Bacterial or Viral Sinus Infection

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New Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/14/2011 6:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there. I have been struggling with a sinus infection for the past 2 months. I'm not scheduled to see my Primary Doctor until Monday and the ENT until like the 30th. Here's a history of what has been going on with me.

Around January 18th (A Tuesday) or so I came down with an Upper Respiratory Infection while at college. I had a fever and was wheezing badly so I went to the hospital. I am almost 21 years old and my asthma had not bothered me in nearly 8 years before this event. They diagnosed the URI without doing any sort of tests and prescribed me Prednisone for 5 days. I started to feel better at the end of the 5 days and my breathing was pretty much back to normal. Over Winter Break my apartment in Tucson flooded so I moved into my apartment after the 5 day course of Prednisone. There was a strong paint odor and new carpet in the place. The next morning (Monday) I woke up with a nosebleed and wheezing badly again. I was blowing my nose and coughing up a lot of yellowish brown and bloody mucus. This persisted for the next few days and I was light headed so I went to Urgent Care on that Wednesday to get a breathing treatment and got another 5 day course of Prednisone. The PA said I had a sinus infection and ear infection in both ears. She prescribed Amoxicillin for 15 days. My ears began to feel full a few days after. This improved after a few days on the Augmentin.

The following Monday I saw my Primary Care and he said my ears were cleared up and doubted I had any ear infection since they probably wouldn't have cleared up that fast. He replaced the Amoxicillin with Augmentin since it was a stronger antibiotic. I remained on this for 7 days when my stomach began hurting. Long story short I ended up in the hospital that day with Colitis. They believed it was caused by all the steroids and antibiotics (although I tested negative for C-Dif). I was in the hospital for 3 days. After 1 or 2 days off the antibiotics I began feeling a lot of pressure in my head and my ears filled back up. I saw my primary care about a week after this and he said I can't take anti-biotics for 2-3 months (I take tetracycline for my skin). I asked him about my sinus infection being bacterial and he said he doubted it because I hadn't been running a fever. I saw an ENT about a week later and he said I had a deviated septum so he couldn't really look into my right nostril (I feel most of the ear pressure and popping in my right ear) but he looked in the left and said I wasn't any more inflamed than any of the other people coming in to see him and agreed with my doctor saying he didn't think it was bacterial. He said it looked like I was getting over it all and said to give it another month. At the time I saw him I was taking Sudafed, a Neti Pot, and inhaling steam and it seemed to help with the pressure in the head but not much with the ears. He said my ears looked good. When I saw the ENT (this was about 2 weeks ago) my main symptoms were tenderness around my eyebrows and cheeks and nose and feeling light headed when walking around like my equilibrium is off and also my jaw is pretty sore. When I am seated I'm not really dizzy and feeling real tired pretty much throughout the day. These symptoms have not improved since the visit and last week i began feeling a weird tingling/pressure behind/around my left eye so I got a CT scan of my sinuses and I'm awaiting the results from my ENT. I am seeing my eye doctor tomorrow just to make sure there is no infection in the eye. My vision has not been affected much since this whole thing I am just dizzy/lightheaded. I also saw my dentist last week and he tested me saying I had all of the symptoms of TMJ. I won't have my bite for a few more weeks so I won't know if that is the problem until then.

So here I am trying to get rid of this thing. I was just wondering if it's possible that this infection is bacterial after all. My nasal passages are still inflamed. I have been using the Neti Pot and Nasonex. I just tried using Manuka Honey drops and the inflammation has gone a tiny bit. My ears are still blocked so I'm wondering if I have fluid in the Eustachian Tubes or if they are blocked, which would explain my dizziness. I was on Amoxicillin for a total of 4 days and Augmentin for 7. I believe it is bacterial since my ears were seeming to open up and then literally the day or second day off of the antibiotics they filled back up. I barely have any drainage coming out of my nose and it is usually clear or sometimes just tinged with blood or a little bit yellow. My breathing through the nose isn't all that bad but it gets a bit congested at times and I have not been running a fever. When I work out I feel ok, my equilibrium is a tiny bit off when moving around but I have stopped working out since a few hours after my workout the pressure seems much worse.

Any opinions would be great since I have been getting anxiety and just feeling pretty horrible ever since coming off of the antibiotics. Being on antibiotics for a total of 11 days seems like the bacteria definitely could have returned since I was supposed to take it for 15 days. If it was bacterial, would I be having more discharge and a fever? Thanks guys.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 3/14/2011 7:16 PM (GMT -6)   
It sounds like you've got a super infection.
Why did you go back to a doctor before finishing the round of antibiotic? It's not good to switch antibiotics mid-stream like that.
I'm willing to bet that the CT scan will show infection or severe congestion.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 3/14/2011 7:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Augmentin contains Amoxicillin so he wanted to put me on that.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5022
   Posted 3/14/2011 9:35 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had a bunch of sinus infections over the last year. Amoxicillin doesn't help at all. The stuff's probably resistant. One doc I knew a few years ago said the only med that gets to sinus infections is sulfa drugs.

The most recent one was a doozey. I tried the netti pot, saline rinses, saw PCP who prescribed Bactrim. I nearly went to the ER with the pain, red mask across cheeks and nose. I got an appt with ENT for 2 weeks later. I had a few days relief with Bactrim, but then it came back. My allergist put me on diflucan in case it was yeast or mold. That also seemed to help for a few days. I was prescribed bactroban ointment, which I melted 3 tubes in 45 cc water about 30 sec in microwave (to release it from the parafin base), then put it back into the spray bottle. That seemed to help a few days too. But it all never ended. I stopped all the meds because they didn't really work. A few days later I felt better but still had the headache. Then the ENT looked, wasn't impressed, said go see a neurologist. Aaaaagh! Face still red across nose. Keeping nose from dripping with Rx antihistamine nasal spray. It's not a cure, but I can function. I'll see neuro in a few weeks, soonest available appt.

My allergist and I discussed articles we'd read about bacterial plaque building up in sinuses. ENT said he didn't know much about that. Il think my sinus tissues swell up around my deviated septum (car wreck), and this is how the infection takes hold. Steroid spray just doesn't go far enough in to open it up. Spray antibacterial doesn't go far enough, and hanging head upside down doesn't work either.

Keep reading and posting. We'll beat this gunk yet.
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