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Old 11-01-2006, 09:26 PM   #1
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Can't breathe through Nose and having a Panic Attack

I found this place by accident and have found some hope that perhaps some of you out there could share your experiences and offer me some hope.

I have had nasal congestion problems since i broke my nose in a Karate bout when i was 14. I used Vicks Sinex back then for temporary relief when it got bad. When i got older and could purchase it from the pharmacy i would probably use it more regularly. After i cracked my nose again playing soccer when i was about 22 my usage became a litle greater. I was using weekly. In the last few years i have been using almost daily. I have made an appointment with a general practioner about what i can do to help myself resolve my addiction to this decongestant.

My problem stems from last week, I woke up Thursday morning with a sore throat and by Friday i had a full blown cold with major congestion. By Friday night my nose was totally blocked ( like you stuck a finger in each nostril). At this point i started to have a panic attack, the anxiety for me was something i have never experienced and it scared me greatly, tommorrow is one week from the attack and i have still not recovered from that feeling. I have a major phobia about not being able to breathe through my nose. I know that i should have sinus surgery but the thought off having packing up my nose and not being able to breathe thru my nose does not scare me, it mortifies me. I can't stress enough how much it terrifies me. I have always fely uncomfortable about not being able to breathe thru my nose, but as a youngster i was able to cope with it, as i get older (I'm 38 now) i find this problem is getting worse and worse. I had a filling recently and i cant get the idea out of my head that it feels like it is something that does not belong in my mouth, almost like a piece of food stuck in the crown of one of my molars.


Help!!!!!!! Any sugestions would be apprecaited.

 
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Old 11-02-2006, 01:17 AM   #2
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Re: Can't breathe through Nose and having a Panic Attack

I just had full sinus surgery done.. it was not correction of a deviated septum, but it required full sinus cavity roto-rooter, by scraping and removing membranes, clearing out the ethnoid sinuses and punching holes and openning windows in all the others. I was never fully blocked up and because all myt cavities were worked on, my sinuses were not packed.

Going to see an ENT for an evaluation does not obligate you to have the surgery, you can always say no. But there are many new techniques out there that may be benefical to you and if this is such a stresser... it wouldn't hurt to see if there are new techniques out there for you.

Go to an ENT that is well respected and does alot of work on young children, they tend to be up to date on the most recent techniques and equipment.

If ENTs are a no go for you then I can only say, do your best with saline rinses/sprays and decongestants.

Sincerely,
MG

 
Old 11-02-2006, 07:18 AM   #3
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Re: Can't breathe through Nose and having a Panic Attack

MG thankyou for your reply, I am going to see a friend of mine that is a Doctor to see if he can give me some further insight and advice. I know they did a new procedure in December 2005 at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital here in Australia called baloon sinuplasty. It seems promising - no cutting scraping and patients seem to be able to get back to work the very next day. It sounds like my kind of treatment. The only problem is finding practitioners in Australia that are versed in the new method.

I think i may need help though facing the anxiety, like i said before i have never had such intense feelings and they have totally disturbed me. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the medications like the anti-histamine cold flu tablets i was taking may have induced a greater reaction than normal, but it has now left a baseline in my memory and its something i don't think i could face again.

May i ask if your surgery was painfull and could you breathe through your nose straight after the operation. When i was hospital a few years back for a gallstone problem the guy in the bed next to me had a nose job and i remember him screaming in the middle of the night and ripping the packing out of his nose with all the blood going everywhere.

Thanks again for you thoughtful comments, I appreciate it.

 
Old 11-02-2006, 01:36 PM   #4
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Re: Can't breathe through Nose and having a Panic Attack

No problem. Here is a brief summary.

The tonsilectomy and adnoidectomy were worse, than the Endoscopic procedure. I had no packing, just a folded up piece of gauze taped under my nose to catch drainage. I used saline spray ever 2 hours to keep my nasal passages clear and moist and the bleeding to a minimum... but I have had continual drainage down the back of the throat. I only worried about bleeding and my sinuses getting full when I would bend over or lean forward.... but without the packing it would just drain out when I did the wrong thing, but I never lost the ability to breathe out of my nose. It was uncomfortable, but after day three the nose bleeding was done and my head felt great, because my throat hurt so much. It gave me some pain and trouble after the worst of the T&A was over but nothing that tylenol or motrin couldn't handle.

