on-going sinus issues for almost 2 years...nothing helps!
I'm a 22 year old healthy male. I work out from time to time, eat pretty healthy, not overweight, and Ive never really had any major health problems.
This whole situation started about a year and half to 2 years ago. It started when I quit smoking marijuana. After about a week, I began to feel really anxious ( i figured it was withdrawal ) and then I started to feel really terrible. turns out I was getting a really bad case of the flu...probably the worse I've ever had.
While I was sick, I was having terrible sinus pressure and headaches, clogged painful ears, the whole nine yards. this was accompanied by panic attacks and really bad anxiety. I went through antibiotics and tamiflu, and after about a month, the flu was gone, but sinus pressure remained. I went to the ENT, who gave me more antibiotics, which did nothing. Went for a CT scan, and it all came back normal, aside from my severly deviated septum due to an accident that broke my nose. Doctor said the only option was surgery. During this whole time, i was really anxious and felt wierd because of the constant sinus pressure, headache, pressure in temples, and clogged ears. i felt off balance, and not myself. I was so anxious and felt so bad all the time I rarely wanted to leave my house. I suffered through all this for months and months, hoping that one day it would stop and resolve itself since my doctor told me there was nothing wrong. I went to a second ENT recently for a second opinion, and he too said that surgery would help. I broke down and got the surgery. Its been 2 months since I had my septum fixed, and its still the same deal...except slightly less intense. I still have sinus pressure, temple pressure, headache, clogged ears...mostly on the side that was deviated. I don't really have any kind of discolored discharge, if any. I can breathe better, but my cheeks usually always feel pressure, along with all the other stuff. I've never really had allergies, and I've been taking Claritin-D everyday at the recommendation of my doctor. I use a neti pot with saline rinse everyday. Throughout this thing I've also tried vitamins/herbs, acupuncture, nasal steroids, antibiotics, mucinex, sudafed, claritin, sinusbuster spray, hot or cold compresses on my face, herbal tea, meditation, collodial silver sinus spray, breathe right strips while i sleep...pretty much everything i could think of. Luckily, I'm not anxious like I was before, but when it gets really bad and I have to go to work/go out with friends/go shopping/etc, it makes me anxious because i just don't feel good and its hard to function normally when you ALWAYS feel like ****. I sleep fine, but sometimes even wake up in the morning with the pressure.
i went back to the ENT yesterday, and he gave me another course of antibiotics, but longer in duration. he said if it doesnt go away i need another CT scan. I'm nervous that the medicine wont work, and the CT scan will show up normal again. what then?
anyone have any suggestions? im desperate to get my life back!
You may possibly have a chronic infection of the upper sinuses, the sphenoid and or the frontals. Antibiotics often do not work up there, because of the minimal blood supply, and a neti pot is semi-useless due to gravity. The technique I invented defeats gravity, opens up the upper nasal passages, and washes out the infection, if you are lucky.
Don't get vexed that doctors aren't curing you. One of the best sinus surgeons in New York (hence, the world) has chronic sinus problems. He should try this, too:
The Flip-Turn Sinus Flush is mildly risky, because you have to bend over to do it, preferably in a shower, but you can also do it outside on soft ground.
You may also have a fungal infection, which won't respond to antibiotics, but the flush can possibly help on that. Yes, an infection can cause anxiety, somewhere along the lines that LSD is made from a fungus. The toxins from bacterial or viral infection can mess with your brain, too.
I'm at work and haven't had a chance to completely read the entire post, but at first glance it looks like the most informative piece of information I've ever seen on sinusitis. I really appreciate your response, and I'm looking forward to going home and trying this!
Recurring sinus infections can be caused by a compromised gastro intestinal system. If you have been taking antibiotics, even just once, it will contribute to that. Do you drink / eat a lot of dairy? Also a huge aggrevator for sinus problems. Try a good probiotic supplement, reevalute your diet, and cut all dairy. It might help alleviate your issues.
