As I have grown older, my allergies, asthma and sinus issues have greatly increased. I tend to dread the fall and spring allergy seasons. However, last year I started taking allergy drops, which similar to allergy shots, have started to make me feel much better during allergy season, meaning fewer sinus infections.
This past winter was rough for me due to numerous recurring sinus infections, and the colds seemed to constantly circulate through my house.
After three sinus infections in a two-month period, with numerous antibiotics, Dr. Aijaz Alvi, my otolaryngologist on staff at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Illinois, suggested a CT scan to see what was going on inside my sinuses. He wanted to truly know the reason why my sinus infection wasn’t going away.
As he suspected, my sinuses were so badly infected they couldn’t properly drain on their own. So basically no matter how many antibiotics I took or saline washes I used, it wouldn’t get better.
He suggested a procedure called balloon sinuplasty, which I was thrilled to learn more about mainly because it wasn’t surgery.
Since it is considered minimally invasive, the procedure is done in the physician’s office and involves using an endoscopic balloon device which helps open the blocked sinus passages.
My entire nose inside and out was numbed so that he could insert the balloon giving access to my infected sinuses. Dr. Alvi cleared by sinuses and, when they were empty, he flushed them with a liquid antibiotic. I didn’t feel any pain just pressure during the 90-minute procedure.
The strangest feeling after the procedure was my nose “un-numbing.” It kept feeling like I had to sneeze but after a good night’s sleep I was up for playing with my two little girls the next day.
I was immediately able to breathe better and my face didn’t hurt from the ongoing infection. I also had so much more energy which made me realize how tired and awful I had actually been feeling over the last two months. I am grateful for this procedure for the quick recovery and how quickly I felt better.
About the Author
Erin Abbey is the public affairs and marketing manager at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington where she works on getting the word out about hospital news and accomplishments as well as community events and activities.
Erin recently relocated from Chicago to the northwest suburbs where she lives with her husband, two young daughters and her dog Kallie. When she’s not at work, Erin enjoys exploring new restaurants, practicing yoga and pilates, reading as much as possible and attempting to keep up with all the news on social media.
She is also the author of our 365 Barrington Health Beat series focused on advice from area physicians, the latest medical news and trends toward better health in and around Barrington.
Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Illinois is a 169-bed acute care hospital with more than 700 physicians representing 50 medical specialties. It is part of Advocate Health Care, named one of the Top Ten hospital systems in the U.S. by Thomson-Reuters. Advocate is a faith-based organization that exists to serve its communities. For more about Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, visit AdvocateHealth.com/goodshep.