Conditions and Treatments

Otolaryngology Conditions, Disorders & Treatment

Sinus disorders affect nearly 50 million Americans annually, resulting in loss of productivity and needless suffering from chronic facial pain and pressure, drainage, sore throat and cough, congestion, sinus infections, loss of taste and smell, and bad breath. While some people find relief from over-the-counter medications, many no longer respond to these common remedies.

Sometimes people inherit nasal and sinus problems linked to a common environmental sensitivity or a pre-disposing anatomical facial structure. Exposure to irritants such as pollution, chemicals, and smoke at home, outdoors, and in the workplace also contribute to increased suffering. A variety of factors from sinusitis to nasal fractures and deviated septum can necessitate advanced medical treatment.

What causes sinus problems?

Sinus Problems occur when the openings into the sinus become blocked. This is when symptoms of congestion, coughing, facial pressure, fatigue, and other symptoms take place. Colds or other infections, allergies, or physical obstructions may lead to “sinus shutdown” or blockages in the sinuses. This is usually the result of a swollen sinus lining or damage cilia that can not effectively clear your sinuses of mucus. Stress can also contribute to sinus problems.

Sinusitis is inflammation or infection of any of the four groups of sinus cavities in the skull, which open into the nasal passages. Sinusitis is not the same as rhinitis, although the two may be associated and their symptoms may be similar. The terms “sinus trouble” or “sinus congestion” are sometimes wrongly used to mean congestion of the nasal passage itself. Most cases of nasal congestion, though, are not associated with sinusitis.

How do we treat sinus problems?
Most people with acute sinusitis are treated with antibiotics and decongestants and antihistamines. People with chronic sinusitis are treated the same way but will need long term treatment for maximum effectiveness.

Balloon sinuplasty surgery is designed for people with chronic sinus problems who do not respond to conservative medical treatment.

Sinus disease symptoms include:

  • Facial pain
  • Feeling of fullness
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Persistent bad smell in the nose
  • Post-nasal discharge
  • Ear fullness
  • Headaches
What is Balloon Sinuplasty Surgery:

Balloon Sinuplasty devices enable minimal invasive sinusitis treatment, entirely though the nostrils. This may result in minimal bleeding, less post-procedure discomfort for patients and can be performed in an office setting under local anesthesia with or without mild sedation.

Allergy is a clinical manifestation of an adverse immune response following repeated contact with usually harmless substances such as pollens, mold spores, animal dander, dust mites, foods and stinging insects. Allergic rhinitis is one of the most common allergic diseases in the United States, affecting between 20% and 25% of the population (approximately 40 million people). Although allergic rhinitis is not life threatening, its symptomatic effects are considerable, resulting in a significant diminished quality of life for many sufferers. A number of quality of life studies have shown that in almost every facet of daily life, including social and physical functionality, energy and fatigue levels, and a lack of sleep and mental health, patients with allergic rhinitis have a significant loss of quality of life as compared with nonallergic individuals. in fact, patients with allergic rhinitis have been shown to have a lower quality of life than many asthmatics. In addition, allergic rhinitis may contribute to sleep disorders and fatigue.

Are you experiencing…

  • Sneezing?
  • Nasal congestion?
  • Watery, red, itchy eyes?
  • Running nose?
  • Post nasal drip?
  • Itching of the nose and throat?

Balloon SinuplastyTM technology is a FDA-cleared, endoscopic, catheter-based system for patients suffering from sinusitis. The technology uses a small, flexible, Sinus Balloon Catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal sinus drainage and function. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it gently restructures and widens the walls of the passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.

Steps in using the Balloon Sinuplasty Technology
  1. Using the Balloon Sinuplasty system, your physician gently places a Sinus Guide Catheter and a flexible Sinus Guidewire through the nostrils to access the target sinus. Next, a Sinus Balloon Catheter is advanced over the Sinus Guidewire.
  2. The Sinus Balloon Catheter is positioned across the blocked ostium and gently inflated.
  3. The Balloon Sinuplasty system is removed, leaving an open sinus passageway and restoring normal drainage and function.
The Benefits in Using the Balloon Sinuplasty Technology

Safe and Effective
While use of any surgical instrument involves some risk, clinical studies have indicated the Balloon SinuplastyTM system to be safe and effective in relieving symptoms of sinusitis.

