I never had allergy or sinus problems up until 5 years ago. Since then, they have become progressively worse. This year has been terrible and full of new symptoms. I have switched Dr.'s, been on different medicines, but have only minimal relief. In January, my teeth were throbbing in pain, as well as my eyes and nose. I was prescribed an antibiotic, was told it was sinusitis, and was sent on my way. I have had constant post nasal drip since then. It seems like I will spend a week fine, and then get worse again. I coughed and hacked throughout my wedding in March, and spent most of it in a fog. This month has also been especially hard. The sinus infection has spread into my chest and there is a crackle when I inhale and exhale. It's hard to breathe and I was put on an inhaler. It seems to get worse when I am at work, and I know there has been moisture in the building (it has "rained" in my room). I am just stuck, not knowing what else to try, and am beginning to feel very depressed. I don't want to always be stuck feeling icky and don't want to feel like a burden, negative nancy to my loved ones. Not to mention that I HATE missing work.... I constantly have either a headache, sinus pressure, sore throat, post nasal drip, sneezing, wheezing, hacking, and now recently this gunk in my chest. ANY SUGGESTIONS will be greatly appreciated, or feeling like I am not the only person who is so horribly affected by allergies would also be nice...................
I've had chronic sinus problems for about 15 years. I'd get 4-5 infections a year that typically lasted 6-8 weeks each. I often ended up on multiple rounds of antibiotics, steroids (oral and nasal) and allergy meds. Not only was I miserable, but many people around me had to be miserable as well. You can't surpress the cough when things are that bad. It really does affect your quality of life. You just feel worn down all the time too.
I've found that it has taken a multiple prong approach to find any relief. Strangely enough, I've found that treating some problems that are seemingly unrelated have resulted in a decrease in my number of sinus infections. I'm certainly no expert, but here are a few of the things I'd consider:
*What type of doctor are you seeing? If you haven't been to an ENT, you should find one that comes highly recommended. Have you had a recent CAT scan of your sinuses? Sometimes a surgical approach may be needed if things are severe enough.
*What type of allergy treatment/medication are you on? Have you been tested (skin test) recently? Are you receiving immunotherapy? It takes a while to really see a difference, but it does help. For years, I was on 4 allergy medications to help with my severe allergy/sinus problems. Also, I've had friends who found relief from NAET treatment. It is homeopathic. You can find more information about this on the web. If I could afford that in addition to my other treatments I would try it in a heartbeat.
*Do you use a NETI pot? If not, you should. There are a lot of threads on this site and the web about how to use them. It doesn't cost much and can make a huge difference.
*Do you use nasal saline sprays regularly? They can make a difference as well.
*Do you have acid reflux? I attributed a chronic cough I had for years to my allergy/sinus and asthma problems. I found out that I also had severe acid reflux as well with my only noticable symptom being the cough/breathing problems. I get a cough from PND and asthma as well so it is difficult to know what is flaring. Typically it was all three. Anyway, when I got my reflux under control, it significantly reduced my number of sinus problems. From my research, it sounds like some of the acid that made its way to my throat also made its way up into my sinuses. Just something to consider.
*I found out I have TMJ. (Took years for a diagnosis because I don't have any jaw pain.) My TMJ dentist said there is often a relationship with TMJ and sinus problems. Not just with the tooth pain, but with sinus pain as well. He also has a treatment I'll begin in a couple months. An appliance called an ALF appliance will be attached to my upper teeth. It will apply pressure to the roof of my mouth to adjust the cranial bones that are out of alignment. He said it will make a difference in the "balance" of the cranial bones. This should also help with some of my sinus problems.
*Have you been to a Pulmonologist to be tested for asthma as well? I had asthma for years and didn't know it. My symptom was a cough and I coughed so much from my allergy/PND and sinus problems that I never considered it might be asthma. There are preventative medications to help if you do have asthma as well.
*Stay hydrated. Drink lots and lots of water.
*Use the facial tissues with the aloe.
This year is really bad for allergies. I read on one site that we had a "perfect storm" for high pollen counts due to the weather pattern this year. Know that you aren't the only one out there suffering this year. I am years into immunotherapy treatment and finally went from 4-2 allergy meds last fall. Unfortunately, I had to start back on them a few weeks ago. I was so bummed about that, but they were so bad I couldn't just "tough it out".
Last edited by MountainReader; 05-24-2010 at 08:22 PM.
Sorry about your problems. Have you considered sinus surgery? I've have a chronic auto immune disease (13 years now) and had constant sinus infections leading to other problems like yours. I didn't want to have the surgery (FESS) but am so glad I did. I rarely have sinus infections even though I still have a systemic illness. Also, you didn't mention, but is the rest of your body healthy? I ask because if you have something else wrong, it might be lowering your immune system causing problems in your sinuses. For example, an inflammatory process might do this. Oh, do you lavage your sinuses? I found this is the best way to minimize sinus secretions and post nasal drip. I feel your misery...
You say that it has rained in your room and there is moisture. That is a breeding ground for mold and mold can raise all sorts of trouble with one's health. Case in point: I was playing cards at a club I belong to, just this last week. Moved from one table to another and within 3 minutes, my lungs filled up and eyes went crazy and I became weak. There must have been mold in that corner of the room that had not been taken care of. I flew out of the room and have dropped my membership because the club is too cheap to fix it.