Fighting Sinus Infections

FRESNO, Calif.

Getting work done at the office was no easy task for Lydia Mason who battled sinus infections for years.

"It was difficult for me to breathe," Lydia told Action News. "I was always blowing my nose. If I was at work, at meetings, I would have to leave sometimes because I was constantly blowing my nose."

Without the ability to smell, she also lost her ability to taste.

"That's terrible when you can't taste your food," Lydia said.

Dr. Janaki Emani hears those complaints often.

"With a sinus infection, or even the common cold, fluid will build up in all of your sinuses," Janaki Emani, M.D., ENT, a surgeon at Weiss Memorial Hospital and a clinical associate at the University of Chicago, explained.

To help clear them out, try this effective method: nasal irrigation. It's been around in Ayurvedic medicine for five thousand years. Use a Neti pot or bottle, then buy or make your own rinse. Just mix eight ounces of lukewarm water with a half-teaspoon of sea salt.

"The goal is that it drains in a reasonable fashion as opposed to sitting in there and building up over time," Dr. Emani said.

With chronic sinusitis, surgery could be your best option. Balloon sinuplasty can now be done on an outpatient basis, meaning less risk and less recovery time.

"It really focuses on less is more," Dr. Emani said. "You go in, and you don't physically remove any of the bone, you dilate them, and you wash out the sinuses."

That's the option Lydia Mason chose. Now, she's enjoying her favorite foods once more.

"We're having a curry dish. I couldn't taste curry before," Lydia said. "I can taste the wonderful spices of the Thai food. It's wonderful!"

Dr. Emani says balloon sinuplasty is often a good option for those who have suffered years of headaches, sinus congestion and sinus pressure. It can also benefit people with chronic sinus issues who are at high risk for general anesthesia. The surgery is non-invasive and uses a balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways.

Catherine Gianaro
Public Relations
Weiss Memorial Hospital
(773) 564-7285

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