Are you tired of living with constant congestion and frequent sinus infections? Sinus surgery may help you breathe easier and reduce the number of infections you get. San Antonio, TX, ENT physician Dr. Christine Gilliam shares some information about the surgery.
When is sinus surgery recommended?
Sinus surgery may be helpful if you experience any of these issues and haven't been helped by decongestants, antihistamines or other treatments:
- Sinus Infections: Although antibiotics are often helpful in treating sinus infections, sometimes the infections can become chronic. If you typically experience sinus infections three or four times throughout the year or have had an infection for 45 days or longer, you might benefit from surgery. Surgery may also be needed if you have an infection that has spread to your bones.
- Obstructions: It's not easy to breathe easily when air doesn't flow freely through your sinuses. The problem can be caused by a deviated septum, polyps, bone spurs or enlarged adenoids or turbinates. Sinus surgery can remove the obstructions or reshape your septum.
- Cysts and Tumors: Sinus surgery is also used to remove cysts and tumors that grow in your sinuses. Although cancer is always a possibility, most cysts and tumors are benign.
What is involved in sinus surgery?
During surgery, a thin, flexible endoscope is inserted into your nose. A camera at the end of the endoscope transmits images of your sinuses to a digital screen. During the surgery, your ENT uses tiny instruments to remove tissue, bone, polyps, cysts or tumors.
You may notice an improvement immediately after surgery, but you'll probably feel a little congested for a few weeks, due to swelling in your sinuses. Once the swelling subsides, you'll be able to breathe much easier. Although it's certainly possible to get sinus infections even after surgery, you'll probably experience them much less often and have milder symptoms.
Sinus surgery can help relieve your pain and other sinus symptoms. Call San Antonio, TX, ENT physician Dr. Christine Gilliam at (210) 647-3838 to schedule an appointment to discuss which treatment option is best for you.
An allergic reaction is a sign that your immune system is hypersensitive: it interprets what you've eaten or a plant you've come into contact with as a threat to your body, so it begins to send histamine, a chemical compound, to remove the threat by increasing mucus and blood flow. The result is an allergic reaction: sneezing, itching, even vomiting. To control these reactions, Dr. Christine Gilliam, physician at Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX, must know what causes them. Allergy testing is the best way to discover what triggers your specific immune response; we've listed a few of the most common allergens here.
It's a common misconception that an animal's hair or fur is what causes many people to sneeze and itch upon coming into contact. In fact, as your allergist will tell you, it's actually a hypersensitivity to proteins in the bodily fluid or skin of certain animals. The allergens from cats, dogs and horses typically come from their saliva or dander (flakes of dead skin), while guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters carry allergens in the proteins contained in their urine. Bird allergies are less common, but it's the dander under their feathers that's the culprit for most people. Allergy testing at Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center will determine which, if any, animals cause your allergies to flare up.
Almost anything that grows - grass, weeds, trees, even mold can all set off allergic reactions, particularly in the warmer spring and summer months when they release pollen or spores into the air for reproductive purposes. An allergy test from Dr. Gilliam will help to pinpoint which of San Antonio's flora is responsible for your sneezing, watery eyes and itchy nose.
The allergic reactions to food are typically different than environmental or pet allergies; hives, tingling in the throat or mouth, and swelling of the lips, tongue and or face are more common. Some food allergies are severe, causing anaphylaxis, an extreme reaction which often affects breathing and can be life threatening. Some of the most notorious foods that show up on allergy tests include milk, nuts, fish, eggs and wheat.
Allergies can be controlled by avoiding triggers and medication. To schedule an allergy test with Dr. Christine Gilliam, contact Everyone's ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX. We look forward to helping you solve this mystery and improve your life!
What your ENT specialist in San Antonio want you to know
If you have sinus issues that keep coming back no matter what you do, it’s time to think about a long-term solution. It’s called balloon sinuplasty, and it is a state-of-the-art way to open your sinuses permanently and help you breathe better. Dr. Christine Gilliam at Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX wants to help you discover whether balloon sinuplasty can help you.
Chronic sinus problems are common. In fact, 12.3% of the population in the United States has been diagnosed with sinusitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control, or CDC.
You may have tried over-the-counter sinus treatments like medications or saline rinses, only to find that they aren’t a permanent solution. Balloon sinuplasty is different. Balloon sinuplasty can help you if you suffer from:
- Recurrent or chronic nasal or sinus problems
- Sinus infections that don’t respond to treatment
- Headaches centered around your eyes
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Chronic bad breath due to mouth breathing
Balloon sinuplasty treatment is performed as an outpatient procedure while you are under general anesthetic. Your ENT specialist uses a wire catheter that has a small balloon attached to it. The catheter is inserted into your nostril; when it reaches your blocked airway, the balloon is inflated. Your sinus passage opens gently and you can breathe freely once again. The balloon is then deflated and the catheter is removed.
