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  • I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

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    Old 09-17-2008, 05:19 AM   #1
    Essica
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    I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    I suffer with health anxiety so for me this is the worst possible news. I have a meningitis fear and I know it can be a complication of chronic sinusitis so I am abit of a mess this afternoon after getting my CT scan results earlier today

    I knew I had it, no dr would listen even ENT said it was facial migraines so I asked for CT scan and I am glad I did.

    He said my frontal sinuses are clear but the rest of them were showing black on the CT scan which is good plenty of air passing through but some had a grey cloudy area, he said only mild, not totally blocked up but it is what you would call chronic. I didn't see the scan results but he explained it all to me. In the end the conclusion was mild to moderate sinus disease( i think disease was the term).

    I asked him about the meningitis risk and he said he had been an ENT surgeon for over 30 years and it really wasn't anything he had heard of anyone getting from chronic sinusitis and that I should not worry, ive more chance of winning the lottery aparently.

    He said i had 2 options, 1 was to just use the spray which I always have done and to plod on and live my life or 2 an operation to clear it but he said it is only mild so is it worth putting myself through that distress? I am a very anxious person and the thought of an op is scaring me senseless. He said it would be ok to live with it and not have the op, he said its not vital and he knew many who lived with it.

    DOes anyone here have chronic sinusitis and just ive with it?it doesn't cause me pain daily, more than anything it just makes me worry about the complications. He did say that usually the op isn't always sucessful and these things can keep coming back. My ct scan 2 years ago was normal so he said its not been there that long probably, who knows.

    I am just worried what if it doesn't go and I carry this around in my head for years and years, I am so worried Please can anyone offer me some reassurance. I am so shocked about todays result, I was so positive all would be ok deep down I don't know what to think or do with myself

     
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    Old 09-17-2008, 12:24 PM   #2
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    Essica:

    Sorry to hear that the diagnosis is chronic sinusitis, but I don't think it's nearly as dire as you think.

    First of all, just to reassure you, Chronic Sinusitis is not the condition that (in extremely rare cases) can lead to meningitis. An untreated bacterial sinus infection, if it stays untreated can cause a more serious infection like meningitis, but that is extremely rare since the advent of modern antibiotics.

    Chronic sinusitis simply means that your sinuses are consistently inflamed and swollen, and it doesn't sound like you have too many symptoms so it's totally reasonable that you could live with it without the surgery. The best things you can do are try to keep your sinuses as healthy as possible by doing the following:
    1. Regular sinus irrigation using a neti pot or SinusRinse bottle to help keep mucus from getting trapped in your sinuses and to help rinse away any irritants.
    2. Use a steroid nasal spray to minimize inflammation.
    3. If you have allergies, treat them with an antihistamine or allergy shots.
    4. Take an oral decongestant (Sudafed/pseudoephedrine) to minimize stuffiness.
    You may need occasional rounds of antibiotics if you develop an acute infection, and occasionally a short course of steroids if the swelling gets so bad that the sinuses aren't draining properly. If your symptoms aren't debilitating, you can definitely live with and manage it without too much trouble.

     
    Old 09-17-2008, 12:57 PM   #3
    Essica
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    Hi

    Thank you so much for replying, i was hoping you would.

    If I had a bacterial acute infection would i be far worse, ie temp, more pain? To be honest I am not sure if I have ever had an acute infection.

    He said chronic sinusitis is usually caused by an acute infection but all I have had lately is a virus, snotty and a cough. Allergies have been mentioned to me alot so that could be the cause.

    He said the scan showed some of my sinuses had this grey cloudyness in them which he said was congestion? is that not bacteria? he said I didn't need antibiotics just to carry on with the spray that I use.

    So its only if bacterial infection is left untreated that it could spread? I read on the NHS UK site that its if it spreads to the facial bones it can spread into the blood or brain? very scary.

    Thanks again.

     
    Old 09-17-2008, 06:32 PM   #4
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    First of all, yes, the only risk of it spreading beyond your sinuses is a bacterial infection that is not treated for a very long period of time.

    The first thing you should probably do is start taking an antihistamine every day for a couple of weeks to see if that helps (it will also help you figure out if allergies might be the cause of what you're feeling). Loratadine (Claritin) is available in the U.K. without a prescription so that's probably the best one to start with.

    Typically a bacterial infection will cause you to have thickened discolored (green) drainage from your sinuses when you blow your nose or irrigate. It's also common to have a low-grade fever, aches, and a sore throat or cough. If the drainage from your nose is clear, you don't have a bacterial infection.

