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Possible Sinus Infection??? Please Help
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Possible Sinus Infection??? Please Help

I am having a problem that is starting to scare me a bit because I can't figure out what the problem is. It all started at the end of last September when I got an ear infection in my right ear. It took forever for my hearing to come back but then it eventually did and everything was fine. It was all fine until 3 weeks ago when I started getting tinnitus in my right ear. What I was hearing was a swooshing sound that would go with my heartbeat. I could only hear it when it was completely silent but it was enough to irritate me when going to sleep at night. A couple days later it finally subsided. I had just gotten to the Bahamas oh vacation when the noise went away, so I thought everything was alright.

A couple days later I ended up going out on an airboat for most of the day just touring around. After I got back my forehead and sinuses were killing me. I felt really warm and my sinuses felt like they were going to explode. Every day I was out there after this I felt this way at the end of the day. I thought maybe my sinuses were just bothered by something down there. I also noticed after eating a meal that I was getting random localized stomach pains. I figured they were just gas and let it go. They eventually subsided. A few days later we went out on a boat again and were out on it most of the day doing scuba diving. I didn't dive deep for fear of my ear (only went maybe 3 feet max underwater). After I got off the boat my head was killing me as usual, and this time i got very sea sick so I just completely felt terrible. Didn't vomit though. That night was terrible for me. I couldn't eat, still felt like I was floating up and down on the boat, felt very warm, and just did not feel right. The symptoms eventually went away like it was a panic attack, and I was fine the rest of the night. (I do have a history of anxiety.)

Anyways, as the nights went on, I eventually started noticing some slight dizzyness/lightheadedness along with my sinuses killing me, so I naturally thought sinus infection. I only had a couple days left so I just took some Tylenol Cold and Sinus and sucked it up. I got back last thrusday and had made a doctors appt because of the sinus problems for last friday. When I got home last thrusday night my head felt like it was going to explode and I had a lot of lightheadedness. Friday I go to the doctor and he prescribes me with a Prednisone 10mg anti-inflamitory/steroid, 3 pill 500mg z-pack (Azithromycin), and Butal/APAP/CAF 50/500/40 for my ear problem and to help with headaches. I also got a Fluticasone nasal spray 50mcg per spray for my sinuses.

The antibiotic I have finished. The other two medications i am still working on finishing. Now an interesting thing happened last friday that I thought was kind of strange. I had a very irregular bowel movement that was practically clear. It was a bit cloudy but not regular in the least bit. Since then I have been very constipated, and I have also gotten the random stomach pains back which tonight seem to have evolved into a straight very mild stomach ache. I took a laxitave earlier today so I'm hoping that will resolve that problem. My head still feels aweful though and the pressure in my face-and now the top of my head is unbelievable. I feel pressure behind my nose and my teeth even have a weird pressure feeling to them. I do feel a bit warm again as well. The nasal spray subsides the pressure but not for a very long period of time. I have a lightheaded/dizzy feeling almost all the time now, and it gets a lot worse whenever I eat. It doesn't take long before I start eating until my face starts feeling a lot of pressure again. I don't seem to have mucus dripping down the back of my throat and my nose isn't stuffed up at all. Overall I wouldn't say I feel any pain in my face either, just pressure and the dizzy/lightheadedness to the point when I feel like i might faint. It has gotten so bad that I am getting scared something else might be wrong, and maybe could be somehow related to a gastrointestinal problem. I am also extremely concerned about the fact this isn't getting any better.

I have been known to have anxiety problems in the past, and I'm sure some of this somehow anxiety related, but I feel like by now I should be feeling better with the antibiotics and everything. Even the headache meds don't seem to help much. I am going to schedule another appt with my doctor at the end of the week when i go home and I know he'll probably refer me to an ENT, but does anyone else know what could be wrong?

