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When Should You Consider Sinus Surgery?

Sinus issues are common, and for most people they go away on their own. But for millions of Americans, sinus problems are ongoing and severe enough to warrant surgical intervention. When should you consider sinus surgery, and when are other treatments more appropriate? 

At Southern ENT, we can help you figure out the best option for getting your severe sinus symptoms under control. We know living with chronic sinus problems can make life miserable. Sinus problems are considered chronic when they last more than 12 weeks. Some patients with ongoing sinus problems have periods without symptoms, while others experience constant problems without a smidgen of relief.

Nasal surgery effectively treats various sinus issues

Our skilled providers at Southern ENT offer various ways to get your symptoms under control. When non-invasive treatments fail or aren’t appropriate for your sinus problems, we may recommend surgery as the most effective course of action. But when is surgery necessary? Our experts discuss signs that it may be time to consider sinus surgery.

Sinusitis that fails to respond to conventional treatment

Chronic sinusitis can cause major problems. Symptoms like nasal congestion, facial pain and tenderness, and headaches can take a toll when you have to deal with them daily. Symptoms can make it difficult to concentrate at work and school and make it hard to enjoy social and family time. 

Treatments like saline rinses and steroid sprays control symptoms for many people. If you’re part of the unlucky group that continues to experience moderate to severe chronic sinusitis despite conventional treatment, sinus surgery may help.

Severe nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are noncancerous tumors that develop on the lining of your sinuses. Ongoing inflammation from allergic rhinitis can cause nasal polyps. We aren’t sure why these tumors develop in some people, but they are common.

Most people aren’t bothered by them. But depending on the size and number, polyps can block airflow, reduce your sense of smell, and make it difficult to breathe through your nose. Medications to reduce swelling and inflammation and shrink polyps are often helpful. But if your polyps are severe, surgery may be your best option.

Structural abnormality

A number of abnormalities can affect the structure of your nose or sinus cavity and may require repair to restore proper nasal function. A deviated septum is just one example. 

Your nasal septum is a structure made of bone and cartilage that divides your nasal cavity. In a perfect world your septum is straight, allowing air to flow easily through your nostrils. Most people have a deviation, meaning the septum is off-center.

A slight deviation in your septum isn’t usually a cause for concern. After all, it’s estimated that around 80% of people have some sort of misalignment in their septum. Problems arise when you have a significant deviation to either side. Not only can this cause major breathing problems, it increases the risk for recurrent sinus infections. 

Additionally, a severely deviated septum increases the risk of developing sleep apnea, a condition that causes multiple pauses in breathing during sleep. Sleep apnea raises the risk for various chronic diseases, including high blood pressure, making corrective surgery necessary.

Seeking professional help

We’ve discussed three common reasons why you may need nasal surgery. There are many other situations in which nasal surgery is beneficial. At Southern ENT, our providers can help you get to the bottom of your sinus problems and suggest the best approach to getting your symptoms under control and helping you feel better. 

For more information and to schedule a consultation contact one of our seven southern Louisiana offices. We look forward to helping you breathe better.

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