    The gray cloudiness can be swollen tissue or mucus that has collected in your sinuses - it's hard to tell if it's infected from the CT scan.

    As for the cause of all this, chronic sinusitis is not caused by an acute infection. It can be caused by a series of infections that aren't adequately treated, allergies, other irritants in the air, exposure to chemicals or even severe acid reflux, so the best approach is to manage the things that may cause your sinuses to get irritated and do everything possible to help heal them.

     
    Old 09-18-2008, 12:47 AM   #5
    Essica
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    Thanks very much.

    I have a cough, mostly in the mornings and my throat often feels thick. My temperature is normal and my mucus from my nose when I do get it is clear. I asked the ENT surgeon and he said no need for antibiotics???

    I am just worried that if this layer of congestion that is sitting in serveral of my sinuses is left forever and ever then won't it surely cause some problems?

    Thanks for replying, I am really confused.

     
    Old 09-18-2008, 04:08 AM   #6
    gcsjr
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    As long as the mucus you're seeing is clear you don't need to worry about it because it's not actually sitting in your sinuses. Tiny hairs called cilia continually help move it out of your sinuses (most of it drains down the back of your throat without you ever noticing it).

    Again, the most important things you can do are trying to get the underlying causes of your sinus inflammation under control, and allergies or acid reflux are the most likely causes of the symptoms you describe.

    The cough in the morning and a "thick" throat are actually very common symptoms of acid reflux, which can lead to chronic sinusitis, but it could also be allergies (particularly if you're allergic to dust mites or some other type of indoor allergen).

    Again, I think you would really benefit from a daily antihistamine (Loratadine) and acid reducer (Losec) - if allergies, acid reflux, or a combination of both are the underlying cause of your sinus inflammation you should start to see improvement in a week or two.

     
    Old 09-18-2008, 05:37 AM   #7
    Essica
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    Thanks.

    Yes the mucus from my nose is clear as is what I cough up.

    I do only cough in the morning. When I bend forward I feel a congestion type pressure, I wouldn't say pain though.

    I am just wondering if at the scan he said he saw grey cloudy bits in most of my sinuses (but he said only abit just abit worse on the right) then could that stuff of gone now? he said it was a layer of congestion. I was thinking that that is just stuck there now?? can it come out?

    Its mornings that I am worse, on waking I am so congested, I can breath but feel bunged up slightly but that soon clears, I cough for about an hour and I might have abit of an ache in my face but that goes, some days it can last all day on that side and I then get ear pressure.

    I haven't had any sinus pain now for 3 days, thats amazing for me. I am cutting out dairy to see if it helps.

    I shall try the loratadine or certirizine we have here, is that just as good? I hate taking new drugs but will try.

    I was told the frontal sinuses were both clear so thats a good thing isn't it? I read that they are the most likely to cause any complications if they are infected.

    So you think I should totally relax over this and just live with it? I am just so worried about what I once read about meningitis and blood poisoning from this kind of sinusitis.

    I really appreciate your support, I suffer with anxiety so finding this all abit worrying.

     
    Old 09-18-2008, 06:09 AM   #8
    Essica
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    I forgot to ask about this acid reflux, I suffer with tummy trouble, I always have done adn this year I was diagnosed with IBS. I have wind most nights and have to take gaviscon for it.

     
    Old 09-18-2008, 11:11 AM   #9
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    Quote:
    So you think I should totally relax over this and just live with it? I am just so worried about what I once read about meningitis and blood poisoning from this kind of sinusitis.
    I definitely wouldn't worry about the meningitis/blood poisoning - it's so rare in developed countries that it's not even an issue - trust your doctor on that one.

    On the other hand, I wouldn't just "live with it" because there are a lot of things you can do to make it less of an issue - give the antihistamine a try, keep using the nasal spray and try using a neti pot or SinusRinse bottle, and try to keep the acid reflux under control.

    The congestion can definitely improve if you're doing everything possible to keep it under control.

     
    Old 09-18-2008, 01:15 PM   #10
    Essica
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    Thanks,

    I am just concerned that maybe it is bacterial and in that case I might end up with a complication. I asked my GP and ENT doctor for anitbiotics and they said no.

    I am scared about having the op but I can't imagine living with this and not worrying but if I have the op will it cure it forever?

