Q: What Is an Otolaryngologist?
Otolaryngologists are physicians trained in and specializing in the medical and surgical treatment of ear, nose throat (ENT) diseases and disorders.
Some of the ear conditions Cross Timbers ENT physicians treat include hearing loss, ear infections, balance disorders, ear noise, and nerve pain.
Some nose conditions Cross Timbers ENT physicians treat are sinus disease, allergies, nosebleeds, and care of the nasal passageways.
Some of the throat conditions Cross Timbers ENT physicians treat include tonsil and larynx infections and diseases, esophagus problems (such as swallowing disorders and breathing conditions, including snoring and sleep apnea).
Head and neck conditions Cross Timbers ENT physicians diagnose and treat include the nerves that control sight, smell, hearing, and the face. Our otolaryngologists are also trained to treat infectious diseases in the head and neck area, both benign and malignant (cancerous) tumors, facial trauma, and deformities of the face.
Q: What Are Allergies?
Allergies are hypersensitive immune responses to certain substances, which come in contact or enter the body (such as pet dander, pollen, or venom).
Q: What Are Some Symptoms of Allergies?
A runny nose, congestion, inflammatory responses, watery or itchy eyes, swelling of the lips or tongue, swelling or feeling of the closing of the throat, and sneezing are some of the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Q: What Are Sinus Infections?
Sinusitis is inflammation or swelling of the sinus tissue. Normally the sinuses are full of air, but when sinuses become blocked with fluid, germs and bacteria begin to grow, causing infections.
Q: What Are the Common Symptoms of Sinusitis?
Some of the common symptoms of sinusitis are facial pain, pressure or congestion, difficulty breathing through the nose, discharge of yellow or green mucus, teeth pain, loss of smell or taste, headache, fatigue, and a sore throat.
Q: Are There Different Kinds of Sinus Infections?
- Acute sinusitis is a sudden onset of symptoms, such as a runny nose and pressure or pain, which lasts for around 4 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis is when the inflammation lasts approximately 1 to 2 months.
- Chronic sinusitis is when the inflammation lasts 2 months or even longer.
- Recurrent sinusitis happens when a patient experiences several sinus infections over the course of one year.
Q: How Is Sinusitis Treated?
Our ENT doctors at Cross Timbers ENT use various approaches while considering the treatment of sinusitis patients:
Sinusitis is typically treated first with medication. Treatment with antibiotics or topical nasal steroid sprays is successful for many sinusitis sufferers. Inhaling steam or use of saline nasal sprays or drops can also help. However, at least 20% of patients do not respond adequately to medications.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (with cutting instruments)
Sinus surgery aims to clear blocked sinuses and restore normal sinus drainage. The procedure removes bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening. The removal of bone and tissue may lead to pain, scarring, and bleeding.
Q: What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?
If our patient suffers from chronic sinusitis, our Cross Timbers ENT doctors may choose a Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP) procedure to relieve the patient’s symptoms. Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology is an endoscopic, catheter-based system for patients suffering from sinusitis. This FDA-cleared technology uses a small, flexible sinus balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal sinus drainage. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it gently restructures and widens the walls of the passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.
Q: What Are the Balloon Sinuplasty™ Devices?
The Balloon Sinuplasty™ devices are FDA-cleared, endoscopic, catheter-based instruments specifically designed to be used in sinus surgery. The Sinus Balloon Catheter is gradually inflated to gently restructure the previously blocked sinus opening, which restores normal sinus drainage, without damaging the sinus.
Q: Does Surgery with the Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology Work?
Clinical research has indicated that using Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology is safe and effective in dilating sinus openings.
Q: How Long Does Symptom Relief Last After Surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology?
Results vary by individual. Published clinical data has shown the following regarding patients who have had sinus surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology:
- A study of 1,036 patients at multiple institutions reported that sinus symptoms improved in 96% of patients at an average follow-up period of 10 months.
- Another study followed 65 patients at multiple institutions and reported clinically and statistically significant improvement in patient symptoms out to 2 years.
Q: How Do Sinus Openings Stay Open After Surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology?
Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology dilates sinus openings (or ostia) by pushing aside bones that comprise the sinus ostia. Moving bone remodels the sinus ostia, creating wider openings.
Q: Are the Balloon Sinuplasty™ Devices Safe?
The Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology is minimally invasive and has been clinically demonstrated to be safe by leading Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors. Finally, unlike other tools used to clear blocked sinus openings, Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology does not remove any bone or tissue, and many patients can quickly return to normal activities.
Q: What Are the Risks of Surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology?
