interventions or the need for oral steroids.
PROPEL is lightweight, and usually cannot be felt once in place. And, its unique dissolvable design eliminates the need for removal, for additional peace of mind.
Sinuva Sinus Implant
Sinuva is an in-office alternative to repeat sinus surgery for nasal polyps. SINUVA is the first and only FDA-approved stent for the treatment of nasal polyps in adult patients who have already had ethmoid sinus surgery. It works by expanding in the ethmoid sinus and delivering anti-inflammatory medicine directly to the nasal polyps, not to the rest of your body. Your doctor will implant SINUVA in office, using local anesthesia.