Yes, I've taken about 4 or 5 courses of antibiotics over the past year and a half. Each time I do I usually follow it up with a probiotic supplement. Are there any in particular you'd recommend? I don't really consume a lot of dairy. I drink coffee almost every morning and I'll put a little bit of half and half in it, but that's probably it. I work out, but never really take any whey protein, which I just recently found out is a dairy product :)
I've been doing your technique for the past 2 days, and last night I added a little bit of hydrogen peroxide to the solution. it BURNED! haha. Anyway, today when I woke up I felt a little nasally congested, and I don't usually. I blew my nose and the mucus had tints of yellow in it when its usually clear or cloudy white. Do you think this is a sign of progress? :)
I don't think dairy is a problem. After developing this flush, I've been eating large amounts of dairy stuff, like probiotic vanilla yogurt, and haven't had a full day of congestion for 4 years (although I still can't drink a delicious Chik-fil-A chocolate shake without semi-gagging). I think it's the sugar in the dairy products, along with other sugar, that triggers insulin reactions and mucus.
Thanks for the information kjelltp, I didn't know antibiotics could do that--no wonder my sinus infection got worse after taking antibiotics meant to kill it.
Paradoxenygma, in your case, I would guess that the passages to your upper sinuses are clogged, and the saline is meant to shrink the tissue in the passages, and open them up, draining the infected pus, which would be the yellow stuff, representing progress.
I never did put peroxide in the flush, because the point is to open up the passages and flush out infected mucus, rather than to directly kill the microbes. Maybe it works better, maybe not. I would be reluctant to do anyting that would further mess with the cilia, which are the little hairs that move junk out of your nose and sinuses. They don't start working to the best of their abililities until you stop flushing, which you should do after about 2 weeks of it.
Personally I use a Genestra brand probiotic, called HMF Replete. It contains a lot of strains, and from what I hear, is one of the more effective probiotics (that I know of).
And yes, sugar is another no-no in these cases. Also try cutting out gluten products for a while. Another good way to clear muccus in general, is to drink luke warm water, with fresh squeezed lemon or lime. I swear by that FIRST thing in the AM at rise, and last thing before bed.
Yogurt is somewhat better than milk, if you gotta have dairy (atleast make sure you get a no/low sugar and organic) The best is probably to make your own.
I went to see an allergy clinic that treats sinusitis a few days ago, just to see if a cause of the chronic sinus inflammation was an allergy I was unaware of. Turns out I'm extremely allergic to all types of grass...haha. It had to be something that is EVERYWHERE. No reactions to foods, just grass, certain trees, and house dust I think. Next time I go back they'll do the under the skin test for the things I showed negative for, just to completely rule them out.
My allergist was really nice and spent a lot of time getting background history and talking about the condition in general. She was only a nurse practitioner I think, but she seemed to know a lot about this kind of thing. She wrote me a slip to go get a CT Scan (I asked my ENT about getting a CT and he told me he wanted me to wait a month at least! wtf? Could'nt it get worse by then if it IS a sinus infection?). She also prescribed me prednisone and a nasal steroid called Omnaris? I had never heard of it. My ENT also refused to give me a steroid spray, even though it could help with inflammation. This too he wanted me to wait for. She also inspected my nose more thoroughly than my doctor. Kind of wierd. The ENT did my nasal surgery, and whenever I go back for a visit to complain about my pain/pressure he just glances in my nostrils for a few seconds, and then pretty much tells me nothing. Every visit has lasted every bit of 5 minutes or less. It seems that both of the ENT Doctors I've seen were VERY quick to recommend surgery, rather than address the underlying cause. Obviously my septum played a factor, but it wasn't the source, and that's apparent now. Now that I'm post-op, the doctor I've been seeing seems to think (although he doesn't tell me anything) if I wait around this will kind of just go away. I've been miserable for too long to sit around and hope it will just go away. I've been very vigilant lately to wrap this up :)
My allergist suspected that for the past year and a half or so this has been going on, I've had an underlying sinus infection initiated by the flu that hasn't been properly treated, and is just being aggravated by allergies that really didn't affect me before all this. She suggested that its possible my deviated septum prevented my nose from draining properly at first, and this could be a reason why the sinus infection hung around. She says that because I don't have a runny nose my personal anatomy could make me more prone to post nasal drip rather than a runny nose. She says often if you take the wrong antibiotic or not enough of a course you may feel better at first, or think you do, but its not enough to knock out the infection completely because of the difficulty of getting the antibiotic into the sinus cavities. Eventually, the remaining bacteria rebounds and comes back, sometimes more resistant to treatment. So basically you get this roller coaster effect where it comes and goes. This definitely sounds like whats been happening to me.
