Is it LPR or Sinusitis? Is there any success story out there?

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dummyusername
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/16/2013 11:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Here's the backstory:

Almost a year ago to the day, I got a sinus infection in the US, hours before flying out to India for vacation. The worst of the trip was a horrible tight feeling in my chest days into the illness, which only happened once and not since.

I was sick for the whole two weeks. I came back in January and immediately went to the doctor, who said there was white spots in the back of my throat and prescribed antibiotics. I went back to her after the course and she said I was better, but I didn't feel the least bit better.

Since then, I've gone through doctor hell. I'm taking Symbicort 160, took Dymista nasal spray for 9 months, took claritan for a long time, and nothing really helps me feel even close to 70%. Right now I have sinus headaches - this might be because I stopped taking the claritan. At one point I was prescribed prednisone 10 mg for a week or so and felt no relief.

I've also ruled out allergies. While my tests came back extremely strong, the only positives were for seasonal allergies. As it's now December, I can't imagine this would still be as much of an issue.

I had a CT scan in August. Some of my ethmoid sinuses air cells were opacified, and there was some sinusitis present. I also have a deviated septum. I'm scheduled for sinus surgery next month, if for no other reason than to improve my breathing and prevent future sinus infections. My surgeon is confident she can help my breathing but has no idea if it'll help with my other symptoms, specifically the post-nasal drip.

On the subject of my symptoms, here's a list of what I have:

- Postnasal drip. So so much of it. Sometimes I'm sitting there for 10-15 minutes clearing my throat before I can sound remotely audible.
- Coughing: With the inhaler this has calmed down a lot, but I used to have extremely loud and deep coughs (I still do sometimes) that make my lungs cough up mucus. Once the mucus is coughed up and spat out, I feel fine.
- A constant "gulping" feeling. I've had this for years, but it's why I think acid reflux might be part of the problem now. I also have problems swallowing food.
- Sinus headaches: This only came about recently, actually. My cheeks and forehead feel inflamed. The area about my Adam's Apple used to feel inflamed, but now the area in the back of my jaw feels inflamed instead.

I feel better than usual when:
- I go jogging, and I feel better for the day afterwards
- I drink liquids with alkaline drops - sometimes. It helped me this morning but it didn't help during lunch (I felt just as bad as usually).
- At night: I've not had a single case of coughing while in bed and actually have been sleeping better this year than almost every year in the past. Laying down makes the drip worse, but not by much. The laying-down drip is tolerable compared to post-lunch


I feel worse than usual when:
- I drink some alcohols, especially red wine. I realize this is a common issue. I have no idea what may be causing this. It may be drying out my sinuses/exasperating the sinusitis, it may be causing reflux, or it may be related to my "fleshy-skin" fruit allergies. I almost never drink soda, but even the rum and coke I had two nights ago had no negative effect on me.
- I eat lunch. Lunchtime is generally the worst mealtime for me, even if I eat more for dinner. It could be combined with the fact that I'm at work whenever I eat lunch, but I'm not sure. Also of note was yesterday, when I was walking around a lot after eating a blueberry muffin at 10 am, I was getting a lot of postnasal drip by 1-2 pm without having eaten anything.
- I've noticed a definite worsening of symptoms when I eat dairy or spicy foods. Eggs don't have that same effect on me.
- Surrounded by grass (the worst of my allergies) during allergy season
- Certain dry rooms (no indoor allergies)

Things that should help me feel better, but don't:
- Saline irrigation: It sometimes does a little to help but generally I don't feel any better after doing it. Sometimes my symptoms will be acting up and yet my nose is clear.
- Hot showers: I'm no stranger to long hot showers and never before in my life have they done less to help my congestion than now. I can still blow my nose easier in the shower, but it does nothing else to help
- Rescue inhaler: This has just never even been remotely helpful
- Alkaline water (specifically after lunch)


Hopefully you're all still with me now, this is getting a bit long. I'm on day 5 of taking Omeprazole and I can't deny the gulping feeling is on a decline. I can't deny having acid reflux (despite being at a health 5'10" 160 lbs, and while my diet isn't great it certainly isn't the worst ever). The alkaline water does help, but it just doesn't always help.

Could this be a mix of issues? Could the LPR be making the sinus problems not go away as they should? Is there a possibility the sinus surgery can help and help me get my life back on track? Will I be on GERD medication for my entire life?

Post Edited (dummyusername) : 12/16/2013 11:15:55 PM (GMT-7)


lajenner
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 12/17/2013 10:07 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had chronic sinus issues for 20 years. I had sinus surgery, but the sinus infections continued. My ENT believes that GERD has been related to the problem.

My sister has LPR and sinus infections caused by it, too. She is controlling it with 20 mg prilosec and Gaviscon Advance, as well as reducing acidic foods from her diet.

Unfortunately, you need more testing for the LPR. You will need endoscopy, ph monitor and manometry testing to confirm how bad the problem is.

I hope your sinus surgery is successful. Did you have sinus endoscopy? They can tell if LPR/GERD is present during that.

Good luck with your surgery, I hope you will have help. In the mean time, go see a GI doc and get the testing done.

dummyusername
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/17/2013 10:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I did have a sinus endoscopy. The ENT said she saw inflammation in my voicebox but it wasn't conclusive. For all we know, the inflammation could be from LPR or it could just be from clearing my throat all the time. Aren't those other tests kind of inaccurate?

Did your surgery help at all? If it's been 20 years, then I need to ask whether it was a modern surgery or not.

lajenner
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 12/17/2013 12:49 PM (GMT -6)   
The sinus surgery helped some, not a lot. I had sinus surgery 2 years ago (be prepared for a very difficult 1st week at home). That inflammation of your voice box is caused by LPR/gerd. Throat clearing is the result of LPR, all GERD related. You have to stop the GERD. Testing should be done, you need to rule out Barrets and other major issues, such as ulcers that can lead to anemia. You and GI doc can decide if meds are best to control, or fix it with surgery.
Laurie
Nissen Fundolplication Sept. 10, 2013

dummyusername
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/17/2013 1:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the insight. I definitely hope the surgery will at least help with some of the drippage but I am prepared for the case that it doesn't...

Well, day 6 of the current medication and sinus pressure aside I do admittedly feel a tad bit better. Still a lot of throat congestion.

Are people with LPR typically on medication for their entire lives, surgery aside? I've been reading two months of medication is typically all that is required for episodes like this.

lajenner
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 349
   Posted 12/17/2013 1:39 PM (GMT -6)   
My sister and I have needed the meds all of our adult lives and we are both in our 50's. Hopefully, your case is something temporary.
Laurie
Nissen Fundolplication Sept. 10, 2013

dummyusername
New Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 12/17/2013 1:46 PM (GMT -6)   
That doesn't sound positive...

The thing is, my reflux, while present, had never been an issue in the past. It only became a problem after my sinus infection last year. My theory is that it's preventing my throat and sinuses from healing properly... does this sound plausible or is it wishful thinking?
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