View Full Version : sinusitis problems????

mark page
01-26-2008, 8:29 PM
How many people here fight sinusitis or sinus infections, and what are their remedies. It seems about every 4-5 years I end up having to fight one. Well this one is kicking my butt. I haven't thought twice about turning on a power tool or even walking thru the shop for over a month just not to stir up any type of dust. Started as a sinus problem, then went to bronchitis, and now I'm back to a sinus problem. Dr prescribed amoxycillin (?) and have been taking overdoses of guaifenesin and sudafed PE daily. The antibiotics killed the infection bugs temporarily, but they are back again due to the root cause. Another Dr appt Monday. The lower sinus area kind of even with the nose seems fine, its the ones right above and behind the eye area that's killing me, feels like your eyes are going to bulge out and the headaches in that area are killers. It seems that no matter what I use I can't get that area to drain properly. I know I can't be alone in the world so what do some of you all do to help? So far I have even bought one of those netti (?) teapot looking things to flush them, moved up to the squeeze bottle design and still no good. Even ate a whole jar of jalapeno peppers thinking that may help, that just flushed my forehead sweat glands. Eight hours of a heating pad & wet towel on forehead/nose area no good either. Head over a boiling pot of water, etc, etc. I think I have done everything short of firing up the air compressor and inserting air nozzle here type thing.
Any ideas will be great as dr appt still 1 1/2 days away.

Walt Nicholson
01-26-2008, 8:59 PM
I had the same thing. Everytime I got a cold it turned into a major sinus infection. Finally had a cat scan and they said the upper nasal passages that allowed the upper sinus cavities to drain were smaller than normal and when an infection (sinusitus) set in it could not drain off. First Dr. wanted to do surgery, second opinion prescribed Nasacort (some type of steriod that is non addictive) to try before prescribing surgery. That was over a year ago and the problem is gone. Had a few colds but never a problem with the sinus like before. Two spray shots in each nostril each morning and I couldn't be happier. Everyone is different, but ask your Dr. about it. If he says surgery, run! ;)

Michael Gibbons
01-26-2008, 9:12 PM
A thorn in my side for the past 15 years. They tend to get more intense every time I get one. I usually get one twice a year and antibiotics are prescribed but the infections are mutating and becoming resistant. My primary care doctor finally refered me to an Ear,Nose ,Throat specialist and he sent a camera in and told me I had a deviated septum. Surgery was preformed and seemed to help a little. He said it looked like I broke my nose at some point but I couldn't recall when. He said that it doesn't take a whole lot to bend it outta shape. Luckily It didn't look like a hockey players... The problem is what was said earlier- the irratant hits the mucous membrane then the allergy makes the membrane around the sinus cavity to swell which in turn blocks the passage. The sinus is supposed to be open so when you breath,some air gets warmed before it goes to the lungs. And the sinus also is damp inside. When the passage is blocked the normal function is ceased and the moist damp air which is at your body's temp is mixed with bacteria, an infection is created. I'm supposed to use something like Astelin to keep em open but I usuallt forget.

Jim Becker
01-26-2008, 9:23 PM
Head colds always do me in relative to the sinus, especially on the left side for some reason. Not much to do about it, unfortunately...outside of buying a stockpile of tissues and some OTC decongestant if I have to fly.

Jason Roehl
01-26-2008, 10:00 PM
I get 1-2 sinus infections a year myself. Once every 5 years or so they get bad enough that I go to the doctor for antibiotics. When they're not that bad, I do a few things to beat them:

1. 1 large clove of raw garlic twice a day. It's tough to get down (and it's hard on everyone else, too), but garlic, when chewed, creates a natural anti-microbial, plus the spice effect gives some temporary relief from congestion. You'll probably have to drink a glass of water afterwards. It is rough, but I've sort of gotten used to it.
2. Lots of fluids, preferably hot--especially honey/lemon herbal tea.
3. I normally take a multivitamin and an extended-release vitamin C in the morning with a glass of juice. I take the vitamins again in the evening when I have a sinus infection.
4. Listerine mouthwash twice a day.
5. Afrin/nasal spray before bed (only 1x per day, otherwise it's hard to get weaned from it)--I don't sleep well if I can't breathe through my nose, and rest is important.
6. Keep moving during the day if possible--keep the blood flowing in the body. My job is physical, so if I can drag my butt to work, I usually feel better.
7. If it's bacterial with no fever, a shot of bourbon helps a little, too. (if it's viral and/or there's a fever, don't do alcohol--you'll feel worse). :D
8. Avoid refined sugar (this is a good one most of the time anyway).

