Anyone experiencing ongoing or recurring sinus symptoms should see an ENT or sinus specialist for treatment. The Southern California Sinus Institute and Dr. Alen Cohen offer sinus treatment options that go beyond symptom management and target the cause for long-term relief. It’s important for anyone with sinus infections to understand that relying solely on natural remedies, such as decongestants, nasal irrigation rinses, etc., may provide some measure of short-term relief for some sinus sufferers. But for long-term or permanent relief, patients benefit from the following effective treatments for chronic sinusitis.
Self-Care and Over-the-Counter Medications
Dehydration and fatigue are common when battling sinus infections. A common mistake many sinus sufferers make is trying to push through instead of listening to their bodies. It is possible to shorten the duration of chronic sinus flares by resting and drinking more fluids to prevent dehydration. Dehydration makes it harder for inflamed or infected sinuses to drain mucus efficiently.
Even in the presence of a runny nose or post-nasal discharge, proper hydration is necessary to thin out mucus secretions and reduce the amount of irritation, dryness, and pressure in the nasal passages to improve breathing ability. Sinus sufferers with allergies may use decongestants, antihistamines, and other over-the-counter medications to treat their symptoms. Chronic sinus infections never go away, and the symptoms recur indefinitely. Long-term use of home remedies for sinus infections can cause adverse health effects. Over time, these solutions can lose their effectiveness as well.
Minimally-Invasive Chronic Sinus Treatment Options
Chronic sinus infections that do not respond favorably to medications and remedies may require in-office procedures or surgery. Dr. Alen N. Cohen, MD FACS, performs minimally invasive in-office sinus treatments at the Southern California Sinus Institute. These procedures are ideal for patients with sinus infections that are resistant to medication treatment or caused by abnormalities in the nasal passages. Nonsurgical sinusitis treatment involves accessing the congested or inflamed tissues and sinus cavities via the nostrils using microsurgical tools and techniques.
In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty
Balloon sinuplasty makes narrow nostrils and sinus airways larger to reduce pressure and allow mucus to drain so patients can breathe easier. Dr. Cohen performs the procedure by inserting small medical balloons inside the nostrils into the sinuses. He then inflates them to widen the sinus passages and nasal airways. After balloon removal, patients are less likely to require sinus treatment in the future. Balloon sinuplasty offers long-term, in some cases, permanent relief from chronic sinus infections. Treatment is done in-office, so there’s no need for pain medications, although patients receive a local anesthetic topically to minimize any potential discomfort. Most balloon sinuplasty patients experience minimal downtime, so minimal recovery is necessary.
Nasal or Sinus Polypectomy
Some patients develop chronic sinusitis from infected or enlarged nasal polyps. The Southern California Sinus Institute offers safe, in-office nasal or sinus polypectomy. Dr. Cohen is one of a select few ENT surgeons who offer this procedure on an outpatient basis in the area and across the country. To perform the procedure, he administers a topical anesthetic to desensitize the nose and improve patient comfort before using a microdebrider to permanently remove abnormal structures in the sinus cavities and nostrils, such as polyps and diseased tissues to widen the airways. Polypectomy patients regain the ability to smell, taste, and breathe easier immediately after the procedure.
Image-Guided Endoscopic Surgery
Some patients have a significant amount of abnormal nasal tissue, polyps or structural issues and are unable to benefit from other minimally invasive sinus treatments. Minimally invasive image-guided endoscopic surgery is ideal for chronic and recurrent sinus sufferers who want to get rid of their polyps permanently. At times the use of general anesthesia is necessary to improve patient comfort, safety, and outcome in more severe cases.
To perform the procedure, Dr. Cohen uses a special endoscopic camera to see inside the nostrils and sinus spaces to identify diseased tissues and structural problems in the cartilage and bone that cause blockages that impede mucus drainage and airflow. He uses microsurgical instruments to widen the sinuses and remove unnecessary tissue, bone, or cartilage to prevent future sinus infections, congestion, and inflammation.
Revision Sinus Surgery
Many patients from across the country come to Dr. Cohen because he routinely performs revision sinus surgery for severe polyp formation and excessive nasal and sinus scar tissue and treats those with sinus symptoms and infections that are resistant to medication and previous surgical intervention. He incorporates state-of-the-art medical equipment and surgical practices to administer the appropriate surgical revision surgery to improve patient health and overall quality of life. Revision sinus surgery options include revision balloon dilation/Propel™ stents and in-office endoscopic lysis of synechiae.
Septoplasty/Deviated Septum Repair
A deviated septum is a common cause of recurring and chronic sinusitis. Septum deviations can be present at birth and develop from injury to the nose. A normal septum divides the nose into two symmetrical hollow cavities. When the septum or cartilage is crooked or damaged, one or both nostrils become smaller than normal, leading to frequent congestion, sinus infections, and trouble breathing clearly.
Dr. Cohen performs small and limited deviated septum repairs on an in-office or outpatient basis, depending on each patient’s needs. A local anesthetic is used to numb and desensitize the nose and nasal passages. Due to his exceptional surgical skill and expertise, Dr. Cohen does not have to break any bones to successfully correct septum abnormalities.
Stop Sinus Misery with Chronic Sinusitis Treatment
The key factor in sinus treatment is addressing the cause to reduce symptom development and severity for long-term results. Many patients with sinus symptoms are sensitive to environmental toxins, suffer from inflammatory disorders or allergies, or have abnormal nasal tissues or other issues that make them susceptible to frequent sinus infections and distress. Dr. Cohen utilizes multiple medical therapies, surgical practices, and in some cases, medications to provide patients with the safest and most comprehensive chronic sinusitis treatments in Los Angeles.
Contact the Southern California Sinus Institute today at (818) 888-7878 to discuss minimally invasive options for chronic sinus infections and symptoms with Dr. Alen N. Cohen, MD, FACS.