Can My Nasal Stuffiness be Contributing to My Sinusitis?


Lady with sinusitis and nasal stuffiness


Texas Sinus and Snoring was created and designed to comprehensively evaluate and successfully treat all your advanced sinus and snoring/OSA problems in the most efficient manner possible.

Nasal stuffiness is a common symptom many individuals experience for various reasons, ranging from allergies to structural abnormalities within the nasal passages.

We all know that sinusitis causes stuffiness. However, can nasal stuffiness actually lead to sinusitis, and what are the treatment options available for individuals suffering from this condition?

The answer is YES when there is a structural abnormality causing blockage of the normal outflow tracts of the sinuses. The most common structural abnormality is a deviated septum but there are others.

This blog will explore the relationship between nasal stuffiness and sinusitis, the use of medications as the primary treatment option, the minimally invasive procedure known as balloon sinuplasty, and the surgical options of Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) and septoplasty to address sinusitis effectively.

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis, often referred to as a sinus infection, is a condition characterized by inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. The sinuses are hollow cavities located in the skull that are connected to the nasal passages.

When the sinuses become inflamed and blocked, bacteria, viruses, or fungi can grow within them and stop the normal flow of the mucociliary transport leading to symptoms such as facial pain, pressure, headache, nasal congestion, and nasal discharge.

Sinusitis can be acute (lasting up to 4 weeks), subacute (lasting 4 to 12 weeks), chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks), or recurrent.

Chronic sinusitis is the most difficult to track down, diagnose and treat because it becomes more subtle in its presentation and difficult to tease apart from allergies. Only a CT scan can tell the difference.

At Texas Sinus and Snoring patients are able to get a sinus CT and nasal endoscope within minutes in one visit instead of having to take multiple days off to get properly evaluated.

Treatment Options for Sinusitis

The treatment of sinusitis typically begins with conservative measures, such as medications, aimed at reducing inflammation, relieving symptoms, and clearing the infection.

Common medications used to treat sinusitis include antibiotics, decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, and saline nasal irrigation.

In cases where medications fail to provide adequate relief, or for individuals with chronic or recurrent sinusitis, more advanced treatment options may be considered.

At Texas Sinus and Snoring, we developed a comprehensive treatment management when we discover that chronic sinusitis is contributing to your nasal stuffiness, snoring or sleep apnea.

We institute maximal medical therapy (MMT) for 3-4 weeks then do a second CT to understand how we did and if there is a need for further intervention.

How do we intervene if MMT fails? We tend to start with minimally invasive procedures like balloon sinuplasty with or without structural correction (septoplasty) to help open nasal passages.

Getting ready to handle sinusitis and stuffiness with surgery in the doctor office.

Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that serves as an intermediate step between medical management and surgical intervention for sinusitis.

During balloon sinuplasty, a small, flexible balloon catheter is inserted into the blocked sinus passage using CT scan Driven Navigation, that we have termed 4D sinuplasty for accuracy and safety, and gently inflated to widen the sinus opening.

This process helps to restore proper drainage and ventilation of the sinuses, promoting sinus health and reducing symptoms of sinusitis.

Balloon sinuplasty is performed at Texas Sinus and Snoring in our AAAASF certified in-office procedure suite setting under IV sedation for extreme comfort.

There is no bruising or swelling on the outside and the procedure only takes about fifteen minutes to complete in my hands (Dr Ben Cilento).

It typically offers quick recovery times compared to traditional sinus surgeries and, although outcomes may vary, our typical patients report going back to work from 0-3 days after the procedure.

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)

Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) is a surgical procedure used to treat chronic or recurrent sinusitis that is unresponsive to medical management or balloon sinuplasty.

FESS is performed using an endoscope, a thin, lighted tube with a camera that allows the surgeon to visualize and access the sinuses through the nasal passages.

There is also high-tech equipment to navigate and precisely remove tissue and control bleeding. Gone are the days of packing the nose and placing painful stents.

I have developed advanced techniques to help make even the FESS a relatively comfortable recovery compared to thirty years ago when I started my surgical career.

The surgeon then removes diseased tissue, polyps, or obstructions blocking the sinuses, thereby improving drainage and ventilation.

FESS is often recommended for individuals with severe or complicated sinusitis cases to achieve long-term symptom relief and prevent recurrent infections.

Septoplasty and Balloon Sinuplasty in Combination

Nasal stuffiness can be exacerbated by a deviated nasal septum, a common structural abnormality in which the thin wall separating the nasal passages is displaced to one side, causing nasal obstruction.

When nasal stuffiness from a deviated septum contributes to recurrent sinusitis, a combined approach of septoplasty and balloon sinuplasty may be highly effective.

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that straightens and realigns the nasal septum, correcting the obstruction and restoring normal nasal airflow.

When septoplasty is combined with balloon sinuplasty, studies have shown a cure rate of up to 95% for sinusitis cases due to improved sinus drainage and reduced nasal obstruction.

Woman able to breathe without nasal congestion or sinusitis.

Septoplasty: A Quick and Effective Treatment Option

Septoplasty is a relatively simple and quick surgical procedure that can be performed in an office setting under local anesthesia.

It typically takes me ten minutes to do a comprehensive septoplasty and remove obstructive deviations and spurs. During septoplasty, the surgeon accesses the nasal passages through small incisions inside the nose and straightens the crooked septum by removing or repositioning the deviated cartilage and bone.

Most septoplasty procedures take around ten minutes to complete in my hands due to my proprietary techniques and more than two decades of experience.

The recovery period is typically about a week, during which patients may experience mild stuffiness, internal swelling, and congestion.

Patients typically return to work as soon as they are off pain meds. Eighty-one percent of patients return to work either the next day or within three days.

If we do the procedure on a Thursday, you are typically back to work at a desk job the next day or Monday.

The procedure offers significant benefits in improving nasal breathing, reducing nasal stuffiness, and enhancing overall sinus health.

In conclusion, nasal stuffiness can contribute to the development and persistence of sinusitis especially if it is from a correctible nasal septal deviation.

While medications are often used as the first line of treatment for sinusitis, minimally invasive procedures like balloon sinuplasty and surgical interventions such as FESS and septoplasty can provide long-term relief for individuals with chronic or recurrent sinusitis.

When nasal stuffiness is accompanied by a deviated septum, combining septoplasty with balloon sinuplasty can offer a highly effective solution with a high success rate and minimal downtime for patients seeking to improve their sinus health and quality of life.