Sinusitis sufferers, I need your input

Poor Mr. Pug looks like he’s becoming a chronic sinusitis sufferer. Apparently it’s a real bitch of a thing to have, but I’ve never had it and I want to know more so I can help him. I’ve been looking at a few websites to educate myself about the condition, and I think I’m going to recommend to him to go to a specialist in allergies and nasal conditions. Do any of you have any history of successful treatments to recommend, treatments to avoid, or anything at all that could help? Thanks in advance.

I’m fighting-off an infection right now…

Ever since I was in submarines, I’ve been terribly prone to sinusitis. The only things I’ve found to help is to go through boxes and boxes of tissues, and to use warm vapor whenever possible (followed by boxes of tissue…).

Basicly, if I can keep my sinuses from packing-up, I can avoid a full-blown infection, and generally don’t need antibiotics. If MrPug does wind up on antibiotics, make D*mn sure he finishes his full course of medication, or he may wind up with a ‘drug resistant infection’, which sux in ways you don’t want to know about.

Have MrPug get his sinuses checked out for things like scar tissue. Scar tissue can provide sheltered pockets for germs to grow, making it hard to completly erradicate the bug that’s causing the trouble. hedra had this problem, and wound up getting her sinuses ‘roto-rootered’ to remove the scar tissue. It’s helped her tremendously. I’ll see if I can get her attention to this thread.

Just got over a sinus infection. Zithromax is what helps me. After years (and I’m talking like 30) of untreated sinus infections (untreated because they were never diagnosed), I finally had sinus surgery. It was actually 3 separate procedures: straighten my deviated spetum (one of the worst the surgeon had ever seen), remove polyps in the ethmoid sinuses (the ones between your eyes), and strip dead tissue and drill additional drainage holes in the maxillary sinuses (the big ones behind your cheekbones), I say it’s the best $15,000 I’ve ever spent. It didn’t stop the infections, but it made them much easier to diagnosis and treat. Fortunately I have an excellent ENT who will always see me the day I call and will even prescribe drugs over the phone. I strongly suggest mrpug see an ENT. Mine is also an allergy specialist. Of course I developed allergies, so am on daily Claritin.

There is an excellent series of reports on medical conditions called “Well-Connected.” Each report is between 6-10 pages, gives detailed info on cause and treatment and recommends additional sources of info. They have one on sinusitis and it covers acute and chronic. Check your local public library, and if they don’t subscribe, call a hospital library in your area.

Sinus problems suck, and if left untreated, cause a person to be miserable. I’m ever so much happier, physically and mentally, since I had the surgery. But I don’t recommend it unless all other courses of non-invasive treatment have failed.

Actually, brother-mine, that wasn’t me that got roto-rootered, it was one of the extended step-moms. (Bob’s latest wife)

I did alternative medicine, which I won’t try to sell here, as what I did was SO damn alternative it counts as hooey (intellectually speaking) even in my book, but it worked. Go figure. Brain/body connection stuff, with some major esoterica and spirituality thrown in. Still, not gonna argue with not having much in the way of Bronchitis or Sinusitis since then (where before that I had about 2 infections a month). And bonus, it was free, because I was one of the few people who volunteered to be a guinea pig when the woman was learning the stuff. I now have a lifetime discount, lucky me!

Anyway, once the sinuses are damaged, it becomes a chronic condition. The sinuses cannot sweep themselves clean, they become scarred, and that generates lovely breeding grounds for infection. I have nasty scarring, plus a sinus polyp, too, which can be a handy hiding place for germs (ah the side-benefits of having a CAT scan on one’s head… look, see the inside of your sinuses!). Plus, the scilia (is that the right term? pregnancy brain kicking in - the little tendrils that sweep mucus forward out of the sinuses) get damaged and stop moving, which means that they basically HOLD the germs and mucous in place. Roto-rootering is radical treatment, but it does get rid of both the lumpier scarring and the damaged scilia (and usually they trim out polyps first), meaning that at least blowing your nose will clear things out more easily, and there are fewer places for the dang germies to hide.

Step-mom number 64 (okay, not quite that many, but seems like it) got hers rootered about 7 years ago. It hurt like bloody hell (sensitive tissues, those), but she has not had one sinus infection since then, so far as I know. If things are really bad, it is worth looking into. You can also email me about wacko alternative medicine for boosting immune response (I’ve had mighty few colds since that work, too, and the ones I’ve had have been mild and short-lived), but most good sceptics won’t go there. :wink:

My allergist recommends that at the first sign of sinus trouble I use the “Afrin & Advil” routine. Two shots of Afrin in each nostril & 600 mg of Advil. He says in a lot of cases this can nip it in the bud. (Of course IANAD, YMMV, etc.)

Well, ahhh… right. I don’t always remember correctly. Sorry about that…

True chronic sinusitis merits some input from an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist (otolaryngologist). A lot of these problems are caused by fungal rather than bacterial infections, and proper diagnosis and nasal hygiene play a big role in getting better. Generally, round after round of Antibiotics means something’s being overlooked. Endoscopic nasal surgery can help a lot of people.

While waiting to see the ENT, one may want to use lots of nasal moisturizers, like saline nasal spray, 10-20-30 times a day, to keep things flushed out.

