Lots of Colds


All my life I’ve been getting a lot of colds. I’ve had the flu a couple of times too (real flu, can’t get out of bed for a few days flu). When I was a child my parents just assumed my immune system hasn’t developed fully yet and it would go away as an adult. It didn’t. When I say ‘a lot’ I mean ‘a lot’. 5-8 cases a year that last more than a week with sinus blockage, sore throat, blocked ears, blocked nose etc. 1 or 2 a year usually develop into two weeks of coughing. Once when I was 18 it actually developed into a full blown case of pneumonia(a week after the cold was over) with some serious lung scarring etc.

My doctor says that I’m otherwise healthy, although losing some weight and adding exercise might help. In Russia there was constant discussion about removing my adenoids since they are constantly inflamed, but it never got done. I haven’t discussed this with an american doctor yet, but I’m not really opposed to it.

I spend so much of my life sick, and frankly, I’m sick of it. Right now I’ve been unable to breathe through my nose since thursday. Last time I had a cold was less than a month ago. I don’t know why this happens. I typically do not get sick when OTHER people close to me are sick(although it happens), and I typically don’t get others sick, so it’s might not be general immune weakness.

Could this be psychosomatic brought on by stress? It’s definitely not seasonal, but could this be an allergic reaction? Do I just need a new doctor?

Thanks, Groman.

P.S. One important thing to note is that it’s almost always upper respiratory with no gastric effects. Rarely anything in the lungs either. Just nose, throat, ear. Also, the horrid inflamation in my throat, adenoids, sinuses etc. generally feels “wrong” for the amount of general malaise I get(I don’t typically feel TOO bad overall, not too tired, etc.).

i am not a doctor…

Colds are caused by a virus, and the only way to avoid catching them is to avoid exposure. Frequent hand washing is the best defense.

but I suspect that what you’re suffering isn’t colds at all, since you suggest that you seem to be neitehr catching it from nor spreading it to the people around you. if you’re spending 10-15 weeks a year with the symptoms you’ve described, I think a visit to an ear-nose-throat specialist could help get a better diagnosis. We call them ENT specialists, or otolaryngologists if you want to sound snooty :slight_smile:

I’ve been to several otolaryngologists in Russia as a child. Never found anything conclusive except that my adenoids were inflamed for an unknown reason, even if I wasn’t sick. So, should I just visit and american ENT and see if he/she thinks adenoids should come out? What’s the procedure like?

I don’t mean to sound snooty, but am I to understand that your last ENT diagnosis of “I dunno” was from a Russian doctor in the mid-80s?

Then yes, I do believe you want a second opinion. Diagnostic tools in your current place and time are significantly advanced from that place and time. To put it mildly.

I’m not that old. Early 90’s. But even then, it’s not the diagnostic tools, it’s using them. Nobody did any more than look into my throat/nose/ear and go “hmph, those might need to come out”.

As everyone else is saying, go see an ENT specialist. But yes, from your description your adenoids (and I suspect, your tonsils) won’t be with you for much longer. It’s not a serious operation as these things go, maybe a week or less off work.