I just get scared because I did get a cut by accident on my foot while i was down in the bahamas and couple on my hands, and being in the water I fear maybe I got a parasite or something. It's probably just my anxiety talking but it still has me worried. I also got a couple bug bites too from these gnat type bugs. My friend told me I would be fine but my anxiety still takes me over on that. I am also a college student in my final semester of college with a ton of stress as well that has been building for quite awhile. (Maybe causing the constipation?) Could all the sinus pressure and stomach problems really be anxiety related, or do I maybe have something else. I have a friend of mine who lived most his life down there and has no idea what is wrong with me either. Please help me as I am very scared and confused.
6 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

The one sided pressure in the face and dizziness could be due to sinusitis. The best way to get to the bottom of your sinus issues is to see an ENT.  A good examination inside the nose with a camera might give the ENT more information as well as a CT scan of the sinuses.  If it is a chronic sinus infection, 4-6 weeks of antibiotics are pretty standard in addition to nasal steroid sprays, oral steroids, and salt water irrigations of the sinuses. If this fails to solve the problem, sinus surgery is usually recommended.

The stomach discomfort could be due to an infection of the bowel, gastroenteritis. If it persists consult your doctor for an evaluation.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_n_tn
My wife is sufeering from Sinusitis for the 1st time.

Beofe this on Oct 2012, she was given Foctil (Azithromycin) which reacted when we were in Beijing, & i Had to give her drips in Biejing general Hospital, & she had rashes fever for 5 days.

So now we are avoiding Antibiotics,, though she has taken some antibiotics without problems before for some accident/surgeries.

Pl suggest mild antibiotics or any other medicine.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks a lot for the help!

It's been a couple days later and the pressure had subsided quite a bit from earlier in the week. Also it seems my abdominal pains have subsided as well. I still get a dull hurt every now and then but i think they are more anxiety related than anything. My constipation also seems to have gone away and everything is normal again in that area. Overall I would say I have improved quite a bit. I saw a different doctor yesterday for a second opinion who told me he believes my symptoms to be sinus related as well. He prescribed me amoxicillin as a stronger antibiotic should I still have the sinus infection. I am also scheduled for a ct scan of my sinuses next Tuesday so see any possible problems. The only thing that is still bothering me is the lightheadedness every now and again. It's not as bad as it was before but nonetheless I can still tell I have some. I'm not sure if it's still some reminiscence of the sinus infection or whats going on with that. It could be entirely triggered by my anxiety as well, which wouldn't surprise me considering the trouble I have been having with that lately. I'm just hoping that it will eventually go away. I'll have to see how the next few days play out.

But anyways thanks again! I'll keep this updated should anything new develop!

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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

The light headedness could be due to anxiety, it could also be due to the sinus infection. Inflammation in the nose and sinuses can cause inflammation around the Eustachian tube, which is the tube that runs from the back of the nose to the middle ear and is responsible for draining the middle ear of fluid.  If there is Eustachian tube dysfunction from nose or sinus inflammation, fluid can remain in the middle ear which can lead to dizziness. It could sometimes be due to hypoglycemia. Discuss these options with your doctor when you happen to meet him next time.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_m_tn
So it's been quite awhile since I have been around this thread I made about a month ago. Not soon after my last post my symptoms seemed to be pretty stable and without problem. I still had the lightheadedness every now and again but it didn't bother me on the scale it did before so I just let it go and didn't worry about it, figuring it would eventually subside. I noticed I only got the lightheadedness/disorientation in like split-second moments only when I turned my head as well, so again my guess would have been the Eustachian tube dysfunction. The pressure in my head also subsided substantially and I felt quite a bit better. I would occasionally get sinus headaches every now and again too but they always seemed to happen at the end of the day and would subside when I went to bed. I guessed that there were partially stress related too.

During the course of that time I also made a follow-up appointment with my normal doctor back home (since I'm at college I have a doctor I see here as well), and he gave me some medication of the abdominal pains (for IBS though I don't think I really have that), and some GERD pills to take with the Augmentin* (I know I said amoxicillin above that was a mistake). Anyways, I took everything until I finished the Augmentin and I was alright.

I had the CT scan done as I mentioned above too. At the time it was done the results showed some nasal polyps, a slightly deviated septum, and some sinus inflammation, but nothing incredibly serious. I felt pretty good at the time it was done so I hadn't expected much anyways. So weeks go by until last weekend. I'm not sure if I caught a bit of a cold or what happened, but last Friday my sinuses were absolutely killing me. I spent most of the night with a warm towel on my head and breathing hot steam trying to relieve the pain and pressure in my forehead and behind my nose. I managed to get to sleep and made another doctors appointment with my doctor here at college the next day. (Thank goodness they have some Saturday hours here!) Anyways, the doctor recommended I see an ENT asap (which I have an appointment next Tuesday since it was the soonest I could make one), and he gave me another round of slightly more powerful antibiotics (Cefdinir 300mg, one pill every 12 hours) and a stronger round of Prednisone for the sinus inflammation (I think i may have to stop taking it as I am having gastrointestinal problems yet again from it.) Anyways, I started taking those and I felt relatively alright at first.

