What happens when you leave a bad sinus infection untreated? I know w/ infections, if you don't get better you die so your body is constantly fighting it (probably why I am always so run down and tired). But I just don't know how to get rid of it naturally, I honestly don't want to get back on antibiotics, I was on them like 5 or 6 times last year (since I usually get a bad sinus infection about once every 4 months..sometimes less...) Last Year was a bad year for it, too. This time, I've had the ickies for about 3 weeks now and it alternates between draining down my throat (post nasal) and into my chest, which burns like hell when I cough it all up--if I take mucinex which is what the Health unit nurses here on campus told me to do--(free health visits--I have no insurance and can't go to a "family" Dr for this...) it then goes into my nose and I constantly have to blow stuff out, and that stuff, which was turning more white than yellow since I started taking Silver Colloidal as well-- has now turned YELLOW YELLOW again...and sometimes my nose still bleeds althoug, lately that's gotten better when I irrigate with Saline spray. But, I obviously still have an infection...i've got bags under my eyes, pain in my face and teeth....and the constant coughing/blowing my .
Lately though I have wondered if it's b/c of this tooth I have that has a huge cavity that's been hurting me--I also realized last night that when the tooth was at it's worst is when I got sick at first...i guess it could be possible that the tooth got infected and then affected my sinuses...
So what happens if all this is left untreated?!?!
In a town of chimpanzees I was a Monkey....
I had a terrible sinus infection that would just not go away about three years ago. I was being treated with Levaquin and steroids for about three months. Finally, the pcp sent me for a CT Scan and they told me I had to have emergency sinus surgery. The infection turned to staph and they said if I did not have the surgery the infection would go to my brain. Very dangerous! Sinus infections can be/ are dangerous. Other areas can be involved like your eyes...permanent damage to your sense of smell... Scar tissue forms in your nose...Make an appointment to see a doctor and plead your case to him. Do the same for the tooth...If you tell them you are a student they may give you a discounted rate...Plead poverty!
Well, I went to a Dr though he isn't an ENT--he gave me 3 meds---an antibiotic and a decongestant, and I'm surprised it's actually working--but I just hope this kills it--he confused me b/c he said I'm contagious that my husband will catch it--so we refilled the Rx's so he can take 2 out of the 3--he doesn't have the cough--like I do-_I am still coughing up green stuff now, going on 3 weeks!!!
In a town of chimpanzees I was a Monkey....
you need to go to an ENT and get a CT Scan of your sinuses scheduled. Don't worry, the procedure takes 10 minutes, and is painless.
It sounds like you may have a structural defect within the nose or sinuses that is causing improper drainage, and subsiquent infection. Structural problems are things like a deviated septum, broken nose when your were a kid, or maybe a polyp. The only way to correct this is through sinus surgery.
Antibiotics do a very poor job in treating sinus infections. I would estimate that they have about a 60% failure rate. This is because the sinus cavities have very little blood flow. They are basically air pockets of bone. One method that might work better, is to use an antibiotic mist delivered using a nebulizer or spray bottle from a company like Sinucare.
Sinus infections become chronic in people with structural problems (like myself). If you suffer from repeat, severe infections, that don't respond to antibiotics, you may need to do the following...
1. Consult an ENT and see if surgery is warrented. This may consist of something called a "FESS" or frontal endoscopic sinus surgery, which is a procedure to directly clear out the bacteria, and a "NAR" or nasal airway reconstruction, in which the septum is straightened, passages are enlarged, etc. The surgeon may also do a turbinate reduction. This surgery has a quick recovery, and very little pain -it is NOTHING to worry about. You might stay a night in the hospital. Once it has been done, your sinus problems should decrease by 90-100% for the rest of your life.
2. But surgery is not the last step. You will have to engage in a "irrigation routine", in which you use a machine or spray bottle to irrigate your sinuses twice a day for 6 months, and then once every couple days thereafter. I use something called a Grossan Hydropulse machine, and it works great. Another poster named "Beerzoids" has a method using a spray bottle, which works fine. Both of us advocate the use of hydrogen peroxide in very low doses to combat bacteria and allergens in the sinus cavities. I also swear by Zyletol, a OTC product that works better than saline. My "magic formula" is...
a) 480ml of COOL distilled water, NOT warm.
b) 3ml of hydrogen peroxide, IF my nasal discharge is yellow or green.
c) a tablespoon of Zyletol or Kosher salt.
d) 10ml of Alkalol, a mucus solvent you can buy from Walgreens, etc.
This irrigation method will both prevent infection, and combat infection. I had a sinus infection 5 months after surgery, and I irrigated using the mixture above for a couple days, and it was 100% gone after that. No antibiotics, not even an OTC med. Just irrigation.
3. Figure out where the inflammation is coming from. You might have nasty allergies to things like dust mites. See an allergist and get into some immunotherapy -it's very important, and it works.
