New Technology Brings Relief to People Suffering from Chronic Nasal Conditions
Updated: Nov 7, 2022
According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, more than 31 million people in the United States suffer from sinus infection (known as sinusitis) each year. These individuals experience frequent facial pain, pressure or congestion; discharge of mucus that is yellow or green; difficulty breathing through your nose; even teeth pain, loss of smell or taste senses, headaches, fatigue, sore throat or bad breath.
Physicians Andrew Rivera, MD and Paul Foster, MD of South Florida ENT have been in practice for years offering the entire spectrum of treatment options for these conditions. They have noticed a gradual trend toward more in-office treatments.
“Plenty of people are simply unaware that their chronic conditions can be treated in the office depending on the severity of their disease,” said Dr. Rivera. “There’s no longer a need to suffer from annoying runny, stuffed up and irritated nasal passages. Our patients have enjoyed excellent results from these procedures.”
According to Dr. Foster, most people try to solve their nasal and sinus problems by using over the counter remedies and rely on the help of treatments from urgent care centers and primary care physicians.
“When these remedies are not sufficient, patients often do not know where to turn or how to alleviate their symptoms,” he said. “In the past, chronic nasal and sinus problems would potentially require invasive surgeries with general anesthesia and often significant downtime with lengthy recoveries.
“Thanks to advances in technology, however, today we can offer our patients minimally-invasive interventions that provide relief from common chronic conditions with less risk and minimal down time.”
Dr. Rivera stresses that common symptoms of sinusitis, such as an inflamed nose, sinuses and throat, lasting more than three months are cause for concern and medical intervention. “Anything that obstructs the air-filled pockets located behind the facial bones surrounding the nose can lead to a buildup of mucus, infection, and inflammation causing significant discomfort,” he said. “We offer several treatment options to our patients, depending on their individual conditions.”
South Florida ENT offers the following procedures:
When patient’s sinus passages are blocked and medicine alone has failed, sinus surgery, performed under general anesthesia. would have been traditionally required. More recently, a minimally invasive procedure, that can be done in the office, is designed to unblock and dilate the sinus openings.
Balloon sinuplasty was created for patients suffering from chronic sinusitis, this is a minimally invasive procedure conducted with local anesthesia. Inflamed sinuses are unblocked in a way similar to the method used by cardiologists to open up blocked arteries using balloon angioplasty. Sinuses remain open after the procedure allowing for the return of normal drainage, and, most important, sinus pressure relief.
“For patients who want to avoid general anesthesia and the downtime required for healing after traditional sinus surgery, office dilation is a great option,” said Dr.Foster.
This three-step process involves inserting a balloon catheter into the inflamed sinus, then inflating the balloon to expand that opening. Any infection or fluid in the sinus is then suctioned out. The system is removed during the final step, leaving the sinuses open.
This treatment method is recommended for patients who have failed to get relief from medications. This procedure involves the use of a navigation system that safely guides the instruments into the sinuses. It is used to visualize the exact location of the instruments in the patient’s nose with three-dimensional diagnostic imaging.
“Minimally invasive sinus treatment with navigation has revolutionized how obstructed sinuses are treated,” added Dr. Rivera, “and has been able to improve the quality of life for people suffering from sinusitis.” Cryotherapy
Often patients with runny noses find relief from nasal sprays, but for others such an approach is not enough. Other patients do not want to avoid the side effects of staying on medications for months or years. As knowledge has grown about the anatomy of the nose and the influence of the nervous system, new office treatments have been developed to treat chronic runny noses. Some of these procedures take as little as 30 seconds.
Cryotherapy, for example, is a treatment targeted at freezing those nerves that send signals to the tissues in the nose to produce mucus. The freezing interrupts these signals and reduces the production of mucus significantly. This cool temperature treatment is a solution for people dealing with chronic rhinitis with symptoms such as runny nose, nasal congestion and postnasal drip. Patients who have failed to gain relief from nasal sprays, drops or medications are often candidates for this treatment. Local anesthesia is applied, and most patients can return to normal activity the same day. In addition to the several minutes used to numb the area, the treatment itself only takes 30 seconds for each side of the nose. Most patients notice improvement within two to six weeks with minimal downtime.
Patients with nasal blockage that has not responded well to nasal medications or allergy treatments may be candidates for the turbinate coblation. This procedure reduces the size of the inferior turbinate or the soft tissue of a structure in the nose.
During the procedure anesthetic spray and decongestant spray are applied to each nostril. Cotton soaked in anesthetic and decongestant medication is placed in each nostril. Much like a dental procedure, small doses of anesthetic are applied to ensure the nasal area is numb.
A coblation device connected to a radio frequency generator is placed into the nose. It has a small electrode at the end, which is inserted into the turbinate. Once in place, radiofrequency is applied approximately two to three times to the turbinate tissue through the electrode.
“In our practice, we have seen countless patients improve their lives by ending months, even years, of irritating nasal conditions with these simple minimally invasive procedures,” said Dr. Foster.
“Our procedures use highly sophisticated technology to minimize side effects and maximize results,” added Dr. Rivera.
To find out which procedure may offer relief for your condition, call to make an appointment at (305)-532-3878, (305) 531-763 or visit www.getENThelp.com. Address: 4302 Alton Road #115, Miami Beach, FL 33140