It's allergy season in one of the sneezing capitals
Shana Rose Reporting
"We live in an extraordinary region," says Dr. Greg Pippin, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist in New Orleans. It's a tough time of year for the millions and millions of people who suffer from allergies, and it's even worse in southeast Louisiana, with New Orleans as the 11th worst place for seasonal problems and Baton Rouge at number 7 according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
This area not only has a "significant amount of allergens, he says, but the damp, humid environment tends to aggravate that.
Here in one of the "sneeze" capitals of the nation, there's already a lot of suffering going on.
"We're having a significant number of patients complaining of severe facial pressure, facial pain and recurrent sinus infections," Dr. Pippin says, and it's shaping up to be an average year, which means lots of allergy symptoms .
"There are several different treatments for chronic sinus disease and chronic allergies and medical therapy is the starting point. The latest treatment is something called balloon sinus dilation," he says which means many suffers won't have to use drugs to treat their problems any longer.
This new treatment uses a balloon to open the sinuses, similar to angioplasty, which is done on the heart. "This is a very similar concept, where you're actually placing a balloon catheter into the clogged or obstructed sinus cavity," and Dr. Pippin says it's a minimally invasive office procedure that is usually covered by insurance.