There are many advantages of balloon sinuplasty treatment when compared to conventional sinus surgery. When you choose balloon sinuplasty, you can count on:
- Minimally invasive treatment
- No incisions, sutures or scarring
- Less pain and risk of infection because there is no cutting of tissue
- Minimal swelling and bruising
- Minimal downtime for you
Don’t suffer from chronic sinus problems. You don’t have to settle for less-than-adequate over-the-counter treatments when a permanent solution is just a phone call away. Call your doctors at Everyone’s ENT & Sinus Center in San Antonio, TX. They are standing by to help you breathe better. Find out more about how balloon sinuplasty can help you by calling today!
Many people when they think of hearing aids they think of the large band aid colored devices that go behind the ear connected to a large earmold that fills the whole ear. Some even remember the large body worn aids that had wires that connected to the earpiece. These aids often squealed and their sound quality was not spectacular. Ever since the first portable hearing aid in the early 1900s, that weighed around 7 pounds, technology has been progressing towards smaller aids with better sound quality. These improvements have accelerated over the last couple of decades since the invention of digital hearing aids. While there are still varying sizes and styles of hearing aids, most are discreet models that tuck neatly behind the ear and blend with the hair color. It is not uncommon for a new hearing aid wearer to comment that no one even notices them.
As technology has advanced the hearing aids have improved in their ability to deal with background noise. Directional microphones allow the aids to focus forward to reduce what is coming from behind, and many hearing aids now communicate with each other through a magnetic field around the head that allows them to work together as a unit, instead of working independently from each other. This allows the aids to give better information to the brain and even reduce wind noise, which can sound like someone blowing into a microphone. Some of the newest aids now monitor the environment 100 times per second to help the aids distinguish between speech and background noise. As long as the aids are adjusted correctly all of these things help to produce a more natural sound for the wearer, even when they are in a difficult listening situation.
There are also different accessories that can be used with the hearing aids. Most can connect to cell phones through a Bluetooth device, and some can connect directly to an IPhone without any extra devices. Bluetooth also can be connected to a device that will allow the patient to listen to TV at a comfortable level for everyone else, or they can even listen with the TV muted. Another option is a lapel microphone that can be given to a loved one in very difficult environments, or put on the podium when listening to a speaker in a lecture hall.
In short, hearing aids are not only better looking, but they have a much better ability to help people communicate, even in difficult settings, than they did just a few years ago.
What does that mean? Well, endoscopic means being performed under the assistance of a scope that help magnify the area along with give an up close view in a potentially small space. Septoplasty is a surgery that straightens the nasal septum (the divider in your nose separating the two nasal passages).
Now, wait-in the office? You got it. Dr Christine Gilliam, board certified otolaryngologist is the first in San Antonio and one of the first in the state to offer this surgery.
Is that the same as balloon sinuplasty? No sir. Balloon sinuplasty is a procedure that can be done in the office with a balloon similar to one used to open vessels within the heart. The balloon is passed into the sinuses to open them up to help relieve sinus pressure, open the nature outflow track of the sinuses, and let mucus drain from the sinuses. This is done for chronic sinusitis and recurrent sinus infections. The balloon cannot be used to straighten the septum. The septum and the sinuses are both accessed through your nose but have different functions and are completely different structures.
Why do you need to straighten a septum? A deviated septum can cause air flow blockage. This can cause the obvious nasal obstruction, but can also cause turbulent airflow causing increased mucus, nasal irritation, and potentially snoring. The septum for some can even cause narrowing around the outflow tract of the sinuses.
Why in office? With the invention of balloon sinuplasty, otolaryngologists such as Christine Gilliam, MD have been able to decrease recovery time of sinus surgery with continued benefits. However, there are items the balloon cannot correct, such as a deviated septum. Now, with new technology and the expertise of sinus surgeons such as Dr Gilliam, we can office in office septoplasty at the time of your balloon sinuplasty to treat all your issues at the same time.
Dr Christine Gilliam was one of the first in San Antonio to offer balloon sinuplasty in 2006, has been consistently performing a variety of complicated sinus and nasal surgeries for the last 15 years, and is now the first in San Antonio to offer in office septoplasty in 2016. Give us a call at Everyone’s ENT and Sinus Center to see what is best for you.
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