I went and got a CT scan yesterday, and after it was over I asked the tech how it looked. She kinda cringed her face up and said "It looks like you have some fluid and gunk in there again...but you didn't hear that from me..." I don't think she wanted to be the bearer of bad news, because a few minutes earlier she had asked if I had sinus surgery, and I told her it was very recent :) I have the film from this recent one, but its like trying to read chinese. I know what I'm looking at, but I don't know what's normal and stuff, and there are a bunch of different frames, so I'm not sure which one I should be paying attention to.
The first CT scan I had done was a few months into this whole ordeal, and the only thing that the doctor said was abnormal was my deviated septum. Not really sure how this was possible, because at that time the pain and pressure was much more intense. I know the first time I had it done I was laying on my chin, and yesterday they had me lay on my back. A different view maybe? When I went to the second ENT doctor, he didn't see the actual film but read the report from my very first CT, and told me it showed a cyst in my sinuses. My first doctor never mentioned that. And this CT was a year or so old by this time, but my second doctor who did my surgery never asked me to get an updated one. You would think he would want to see what's going on before performing surgery.
I feel like of bummed out that it took 2 ENT doctors alot of head scratching and WAITING for something to kind of resolve itself, just to go to a nurse practitioner who seemed to know more about what she was talking about. ENTs seem to approach things like this from a surgery standpoint, and now that my septum is fixed I'm not so sure its worth going back unless something gets really bad.
I'm crossing my fingers that if I address the allergies and inflammation, it'll be easier to finally slay the subversive sinus infection that has been destroying my life, lol. I think after going through this, I could be a qualified doctor myself, haha. New career path? :)
Thanks friggy and kjelltp. I appreciate your participation in this. I'll let you know how this goes in a few days!
Gotta hate antibiotics huh? Often cause more problems, than they fix.
I'm pretty confident that if you address the underlying issue, it will take care of itself. I'm suprised they prescribed prednisone, just like that (oral ?). This is not a drug to be taken lightly.
Keep an eye on that cyst. I had one too (in the sphenoid sinus, the "hidden" sinus in the back of the eyes. It was not mentioned to me at one CT, but another CT 10 years later showed a COMPLETELY filled sinus cavity (good thing it was benign!). It had to be surgically drained (endoscopy). I think the other sinuses are more trivial to do surgery on, less risks.
Anyways, keep on the probiotics and supplements (do you take any other?), and stay off typical allergi aggrevators, even if tests showed no food allergies. It should easen your symptoms (if not try another type)...
Yes, antibiotics are the devil :) (unless they work of course, lol)
She looked inside my nose and could see it was really swollen. She prescribed the prednisone to cut back significantly on the inflammation to allow my sinuses to drain. So far, I haven't had any side effects from it, and I'm only taking it for a week. The day after taking it my pain wasn't as intense, so I assume its doing something. Is prednisone something I should be worried about?
Yea, I'll ask the doc next time about the cyst when he sees my CT scans. I'm curious if it is still there or not. I read that they are pretty common, and alot of people have them and don't even know it.
I do take a whole foods multi-vitamin, and occasionally will take a B-complex vitamin if I'm feeling stressed out or something. I use Claritin-D everyday. I've also been taking Quercetin and additional vitamin C. When I was getting acupuncture, I was given a bunch of very specific vitamins and herbs, etc., and I have a bunch of those lying around, but don't take them regularly. I've also been occasionally taking Milk Thistle, and a goldenseal/echinacea supplement, but haven't really noticed any differences. It seems I have a million and a half vitamins or supplements that are said to do something beneficial when it comes to sinus care, but I never really noticed a whole lot :) I always preferred to do the natural route over synthetic drugs when possible.