If I do these things as soon as I know I have a sinus infection, the worst of it is over within 3 days every time, and then it's another couple weeks just getting through all the drainage. I usually quit most of the special routine within a week. Many of these were gleaned from homeopathic remedy books, plus a little experimentation on my own.

Hope this helps!

Steven Wilson
01-26-2008, 11:14 PM
I use to get sinus infections quite often. Those went away when I improved the dust collection in my shop (changed to Festool, Minimax, and a Cyclone). Anyhow, I will get sinus problems once or twice a year and I find that keeping the humidity up in the winter (so the nose doesn't dry out) plus using a saline nasal spray helps lessen the occurances and severity. I sure don't want it to get out of hand as about 10 years ago I had to have spikes hammered into my upper sinuses (yep, metal rods driven with a hammer) from my nose to get them to drain.

David G Baker
01-26-2008, 11:38 PM
I use Flutcasone nasal spray once daily (generic Flonase) and have for the past ten years or so. It keeps the infections to a minimum and helps me breathe. I also take Singular once daily for allergies.

James Jaragosky
01-26-2008, 11:48 PM
I had a infection so bad that antibiotics would not get rid of it.
in fact I let it go so long before seeing a doctor (10 years) that it had in- bedded its self into my nasal cavity lining and had to be scraped out. it was a miserable 2-3 weeks after that. but I have had no problems in the 8 years since, and I am very glad I had the surgery.
I don't snore as much and my wife and I both sleep better.

Phil Thien
01-27-2008, 12:39 AM
I use a cue-tip to wipe triple anti-biotic ointment in my nostrils (don't go too far up, no further than the cottony part of the swab). I do this twice a day until the problem clears up.

This also helps to reduce the longevity and severity of colds.

Jim Tobias
01-27-2008, 11:18 AM
I have had sinus infections for years. 3years ago, had septum surgery. THat cleared up my nasal passages and helped breathing, but did not eliminate the sinus infections(headaches). 2 years ago, I had sinus surgery (just as described above-enlarging openings so it could drain) and it did help significantly. A lot less headaches. However, I still get sinus congestion and sinus infections, just not as severe. I never go in the shop wihtout wearing a mask (filtered) of some sort. I have full blown oneida dust collestion system, air cleaners , etc. I take allergy shots weekly,allergy medicines, flonase, etc and it all helps but nothing has eliminated it. My allergies are to dust tree and grass pollens, etc. Hard to stay completely away form these things unless I go in a bubble. So, I just keep waiting for the allergy shoys to kick in (3 years now). That may be my only hope for permanent relief. And I am sure that is wishful thinking.
All that said, I would keep going in the shop if it meant wearing scuba gear!


Jason Roehl
01-27-2008, 5:08 PM
Jim, I must say that allergy shots helped me immensely years ago. I started them when I was 12-13 and took them for about 3 years. Unfortunately, going to a residential HS for my last two years made it difficult to get the shots (many hoops and my parents were out of the country), so I quit getting them. To this day, I generally don't have any noticeable allergy symptoms that lead up to the sinus infections I do get, so I consider the shots a success. Previously, my symptoms were not quite of the "hay fever" variety, but dusty work outside in the spring (like mowing) was kind of rough.

David Wilhelm
01-27-2008, 5:37 PM
4-5 years? you are lucky. If i get a bad infection I have to have a Zpak. One thing i do, if i'll just do it, to keep things clean is flush with salt water. You can buy packets of stuff but i just use well water and i boil it and let it cool to luke warm and add enough salt so it doesn't burn. I have a bottle that i fill and i hold it up to my nose and squeeze leaning over and tilting. takes a lil practice but it cleans all the dust out twice a day. years ago the Dr gave us a thing made by water pic but it wasnt' like the tooth washing system this was was low pressure. Can't find another one. Search neti pot I like the bottle best but don't squeeze to hard.

