Advancements in Sinus Care

My name’s Nadim Bikhazi. I’m one of the ear nose and throat physicians at the Ogden Clinic. We’re affiliated with Ogden Regional Medical Center. A sinus is kind of like an air-filled cavity that needs to be open to the world. The best analogy is a clogged toilet. If a toilet stays clogged, you can dump disinfectant i. e.  antibiotics into it but you’ve got to get that toilet flushing. And that’s the problem with sinuses. They need to be open to the world. And we spend a lot of time giving patients antibiotics but they only will temporarily improve the situation. You have to re-ventilate those sinuses.

So if you fail decongestants and steroids then sometimes we go to the next step up which is a procedure to put a balloon in the obstructed sinuses. Dilate the opening. Balloon sinus dilation has been around for approximately ten years. It’s only been over the last several years that it’s been used more broadly in the office setting.

The indications are mainly for patients who suffer from chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinus symptoms that are resistant to medical treatment. And they ultimately are diagnosed in my office after radiographic imaging with a CT scan that shows obstructed sinus cavities. And if you’ve suffered from obstruction of those sinus cavities,you are a candidate for balloon sinus dilation. Traditionally when balloon sinus dilation was first invented, it was meant for the operating room.

Really, the technique of balloon dilating the sinus itself can be considered painful unless people are anesthetized well. Well as things have gone on over the ten years the ear nose and throat physicians have developed techniques in the office to make it very analogous to a dental procedure. We spend a lot of time numbing the nose and making sure that the actual technique does not involve pain at all.

And in fact the procedure is really painless once anesthesia has set in. We try to make ourselves very available to the patients. So if you or your loved ones are experiencing any problems in the ear nose and throat region,we try to get you in very quickly and see you. Because we realize some of these problems have been longstanding and you can’t necessarily wait.

When to See an Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist

The role of an ear, nose and throat physician is really to deal with patients after a primary care physician has exhausted medical treatment. That’s really who we see, are people who have failed medical treatment with antibiotics or decongestants for sinus problems. And so at my clinic at the Ogden Clinic, I’m affiliated with Ogden Regional Medical Center. We’ll see a lot of referrals for people who have failed the standard medical treatment for sinus problems. And so, at my clinic, we do a lot of these,what we call minimally invasive surgical procedures. Just top to bottom, we treat ear problems, including hearing loss, wax blockage,fluid in the middle ear,and certainly recurring ear infections in children.

Then you get to the nasal area,has to do with nasal obstruction, due to septal deviation,or nasal valve collapse. We deal with chronic sinus problems. And then in the throat region,chronic tonsillitis. Further down in the neck thyroid problems or neck masses. So really we cover a wide range of medical specialties in the head and neck. And so one of the ones that we treat is most commonly ,a sleep disturbance including snoring and sleep apnea.

Realize a lot of obstructive sleep apnea had to do with blockage in the head and neck region,which is where we work. Some of it is nasal. Some of it is pallet. Some of it is at the base of the tongue. And some of it is further down.

So we will work in coordination with our neurologists,and our sleep doctors to get people fitted well with CPAP, which is a positive pressure mask. Sometimes patients are surgical candidates,and sometimes the problem is more mild,where they may need just mild treatments for snoring and sleep apnea, such as mandibular devices and retainers that prevent the obstruction of air. So really the range of our effect on sleep disturbance and snoring is wide. It can be minimal or it can be major in terms of surgery. It just depends on where the problem is.

You know one of the main issues with ear, nose and throat surgery,is being attentive to the exact problem that comes in. So we really try to focus in on why you’re there. Sometimes in a primary care office,you’ve been given great treatment,but a lot of times, they’re tryin’ to cover a whole range of medical issues,and there’s not enough time to focus on the one issue. So I think that’s one of our real advantages in the world of ear, nose and throat,that we really pride ourselves in focusing and taking care of those problems that bother you and your loved ones.