Heh, antibiotics aren't the devil, prednisone is! Sure, ABs have a use when a quick fix is needed, but is a double edged sword. I have more concerns about how often, and easily they are prescribed. Look at all the "antibiotic" products out there. Soon maybe we will have "smart food" with antibiotics. People eat meat, full of anti biotics. We use soaps with antibiotics. Antibiotic wet cloths, antibiotic detergents, etc, etc. No wonder we get so sick, our immune systems are confused, poor thing....then we bombard it with stress, vitamin deficient processed foods, man made toxins and lack of sleep. It's amazing we're still around! lol ..ok ill get off the soapbox. ;)
Prednisone is like weeding your rosegarden, with a lawnmover. Sure, it will probably get at what it needs to get rid of, but then there is not much left of your rosegarden. Or like bombing a whole city, to take out 1 building. :) Jokes aside, they will prescribe oral prednisone for a week, since they claim it is not long enough to cause permanent "damage". Long term usage of prednisone is indeed harmful. After all, it takes down your immune system. My MD wants me to take a week worth (for my AI disease) but personally scared to even take 1 pill. That's me though :)
I hear you about supplements. I take an arsenal of them, and they seem to do" nothing", but I can only trust that it does something. Sometimes that's not enough, however. But we do need supplements sorely, it's proven that our diets do not meet the requirements. Not to mention the substances that we don't produce in our bodies, like the essential fatty acids (you should take omega 3 if you don't..)
I know the cysts are fairly common, but they shouldn't be. As anything else, they got there for a reason. :(
I have been diagnosed with Chronic Sinusitis since 1990 until 2002 and during those 12 years i endured tremendous bouts of pain, allergies, sinus Migrain headaches,lack of sleep, dizziness. This disease has altered my life style completely and i have looke everywhere for a cure but to no avail, needless to say that i have also tried every medicine there is and nothing worked, until i moved to Egypt, and i learned about cupping therapy ( hijama in Arabic ), which is basically blood letting, and i swear that only after one session i was cured for a period of one year, then i kept getting Hijama done once every 4-5 months and that by itself ensured that the sinus attacks NEVER came back, and if need be in between those sessions, i learned to squirt inside my nostrils a little bit of the chamomile tea after making an infusion of it and then i let it sit to cool down for like 15 mins then i use in on nsotrils, each side at a time, twice once first thing in the morning, and at night rightr before going to bed, and that has almost eradicated my chronic sinusitis. if anyone has any questions or need to explore more, please contact me via email. Cheer up, at least now you know the cure.
I'd still recommend a sinus flush, as it would clear out the remaining sinus infection, and soothe the inflammation and shrink swollen membranes better than the steroids.
I'd also recommend stinging nettle leaf for the allergies. There's some evidence that the high magnesium, and some other mystery ingredient, lessen allergic reactions. It cured my allergies, with no side effects, and seems to do so in about half the people who try it for 2 weeks.
Don't know much about cysts, refer to ENT. My theory is that they're caused by chronic sinus infections.
I'm happy to hear that worked for you. Western medicine never cure anyone, they just put out fires (which flare up again). Alternative methods probably cure a lot more, but are seldom recorded. I personally believe for every ailment, nature has a remedy. Drugs are toxic, foreign to the body, and just make us sicker in the long run.
A lot of people with sinus problems , also get symptom relief via acupuncture.
Hi. I haven't read every word posted on here so forgive me if someone else has already brought this up.
I have to agree w/ all the "be careful w/ meds" stuff. That's where I'm at.
I am also a realist though, and know when enough's enough.
I too had a CT Scan and was basically told that I had two options:
\sinus surgery OR balloon sinuplasty
Now of course every case is different but from what I am told this is the choice that lots of people face.
Hello, thanks for reading my comments. I would be so happy if someone can make use of Cupping Therapy and get some relief for their pain. I have been researching Alternative and Prophetic Medicine for the past 8 years now, i put together one book which i have given away here locally in Egypt, and am now writing a comprehensive book on the subject, which i hope i can publish and give away for free before the year is out for as many people as i can to benefit from. I hate to see anyone suffering from pain, especially if there is a cure and a relief out of that pain. All the best to you and your family, and thanks for the vote of confidence. Mahmoud
So the saga continues! I went to my ENT today, and I think he was kinda suprised that I showed up with a CT scan. He had told me to wait, but my allergist told me to get it. I showed him the film, and he also got the report. He proceeded to tell me that my CT scan was completely normal. He said there was "no significant infection" and that everything looked fine. I didn't buy this because a week ago my allergist looked inside my nose and said it was really swollen inside. He didn't even look at my nose today. He then started to tell me how I have a cyst inside my right sinus (i dont think that falls under completely normal) . After I start asking questions about the film, he looks a little closer and then says "oh....maybe there is something here on the left side". Apparently there is something on the left side in my cheek area that he wasnt sure about. On the CT, the right side is black and clear, but on the left its all gray. He said he thought it was a cyst or polyp or something. But he told me I didn't need additional surgery, and told me to go see my dentist before I came back to him because whatever it was is right above a tooth. This makes absolutely no sense to me, because wouldnt a tooth absess or something like that cause me TOOTH PAIN before sinus pain? And how would a tooth on my left side make my RIGHT EAR clog up? Does this make sense to anyone? This is the ENT that performed my surgery, and I'm having the feeling he's being cautious about telling me stuff is wrong because the surgery he said would fix everything has not. Should I look for another opinion, or does the tooth thing seem reasonable? And what about cysts in sinuses? Could they be the cause of all this pain/pressure?