4. Avoid caffeine -it swells the sinuses. Also cut down on alchohol until the sinus problems are resolved, since it does the same thing.
One word on antibiotics: some are very dangerous. They are called Floroquinolones, and the brand names are Avelox, Cipro, Levaquin, and Tequin. Please do NOT take these medications. They have severe, even permanent, debilitating side-effects, like tendon ruptures, vasculitis, peripheral neuropathy, etc. I took Avelox for my sinuses and ended up with nerve damage in my feet and elbows, vasculitis in my hands, and chronic tendonitis. 2 months later, a friend of mine (a nurse) took Levaquin for a UTI and ended up int the ER with her skin burning off her chest and face -something called Stevens Johnson Syndrome. She was in intensive care for 4 months and almost died. She, too, has nerve damage.
There are safe antibiotics out there, like Augmentin, Amoxicillan, and Penicillan -just stick with those.
Well, I'm glad I'm not on one of those antibiotics you listed, chiggins! And thanks for the preventative info, I will definately refer back here , after I have figured out what to do to prevent recurrent infection--the thing about it is, I have no health insurance what so ever- and an ENT I saw some time ago, back in 2002 told me I would just need the surgery, but that he wouldn't even take X Rays or do anything then and there (my mom was prepared to pay cash) because I did not have coverage, his answer to me being miserable about 8 months out of the year was to come back when I had health care...which I may not have for another 2-3 years to come. My husband is about to graduate law school and we are both in debt just to get our degrees--he has had no job offers, so nothing is "lined Up" for when he graduates--in fact, he is a nontraditional student because he doesn't know someone who can give him a job, and he doesn't come from a family of lawyers. They told him this at school. I won't be out of my Masters program until Dec of 2005.
Oh, the antibiotic I am on is one i've never taken so I guess i'll have to watch it--It's EES, I dont have the longer version of the name in front of me.,
Oh and in response to:
"1. Consult an ENT and see if surgery is warrented. This may consist of something called a "FESS" or frontal endoscopic sinus surgery, which is a procedure to directly clear out the bacteria, and a "NAR" or nasal airway reconstruction, in which the septum is straightened, passages are enlarged, etc. The surgeon may also do a turbinate reduction. This surgery has a quick recovery, and very little pain -it is NOTHING to worry about. You might stay a night in the hospital. Once it has been done, your sinus problems should decrease by 90-100% for the rest of your life."
According to that ENT I saw, which is the only one so far, surgery is warranted although he didn't say why. Mainly something in my environment i'm allergic to that we don't know what it is, so until we find it and eliminate it, I will keep having these infections, he told me the pills he gave me, which were free (a 3 month supply of Augmentin) would eventaully wear off and I'd be sick again. He was right although I felt better for a whole 3 months until the next big weather change came and I was sick again. But he said I needed surgery but didn't say why or what kind and did not check for polyps or blockages at all which is why I wanted to see him in the first place. I know I need to get tested for both skin and food allergies b/c I could be eating many things that I am allergic to--however again money does not allow for this. My husband and I do not even make 2,000 a month....I priced in town, back when I still lived with my parents and it costed about 600 to get tests done but I believe that's only for the skin. So, I didn't do it-- a couple of reasons--one being my mom wouldn't pay for it--she just thought I could move out of my house and that that was all that I was allergic to--but I got worse even after moving AWAY from the house with mold in it. And, I wanted a full test, skin food, the whole 9 yards. Plus, to take allergy shots, should I need them for the rest of my life, I couldn't afford them---
One thing that did help me a lot was Zyrtec--I was on it for four months and I didnt hardly sneeze at all, although I still did at times, even then....but I am concerned about getting back on something like that long term, because when I got off it, just being on for 3 months, I got a very bad middle ear infection which caused my ear drum to rupture; slightly and since then I don't feel my ear has ever been the same.
I just want to be normal again--I mean I always got colds and catchable stuff easily my whole life, but never a sinus infection for every 3 or 4 months like I have now....I hate being on antibiotics so many times in a year but what else can I do? Sometimes they do work for me, so I have to try something when I've been doing all of the "preventative" stuff I am told....like irrigating with Saline--doesn't help me. Inhaling steam/hot water fumes really helps open me up though and I don't have to strain to get any of it out.
A question I have, chiggins, is where would you find a mister antibiotic spray like that? I saw that on the news when it came out and i've never seen it anywhere in a store...
In a town of chimpanzees I was a Monkey....
Can you get insurance through the college? I'm going back to do my PhD in the fall, and I intend on getin insurance through the university. Can your husband get insurance through the Law School? I would certainly look into this.
You don't want to be on antibiotics for an extended period of time. It can cause other health problems such as c-dff, which is chronic diahrea, which can be serious. After taking all the anitibotics and struggling with my sinuses, I developed some gasto-intestinal problems that required surgery, and I think all the drugs are partially to blame.
