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Old 11-22-2012, 01:41 PM   #2
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Re: Help - Severe, Chronic Sinusitis, my story

There's a pretty standard regimen for dealing with chronic sinus problems, but you really need to find a doctor who's experienced in treating chronic sinus disease (most office based ENTs aren't). Your best bet is to find a doctor at a teaching hospital like Northwestern or the University of Chicago who specializes in treating people with chronic sinus disease (and who has an allergist that he/she works with) - Northwestern actually has a "Sinus and Allergy Center" so that's probably where you should start.

The standard regimen is:

-Antihistamines (with a decongestant or you can take pseudoephedrine separately)
-A short course of oral steroids to reduce the inflammation in your sinuses followed by daily use of a steroid nasal spray like RhinocortAQ or Flonase
-Daily saline irrigation with a NeilMed SinusRinse bottle (available at CVS or Walgreens)
-Mucinex to thin out the sinus drainage (available at CVS/Walgreens without a prescription)
-Allergy shots

Allergy shots take time to work so you need to give them a year before you give up on them.

Because you mention "hacking and spitting" you may also want to talk to the doctor about the possibility that acid reflux is contributing to your symptoms. Reflux - including a form of reflux called LPR that has very few of the traditional symptoms of reflux - can cause sinus inflammation that doesn't respond well to antihistamines.

It definitely takes time to get sinus disease under control but it doesn't sound like surgery is what you need, just a good doctor who's willing to work with you to get the underlying cause of your sinus inflammation under control, and it may take a few false starts before you get it sorted out - just don't give up hope, it will get better if you hang in there.