I am a 45 year old female in reasonable health, except that I am allergic to many things in the environment and I have severe asthma. I am also prone to sinus infections. About two weeks ago, I developed chronic postnasal drip that left me clearing my throat constantly and hoarse by the end of the day. I also had a runny nose with clear discharge. At night, I would wake up coughing. Also at night, one of the my nasal passages would become completely blocked and could not be cleared by blowing my nose. Once or twice I coughed up thick yellow phlegm.
Today I woke up almost unable to speak. The postnasal drip is still present, but my vocal cords seem to be covered with phlegm. No matter how much I clear my throat or cough, I cannot clear out my throat and my voice is almost gone. I am taking Mucinex, Advair, Singulair, Xyzal, and Combivent (when necessary). My family doctor has diagnosed this as a sinus infection, but I have had no headaches or tooth pain. He has put me on antibiotics, which don't seem to be helping. What do you think I have and what can I do to get my voice back?
It is possible that your loss of voice is secondary to the post-nasal drip of sinusitis but the worsening you describe, in the presence of antibiotic therapy, is worrisome. It suggests two possibilities: 1) that the infection causing your sinusitis is not responsive to the prescribed antibiotic or, 2) that infection has spread directly to your epiglottis or vocal cords, this latter being a serious complication. If, when you receive this response, your symptoms have not resolved, you and your doctor should request consultation with an ENT specialist, to perform direct (fiberoptic) examination of your larynx, including the vocal cords, and re-assessment of your sinuses.
I hope that, by this time, your problem has begun to resolve. If not, you should contact your doctor and request further diagnostic evaluation.
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