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National Sinus Institute: Delivering Health Solutions to Urban and Rural Areas in New Mexico

By Marina I. Jokic

At the National Sinus Institute (NSI), patients of all ages are treated for ear, nose, and throat issues, such as sinusitis, sleep disorders and snoring, allergies, and hearing loss. Founder of the institute Dr. Ian Alexander, an otolaryngologist by profession, is one of the top sinus surgeons in the country.

Alexander is also a pioneer in sinus dilation, a minimally invasive treatment that uses a specialized dilator to permanently expand the openings of the sinuses, similarly to balloon angioplasty that "unclogs" arteries of the hear, delivering a lasting treatment for patient suffering from chronic sinus pain and infections.

"NSI was founded with the goal of bringing health care to all of the New Mexico, even the small towns where specialists are scarce, and we are making good on that promise," Director of marketing and public relations Whitney Marquez said. "We have plans to expand into Northern and Western New Mexico to better serve those communities."

Recently, NSI has expanded to 11 clinics around New Mexico and Texas including Albuquerque, Espanola, and Alamo Heights and Hondo, TX. The expansion has enabled the institute to deliver care directly to many more residents living in those areas.

Marquez points out that a large segment of the population in New Mexico suffers from allergies, which are made worse by pollen, mold, pet dander, and various foods. People living in underprivileged areas are especially vulnerable to the effects of allergies and exhibit symptoms such as itchy eyes, inflammation of the airways and digestive tract, and rashes. More severe symptoms include anaphylaxis, weak pulse, sudden blood pressure drop, nausea, and vomiting.

NSI's approach to treating sinus conditions emphasizes preventive care rather than just symptomatic treatments. By treating the allergies, many patients' sinus issues disappear altogether.

"Those who suffer from sinusitis often have underlying allergies that are partly to blame for the sinusitis," Marquez said.

Some treatments take longer than others. For instance, allergy shots administered over time build up immunity, which may take a number of months or even longer. Doctors at NSI take a holistic approach to treating allergies, and building up immunity in patients is a critical aspect of the healing process in the long run.

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