Chris Rosenberger
01-27-2008, 7:21 PM
I have been fighting sinus infections for the last 6 years. I would get 2 or 3 a year. I always got a sever sinus infection sometime between Thanksgiving & Easter & it would take weeks to get over it. I finally determined they were caused by something I was eating. After alot of trial & error, it came down to a wheat gluten allergy. I have been wheat free since late August & have not had any sinus problems since. (knock on wood)

mark page
01-28-2008, 6:05 PM
Recent update to the sinusitis infection. Just got back from Dr. appt and he stated that I was as bad or worse than when he first looked at me. Well no crap, that's why I'm back. Stated that the amoxycillin did not kill all the bugs and put me on some high powered antibiotic that will kill any bug. Stuff is generic named Cefuroxime (Ceftin) 500 mg tabs. I know as much about drugs as the mailbox post so only time will tell. He did state that the bugs that cause sinus infections always live up there and if treated before, they become immune to different antibiotics and have to be treated with stronger stuff. Makes sense to me. I definately do not want to go through the steel rod and hammer treatment--shudder just thinking about that type of thing. My poor body has been through a lot in life (shot at and missed, shot at and hit, crapped at and missed, crapped at and hit) but that rod & hammer stuff, well that just ain't right:confused:

Wes Bischel
01-28-2008, 7:42 PM
Mark, as a sinus sufferer myself, I can empathize with your plight. I was always told "If you don't feel normal in 36 hours come back!"
I have been put on Flonase and it has helped. Yes, it is a steroid, but it is a targeted application versus others which run through your body first. Still not great to be on one, but it could be worse.
I also use a sinus irrigator in the evening (Flonase in the morning.) which also helps especially when I have flair-ups. It is made by Ethicare - it works, but has to be one of the poorest designed products I have ever seen or used. There are others available and I will most likely search for new options when this one dies.

Just remember, lots of fluids, avoid caffeine and get better soon!


Montgomery Scott
01-28-2008, 8:46 PM
The opinions that Wes, David and Jason have suggested are very good ones: to reduce your allergic reaction (though it may have limited affects on wood dust) and to irrigate your sinus cavities.

I've had sinus surgery twice. The first time it was so bad that my eye socket bones was mostly decayed from the infection and disease that spread from the sinus infection. The second was a revision that opened up some sinus cavities that had closed up again.

I use the Grossman nasal irrigator http://www.alerg.com/page/A/PROD/SST/SST2000?gclid=CP6fq6-nmpECFQibggodEEQ6OQ
and I've not gone through the nasty symptoms the family had. It's easy and you can make your own solution from sea salt and baking soda and de-i water. I normally use a respirator in the shop as there is always dust even with the DC and overhead air cleaner, but for the few times I don't I can flush out the dust and other nasty stuff in my sinuses.

Bob Stritzke
01-28-2008, 9:35 PM
I have had most of the treatments listed above. Except for the nail and hammer treaatment. I've has seven sinus surgeries in in the last 15 years. Five surgeries in the last five years. Got to the point that I would look forward to the annual surgery so that I could get some releaf. Lots of things will help depending on what the cause of your problem is.
Last fall my ENT started me on a treatment program for fungus using a generic of Sporanox. It's expensive, glad to have insurance drug coverage, and still had to get preapproval. However, I got through the holidays and feel better this year than I have in years.
Research is showing that fungus is a problem for many sinus sufferers. Your ENT can check for a type of white blood cell that indicates fungus problems.

Steven Wilson
01-28-2008, 11:35 PM
The stakes up the nose was an interesting procedure, the relief of having the sinuses drain made up for the momentary pain and rather weird feeling of the procedure. Anyhow, the procedure is Maxillary Sinus Puncture and you can read up on it here http://www.emedicine.com/ent/topic340.htm.

Kyle Kraft
01-29-2008, 3:12 PM
My LOML records the Oprah show every day and one episode had a "Dr. Oz" answering questions. To make a long story short, he recommended using a "nettie pot" which looks like a watering can with a long spout. You fill it with a tepid saline solution and get this.....you stick the nozzle in one nostril and pour the contents in and it runs out the other nostril! The folks who tried it swear by it. Apparently the saline solution washes all the perscunnion out of your nasal cavity thereby promoting a healthy environment. Allergy sufferers are supposed to benefit as well.

I'm considering trying it this spring, as the pollen tears me up.

Wes Bischel
01-29-2008, 8:38 PM
Kyle, The nettie pot and irrigators do the same thing - yes it sounds weird, but it does help.
So all this sinus talk got me to wondering what other treatments are there. I found a new one - to me at least - Balloon Sinuplasty (a trademarked name believe it or not ). It's the sinus version of angioplasty. It looks interesting, but whether it works or not is another thing all together. Just passing it along.


Jeff Kerr
01-29-2008, 9:39 PM
Thanks for a great topic!

I thought I was all alone. Imagine.

I have been fighting this exact thing for the last 2 years. It has gotten really bad. Basically I have been to see the Dr. every 3 weeks since I got sick in October. As soon as the meds run out I have a return bout of sinus infection.

At first I thought it was a chronic cold and maybe it did start out that way. I used Amoxicillin, then Cipro, then I went into Pneumonia and they had to up the meds again. Now the pneumonia is gone I have another sinus infection so I am back on the amoxicillin.

