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dreemilyn 10-30-2009 09:12 PM

Severe ethmoid pain - sinus or nerve? Please help.

If anyone could give me any advice or insight at all, I would really appreciate it, because I'm at a loss as to what I should do.
I'll try to keep this as short as possible:

I've had sinus problems my whole life, as well as allergies. At 13 I got sinus surgery (deviated septum, polyps) which made it easier to breathe for a few years and then everything started to go downhill again. I had reoccuring sinus infections and took antibiotic after antibiotic. I always felt worn down and sick and had the all too familiar pain in my ethmoid sinus area.

Four years ago I went on vacation. At the time I had an infection and was on antibiotics and Sudafed. I ended up getting dehydrated and fainting. After that my life really took a turn for the worse- I was diagnosed with a condition called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome which basically means low blood pressure, high heart rate. I accepted my diagnosis and have made lifestyle adjustments and am doing alright, but my biggest problem is I am ALWAYS exhausted. The other thing that has been constant is the ethmoid sinus pain - a dull aching that never goes away and changes in severity.

In July this year I had my wisdom teeth extracted ,hoping that would help the pain. The surgery was a breeze, but two months later the ethmoid pain increased. I was sure I had an infection, saw my ENT who did a CT scan, told me there was no infection and to see a neurologist.

I was upset because I was convinced it was sinus pain. I ended up going to a few hospitals because the pain became too much to bear and on top of it, I was having chills. Finally a CT scan revealed infection in my maxillary sinus. I took the CT scan to a new ENT who confirmed the infection by looking in my nose with a scope. Based on my CT scan he said surgery may give me relief because my septum is deviated again, my turbinates are swollen and inflamed, and there was infection. This was about 2.5 weeks ago.

We scheduled surgery for Nov. 5. He told me he can't assure me it will help my pain, but that there is a good chance. All of my doctors, however, (this one included) seem to think the amount and severity of pain I'm having doesn't really go along with what is showing my scan. Even worse, my newest CT scan shows that the infection is gone and I am still in pain.

On top of the ethmoid pain, I've begun to have sharp, tinge-like pains in the back of my head as well as my temples. I also get the same burning-type pain in my left ethmoid and frontal sinus. It comes and goes, along with a shooting, dull pain in the left ethmoid. The pain is becoming debilitating. If I press even slightly on my eyebrows or in between my eyes, it feels like they're bruised - like someone hit me with a baseball and this is a week later.

A few days ago I read an article about the Trigeminal Nerve and Neuralgia and now I'm worried that this could be the cause of my problems, rather than sinus. I still feel like it's sinus-related, but the mere thought of it being nerve-related and getting surgery is really scaring and worrying me.

If anyone can offer me any advice or input, I would appreciate it so much.

I just haven't found many articles about people having sinus pain this bad, unless it was a raging, horrible infection which I don't seem to have. Has anyone had this type of severe sinus pain? Did surgery relieve it? Did anything relieve it? Does anyone have trigeminal nerve problems?

Thanks so much.

dolysods 10-31-2009 07:06 PM

Re: Severe ethmoid pain - sinus or nerve? Please help.
so sorry for what you are going thru. When you are on antibiotics for infection, does the pain lessen? Have you tried any changes in diet? I found that i'm wheat/gluten intolerant and that has alleviated a lot of my sinus problems/pain. Although, mine was never severe but i had unexplained swelling, fatigue, brain fog.

Another thing that helps me is acupuncture.

good luck!

dreemilyn 10-31-2009 08:36 PM

Re: Severe ethmoid pain - sinus or nerve? Please help.
Thanks so much for your reply. The antibiotics may have helped a tiny bit, but not much. The ENT says I'm resistant at this point which is why he's recommending surgery.

I'm on a gluten-free diet now (actually candida-free) just incase this is yeast related.

I've thought about trying acupuncture. Has it helped you a lot?

I know you're not a doctor, but I'm just trying to get anyone's opinion on this really because at this point I'm at a loss as to what to do - does it sound to you like sinus pain or nerve pain? My gut says its sinus related but ever since I read about the nerve conditions I've been so worried !

dolysods 10-31-2009 08:45 PM

Re: Severe ethmoid pain - sinus or nerve? Please help.
yes, acupuncture has helped me a lot. Although that is the same time i reduced my wheat/gluten. Not sure if all acupuncturists are like mine or not. He is more like a therapist. He was a medical dr in russia. When he came here they wouldn't just let him take the boards, they wanted him to go back to school. He says the worry/stress makes your sinuses a hot pot.. he thought for sure when i got laid off that i would end up with a sinus infection.. It creates more mucous. Hard to explain but it makes sense

Too bad you don't have more time before your surgery to see if acupuncture could help you. Surgery is such a drastic step. You might have time for an evaluation.

TEdds83 11-26-2009 09:08 PM

Re: Severe ethmoid pain - sinus or nerve? Please help.
I am having pressure in my left side of my sinus's. I goes along my cheek to my ear and my temple. It even feels like someone is lightly pushing in on my temple. Its so weird. Does anyone else have this? I had a sinus scan only once in my life and it was 2 years ago. The doctor said it was clear as a bell. I am hoping this is just a sinus issue I can clear up. Just wondered if anyone deals with this and that it doesn't mean a tumor or something.

dolysods 11-27-2009 05:12 AM

Re: Severe ethmoid pain - sinus or nerve? Please help.
I would try irrigating with a neti pot or a sinurinse bottle. That might help. Are there any other symptoms?

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