When you have chronic sinus congestion, you will have more trouble breathing in addition to other problems. The condition is especially difficult if you've tried all types of medication and sprays to get relief, yet you still have a problem. Nasal cryotherapy may be able to give you relief when all traditional methods fail. Continue reading to learn more about chronic sinus infections and how nasal cryotherapy works.
What Is Chronic Sinus Congestion?
Sinus congestion is where your nasal passages become inflamed and swollen to the point where air cannot pass through them. It keeps your sinuses from draining properly. The condition is also known as chronic sinusitis. Sinus congestion is chronic when the problem persists over a certain period.
Sinus congestion has many causes, but many involve extreme nasal nerve sensitivity. People who have an extra sensitive nasal nerve often respond to external irritants. Allergens, the weather, and even exercise are common triggers. The nerve signals the tissues to swell and emit a discharge.
What Are Traditional Sinus Therapies?
Traditional sinus therapies are those that attack the cause of sinus congestion. Traditional therapies include medications and nasal sprays that shrink and dry up sinus tissue. Some doctors may prescribe strong steroid nasal sprays. Other therapies include allergy treatment or surgery to remove physical blockages.
How Does Nasal Cryotherapy Work?
Cryotherapy involves temporarily freezing the area around the posterior nasal nerve. This procedure interrupts the nerve's sensitivity and reduces its ability to cause nasal swelling. You usually receive an anesthetic in the nasal cavity before the procedure. The surgeon inserts a probe or small balloon into the cavity freezes the area.
Who Are the Best Candidates for Nasal Cryotherapy?
Candidates for nasal cryotherapy are people with moderate to severe symptoms who cannot find relief through other means. A rhinologist may recommend this procedure to people who have life-altering sinus problems and are not eligible for other surgeries. Patients generally describe only mild pain after the procedure.
If you have this therapy, you may experience more congestion right afterward. However, the congestion will dissipate after a few weeks. Most candidates experience long-term relief, though it is not permanent.
Like any other therapy, a downside exists and, you will get different results than someone with similar issues. Some people may experience some congestion afterward, but usually markedly less than before. You will, however, need a follow-up treatment some time in the future. If you want to know more about your options for sinus therapy, talk to your rhinologist for more details.