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Old 02-22-2009, 07:27 AM   #1
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left sphenoid sinus chronically infected

Help! I dont' know if I post this in the "Allergies" section? or "the ENT" section?
It seems there's more posts here for sinus problems compared to the ENT board.
I have so much to say and don't quite know how to say it short and sweet.
so here goes......
I am 48 yrs old and started having problems with my sinuses back when I was in my early 20's. I've been to an ENT dr. for mainly a biopsy of an enlarged lymph node, but other than that, I have been putting off seeing my primary dr. specifically for the sinus problem because I KNOW he's going to RX antibiotic's when I do not want to take antibiotics if I can help it.

I'm trying to find another route or an alternative to healing up my sphenoid sinus.
they call it " the forgetten sinus because of the location of it and the fact it's near the cavernous sinus and the carotid artery and the optic nerve and the pituitary, so if they have to do surgery on it, it's only if there's an emergency, which acute would be, not chronic.

anyway, when I went to have a CT scan for the lymph node back in 2004, they saw that there was fluid there, presumbly inflammatory in etiology is their description.... how they know this, i have no idea.
THEN, in 2006 when I had an MRI of my brain due to something else my dr. was ruling out, he said the MRI was normal but he wrote on the report to me: "chronic sinusitis left sphenoid sinus only exception" but never bothered to go into it with me. He wasnt' aware I've been suffering with it all these years on and off because i never go to him when they flare up.
But it's always going on because I can't breathe and I my sense of smell is diminishing. so really I do have a problem constantly with it.

They flare up to the point where my entire head feels like it's pounding and pulsating with every beat of my heart, to the point where I feel like I need a shot of morphine to stop the pain, LOL, (I'm very theatrical) but its' true the way it feels. plus I wonder how come theres' no fluid coming out of my nose if I have sinusitis? then I read on line yesterday while doing research that it becomes blocked because of the inflammed tissues of the nose. so I got my answer on that one.
These flare up's occur if I don't wear one of those disposable masks when I'm emptying the chamber in my vaccume cleaner. little did my husband know that just because it may LOOK pretty and cute because it's tiny and yellow, but you'd never know you had to empty the box and clean the filter when the little red dot tells you it's full and you have to empty it do many times during once cleaning!!!!!
we have a dog and two cats and lots of dust on the floors, so in one vaccuming session, I have to empty it and try not breathe in the molecules 3'x!!!!!!
I say it's time to get a new vaccume cleaner, don't you?

Needless to say, I woke up with my eye lids swollen, my face swollen and a pounding sinus headache with no way to get the sinus's to drain.
so I took an advil to take away the pain. I've been on it for five days now and it's still not going away. I feel very weak, tired and extremely grouchy and cranky. I feel like I can spit nails or attack anything that gets into my pheripheal vision. THAT'S how irritable I am. talk about mood changes.....

For the past 3 weeks, my right eye has been going blurry on me which happens on and off through out the day. I haven't had an eye exam since 2005 or 2006. I got glasses for distance then. so I called my primary doctor to have them write a referral to an opthamologist. I have an apptn. on March 3rd. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe my eye is doing this because of my sinus problem? it never occured to me because I hadnt' had the headache yet. Just the eye problem first.
I can't breathe through my nose for years now and wish with all my heart that I could. My jaws are beginning to ache because of the way i have to hold my mouth open a gap to breathe. I don't even notice i'm doing it until i begin to feel the pain in my jaw.
do you think I need to see a doctor to make this go away? or do you think I can do just do some type of home treatment before I settle for an antibiotic treatment?
I didn't know how serious it is to have a sphenoid sinusitis infection until I read about it yesterday after I pulled out my medical records I have on file. I became aware that I've had this particular sinus problem when they first told me in 2004! I didn't know that a person can have a sinus problem for so many years.

so.... should I do a saline spray? or should I go out and buy one of those pots that you fill with a special PH solution and rinse my sinuse's?
does it hurt?
does it make the nose become more blocked by putting water up it?

does anyone have any other suggestions besides the one post I saw on some type of pills to take that really helped a woman breathe through her nose again? . she swore that it works. I'm just waiting to get a reply back from her to hear what the pills are made up of.

I hope I can go out to the pharmacy today to pick up soemthing that will drain or open up my sinus. I can't take the pain anymore and can't take the mood swings.

Sincerely,

Linda

 
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Old 02-22-2009, 06:18 PM   #2
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Re: left sphenoid sinus chronically infected

Quote:
I'm trying to find another route or an alternative to healing up my sphenoid sinus....if they have to do surgery on it, it's only if there's an emergency, which acute would be, not chronic.
That's not exactly correct. An experienced surgeon with the correct training can safely operate on the sphenoid sinus using endoscopic equipment and image-guided techniques.

Quote:
he wrote on the report to me: "chronic sinusitis left sphenoid sinus only exception"
That actually sounds like exactly the opposite of what you assume. It sounds as if you have chronic sinusitis throughout your sinuses EXCEPT in the left sphenoid sinus.

Quote:
it's always going on because I can't breathe and I my sense of smell is diminishing.
It's very unlikely that sinusitis in the sphenoid area would cause either of these symptoms. There is very little airflow through the sphenoid sinus (compared to your other sinuses) and it is not located near the olfactory nerve tract that processes your sense of smell.