I think your ENT is just ranting at this point. He is probably unsure, and trying to buy time by having you investigate other options. If your sinus cavity on the scan, is not black (big void) it is filled with something. I think any good radiologist would be able to spot these things pretty quickly. I can't tell you what your problem is, but I can speak from my own experience. My sphenoid sinus was completely full, and it was giving me headaches and pressure pains behind my eyes. If this is your frontal sinus cavity, it can also give pressure pains (even if it's not full, just inflammed they will give those pains usually as well..). I would perhaps get another opinion on the scan, and go from there. If it IS a cys or polyp t filling your sinus, they should be able to give you a pretty clear answer what to do. But always follow your own gut, don't let em cut anything unless you feel its the right thing to do. In my case, it was pretty obvious, as this thing was not going away on its own.
I agree with the previous 2 posts. In short, another opinion can never hurt (unless you have huge out-of-pocket responsibilites, in which case, that can be painful). There are a lot of unanswered question in your recent post and it isn't clear exactly what you are talking about with respect to the CT. These can be tricky to describe. There are common entities called "Maxillary sinus retention cysts" which *might* be what you have. These have been studied well (they are, after all, common) and are almost always thought to be benign, incidental findings. But you seemed to suggest that you may have more than one thing on your scan...Could you tooth be abscessed? Maybe, but I agree with you that this probably raises more questions than it answers. I also agree with the poster who said that inflammed sinuses can also give you symptoms.
Thanks for the comments! I got a copy of the CT report, so that I could see it for myself. It goes as follows:
FINDINGS: The frontal sinuses show minimal mucosal thickening anteroinferiorly. The ethmoidal recesses appear patent. The ethmoidal air cells are essentially clear without air fluid levels. The sphenoid sinuses are clear. The sphenoid ethmoidal recesses are patent.
The right maxillary sinus shows a small amout of mucosal thickening in the floor vs. a small retention cyst.
There is a small air fluid level within the left maxillary sinus. Postsurgical changes are noted in the left aspect of the nasal cavity.
There is leftward nasal septal deviation. The ostiomeatal units are patent.
1. Small air fluid level in the left maxillary sinus compatible with acute sinusitis.
2. Mild mucosal thickening within the frontal sinus.
3. Probable small retention cyst in the right maxillary sinus.
Today, I went to another more qualified ENT in the area, and he mentioned nothing about my teeth. He looked at the CT and he said the area that my other doctor thought was a tooth abscess was simply mucous in the back of my left sinus. I think my first ENT was just feeding me B.S. because he didn't know what was going on. I'm not going back to him. The new ENT specializes in revision surgery, sinusitis that hasnt responded to surgery, sinus disease, etc.. He said surgery at this point would be a very premature decision. He looked in my nose with an endoscope, and said there was still significant swelling, more so on the left than right. He said he could see swelling in the areas where the maxillary sinuses would drain. He also said he could see swelling in the CT, and that there was also some swelling in the openings of the frontal sinuses. This is all pretty consistent with my symptoms. More pain on the left that right, and usually right around my cheek, temple and eyebrow. He put me on a longer dosage of prednisone, and a 3 week course of Avalox. He said my case is a classic one where someone gets sick...gets sinusitis, but then it never resolves. He thinks its more of a case of inflammation than an infection, but the antibiotic is just to be sure. He wants me to get an updated CT after a few weeks to monitor the progress, and I will go back to see him. We'll see how this goes! He thinks that my problems can be easily solved by surgery, but obviously this is last resort. Surgery wasn't even that bad, but I wouldn't want to go through it again. The worst part was getting the IV...I almost passed out because I hate needles, haha. And then when they inject you with the anesthesia, it burned like hell! No thanks.
