Acute sinusitis - Three months - Need advice

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Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 4/18/2011 11:02 AM (GMT -6)   

Hey guys. Been on these forums a lot because I have Ulcerative Colitis.

I quit smoking in January after moving to a new city and starting up a new life. Quitting smoking gave me a major Ulcerative Colitis flare up that I'm now treating with prednisone and other stuff (including vitamins and supplements).

It also gave me a nasty sinus infection. It started with a running nose and then evolved into god knows what. My nostrils are rarely clogged but I had pain in the sides of my head/bridge of my nose for awhile as well as intermittent pain on the top of my head.

I went to a doctor and was put on a month's worth of general antibioitics (I don't know they name--they don't give you that here). They didn't work so I went to an ENT specialist who put me on a 3-day course of antibiotics the first two times and a 5-day course the third time. None worked. Every time I go in I ask for an MRI/CT Scan and he just says "no", tells me that I still have a sinus infection and gives me the exact same antibiotics again. I'm in an out in five minutes because he won't take it seriously.

I'm trying to get an appointment at the major hospital where I have my UC stuff done but the way it works here is that I need to see a doctor at a clinic before I can get a referral and the ENT doctor I keep seeing doesn't give referrals. It's all a pain in the ass.

As far as symptoms go, I recently decided to clean my apartment and kill any mold that might be around. I also bought a humidifier. It seems to be helping but I'm not entirely sure.

After the most recent round of antibioitics, the pain I had on the sides of my face seemed to move to the front. I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. The corners of my eyes seem swollen (the tear ducts--they seem to be blocked) and my eyes are slightly reddish in the morning. I should also add that I've been having ringing in my ears for more than a month and it has gotten better since the last course of antibiotics though I'm not entirely certain. I've had pain in my gums, behind my eyes, in my cheeks and in my lower jaw as well. Sometimes my left cheek twitches and feels like it's drooping (nothing I can see visually though).

I really want your advice on this and I need to know things I can do. I've tried to get a Netti Pot and all of that but I can't find them anywhere and not even the specialist knows what they are. I don't want to go back to the ENT doctor because he just keeps putting me on the same cocktail of antibiotics and over-the-counter medications over and over and over again. I actually think the last bout of antibiotics made things worse. Before that I was having mainly clear snot but now I'm having some green/yellow and I've had specks of blood as well (to be fair I don't know which is coming from me quitting smoking and which is coming from the sinus infection).

Any advice is appreciated. Everytime I Google sinusitis or sinus infections, I get warnings about severe infections that cause meningitis/complications and eventually death. I get scared out of my mind about this at times and having an ENT that doesn't take me seriously at all doesn't help.


Post Edited (Wavefunction) : 4/18/2011 10:56:47 AM (GMT-6)

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 4/18/2011 1:31 PM (GMT -6)   
First of all you need to find a better doctor (which you are already doing). You need to see a specialist that will not rush you out the door but one that will work for you. If you can't find the Netti pot, can you find saline nasal sprays?
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5022
   Posted 4/19/2011 6:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Dear Wave -
Your sinus infection is so old now it's chronic, not acute. So sorry you are having trouble getting a referral. By now you do need an MRI (no radiation) or a CT (lots of radiation). That still doesn't mean you'll get anything more than medication though, and you might not really like the alternative!

I've been battling a similar condition, caused by a wreck that broke my nose and shoved my septum off to one side. I've had worsening headaches and headaches for a year and a half, been put on at least 5 or 6 different antibiotics for 10 days at a time (the ones I tolerated), with recurrences at least monthly. I've got a 24/7 headache now, waiting for a surgical slot late in May.

My ENT gave me a CT and antibiotics last year, sent me to a neurologist this year who gave me an MRI and said the sinus really needs to be drained. The draining isn't going to be fun! The doc is going to try just a balloon to open up the tiny, little passages from the sinuses. They're about the size of a pin head. If that doesn't work it'll probably be some nasty surgery to remove tissue, nose packing, possibility of losing sense of smell. You can view videos online.

My suggestion is to try to work with this or another ENT, or an allergist, or even your PCP, and try to get a longer course of antibiotic treatment, maybe with Prednisone to lessen swelling of the nasal tissues that may be blocking the sinus drainage. They can prescribe different antibiotics and antifungals. They can have you try various nasal sprays. There's one you can make up at home with Bactroban in saline - heat in microwave a few seconds to get it loose from the parafin it comes in. Still needs Rx. If the doc decides you have something chronic going on and multiple tries at meds doesn't work, the surgical alternative is next. So keep on trying!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5022
   Posted 4/19/2011 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
PS: You can use any old teapot or even a squirt bottle for a "netti pot." You can make up your own mix of 1 c water, 1/2 tsp salt, and add 1/2 tsp baby shampoo if you want to. (The shampoo is supposed to break down the coating on the bacteria.) Just pour it into one nostril while leaning over a sink, until it comes out the other side. Then do the other one.

Once something's been in your nose it's contaminated. Throw out any solution left and wash the utensils, using a little bleach if you want, then rinse.

I've used this and it works well. It just doesn't really get all the way up into the sinuses, especially if they're blocked.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 5/1/2011 9:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Wave,
I'd add to Alcie's recipe:
My asthma doc recommended this...
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt or kosher salt (they don't have the anti caking chemical)
1 pint distilled water (no chlorine)

I just pour it into my clean hand and breathe it deeply into my nose. It then drains out. I repeat the procedure until all the water is gone. I've done this for probably 15 years both morning and night. It has made a huge improvement in the condition of my sinuses.

Also, I recently added Ayr Saline Gel. You put a bit into your nostrils with a Q-Tip. It really helps keep them open and moisturized.

Good luck!
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