Minimally Invasive
The technology uses small, soft, flexible devices that enter entirely through the nostrils. These devices gently open blocked sinus openings, and in many cases, without tissue or bone removal.

Reduced Bleeding
Because in many instances no tissue or bone is removed when using this technology, there may be reduced bleeding associated with the procedure. As a result, the need for uncomfortable nasal packing may also be eliminated.

Improved Recovery Time
While recovery time varies with each patient, many people can return to normal activities within 24 hours.

Does Not Limit Treatment Options
This technology is an endoscopic tool and may be used with other medical therapies or sinus surgery techniques. It does not limit future treatment options if you have progressive disease.

As with use of any surgical instrument, there are risks, and results may vary from patient to patient.

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Are you, or do you know someone who is a snorer? You might find it surprising that one-fourth of us snore regularly, and about half of us snore occasionally.
In all, 40 million people in the United States are affected by habitual snoring.
Interrupted sleep due to snoring can leave you feeling tired. Snoring can also affect your spouse’s ability to sleep restfully.

Snoring increases as people age, and it affects more men than women. Very loud, continuous snoring may be an early indication of sleep apnea which, in turn, may lead to a constant feeling of fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, and increased blood pressure.

Why Do People Snore?

The snoring sound comes from the vibration of soft tissue at the back of the throat when the airway is narrowed. The narrowing may be from:

  • An excess of tissue in the throat causing the airway to collapse when the person inhales. This is the most common “culprit” of snoring.
  • A deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, chronic sinus infections or allergies which cause swelling of the nasal passages.
  • Enlarged tonsils or adenoids may also cause obstruction of the airway.

During sleep, the body’s muscles relax, which can cause excess tissue to collapse into the upper airway (back of the mouth, nose and throat) and block breathing. When breathing is interrupted, the body reacts by waking just enough to start breathing again. These arousals may occur hundreds of times each night but they do not fully awaken the patient, who remains unaware of the loud snoring and gasping for air typically associated with obstructive sleep apnea.

Habitual snoring is often a precursor of more serious upper airway disorders and results from a recent study indicate that one in three men and nearly one in five women who snore habitually suffer from some degree of obstructive sleep apnea.

Snoring Treatments
Pillar Procedure

The Pillar Procedure is a minimally invasive option for treating mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and disruptive snoring.

LAUP – The Traditional Approach

Laser Assisted Uvulo-Palatoplasty (LAUP) is a technique developed in France eight years ago for the treatment of snoring. It is a simple, yet effective treatment done in the doctor’s office under local anesthesia. It is relatively painless and is done in usually two treatments. The laser reshapes and/or eliminates the excess tissue at the back of the throat. Dr. Cohen has performed hundreds of LAUP procedures and was selected to train other surgeons nationwide.

Radio Frequency – A New Breakthrough!

Radio Frequency is a unique surgical procedure for shrinking redundant tissue. It reduces the volume of an enlarged soft palate and uvula as a treatment for habitual snoring. Unlike UPPP and other traditional approaches, Radio Frequency uses very low levels of radiofrequency energy to create finely controlled coagulative zones underneath the mucosal layer.

These zones are naturally resorbed by the body, altering the tissue structure by reducing excess tissue. Radio Frequency is designed to minimize the bleeding and pain associated with other techniques. It is performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient surgical suite, typically in less than 10 minutes.

Radio Frequency Treatment has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for use of the Radio Frequency System in the treatment of three conditions: habitual snoring (uvula and soft palate), chronic nasal obstruction (enlarged inferior turbinates) and obstructive sleep apnea.

The patient is fully awake throughout the treatment. The physician first applies topical and local anesthetic to the uvula and palate, similar to that used in a minor dental procedure. A few minutes later the Conductive Device/handpiece, which is connected to a radio frequency generator, is placed into the mouth.

The patient does not feel any discomfort during the procedure.
Following the Radio Frequency procedure, most patients take an over-the-counter analgesic for one to three days.

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