Do a web search for "Sinucare", and you will get a lot of great info about sinusitis, and some nebulizers, spray antibiotics, etc.
But what you CAN do, is start irrigating right away. A machine costs about $140, but you can also use a spray bottle. One word of advice though, don't use the saline nasal sprays they sell at the store. These contain a preservative which can actually irritate sinus tissue, and a lot of people have allergic reactions to it! Do a search for "Zyletol" and use that for a nasal rinse instead.
I used Zyrtec for a while, but what worked even better for me, was Chlor-Tremiton 12hour tablets. This stuff is the most powerful antihistamine on the market. It will make you really tired at first, but your body will adjust after a few days. It made a HUGE difference for me. Now that I have had surgery, and I get allergy shots, I no longer need it. I sometimes take Allegra.
Once you get insurance, it will cover the cost of allergy shots. They are generally $24 a shot.
If you cannot get insurance through your school, you might want to check with the insurance commissioner for the state you live in. In this day and age it is almost dangerous not to have health insurance. Not only do you have to pay out of pocket, but you pay more than those of us with insurance.
Some states offer special health care policies to those who cannot afford insurance at a reduced premium. You might also want to check out companies like Etna that offer insurance at reasonable rates. You can also sometimes join a group or associations and get health insurance at a group rate. Since you say your husband is an attorney or will be, he might want to try to determine if the lawyers in the area have some kind of association that he might join to be able to purchase health insurance.
My husband is self-employed so we belong to a Chamber of Commerce and purchase our insurance there at a group rate. We get a better rate and better policy than we would if we insured as individuals. Check it out hon... You really need to have health insurance. My recent sinus surgery cost about $25,000.00 with the hospital, without insurance it probably would have been almost double that amount.
Well, I have looked into the school policies--they don't cover anything but accidents, that is it--and EVERY plan we've looked into (we almost bought Blue Cross) said absolutely NO pre-existing conditions would be covered, and they counted chronic sinuses as one of them. I have had gastro-problems probably in part due to the drugs, and also due to IBS, which I have as well....but the back to insurance, the reason we didn't buy Blue Cross is my husband according to their body charts weighs too much and they would have sold it to me but for MORE than it would have been for both of us--even with me going to the Dr like I do it's actually cheaper for us to NOT have it, if we don't get a group rate--and no, none of our 4 jobs we have between us (one of mine is an internship, so no benefts and no paycheck at all, period) offers ANY insurance plans. My husband isn't an attorney yet and has no job, as of yet for when he graduates--just because he's graduating in May means nothing about a job--he has to sit out for an entire month practically and take a BAR review class--a 30 day ALL DAY course, so no work for him then and at the time I'll probably still be working my two jobs b/c if I only do one I can choose to either stay at the one that pays my tuition and gives a small stipend (which is not enough to live on at all for even one person much less 2) or only work the one for free, which would mean NO INCOME for about 3 months for us. So, just purchasing insurance is out of the question. And I've tried looking into Medicaid since it's suppossed to be for low income ppl but from what I've read, again pre existing conditions aren't covered, at least in my area, and it's only for families (just like foodstamps--from our parents urging we tried getting on those, you can't in LA, unless you have a kid or two between you).
So, I just see the insurance thing as hopeless right now. If I get it through school it won't cover Dr visits or med costs, only accidental death or maiming, things like that.
Thanks, chiggins about the info about the saline sprays--everyone around here keeps telling me to use those every day more than once to irrigate and I have been, that could also be why I'm not getting better!
Oh, and the antibiotics me and my husband are on are causing bad muscle cramping in the legs--I think they deplete your salt....what would you do for that, just drink warm salt water to replenish it??
In a town of chimpanzees I was a Monkey....
The sinucare.com site has tons of info on it, a good place to look.
You mention sore muscles in the legs from the antibiotics. Which ones are you taking? The only ones I know that do this are floroquinolones, which are VERY dangerous. They make VIOXX look like baby aspirin.
Here is an idea... go get a job at Starbucks temporarily, since they provide health insurance.
I don't take any antibiotics currenlty. I just irrigate.
I don';t think the EES one I am on is a floroquinolone--it is a general bacteria one and I'm only on it for four days, not 3 months like I was w/ the augmentin...actualy I don't think I was even on that one THAT much....
Part of the reason it's so hard for my husband and I to afford the extra 200 per person a month (that is the average of what we've priced around, where we are from) is because we can't go get a job at starbucks--you would need to go work full time to be eligable for any benefit package at a job like that, and right now I am in Internship so I can actually graduate and hopefully, get a job with the state when I'm working on liscensure and then I'd get benefits through the school I work for (I need to do a year long Internship for free with my degree I am getting).
In a town of chimpanzees I was a Monkey....