We are right here in Louisiana– there’s pollen all over our cars and on buildings, and that generates an allergic response not only for people with pre-existing allergies, but also those without pre-existing allergies. Mainly the watery eyes, itchy and runny nose, nasal congestion, and headaches, or even cough and exacerbation of pre-existing sinusitis and bronchitis. So that’s something we see commonly throughout the year in Louisiana, but especially during the spring and summer months. Typically, I can treat somebody and improve them dramatically just treating them symptomatically without formal allergy testing; because, with an appropriate history, one can typically tease out what allergens are playing a role in a specific patient’s symptoms. A lot of people come in and say something like “I have migraines”, or “I have sinus headaches” or “I have post nasal drip”. We have to identify what the real trigger or cause for their symptoms is because missing that leads to inappropriate or inaccurate therapy. We offer in-office procedures, some mucous resection of the turbinates, balloon sinuplasty, and in-office procedures like formal endoscopic functional sinus surgery. Balloon sinuplasty is a relatively young procedure in terms of what all has been available for sinusitis over the last 20 or 30 years from a surgical standpoint. It was developed approximately a decade ago, and it’s very popular because it’s less invasive than traditional sinus surgery. You still hear people tell horror stories about sinus surgery being performed many years ago simply because they didn’t have the tools available that we do now such as endoscopes, and minimally invasive instruments that we use now in sinus surgery. However, some people still don’t like the idea of being put to sleep or having the more functional endoscopic sinus surgery performed. So balloon sinuplasty’s role is still to go into the sinuses, dilate up the natural opening through which the sinuses drain and become clogged, but obviously a less invasive manner which should frequently be performed in the office under just local anesthesia without any sort of general anesthetic whatsoever. All of the sinuses essentially have natural holes called Ostia through which the mucus that all of us produce everyday drains. The issue with something like chromic rhino-sinusitis is that those small holes, those osteo, gets swollen shut from inflammation, recurring bouts of infection… and so with these small balloons we can go through the natural openings of those sinuses and open them so that the infection or the mucus can be naturally expelled by the body. This is all we do, and we’re trained to tease those things out and treat those people appropriately, and it think I think it’s very uncommon in our practice that we can’t help somebody with those symptoms no matter what’s causing it.