I have had chronic issues with my sinuses, lots of medical tests and doctor's visits, and could use some advice from anyone who might have dealt with similar issues.
For years I have had sinus infections from unknown causes. As a kid, my mother (an RN) would give me pseudoephedrine which would take care of the problem, but by the time I was in college it elevated my blood pressure and I can't rely on it. I have on a couple of occasions taken Tylenol Sinus with pseudoephedrine in it, and it does indeed help the symptoms for a few hours.
My symptoms are sinus pain in the cheekbone and around the eye on the left side, sometimes some mild pain on the right but often nothing there at all even if the left side hurts. My left eye will water, there is pressure behind the eye, I get swollen areas under the eye and of the eyelid. There are painful points on the left side in the middle of the cheekbone and near my eye when it gets bad. Often I have full-body myalgia and excessive fatigue when the sinus pressure is acting up. I take Claritin and Flonase and do daily nasal sinus rinses, all of which help, but have not cured anything.
I also get brief ear aches and throat pain, with pain in my neck that a nurse practitioner told me was probably inflamed eustacian tubes. These pains never last long, maybe 3 hours before going away, and it might take several days to return. Every so often, my left parotid cheek gland gets clogged with what a doctor once told me was probably mucus from drainage.
About a decade ago I had x-rays and a CT scan showing a lot of opacity on the left side. Since then, I have had a round or two of antibiotics a year for flare-ups of the sinus pain and pressure. About 5 years ago I had another CT scan showing nothing. This January, I had an episode of what I thought was allergies -- burning eyes, mild sore throat, a little fatigue, but not feeling too poorly. After exercising one day, though, I was immediately sick with cold chills, shakes, sweats, etc. Thinking it was a virus I tried to wait it out, but after a month was sure it was a sinus infection. The pain on the left side of my face was terrible. I was on three rounds of antibiotics which helped but it always came back. A CT scan back in April showed full opacity of my left ethmoid sinus even after all the antibiotics, and I was sent to the ENT. (No other abnormalities were seen in the CT scan.)
Unfortunately the only ENT in town refused to take it seriously. He said it was only one cell of the left ethmoid, which wasn't true, it was the entire sinus cavity (all the cells within it). He then said it was trigeminal neuralgia and I needed to see a neurologist. He prescribed omeprazole for laryngopharyngeal reflux and sent me away.
Happily, the omeprazole 20 mg/day has helped. After a month, the pain points on my left side of the face disappeared and have not yet returned. The ear aches and throat pain have improved tremendously. My GP said he felt I did NOT have trigeminal neuralgia, and that the chronic sinus infections were probably related to reflux, and I agree with the GP.
Here's the thing: I still have pressure (not pain) on the left side at times, mostly behind the eye and along the maxillary bone. That side of my face in the morning will be very puffy, my eyes sticky and crunchy. I still get frequent full-body myalgia and fatigue along with it. It's not a sharp pain on my face, it feels very much like plain old sinus pressure.
I have no idea what could possibly be causing this and could REALLY use some suggestions. I'm doing all the right things (Flonase, Claritin, rinses, omeprazole), my blood test results are all within normal limits, and I should be feeling better, but this just will not go away. It affects my quality of life and I'm really at my wits end.
Please, if someone has some suggestions, I would very much appreciate it!