     
    Old 09-18-2008, 05:03 PM   #11
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    Doctors are not going to prescribe antibiotics when you are not showing signs of infection (green mucous, good deal of pain, not just a sinus headache)

    Is the air dry in your home or workplace? This past winter I added a humidifier in my living room (where i spend most of my time) and it has helped TREMENDOUSLY.. I have also added irrigation with a neti pot. I use sinucleanse packets and a little glycerin to make the moisture last longer

    Be proactive in your sinus care. Try the things GCSMITH has suggested. Irrigation was a life saver for me and i wish i would have been brave enough to try it 20 yrs ago. Taking antibiotics when they are not necessary can lead to you being resistant to that antibiotic in the future. Being on antibiotics whether or not they are needed can always lead to stomach/intestinal issues, yeast infection.. just getting your system out of wack. Just because there is a miniscule chance of meningitis, does not mean you will ever get it.

    I found a lot of the sinus pain that i had was due to dry sinus pain. It has almost been eliminated. Sinusitis is a pain in the A$$ but definitely manageable

    Good luck! give us a progress report in a couple of weeks on what has been successful for you

    Last edited by dolysods; 09-18-2008 at 05:03 PM. Reason: added

     
    Old 09-18-2008, 05:45 PM   #12
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    Quote:
    If I have the op will it cure it forever?
    Not necessarily. The operation can help improve the drainage from your sinuses but if you don't treat the underlying cause of the inflammation it can come back after the surgery.

    I don't know if anything I say about the antibiotics will reassure you, but you would have to have a bacterial infection for many months before there would be a chance of it causing meningitis. Based on the symptoms you describe it doesn't sound like you have a bacterial infection, so again, I'd recommend that you focus on trying to keep your sinuses as healthy as possible.

     
    Old 09-18-2008, 10:51 PM   #13
    Essica
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    Thanks very much both of you.

    I have woken up this morning with sinus pain all on my right side, was on my left yesterday

    I shall start the cetirizine? thats hayfever/allergy drug over here, my son takes it so we have some in so will take that and see how I go. I am also going to keep steaming in the evenings, I did it last night. I shall also try the sinus rinse, sooooooo nervous about doing that though, ekkk. Doesn't sound very nice.

    My only concern is if the Doctors are leaving a bacterial infection then I am worried I will get meningitis at some point. I want to avoid the op at all costs but if I have pain daily (which I do really, I can get the odd day or 2 of nothing much) then is it still an option to live with it? I am going to try and get allergy testing done and see how that goes. I use a spray called flixonase which is a steroidal spray but I am going to ask my GP on monday for drops as I heard they are much better.

    For me having the op is a scary thing to do but I would consider it if in 3 months time a CT scan showed it had got worse but if after flushing my sinuses out I get this again then I can't keep having operations, I need to find out whats causing it, the ENT dr said its not a structual problem but gave me no indication of what could be causing all of this. I had a virus in July/August which caused a cough and abit of a cold but it was more a cough but it was since then that I had all of this congestion.

    Thanks for all your help. I suffer with anxiety so it is hard for me to not worry about this. I know in the grand scheme of things this is a minor thing to have as some people have far worse health problems to deal with. It is my daughters 3rd birthday this weekend, I do not want to spend this weekend worrying

     
    Old 09-19-2008, 03:09 AM   #14
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    before irrigation, i had sinus pain every day and there was no infection. Steaming will help in the immediate situation, but for me it doesn't last more than an hour. I watched several people's videos online before i tried the neti pot. The neti pot would probably be less scary to start with. It uses the gravity from the tilt of your head and the way you hold the pot to empty. C V S pharmacies here have a pot that comes in a starter kit with the packets. It is about $15 here. Very inexpensive to try

    I just had a follow-up visit from my CT scan with the ENT. He told me i had pristine sinuses. He also knew that was my worst fear. I had told him i was afraid they would be fine and there was nothing that he could do. Now i have to track and monitor food intake and see if there is any common denominator.

     
    Old 09-19-2008, 04:12 AM   #15
    Essica
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    Re: I do have chronic sinusitis:-(:-( advice please.

    Hi Dolysods,

    So did your last CT scan show something was wrong? My CT scan showed that my right side was worse than my left but the sinuses that were blocked were only mild to moderate. He said that on the scan they still showed up black which is how they should be with a grey clouding which he said was the congestion.

    I used a sinus irrigation this morning, the Sinurinse by Neilmed that my ENT dr gave me earlier this year. It felt wierd, but I got abit of relief. I didn't see anything come out other than the water out of the oposite nostril?

    How does it work? my ENT dr told me my frontal sinuses are not blocked, they are fine, I think the maxillary is partcially blocked on the right but there were some others that had this grey clouding which he said were further back in the head would this sinus rinse get to those? I just couldn;t work out how it helps the sinuses when all it does it go up and come straight out of the other nostril?

    I still have some pain and congestion but it did help for abit, pain creeping back now

     
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