I've been on and off this board for years now, and always come back whenever I have a problem that I just can't solve, so here goes...
I've had severe nasal congestion for a few weeks now - nothing unusual in that it's 'that time of the year' for me with my allergies.
However, I can't seem to shake this severe congestion this time around - pretty much both nasal passages are blocked 24/7, which is making for miserable nights trying to sleep, and breathing through my mouth both day and night, which adds up to a sore throat.
Unfortunately, the ONLY thing that has worked for me is probably the thing that is the worst for me - Afrin - 12 hour for severe congestion - trust me, it CLEARS things up - temporarily - however, it bounces right back a few hours later just as bad. And according to everything that I've read, I need to get off that stuff as soon as possible - it's meant to be used only for a few days, and I've been using it for a few weeks now. I don't want to be an Afrin addict and cause any damage to my mucus membrane area, but it DOES relieve the severe congestion and nasal pressure that I'm experiencing right now.
Just to give you an idea of what I do and have I have gone through to deal with my allergies:
* Diagnosed with chronic sinusitis and allergic rhinitis by my allergist a few years ago
* Have had several sinus infections over the years
* I had two sinus cavities blocked a few years ago, and had endoscopic sinus surgery performed - never want to do that again
* Was getting the shots a few times a week plus all the usual medicines (before my job relocated me)
Currently, here's what I do pretty much on a daily basis:
* Irrigate my sinuses religiously with my irrigation system and saline solution
* Run an air purifier 24/7 in my bedroom
* Use a Vicks Vaporizer beside my bed at night with Kaz Inhalant
* Apply Vicks Vaporub to my chest and throat area
* Have Allergen Pillow Cases and Mattress Cover
* Keep the room between 40 - 60 humidity by either running heat or humidifier
* Use breathe right nasal strips as needed
* Hall's Cough Drops with Mentho-Lyptus
* Blow my nose so much that my ears start to hurt - fortunately, no yellow discharge (Indication of infection)
* Put my face over a boiling pot of water with a towel draped over my head
* Long hot showers with lots of steam
* Go to a chiropractor and massage therapist to relieve the sinus pressures
As you can see, I'm really trying to get all of this under control, but nothing's working.
All of those medicines you see in the store for congestion and allergies - NONE of them really work for me - just the Afrin - and because I've gone through the nasal blockage scenario before, I don't want it to happen again - that surgery was not fun.
And for the record - I'm not a hypochondriac - just a guy who wants to have a quality of life while dealing with allergies.
Thanks for reading this long post, and I hope to hear back from anyone that reads this.
There are a couple of foundational things that you should be doing that you don't mention:
1. Are you taking a daily antihistamine to keep the allergic reaction in check?
2. Do you use a steroid nasal spray (RhinocortAQ, Flonase, etc.) to minimize the inflammation in your nose?
3. Have you tried taking 12 hour Sudafed to minimize the congestion?
If you're not doing those three things you probably should be, at least until allergy season passes.
Unfortunately, even after 2 weeks on Afrin you can experience significant rebound congestion so you may need to see a doctor about a short course of Prednisone to wean you off the Afrin (or you can wean yourself off by cutting the Afrin with a saline nasal spray like Ayr).
I find that rinsing your nose with salt and soda three time per day helps.
If you live near Costco you can pick up a saline kit, that contains the
necessary materials for nasal irrigation.
Please remember to do the following:
-Say off all bread and pastries
-Avoid all type of flower-wheat or white
-Try and obtain Astilin Nasal Spray, very
expensive, your health insurance may pay for it.
-Drink only purified water at least four classes per
-Avoid flowers, and grass
-Obtain an air purifier have it going 24-7.
Im very similar Mark. I Havent had the surgery and by what you say i dont want it. Ive had chronic congestion since July, and still have it now the cold months are here. Throughout the summer i tried eveything from ant histamines to steriod sprays and nothings helped. As GC kniws i was prescribed prednisone steroids but am a bit anxious take 6 a day steroids. I just dont know what to do, give flixonase or beconase another shot or just leave it. What you thing GC?
I'd recommend a couple of things. First of all, I think you should take the steroids that were prescribed to give your sinuses a chance to get back to normal. After the course of steroids I would give the Beconase/Flixonase another shot to help keep the congestion from returning (and use antihistamines, 12-hour Sudafed and saline irrigation as needed).
One of the challenges of dealing with sinus congestion is that once the mucus membranes have been inflamed for a period of time they may need some help getting back to a more normal state (which is where the steroids help). Once they're back to normal it's much easier to keep them there.
I went by the local pharmacy and spoke to the pharmacist - who recommended a 4-6 nasal decongestant (tablet), which contains Pseudeophedrine Hydrochloride - also got a 12 hour decongestant - both are comparable to the Sudafed brand.
I told the pharmacist about my Afrin usage, and she agreed I need to get off of it as soon as possible, and agreed about the rebound effect of Afrin.
Currently, I'm not taking any type of antihistimine - just irrigating my sinuses daily.
I'm going to take some of the "new" medicine here in a few minutes - keep your fingers crossed that I won't get severe congestion again tonight.