Sinus infection -- what more can I do?

I had all my wisdom teeth out December 4th which sparked a small-scale sinus infection, discerned by the bad smell in my nose and occasional purulent drainage. I have never had sinusitis before. Compared to all the dental pain (I am over 40 and take immunosuppressants – it’s been a long haul), it seemed inconsequential, and I used some saline spray to good effect.

Then the MIL brought a cold over for Christmas, and everything went out of control. I had the sensation of an awl boring into my head. So far I am halfway through an antibiotic, have been using the saline for sinus irrigation a couple of times a day, and tried a steroidal nasal spray (which seemed to work best, but makes it hard to tell if the antibiotics are eliminating the problem or not).

Is there something else I should do, really? What the hell? Can I get rid of this thing?

Did you go to an ear/nose/throat doctor? They are the doctors you go to see when you have this problem and it persists. Your GP will give you antibiotics but if that doesn’t work you need to call in the big guns. OTC stuff can make it worse, too. Don’t mess with it yourself - seen an ENT doctor.

Another vote for the ENT’s. I’ve had a low grade infection in my sinuses for months and it refuses to get any better or any worse. Ugh.

Please see a physician if you have a sinus infection. As a doctor explained it to me, the sinus cavity is located too close to the brain not to take an infection seriously.

As someone with recurrent sinusitis (a palate expander that my orthodontist installed as a child really messed up my sinus cavities), definitely see the best doctor you can. As far as relief, the nasal sprays should help, but be careful not to take the steroidal one for longer than it says on the box. What helps me breathe better at night is to sleep with a vaporizer in my room.

I was coming in to recommend a vaporizer too. And, since you appear to have additional conditions (I’m basing this on the immunosuppressants comment), I would hope that your doc is monitoring you and/or that you seek out an ENT as suggested by others…


I used to have a lot of sinus trouble until I discovered the neti pot. It takes a bit getting used to (and not everybody does), but it’s a godsend to prevent the sinus infection from setting in at full blast if you’re using it as soon as you feel something coming up. When an infection is in full bloom it’s not really working that well - but at least it helps to do *something *in those moments when you feel like igniting a stick of dynamite in your nose just to clear up the congestion.

Here’s the thread on the subject from some time ago.

I second this. I’ve read the threads on them before, and when I started to feel a cold come on yesterday went and got one from my local drugstore. After a lifetime of recurrent sinus infections, I gotta say this is the closest I’ve come to relief of anything I’ve tried. You’ll still need antibiotics to fight the infection, but the neti pot will do a great job of clearing out the pressure and gunk and making you feel somewhat human again.

Go to a sinus specialist. I had a friend who had a severe infection that lasted months and months. I also know of a guy whose wife had such terrible sinus problems that she had to go into the hospital and have a gory surgery, including having her face peeled 1/2 way off to treat the problem. And I’m not kidding. I wouldn’t want to give it a chance to get that bad. Especially when there’s specialized treatment out there.

I’d go to the ENT. A sinus infection is hard to get rid of because of the location of the infection. As you already know it can hang around for a long time. I had one a few months ago and kept thinking it was gone. I’d just blow out clear stuff for a day or two, then the gross smell would come back and I’d blow out a huge amount of green junk, this happened on and off for days! Finally got the right antibiotic (doxycycline-long course of it) and got rid of the infection. Now I use a neti pot and it seems to prevent infection. I wouldn’t use one during an infection, I’d be afraid it would force gross stuff where it shouldn’t be. Thats just MHO. Others prob. know more about whether it actually would be a problem or not…

Oh god. Sinus infection. I was misdiagnoused for sinus infection…I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t walk for more than a few hundred feet without sitting down. The gave me medication for asthma. It wasn’t my lungs. Eventually I went to an allergist, took 5 minutes, gave me antibiotics and it cleared up. Try an allergist. They know noses. And keep up the antibiotics. Will probably work.

Isn’t there sometimes a concern that in extracting wisdom teeth, they will perforate your sinus area? I think you need to see a doctor, and mention that you had your wisdom teeth out.

Go to a doctor! A sinus infection needs medical care! They will probably recommend that you take a decongestant or somesuch to help keep your sinuses drained. When they are plugged up, they are a perfect breeding ground for infection, so you help weaken and kill the infection by keeping your sinuses drained. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER, to offset the dehydrating effects of the decongestant. This will also thin your mucus and help it drain better. These are just common sense things that many doctors will advise, not strictly “medical” advise but still ask your doctor if you should take decongestants, and how often/what kind since I don’t know your medical history and what else you take.

I have an eye tooth that may need to be extracted due to bone loss and the doctor said he’d probably have to stitch the sinus cavity. The thought of that skeeves me out to no end.

Thank you all for your kind advice. I am not likely to see an ENT, as that would take well, forever here for the referral. I will probably return to my dental surgeon shortly, though; he gets back on January 11th. I’m a little mad at him, though, since I had little idea the whole ordeal would be this bad. I still have some facial numbness, too, which seems to be lasting too long for comfort.

I read the most recent thread about the neti pot, and I will try it if the antibiotic and saline spraying combination doesn’t do the trick. Things were a bit better today; I’ve got my fingers crossed.

I take the immunosuppressants for autoimmune weirdness which has manifested itself in various ways, such as destroying my thyroid, eating up my colon now and again, and causing synovitis, among others. These days we call it “enteropathic arthritis,” though it has gone by other names in my lifespan. Whatever it is, it makes third molar extractions at 41 a royal pain up the arse. :rolleyes: