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ShaynaPunim 03-26-2004 02:41 PM

Horrible Sinus Problems...PLEASE HELP!
I have had sinus infections before and in the past, I have been diagnosed as having chronic sinusitis. During the months of March and April, this is when the problem kicks in. I had my tonsils out in December, which is the best thing I could have ever done -- got rid of the chronic tonsilitis. But the last 2 weeks I have felt awful. I have been to the ENT twice already, and he says it's allergies. Basically these are my symptoms. First I had terrible pressure, and a dull ache over my forehead, on the bone of my eyebrows around my eyes, in the back by my neck, and around my cheeks. Then my ears started having the fullness feeling similar to being on an airplane. They also keep popping. Additionally, I just feel totally off balance. Sometimes my head feels like it's just bobbling around and I get sorta dizzy. When I go from laying down to standing up, my vision gets a little fuzzy, as if it's trying to adjust. This just recently started. Almost 4 years ago, my opthoneurologist diagnosed me as having a pseudotumor cerebri. I remember this occuring after a bout of sinus infections. Basically I just had headaches that kept getting worse, and eventually I had a severe migraine that was so unbearable that my parents rushed me to the ER. I was on Diamox off and on for those few years, but since last August I have been off of it, since the pseudotumor cerebri was no longer there. Physically, I am in the best shape and health I have ever been. I am 30 lbs lighter, and I eat really healthy most of the time. I was taking Allegra-D for a few days, and it didn't do anything for me. The ENT suggested that I take the allegra-d with singulair. I decided to buy the over-the-counter Claritin-D, and took that at 1230 today, but it also makes me feel weird. I am just feeling unlike my normal bubbly self and I don't know what to do. I'm paranoid that the pseudotumor cerebri is back, and I am going to the optho-neurologist next week. But I saw him last month and everything was fine. Could it just be allergies and sinus problems? I was considering taking the singulair. I took it last year and I remember it worked ok. Anyone have any suggestions???? Oh, and I am 26 years old :)

chigs489 03-26-2004 06:59 PM

Re: Horrible Sinus Problems...PLEASE HELP!
Chronic Sinusitis is a major problem. It is usually caused by a structural abnormality, such as a deviated septum, bone spur, or possibly nasal polyps. Soft tissue inflammation is the result, as the sinus cavities become blocked, and bacteria grows.

I just had surgery to correct my chronic bacterial sinusitis problem. I had a badly deviated septum, and major tissue inflammation. I had all the symptoms you are suffering from: dizziness, head pressure, headaches around the eyes, on the forehead, and even behind the ears. Constant nasal congestion, and even cloudy vision. This went on for 4 months.

My advice, is go to an ENT that specializes in the treatment of chronic sinusitis.

Next, you will need to get a CT scan of your sinuses. This will tell the doctor if you have a structural abnormality, and it will also show the presence of bacteria. The test is quick and painless.

Your ENT should immediately perform an endoscopy. This is a test in which a tube is inserted into the nasal passages, with a camera at the end. It doesn't hurt, but it's a little uncomfortable.

The decision to have surgery is contigent upon a structural problem being present. If there is a structural problem, you need to ask the doctor "will I continue to have sinus problems if I don't get my nose fixed?" If the answer is yes, I would get surgery immediately.

Claritin and Allegra will NOT help you. Many people on this board, who have had chronic sinusitis will back me up on that. I think your ENT is wrong, allergies are not your problem, although there may be an allergic componant. Allergies don't cause the kinds of problems you are having -the terrible pressure, etc. I was originally told I had allergies as well -until the CT scan came back, indicating I had a deep sinus infection.

Most importantly, DON'T PANIC. A lot of people suffer from this condition. Even if you have to have surgery, it is a couple days in bed, and you will be back on your feet. No black eyes, no scars, etc.
Also, don't start "researching" the problem on your own. The Internet is full of horror stories, misinformation, and other nonsense.

One more thing. Antibiotics will not completely destroy the bacterial infection if the soft tissue inflammation prevents the medicine from even reaching the infection. The bacteria basically gets into the bones, and this is why people get repeat infections -the old ones never went away! Doctors can get around this by giving you Prednisone (a steroid) in addition to 14 days of Avelox or Levaquin. The steroid reduces the inflammation, allowing the antibiotic to do its work. If your ENT gives you 6 days of Amoxicillan with no steroid, he isn't doing his job.

Be sure to irrigate your sinuses, this helps.

ShaynaPunim 03-27-2004 08:37 AM

Re: Horrible Sinus Problems...PLEASE HELP!
Thank you for your lengthy reply. However, I do not have sinusitis at the present time. My mucus is totally clear. Basically I just have some fluid there. I am feeling ok this morning, however when I wake up my neck hurts, I am not sure if that is a result of the sinuses or the way I am sleeping. My symptoms vary during the day. Usually if I take some Motrin, I feel much beter, but I am just afraid to continue taking Motrin, I don't think it's good for you to take it daily. I am also on the Pill, Yasmin. The dr said he will order a CT scan if I don't improve in another week. He did the optic fiber thing in his office where he sprays stuff in my nose, and then puts a tube with a camera in it. Said there is just some fluid there. I agree with you that claritin and allegra do not work. Something is in them that makes me feel all weird and anxious. Maybe it's the decongestant part. I also think I have been feeling funny with the Nasacort AQ. Today I might just take my Clarinex and then try the Singulair at night.

chigs489 03-27-2004 09:01 AM

Re: Horrible Sinus Problems...PLEASE HELP!
You can have chronic bacterial sinusitis without discolored discharge from the nose. I know, because my discharge was clear.

Do you feel tired all the time? Do you feel like you are "under the weather" most of the time. 90%, but not 100%. Chances are, a low-grade infection, deep in the sinuses is causing you problems.

I would get the CT scan, just to rule out an infection.

reader1 03-27-2004 04:08 PM

Re: Horrible Sinus Problems...PLEASE HELP!
There are many folks who have chronic sinusitis due to bad allergies. If singulair worked for you before, I would take it and continue to take it. It doesn't work for everyone. That said, the Mayo Clinic announced last year that most chronic sinusitis is fungal in nature, but I suspect your ENT has already ruled that out. If someone has chronic sinusitis and an ENT rules out fungal causes or physical abnormalities, then it's probably allergies. Your symptoms sound very similar to mine. I would recommend that you see an allergist and get tested.

ShaynaPunim 03-27-2004 06:11 PM

Re: Horrible Sinus Problems...PLEASE HELP!
Well today was a better day with regards to sinus pressure/pain. Only thing bothering me now is my balance/dizziness issue as a result of my ears getting full and popping. I didn't take any allergy pills today, only 1 Motrin. I'd like to go all natural and get rid of the claritin that was in my system yesterday.

PJ6k 04-07-2005 10:52 PM

Re: Horrible Sinus Problems...PLEASE HELP!
I have had chronic sinus problems for months at a time. Currently my ENT ordered a CT scan that showed a diviated septum, bone spur, and a perfurated septum. I am beside myself because I don't really want surgery. I've never even heard of anyone that has had a nasal bone spur OR a perfurated septum. (Caused by steroid nasal sprays over a long period of time. I see the ENT on Monday to discuss choices of treatment. BTY, I have had allergy testing and have none, other then dust mites. Who needs this?

clerty 08-24-2005 02:59 AM

Re: Horrible Sinus Problems...PLEASE HELP!

I so understand what you are going through the now,I have been unwell for 6 months and not getting any better,I have a diviated septum found through an MRI scan,I am unfit for work I feel really rotten every day,I am on the wating list to speak to a Nuerologist,I have front facial pain every day,the pain is really bad at times,I have dizzyness and really bad tinitus.
The ENT surgeon said that they would perhaps do a septoplasty on me.
The problem is they are not sure if I have a virus or if I do need this operation,I am really down about all of this.

sneezydiva 08-24-2005 06:12 PM

Re: Horrible Sinus Problems...PLEASE HELP!
If you do have allergies then you need to be on an antihistimine, period. Even if you now have an infection, once you get it cleared up, another one will just take its place if you don't control your allergies. IMHO, the best antihistimine is Zyrtec. Claratin and Allegra just don't cut it for me. But there are decogestant free versions of all those antihistimines that you might want to try, since the decongestant makes you jittery.

If your ENT thinks you have allergies, then I would demand allergy testing. That way you will know for sure, and if know exactly what you are allergic to, so you can avoid your triggers. If the testing turns up negative, and/or the medicines aren't working, I would request a sinus CT scan.

chigs489 08-25-2005 11:49 AM

Re: Horrible Sinus Problems...PLEASE HELP!
I should mention that one antihistamine works for me far better than any of the others, Chlor-Tremiton. I've tried Allegra, Zyrtec, Claritin, etc. None of them did anything. So you may want to try that and see what happens.

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