I hope this helps.

Sincerely,
MG

 
Old 11-02-2006, 04:27 PM   #5
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Re: Can't breathe through Nose and having a Panic Attack

My first panic attack was when I was on cold medicine, then my second one, 5 months later, was also when I was on cold meds. Now I don't take anything except advil and tylenol. There is a definate correlation between medications, especially ones that make you tired because of antihistamine, and panic attacks. When the antihistamine starts wearing off, you can have a panic attack. There is a name for this but I forgot what it was called.

That being said, there are ways to deal with your anxiety. I am taking a class that teaches you to deal with your anxiety by using tools such as breathing, relaxation, playing the event you fear over and over in your mind until you get really relaxed with the idea, writing a worst case scenario about your fear, and mostly, facing your fear by doing something that causes you to have it.

 
Old 11-02-2006, 06:16 PM   #6
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Re: Can't breathe through Nose and having a Panic Attack

Edward: broken nose twice probably have a bad deviated septum causing your congestion problems. The balloon sinuplasty procedure alone will not correct this. You very likely need to undergo conventional endoscopic surgery to correct this problem.
I chose the option of using saline rinses and decongestants when needed, to buy time for me to further evaluate the newer techniques. Cutting up the inside of my nose does not appeal to me, it is irreversible. My friend had surgery twice, didn't work and feel worst than ever. But I suppose for those people, like mkgbrook, a successful surgery means a world of difference to them.

Best to go see an ent who specializes in that new balloon procedure. You will see a list of doctors trained to perform this procedure on the Acclarent web site.

 
Old 11-03-2006, 09:50 AM   #7
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Re: Can't breathe through Nose and having a Panic Attack

I have anxiety and vasomotor rhinitis so know exactly what you're talking about! Unfortunately the only thing that has ever helped me in the situation where I am panicking when I cannot breathe, is to make myself vomit (it has something to do with the adrenalines). The key is prevention, and I take anything that has 120 mg of pseudoephinedrine when my nose is really bad. I've had 2 nose surgeries in the past where they cut up the nasal membranes but they didn't work. In your case however, I agree with the other poster who said it sounds like a deviated septum. Surgery for this IS effective.

You know, any doctor can prescribe anti-anxiety medication. When you go see someone about your nasal problems make sure you mention the anxiety and they will be able to give you something to lessen your fears of the surgery.

 
Old 11-06-2006, 03:19 PM   #8
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Re: Can't breathe through Nose and having a Panic Attack

Those breathe right strips are wonderful, at least for night time purposes. I've had a cold for almost 2 weeks now and I can't sleep unless I'm breathing through my nose. These strips have made it so much better. I still have a congestion and a sore throat, but I'm sleeping much better.

 
Old 02-26-2007, 07:00 AM   #9
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Re: Can't breathe through Nose and having a Panic Attack

Yes, agreed - the BreatheRight strips are excellent. However, to the guy who is addicted to Sinex - you need to wean yourself off that stuff, now. I managed to do it with the aid of saline sprays, but you can get nasal steroid sprays from your doctor which you can use indefinitely without side effects. Sinex will only make things worse. I found that after a few days of using Sinex regularly all of a sudden a whole load of mucus would slide down the back of my throat, clearing out my nose. This was great until it happened during the night whilst i was in deep sleep - I nearly choked to death, somehow I managed to wake up in time. Anyway, it's bad for you long term so try your best to stop.
I have just received SinusWars3 which I am now taking, today is day one so I'll keep you posted on results over the next few days. Also, I have a CT scan booked this week with surgery (if I decide to go ahead with it) on 20th March. If you've had your sinuses opened up with surgery, please let me know if the results are what you had hoped for. As one of you said, it's irreversible so I'd like to have as much information to make an informed decision before I take the plunge. Many thanks..

 
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