If you think you have sinus headaches, think again. As you will learn in this article, experts say there is no such thing as a sinus headache. The underlying problem is sinusitis or, as it’s usually called, a sinus infection. This article profiles a new cure for this problem called balloon sinuplasty. It also describes the results that have been seen to date for patients reeving this procedure and has a word of caution about discussing the procedure with your doctor.
What causes a “sinus headache?”
Doctors and headache experts agree that there is no such thing as a sinus headache. However, there is an illness called sinusitis (a sinus infection) that causes a pressure in your head that is felt as a headache. In other words, if you do not have a sinus infection and you have a headache, it is not a sinus headache. Instead, it may be a tension headache, some form of a migraine headache or what’s known as a chronic daily headache.
If you have recurring sinus infections and the headaches they can cause, there is new hope.
Scientists have developed a new procedure called balloon sinuplasty which consists of putting a thin, flexible balloon catheter up your nose to enlarge the openings to your sinuses. At the end of the catheter is a special balloon device that inflates with medication inside it. This medication slowly releases from the balloon device bathing the lining of your sinus with medication and decreasing inflammation. The device is actually left in your sinus for 14 to 21 days, though you don’t actually feel it.
Some amazing results
More than 80,000 people have had balloon sinuplasty. In all cases, there were no serious complications and follow-up studies showed a success rate of better than 90%.
Talk with your doctor
The only bad news of this procedure is that it is not available everywhere. So, if you have recurring sinus infections and would like release from the pain of the headaches that accompany them, you will need to discuss the procedure with your doctor. He or she may be able to steer you to a specialist who does do balloon sinuplasties. When you talk to a doctor who can do the procedure,, be sure to ask how many balloon sinuplasties that he or she has performed in what their success rate has been. The procedure may be fairly simple and painless but like any procedure that involves surgery, you want to make sure your doctor has had plenty of experience.
As you have read, your “sinus headaches” may actually be a sinus infection. If this is the case, you may want to look into having a balloon sinuplasty performed to reduce the inflammation and give you relief. However, not all doctors can perform this procedure and if you do find one that can, make sue he or she has plenty of experience. After, you wouldn’t want a novice sticking a catheter up your nose and into your head.