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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Chronic Sinuitis
These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as
recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is
always advised to consult their own physician.
Chronic Sinuitis [posted
Question: At age 29 my husband started getting severe sinus
infections after accidentally taking a 2 nd lifetime pneumonia shot. The reason I mention
the pneumonia shot is because he had an allergic reaction to it where his arm swelled up
and was red, black, and blue. Up to this point he had never had allergies,rarely had a
cold, sick, watery eyes, virtually no allergy symptoms, very healthy. Then immediately
after this shot he got an sinus infection that a doctor gave him amoxicillin, it worked
for less than a week then he put him on a months dose of doxicycline, then
biaxin,zithromax, you name it he has been on it. Basically he has had so many infections
he is immune to every antibiotic except cipro as we speak. By this time he had a CT scan
...a cyst and polyps were noted in the sinuses and an ENT performed surgery. The ethmoid,
and sphenoid sinuses were packed with polyps, the Maxillary sinuses were blocked by either
a cyst on the right and polyps on the left. For a year without anything following the
surgery he had no allergy symptoms, no problems. Then like he hit a brick wall he started
all over again except now he takes allegra D twice a day, and vancenase twice a day. He
has been seeing an allergist and taking shots for 6 months, we have encased all of our
matresses with allergy covers, we use an air filter, etc.. He is told by the allergist
that he is extremely allergic to cottonwood, cedar, pigweed, and allergic to about all
grasses,trees, weeds, pepper, apricots,soy and strawberries. He is very sick right now
with a sinus infection and has been on cipro for 7 days and is still coughing up dark
green mucus and still not feeling any better. Three days ago his ENT did a CT of the
sinuses on him and said his sinuses were open and looked good, he said basically
everything is raw and when he has a reaction just swells up and an infection occurs .
First he has a sore throat, then postnasal drip, then a small hacking cough, severe
headache and before the day is over he has a full blown infection. Allegra D so far has
been the only thing that has kept him from getting an infection for over a month until
recently he missed 1.5 days dose and got sick. Is this really an allergy thing, do we need
to move? and where? I am afraid he is to the point of no antibiotics that can help him due
to immunity, he is running out of options any help? Why does there seem to be little
drainage and an immediate infection?
Answer: Once you develop sinus infections, they
tend to be recurring. As to the allergy issue, check with your allergist about other
locales to live. You might check Places Rated Almanac. They usually have a listing
Question: I experience daily/year round stuffiness and have about a 50%-75% sense
of smell. My sense of smell which significantly decreases and when I attempt to pinpoint
the origin of any strong smells, or in the case of being around cigarette smoke, my nasal
airway seems to close up and become very stuffy, I get a headache and totally lose my
sense of smell due to this stuffiness. I have been on drugs like rhinocort, becanese,
seldane, seldane-d, claritin-d, saline spray and a few other decongestants and
antihistamines without getting any relief at all. I had sinus surgery in 1992 to correct a
deviated septum and remove some of the old infected tissue buildup in the ethmoid sinus
area. I have been tested negative to allergies. During the winter months I tend to get a
sinus infection about once every 3 weeks and not as frequently during the summer. I have a
high tolerance to medications and it tends to take a strong medication before I see any
relief. The only drug I have ever gotten relief from was a greem nasal spray which was
sprayed into my nose before an endoscope exam. This drug immediately dilated the nasal
membranes and my nasal cavity was relieved of its stuffiness. Unfortunately the drug only
lasted 90 minutes and you cannot get it via a prescription because it has a small amount
of cocaine and could possibly lead to an addiction.
Answer: Your comments about chronic sinusitis sound all too familiar. This is a
very common problem and unfortunately has limited options. Use of nasal sprays involving
steroids and nasal saline is the first line of defense. After this fails, surgery is
usually tried with varying success. Some other options that I don't see listed on your
medications include the use of nasal cromolyn sulfate which is a drug used in asthma and
allergies. Also, some medications can cause chronic symptoms which mimic sinus
stuffiness-I would discuss these with your doctor-but, some blood pressure medicines have
been known to cause stuffy noses.
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