It was probably monday or tuseday I have noticed that I am starting to get pressure in my head yet again, although this time I don't think it's sinus related. Though it may be sinus related as I have been blowing my nose quite a bit since last Saturday, but this is more of a tension type pain, like the muscles in my head are being pulled. Monday night I really started noticing the tension and I think it was about a 2/10 intensity wise. Tuesday night I would describe the tension as a 5/10. (it always feels better in the beginning of the day and gets worse throughout the day) Yesterday it was like a 3/10 and I felt pretty good most of the day. Today was absolutely aweful, and I would describe it as a 7/10. As soon as I got into class this morning I felt the tension and it hasn't subsided since. I have had a tension headache literally ALL day today.

The tension and pain is never really localized anywhere in my head, rather it always changes position. One day I'll feel it on the front and back of my head, the next i'll be on the sides of my head. Today I have tension along the sides of my head and my temples are also killing me. My upper teeth in the back hurt terribly and jaw feels very right right now. Interestingly my forehead doesnt hurt at moment nor does the back of my head. Those feel fine and are pressure free at the moment. Having done some research, I can only conclude tension headaches as the problem. (Could this possibly have been the issue all along?)

So anyways that's where I am at. The gastrointestinal problems I am having are in the form of constipation yet again, and seem to have started when I went back on the Prednisone last saturday (No issues prior to last weekend though.) I took some milk of magnesia and drank some prune juice yesterday morning and spent the evening in the bathroom. I still think my lower intestines are messed up because the occasionally feel like they are burning and I have the urge to keep going to the bathroom a lot. When I do go it's usually only a little but that comes out. (Never any blood though or anything like that (there never was to begin with). Everything is normal as far as stool goes.

Other than that, I don't have any other symptoms. I don't feel tired, weak, or have any trouble sleeping at night. Every other physical part of me except my head feels completely fine. No passing out or seeing flashing lights or hearing weird things or anything like that. The only thing I have noticed is that my ears feel like they have some pressure in them and my heading isn't exactly 100% in either ear. When I press on my left ear from underneath it I hear a crackling sound, which I have researched to being a Eustachian tube dysfunction, and I'm sure the muscle tension in the side of my head doesn't help either as it feels worse the worse I feel. When the tension subsides I feel fine and can hear perfectly again, though there still is a little bit of pressure in both ears, and the crackling in my left ear still remains when i pull on it and whatnot.

If I had to guess, I 99.5% believe everything that is wrong with me is due to anxiety and stress, and because nothing else adds up. My stress levels are unbelievable with upcoming due dates and the sheer amount and intensity of work I need to get done before I graduate college. I'm currently enrolled in 4 classes, a research class, and my senior project (which has been driving me INSANE trying to make it work properly...it's a long, long, long, long... story), and I have job applications and portfolios I need to put together. If this is indeed all stress related, I'm actually scared I'm going to hurt myself because never in my life have I experienced the pressure and pain that I am going through now. I have noticed it all gets worse too when I find myself in a stressful situation. I hope the ENT can do something for me, because I am scared. My levels of frustration with all this only add to my anxiety and stress, and the fear of hurting myself neurologically somehow. I want to get my work done, but the amount of tension in my head makes it almost downright impossible to think, and just trying to ignore something that i know shouldn't be there worried the heck out of me. Any suggestions or any help as to what I can do? This weekend I have decided I am going to go home and take a break from everything and just rest, hoping I feel better. I sure hope it will help.

Thanks again for everything so far!

-Alex
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hi Alex,

Hope your weekend went off well. Its definitely a stress buster, to take time off work and worries. Everybody goes through these phases in life. So, just get a grip over things. Many times when you are not able to change a situation change your attitude. That’s the best way. To begin with relax, next prioritize, then plan and finally implement. Try yoga and meditation they have calming effects. Go for long stress free walks. If things are really bogging you down and you need help consult your primary care physician, he will guide you appropriately. Take Care and Hope this helps!  
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