Can Balloon Sinuplasty Help Your Allergies This Season?

For chronic allergy sufferers, seasonal changes can often mean another dreadful round of miserable allergy and sinus symptoms heading your way. Battling allergy symptoms can be frustrating and make it feel like it’s hard to get anything done, enjoy your regular activities and participate fully in your life. Worse still, allergies can develop into sinusitis which has its own set of fatiguing symptoms. In fact, it’s not uncommon for those with allergies to also contend with chronic sinusitis.

Chronic allergy sufferers may have heard about balloon Sinuplasty for allergies and want to learn more about what it’s all about— you may have questions like does balloon sinuplasty help allergies? What even is balloon sinuplasty? Who is a good candidate? And how long does balloon sinuplasty last? 

If these questions sound familiar, then this article is for you. First, we’ll take a look at allergies and their relationship to sinusitis. Then, we’ll delve into balloon sinuplasty and if and how it can potentially be of benefit for you.

Here is everything you need to know about balloon sinuplasty for allergies!

Do you have allergies?

Allergies are an exaggerated response in the body when exposed to certain air particles found in the environment or with consumption of certain foods. The symptoms of allergies can widely vary from nasal congestion to itchy, watery eyes, to severe, potentially life-threatening reactions like swelling of the lip, tongue, or throat.  However, some of the most common allergens include dust, pollen, mold, and pet dander. The best way to determine your allergy triggers and the severity of each allergy is with an allergy test.

Some common symptoms of allergies include:

  • Sneezing
  • Stuffy nose (allergic rhinitis)
  • Itchy nose, eyes, or skin
  • Watery or red eyes
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Headache

Traditional or first-line treatment for allergies typically include over-the-counter (OTC) medications, and therapies such as oral corticosteroids, decongestants, nasal sprays, the neti-pot, or immunotherapy (i.e. allergy shots).

Treating allergies before they cause chronic sinusitis is an important aspect to consider. An allergist can prescribe medications that lessen the severity of the reaction, or provide immunotherapy to help limit the allergic reaction to begin with, as part of a preventative approach.

How allergies can cause sinusitis

When the immune system responds to allergens, it causes inflammation. When you have allergies, this inflammatory response tends to stick around and takes time to subside. Common allergens like pollen, pet dander, and dust can be hard to avoid. Sinusitis can occur as consistent exposure to allergens pushes inflammation further up into the sinuses, creating ripe conditions for sinusitis.

What is balloon sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, pain-free, and low-risk procedure that helps with everything from chronic sinusitis to symptoms of allergies. 

During the procedure, your doctor will insert and inflate a small balloon that will reshape and help open your sinuses, allowing proper drainage. 

This is all done with no incisions or tissue removal.The entire procedure is done in-office and takes about 20 minutes so that you can be back on your feet, symptom-free with a short recovery time of between 24 and 48 hours. Balloon sinuplasty is a one-time procedure that offers longterm, lasting relief from chronic sinusitis by addressing the main causal factors for many patients.

Does balloon sinuplasty help allergies?

While balloon sinuplasty doesn’t treat the root cause of your allergies, it can be a great option to help mitigate those pesky symptoms including congestion, chronic coughs, and headaches. This is especially true if your sinuses are contributing to your allergies—or your allergies are contributing to chronic sinusitis. 

In other words, when your sinuses are blocked or inflamed, the mucus containing various allergens, bacteria, and viruses aren’t able to properly drain, leaving you susceptible to symptoms of sinusitis and worsened allergy symptoms. Balloon sinuplasty can be a simple way to help both conditions.

Results and reality check – The “Yes, but…”

It’s important to underdstand that balloon sinuplasty does not “fix” or permenantly get rid of allergies, but it can help! There is no surgical cure for allergies. However, there are procedures like balloon sinuplasty that can help lessen allergy symptoms, providing allergy sufferers with long-term relief.

Even though the procedure can’t cure your allergies, it can offer a simple, lasting, and effective solution for chronic allergies.

You still may have allergies after sinus surgery, however, most people find improvement in their allergy symptoms after sinus surgery. It can also help other treatments be more effective and help better manage and relieve symptoms, so you feel…better.

Allergies and nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are benign masses that grow in response to inflammation in the nose; allergies can cause such inflammation. Thus, accurate diagnosis and maintenance of allergies is strongly encouraged for patients that have nasal polyps. What’s more, nasal polyps can also contribute to chronic sinusitis and some patients may struggle with a combination of nasal polyps, allergies, and chronic sinusitis. Patients with nasal polyps are generally not candidates for balloon sinuplasty, as it does not treat this condition.

When multiple factors may be in play, a thorough exam by an experienced ENT is strongly advisable because identifying the root and contributing issues informs the best treatment options for evert patient’s individual case.  This may involve a multi-pronged approach or combination of therapies to treat and/or eliminate root causes when possible and improve symptoms.

Who is a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty for allergies?

The best candidate for balloon sinuplasty can potentially be anyone who suffers from chronic sinus infections and/or allergy symptoms—when over-the-counter medications and other therapies fail to provide sufficient help. This may be especially the case for patients who suffer from allergy symptoms throughout all four seasons and do not have certain other underlying health conditions. If this sounds like you, you may be a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty.

Balloon sinuplasty, however, is not right for everyone. Each patient is unique and your individual circumstances will help provide the key to the best treatment course for you that can help you achieve relief. 

If you suffer from any of the above symptoms without much relief from medications or are constantly fighting allergies or sinus infections, the Ohio Sinus Institute can help. 

Schedule an appointment with Ohio Sinus Institute to see if balloon sinuplasty could benefit you. There are many approaches, and balloon sinuplasty is just one such option. Ohio Sinus Institute specializes in many advanced treatments and we can help you find the personalized path for you. 

Call Ohio Sinus today!