Just my overeducated $0.02

Qadgop, MD

Give up all dairy products.

I’m a bit lost. My MIL and I are both sufferers, but with different conditions. She gets sinus infection after sinus infection. I haven’t had clear sinuses in over 10 years.

A friend of mine with the symptoms I have had surgery not unlike deviated septum surgery. It worked beautifully for him.

Another friend with the symptoms I have mentioned it to his chioropractor who did a bit of work and he was fine for a couple of weeks. He goes back every month for a “tune-up”.

I haven’t been to an ENT. However, I am on my way to an acupuncturist. I may be throwing my $ away, and I don’t know if it’ll work, but I pretty much wonder what acupuncture feels like. (fight the urge to respond to that line, y’all)

I am NOT pushing alternative medicine here.

If your symptoms are like mine, you should definately consider an ENT. If your symptoms are like my MIL’s, Qadgop is right on with the fungal stuff (as gross as that is to consider.)

You might also consider flushing your sinuses, most thoroughly with a WaterPik attachmant called the Grossan Irrigator. It’s kinda gross in concept, but boy does it give relief (and using saline means it doesn’t hurt).

Crap. Forgot to mention that bluethree is not far off with the suggestion of cessation of all dairy. Dairy products promote the production of phlegm. When my sinuses are at their worst, I stop all dairy (I haven’t had milk on over 7 years) and routinely eat ginger (a natural anti-inflammatory.) Does it help? Dunno.

Now I have to wait the 60 seconds to submit this.

So, not to sound like a doof, but what counts as “sinusitis” and what counts as “I don’t ever get regular headaches but I get sinus headaches about once a month”? Actually I’m sick (slight fever, stuffy/runny nose) and I have a bitch of a sinus headache as I write this.

Sorry, but this has been repeatedly demonstrated to be not true. Dairy may have problems with it, for some people, but it doesn’t thicken secretions. If you’re truly allergic to dairy proteins it will increase secretions, but not thicken them.

Qadgop, MD

Cosmopolitan, I’ve been reading websites today, and the one I’m going to post below is terrific. This is an award-winning website and is chock-full of actual content. It should help you with your question:

hedra, this site has some CAT scans of some patients’ sinuses, which probably look the way the inside of your head looked. Whoo! No wonder you guys feel like crap. I hope Mr. Pug never reaches the stage where he needs surgery, because the descriptions don’t sound like much fun.

and you should see my lungs, too - I’ve got scars from repeated bronchitis that show up on x-ray quite nicely. Even harder to trim the lungs, though…

Good luck to Mr. Pug - hope he doesn’t have to have an internal trim. I also highly recommend a good ENT and allergist - amazing the things that interact (like, my purportedly allergy-based asthma is closely linked to my reflux status, which was only found by the ENT when he was looking for a possible thyroid-obstructed-esophagus… oh, and noticed the nasty sinus issues at the same time while looking at my CAT scan). Plus, they sometimes let you look at your own vocal cords in action, which is major freaky-cool. :slight_smile:

Stop smoking, if you do.

At least, that’s what my GP keeps telling me to do. At the very minimum of once a month I’m either on the phone or in the examining room and I’m handed a prescription for antibiotics and told to stop smoking. I guess after more than 10 years of repeated infections they trust my own diagnosis enough that I don’t even get examined or my temp taken anymore. The bastards ALWAYS make me get on the scale though, so the nurse can screech my weight out at the top of her lungs for all to hear. The bitch.

I have been using nasal inhalers for a couple years now in combination with non-sedating antihistamines and they keep the daily pressure and pain down to a level that I can handle. I started with a combination of 60mg of Allegra twice a day and two puffs of Flonase just before bed. They seem to have stopped working and I have just recently been switched over to 10 mg of Claritin once per day and two puffs of Nasonex, and I’m back on track. With the Nasonex I’ve been able to reduce the Claritin back to “as needed” rather than every day. Way back I was prescribed Vancanase and it didn’t seem to do anything for me at all.

Ask about the various nasal inhalers available and get some samples from your DR. They always have them. And make sure you get enough samples, some of them take a week of continuous use before they start to work and two weeks to feel their full effect.

First let me second and third the “get an ENT consult for chronic sinusitis problems”

Saline sprays are very good, it moistens the lining and helps to remove the debris. I’ve never tried the
“nasal irrigator tip” for the water pik but I can see where it could be helpful. If you are just clogged up to the top, you can get very good results by inhaling a saline solution, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt to a cup of warm water. I stand at the sink and use a teaspoon or small medicinn type cup to get the solution to my nose and just sniff it up there. Yes you will probably gag, just snorf it back to clear your sinuses and spit out. For god’s sake try not to swallow it. It won’t hurt you but it’s just gross. You will be amazed at how much crap you can have packed up in your sinuses. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day. Follow the cleansing with a bit of vaseline applied with your finger. It keeps the lining moist and less prone to crack and bleed and create more places for bacteria to breed.

It works for me and can do no harm. Just a bit icky though.

[sub] IANAD tho I am an RN. Any advice I give is only from the point of practial experience and is not intended to replace the directions of your physician [/sub]