A few days into my antibiotics (maybe day 4 or 5), I noticed a bit of scratchiness in my throat. In the middle of the night, I felt a bit of post nasal drip. I usually don't feel this...usually i just feel like theres gunk in my throat and I just clear my throat and spit up a "lugie". However, I felt like the sinus pressure wasn't as bad as it has been. But then the next day, I FEEL LIKE IM GETTING SICK! I've been really achy, feeling spacey and out of it, cold chills...similar to the flu. My head was hurting, but it was more of a general headache rather than sinus pressure. I don't have a thermometer on hand, so I don't know if I have a fever. My nose has been running a bit, and I've been sneezing somewhat. Usually these two things never happened. Does this mean the antibiotic might be knocking this infection out, and my body is just reacting to this? I mean, some of the achy feelings and spaciness and stuff could possibly be side effects to the antibiotic, but I don't know if it could cause full on "flu" symptoms. Ive taken avelox in the past and didn't have a problem. I was around someone who was sick the day before these symptoms started, so its also probably a cold coming on.
I just happened to come across your posts and they describe a lot of I've been going through!
How are you feeling?
My pain is severe and mostly in my ethmoid sinuses, but also in the maxillary now and then.
I'm so sorry you're suffering as well. Trust me, I know how bad it can get!
Hope the antibiotics helped. I'm actually awaiting sinus surgery and scared I'm making the wrong decision.
well, something i'm doing seems to be working, haha. i dont feel as bad as I usually do. and turns out I did have the flu, so that was pretty rough, but im better now. i play drums in a rock band, and we played a halloween show today. i think it was the first day in a LONG time where i went through pretty much the whole day without thinking "holy ****, my head is killing me"
im almost done the round of antibiotics. its the first time ive taken this particular one, and a much longer duration than i have with any in the past. i guess its working? i also read that garlic acts as a natural antibiotic, and is effective against some of the bacteria/fungus that can cause chronic sinusitis. I began eating a few cloves of garlic a day. its disgusting, but according to alot of places on the net it works. they sell it in pill form, but i don't think its as effective as fresh. I started taking extra vitamin A, along with a multivitamin (i get the green source vitamins from vitamin world, they are whole food and better than a lot of the synthetic vitamins like centrum or such). I also started taking a b-complex extended release vitamin for stress. having sinus problems and constant pain definitely wears a person down, and the b-complex seems to make me calmer. theres also a whole other assortment of new supplements ive been trying: astragulus, alpha lipiotic acid, zinc, and additional vitamin C. They'll all boost your immune system and allow your body to fight off the sinus infection, regardless of what the cause. I tend to space them all out over the day rather than just at one time, so my body has a chance to absorb it all. its also important to look up all the vitamins/supplements you take and make sure your not overdoing it on any one particular thing. i know RDA listed on vitamins are usually conservative, but a quick google search will let you know what the maximum amount of each you should take. toxic levels of certain vitamins/minerals can build up in your body and cause you more problems!
my doctor actually told me to STOP using the neti pot or any similar saline rinse, because if u have an inflammed sinus cavity, there's a chance that not all the water you put up there will come back out. if theres water trapped in there, this could be a source of pain/pressure.
Ive still been having discomfort and headaches/pressure, but not nearly at the level as before. Im trying to remain optimistic. I keep telling myself than one day this will be a thing of the past that i can laugh about.
what are you having done with sinus surgery? tell me about your situation. what have you tried? what have doctors said? have you had CT scans done?
Sorry for the delay, but i just saw you mentioned your two options: balloon sinuplasty or sinus surgery. I just saw a new ENT recently because my other one wasn't properly treating me. My new doctor is the real deal :) He participated in the first clinical trials of the balloon sinuplasty in the united states, so he was there when the procedure was introduced. he said over the past few years of performing it, hes become less and less optimistic about the results. he said about 50% of people getting sinuplasty have to come back and get traditional endoscopic surgery. it depends on the severity of your problems, and your particular case.
just a little information to help you make your decision :) knowing what he told me, i'd be kind of scared of the idea that theres a 50/50 chance id have to go back a second time.
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