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Chronic Nasal Congestion and tiredness--for almost 40 years!?
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Chronic Nasal Congestion and tiredness--for almost 40 years!?

MY BACKGROUND: As a kid, I had severe asthma & allergies, to the point where I was admitted to the hospital a few times (for asthma) and once where I went into Anaphylactic shock. I ALWAYS---and I mean ALWAYS---had a kleenex in my hand because I was forever sneezing & had a runny nose. As a kid, I also suffered from tiredness a lot.

TODAY: I'm 43 years old now and even though I don't always carry a kleenex in my hand, I have to have one with me whereever I go--just in case.  I've been diagnosed with, first, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and a few years later, Fibromyalgia. My biggest symptom is the chronic tiredness. In the past couple of years I've also suffered from several sinus infections. Also, when I lie down to sleep, my nose stuffs up right away. The left side of my nose is the worst. And on that same side, the discharge is always thicker than on the right---even when I'm not suffering from an infection. My doctor told me that I do have a slight deviated septum, but it's not deviated enough to really cause a problem.

ADDT'L INFO: My niece suffered from allergies & tiredness when she was growing up. When she had her adnoids removed, the doctor said they were full of fungus. Since her surgery, my niece has been much more healthy and doesn't suffer from the problems she had prior to surgery.

Could I be suffering from some sort of fungus in my nasal cavity? If not, what else do my nasal symptoms tell you? I can't believe it would be normal for someone to have nasal problems their entire life. And could my sinuses cause my chronic fatigue?
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There are people who have nasal problems all their life.  These may or may not be due to allergies.  They can experience symptoms as you have described, but may not have the fatigue as a major part of their daily symptoms.

The sinuses are hollow areas within your head.  The maxillary sinuses are behind your cheeks.  The frontal sinuses are behind your forehead.  The ethmoid sinuses are behind and below the frontal sinuses.  The sphenoid sinuses are behind your nose.  To work properly, mucus needs to drain well from the sinuses.  The nasal septum is a plate of bone and cartilage along the center of the nose.  A deviated nasal septum is shifted to one side.  When your septum is deviated there is less space on the side that the septum leans towards.  Generally this area is squeezed.  A deviated nasal septum may cause blockage of the sinuses on that side to the point that the sinuses do not drain as well.  This can cause swelling of the nasal and sinus passages.  As the sinuses become swollen, the drainage openings that lead from each sinus into the nose become blocked.  Both the swelling and the mucus that collects in the sealed-off sinus can cause pressure.  This is a possible explanation of your nose stuffing up when you lye down to sleep and the discharge always being thicker from your right side.  Surgery would return the septum to its usual position in the center of the nose.  This is generally helpful in clearing the blockage and decreasing sinus infections.

The best way to identify a sinus infection is with a sinus CT scan, although sinus x-rays are a decent alternative.  A sinus CT scan will also identify if any of the openings that drain your sinuses are blocked.  If your symptoms are due to sinusitis, they will last as long as the inflammation continues.  Here are some ways to clear up the inflammation.  Please check with your doctor to see which of these would work best for you.  Usually sinus surgery is considered when these techniques have not been helpful.  Please read our sinusitis information at http://www.nationaljewish.org/disease-info/diseases/allergy/about/conditions/sinusitis.aspx to learn more.

It is possible for fungi to cause chronic infections.  This is usually in the sinuses, but could be in the nose.  If fungi were the cause none of the antibiotics you took would be effective in getting rid of the infection.  However it is much more likely for bacteria to cause sinus infections.  It
4 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
I forgot to add to my original post that I use Nasonex. (I've tried Flonase in the past, too.)
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Avatar_n_tn
I am sorry to hear that you have syffered so long.  My 14 yr old daughter has similar synptoms as you with the chronic nasal congestion, asthma problems, and being tired all the time.  She was diagnoise recently, last month, with enlarged adnoids (I am told at her age they should have shrunk and hers are enlarged)and an imflamed turbinate on the left side of her nose that hasn't shrunk with cordisone nasal sprays she has been on for 3 yrs. She is having her adnoids removed 1/31/06 and they are also going to shrink her turbinate.  I will let you know of the outcome so maybe it will be a help to you.  Thank you for writing about your nieces success in  the removal of her adnoid (adenoid), it has encouraged me that this is the right thing to do for my daughter.  Good luck to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I don't know if this applies but I have found that I have "allergy" to everything that comes close to my face.  I really don't know what it is but if I sleep under a fan, I get sick.  If I put lotion on my face, I get sick.  If I put lotion on my face, I get sick.  So....I put nothing on my face...I mean nothing but lipstick and mascara...no makeup, no soap, so lotion...nothing else.  It has helped me from getting sick although I still have a problem with being tired.  I have a lot of drainage down the back of my throat which I think is related to the allergy.  Anyway...just thought I would share...
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