With all of this I too have tried the saline rinses. They didn't hurt but they didn't provide any noticeable relief.

I just happened to catch Dr. Gupta on CNN this weekend and he was talking with an allergists. I have to admit the allergist made a lot of sense when it came to the symptons. I think I am going to make an appointment with one. In the meantime, I picked up generic over the counter loratadine (active ingredient in Claratin) at Sams club for $13 bucks for 300 pills. It seems to be helping.

Montgomery Scott
01-30-2008, 3:50 PM

I think it's time to face the fact that your doctor is not doing you much good. Go see a sinus specialist. Most GP's are limited to what they know and sinuses are no exception. You problem indicates you may have a more serious condition and all your GP is going to do, apparently, is give you more drugs.

Your sinuses may have closed up due to all the infection and therefore they do not drain properly and so no amount of drugs will cure you. A CT scan will show any blocked sinuses.

As I mentioned earlier I went through sinus surgery, last November was the most recent, and the difference is night and day; no more nasty stuff draining from my sinuses down my throat, or stuffiness. I can actually breathe and not snore like a train now.

Larry James
01-30-2008, 10:50 PM
Good thread - seems there is not one remedy that fits all. Flonase nasal spray works for me. I suffered for years and tried many remedies with no success until a GP prescribed Flonase. I only use it as needed, mostly in the winter months. No more sitting in the dark until the headache goes away.


David Wilhelm
01-31-2008, 8:11 PM
Any of you ever tried 3% peroxide in your sinus flush or drinking apple cider vinegar and water daily?


Montgomery Scott
02-01-2008, 2:44 PM
Yes, I've used H2O2 when irrigating my sinuses as recommended by my ENT doctor. I use it no more than a 1:6 ratio with regular saline sol'n, though he recommends 1:3. Stuff makes your head burn so I flush it out with saline. If you have a sinus infection or feel a cold coming on, that stuff will kill it most effectively.

Jon Lanier
02-01-2008, 9:20 PM
I have Vasomotor Rhinitis and sinus' are always an issue. I take Claritin and Rhinocort Nasal Spray to dry me out. If not and in the wrong season I can produce over 10 cups of mucus a day. The flu and colds are horrible to deal with.

Thomas Knighton
02-01-2008, 9:59 PM
Here in Southwest Georgia, sinus problems aren't a medical condition. They're a rite of passage.

Mostly, I just take Tylenol Cold & Sinus and if that doesn't knock out the symptoms (or at least hold it's own), I go to the doctor.


mark page
02-02-2008, 7:10 AM
I tried the H2O2 solution and think I got it a little on the strong side. It burned like a blowtorch. It may have given a slight open air feeling. Amazingly I tried the "drink a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar" routine and I think it helps drain the sinuses better than anything. I did feel more immediate drainage from this than anything I have tried so far. Drinking the vinegar just made me remember that when I was a very young tyke that my grandfather drank a tablespoon a day of what he called "coal oil", which I think was just unrefined kerosene. What for I don't know. If any of the old timers remember anything like this, they might chime in since I am now kind of interested in why he did this. He passed away in '73 and both parents gone now, so I don't have anyone to ask.

Fred Haydon
02-04-2008, 1:22 PM
I have dealt with twice yearly sinus infections for the past 32 years. Sometimes they were bad enough that I needed antibiotics, other time I toughed it out with OTC remedies. Five years ago the Dr. found I had a heart arrythmia and that severly limited what I could take.

Then three years ago a friend of mine handed me a couple of packets of Emergen-C and told me to try them. While this isn't a cure-all, when I feel a sinus attack or a cold coming on I consume 4-6 packets over the course of a day or three, depending on how I feel. As I improve I gradually taper off. I'm finding that the attacks are much shorter and the suffering is greatly reduced. It has transformed two weeks of agony into 4-5 days of tolerable discomfort.


James Carmichael
02-04-2008, 10:20 PM
Man, if it were only every 4-5 years, I'd be in heaven:-)

I'm like Jason, and antibiotics are almost a food group in my household (my 5 yo inherited my allergies, plus he has asthma). I've advised the family ENT we should be getting a frequent-flier discount, as we've put his kids through med school by now.

Lots of spicy food and hot showers seem to help me more than anything. Mucinex, lots of water, avoid dairy to keep the mucous thin and draining (a disgusting visual, I know). If preceeded by lots of sneezing, it could be allergen-triggered, in which case steriod nasal sprays are a great preventative.