Quote:
I didn't know how serious it is to have a sphenoid sinusitis infection until I read about it yesterday
I'm not sure what you read but there is nothing particularly serious about a sphenoid sinus infection. It can be slightly more difficult to treat that infections in other areas, but it is not something that is especially serious.

Quote:
so.... should I do a saline spray? or should I go out and buy one of those pots that you fill with a special PH solution and rinse my sinuse's?
does it hurt? does it make the nose become more blocked by putting water up it?
The first thing you should do is buy a SinusRinse bottle (available at any drugstore) and use it as directed 2-3 times a day. It will help rinse any infected mucus out of your sinuses and will soothe the inflamed linings of your sinuses. It doesn't hurt but will feel a little strange at first. And, no, it won't make your nose more blocked. The saline will drain out of your nostrils very quickly.

Quote:
does anyone have any other suggestions besides the one post I saw on some type of pills to take that really helped a woman breathe through her nose again? . she swore that it works. I'm just waiting to get a reply back from her to hear what the pills are made up of.
I wouldn't get your hopes up for those pills. Instead, you should focus on getting on a regular treatment program for your sinuses. The best things you can do are:

Quote:
1. Use a SinusRinse bottle daily.
2. If you have allergies, take an antihistamine (Claritin or Zyrtec) daily.
3. Use an oral decongestant like 12-hour Sudafed to help manage congestion if needed.
4. Take Mucinex every 12 hours to help thin out the secretions in your sinuses and keep them draining correctly.
5. Ask your doctor for a prescription for an inhaled steroid spray like Flonase (fluticasone) or Rhinocort.
I would also recommend that you see an ENT specialist to get some clarification on the CT-Scan/MRI results, and to get an endoscopic exam to better understand why your sense of smell is diminishing.

Based on your post, I think it would really help you to clarify exactly what the problem is.

 
Old 02-23-2009, 08:46 AM   #3
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Re: left sphenoid sinus chronically infected

Hi gcsmithjr,
You have a lot of knowledge I see about sinus's. Thank you for your suggestions

I have to clarify what they wrote on the two separate scans that took place two years from each other.
The 1st scan-2004, which was a CT scan said that they saw fluid involving the sphenoid sinus on the left, presumably inflammatory in etiology. My PCP doc didn't say to treat it. I went for the CAT scan for a totally different reason other than to check my sinus's.

2nd scan- 2006, which was an MRI, performed on the brain for lesions said that the MRI of the brain: normal study- chronic Sinusitis on the left sphenoid sinus only exception. Exception being it was the only thing that they found that wasn't normal. My dr hand wrote this on a sheet he sends to his patients regarding their tests.

Once again, my doctor didn't say to treat it.

through out the years I've suffered on and off with sinus headaches and green discharge when my sinus would become unblocked. I did nothing to treat it being my dr. hadn't suggested to do anything about it.
I could normally tolerate the changes that had occured subtly over the years.
But last week was the week that really made me consider doing something about the problem. The pain I suffered through out my skull was horrible. If I hadn't taken an advil for it, I would have gone to the emergency room thinking I was having a possible anyeurism of the brain, that's HOW PAINFUL the headache was. I've only suffered this type of pain in my head when I had suffered an attack of viral meningitis years ago.

so that's when I decided to do some research on my records and never knew what the heck a sphenoid sinus was. I did read that the blood vessels are very small there which means that when this particular sinus is infected, the patient has to take a longer dose of antibiotic to eradicate it since the vessels are small and it has to work it's way through them.

I read that the only time it's considered dangerous is when it spreads to the brain which symptoms could be mood swings, trouble with vision and even coma. BUT only if it's an acute attack, not chronic. They consider acute to be an emergency. Not many people know this because it's very rare that a person GETS acute sinusitis in the sphenoid. That's why they say "it's the forgetten sinus". it's not easy to detect it like the other sinus's, other than imaging studies.

I'm not trying to make a big deal out of my problem or make my problem sound bigger than it is, but when you're the one that's suffering with the excrucable pain and are starting to have problem with vision in the eye and you can't smell things like you used to, then of course i"m not just going to sit back and not question what possiblities there are out there for me to treat it at home rather than running to the doctor who's only going to just put me on an antibiotic.

I can't take anything that will effect my blood pressure because I have hypertension and the last time I took a sudafed, I was so uncomfortable that I couldn't wait for it to wear off. But I will try the other things you mentioned because I've never tried them before. As you can see, I don't really take over the counter medications, so I'm not that familiar with which ones that are safe to take.

I'm also glad you mentioned to me that when I flush out my nose, that it will feel strange... at least I'll know what to expect and not panic. I tend to panic when my nose gets water in it because of not being able to breathe correctly through it. I have a hard time with swimming.

so it's an anti-inflammatory that I mainly need? to get the inflammation down enough to open the sinus so it can drain.

At least I know what's setting mine off. This way I can learn prevention.

you don't put your hand into a fire twice. right?

enough of my rambling on here, thanks again for your time and for your comments.

best regards,

Linda

 
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