Our ENT doctors at Cross Timbers ENT can best explain the potential risks of surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology. In all published clinical data, no serious adverse events attributable to the Balloon Sinuplasty™ System have been reported. Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology has associated risks, including tissue and mucosal trauma, infection, or possible optic injury. Consult your physician for a full discussion of risks and benefits to determine whether this procedure is right for you.
Q: How Long Does Surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology Take?
The duration of the procedure varies by individual situations. Consult with your Cross Timbers ENT physician for the most accurate answer.
In a study of 1,036 patients who underwent sinus surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology at multiple institutions, an average procedure time was 3 hours, including the surgery and post-anesthesia recovery time. None of the patients required an overnight stay at the hospital.
Q: Will I Require General Anesthesia for Surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology?
Some patients at Cross Timbers ENT undergo general anesthesia for sinus surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ Technology, especially if other surgeries such as septoplasty are needed, but other patients are able to have the procedure under local anesthesia. Your Cross Timbers ENT doctor can best advise you on your anesthesia options.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Typical Surgery Using the Balloon Sinuplasty™ System?
Because the system is minimally invasive, it is typically used in an outpatient setting. While recovery time will vary from patient to patient, many people can quickly return to normal activities.
Q: Does Surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ Devices Limit My Treatment Options?
No. Balloon Sinuplasty™ devices are endoscopic tools used within conventional sinus surgery and may be used with other medical therapies. They do not limit future treatment options for patients.
Q: Are Balloon Sinuplasty™ Devices Right for Me?
If you suffer from sinusitis, and if medication alone has not been effective in relieving your symptoms, you may be a candidate for surgery using the Balloon Sinuplasty™ devices. We also encourage you to talk to your ENT doctor about whether the use of these FDA-cleared, endoscopic, catheter-based tools is right for you.
Q: Who Uses Balloon Sinuplasty™ Devices?
All Cross Timbers ENT physicians have been trained on the Balloon Sinuplasty™ devices and are very comfortable with using them.
Q: Are Balloon Sinuplasty and Trade Devices Covered by Medicare?
Yes. Medicare covers endoscopic sinus surgery when any combination of tools, including a balloon catheter, is used to perform the procedure.
Q: Are Balloon Sinuplasty™ Devices Covered by Other Insurance Carriers?
Most insurance companies cover sinus surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty™ devices. To be certain of your coverage, contact your insurance provider to find out your specific coverage policy.
Q: What Is an Ear Infection?
The ear is made up of three sections: the outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. Each of these areas is susceptible to infections, which can be painful. Young children have a greater tendency to get earaches. While most ear pain resolves itself in a matter of days, you should get a physical examination to understand the type of infection, prevent it from spreading and obtain treatment to help alleviate the pain.
Outer Ear Infection (Otitis Externa)
Also known as Swimmer’s Ear, outer ear infections result from inflammation (often bacterial) in the outer ear. Generally, they happen when water, sand, or dirt gets into the ear canal. Moisture in the air or swimming makes the ear more susceptible to this type of ear infection. Symptoms include the following: severe pain, itching, redness, and swelling in the outer ear. There also may be some fluid drainage. Often the pain is worse when chewing or when you pull on the ear. To reduce pain and prevent other long-term effects on the ear, be sure to see a doctor. Complications from untreated otitis externa may include hearing loss, recurring ear infections, and bone and cartilage damage. Typically, physicians will prescribe eardrops that block bacterial growth. In more severe cases, your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic and pain medication. Most outer ear infections resolve in 7 to 10 days.
Middle Ear Infection (Otitis Media)
Middle ear infections can be caused by either bacterial or viral infections. These infections may be triggered by airborne or foodborne allergies, infections elsewhere in the body, nutritional deficiencies, or a blocked Eustachian tube. In chronic cases, a thick, glue-like fluid may be discharged from the middle ear. Treatment is contingent on the cause of the infection and ranges from analgesic eardrops and medications to the surgical insertion of a tube to drain fluid from the middle ear or an adenoidectomy.
Inner Ear Infection (Otitis Interna)
Also known as labyrinthitis, inner ear infections are most commonly caused by other infections in the body, particularly sinus, throat, or tooth infections. Symptoms include dizziness, fever, nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, and tinnitus. Always seek medical attention if you think you may have an inner ear infection.
Q: Why Do Ear Infections Sometimes Cause Hearing Loss?
Usually, it’s due to fluid buildup inside the ear. Sound cannot travel through to vibrate the normal way. Removing the fluid usually restores the patient’s hearing.