Sinus and allergy expert Steven Levine, MD, of ENT and Allergy Associates in Trumbull, was a guest international lecturer at the 10th Congress of Russian Rhinologic Society June 27-29 in Moscow. A Weston resident who is an attending surgeon at Bridgeport Hospital and Norwalk Hospital, Dr. Levine spoke about advanced surgery for patients with allergic rhinitis (hay fever) including office-based use of balloons to open sinus passages, and the use of high frequency radiosurgery to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Dr. Levine had participated in two national clinical studies involving office-based balloon procedures to widen the sinus opening and eliminate the need for more invasive surgery. \u201cIf the sinus ostium (the opening that connects a sinus to the nasal cavity) is blocked this will often cause an accumulation of fluid in the sinus, so air cannot pass into the sinus and mucous cannot drain out,\u201d said Dr. Levine. \u201cUsing nasal endoscopes to visualize the entrance to the sinuses, a guided catheter with an inflatable balloon is advanced into the sinus. The balloon is gently inflated (like an angioplasty for the heart) to widen the sinus tract, and then withdrawn, leaving a wider sinus opening,\u201d he said. \u201cOur study demonstrated that office based balloon procedure had an 85% success rate that was maintained for at least one year.\u201d Snoring and Apnea are the most common sleep disturbances. Evaluation includes an anatomic assessment of the nose, sinuses, throat, and vocal cords. Home sleep studies provide accurate measures of the severity of the problem. Dr. Levine said, \u201cA variety of surgical and non-surgical techniques can improve or cure these problems. These techniques include using high frequency radiowaves (radiosurgery), laser surgery, injection snoreplasty, Pillar implants and nasal continuous positive airway pressure.\u201d ENT and Allergy Associates provide expertise in the diagnosis of sinus and allergy disorders, management of snoring and apnea, facial plastic surgery and skin rejuvenation, throat and voice disorders, and hearing testing and hearing aids. The practice is located at 160 Hawley Lane Trumbull and can be reached at 203-380-3707. For more information, visit their website at www.entallergymd.com.