Are Your Allergies Here To Stay?
An allergy is an internal immune response to an external irritant. Some allergies come from food and can affect the skin, eyes, and other body parts. However, most allergies are related to inflammation of the nasal mucosa and sinuses. Common triggers include smoke, pollen, pets, chemicals, air pollution, and dust. The condition can develop into chronic sinusitis when such swelling or inflammation persists for 3 months or longer despite treatments. In some cases, allergic reactions occur year-round and are sometimes called permanent allergies. A perennial allergy can severely affect daily life, but surgery may be a solution.
The long-term solution
Allergies and sinusitis affect 40 million adults yearly, and almost 33 million have chronic sinusitis. When combined with comorbidities like allergic rhinitis, asthma, and chronic bronchitis, nearly 1 in every 3 Americans is affected. Although allergies rarely cause serious health problems, permanent allergies can cause significant discomfort and interfere with daily activities. Most cases respond to medications, with prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) remedies offering considerable relief. However, there will be times when medicine fails to resolve symptoms. Furthermore, the long-term effects of taking allergy drugs can lead to other concerning conditions. At this point, nasal and sinus surgery can provide long-term relief.
How can surgery help?
Sinus surgery treats perennial allergies and other problems with the sinuses. The goal is to restore the normal functioning of the sinuses and prevent future flare-ups. In most cases, surgery involves removing inflamed tissue from the sinuses. This removal restores proper drainage and improves ventilation. Sometimes, tiny implants help encourage natural tissue growth and prevent future infection. Some even form new channels for mucus to drain from the sinuses. The procedure is usually performed using minimally invasive techniques through small incisions in the nostrils or cheekbones. After recovery, there should be a noticeable improvement in symptoms.
Types of sinus surgery
Most permanent allergy patients receive functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) or a balloon sinuplasty. FESS is done by inserting an endoscope into the nose to find the source of the blockage. The procedure can remove significant blockages caused by bone spurs or polyps. The surgeon also cleans the sinuses by removing built-up debris causing inflammation and infection. With balloon sinuplasty, a tiny balloon is inserted through the nasal passages, then inflated to restore normal airflow. Lastly, there’s Caldwell-Luc surgery. This sinus surgery involves making an opening from the sinus cavity behind the cheekbone to drain the infected mucus directly into the throat. The surgeon will choose the best option based on the patient’s condition.
Breathe freely again
Permanent nasal allergies are often due to chronic sinusitis. The time and effort required to take medication, avoid triggers, and manage symptoms become overwhelming. Over time, the body develops a tolerance to medicine, and unwanted side effects can occur. Surgery helps those who experience persistent pain, inflammation, and congestion not relieved by medication or other non-surgical treatments. The chance to breathe freely again without allergies is priceless.