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Help! Allergies/sinusitis
Old 09-13-2011, 11:53 AM   #1
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Help! Allergies/sinusitis

I get seasonal allergies, especially in the spring and autumn. I love my oak forest, but I think I may be allergic to those beautiful trees. Over the years I seem to have developed a penchant for sinusitis. I feel like one side of my nose is plugged up most of the time

I take Zyrtec, perform a daily nasal rinse, and walk most days. I am just finishing a dose of zythromycin (sp?) - that one you take for 5 days. I feel a bit better, but that one nostril still has intermittent pain. I don't want to become resistant to antibiotics, yet I want to feel better! The doctor has ordered a CT scan, which may pinpoint the problem - she said, "I have to check whether insurance will cover it."

Question: how do you maintain your healthy sinuses? Diet, herbs, more exercise, etc. If zythromycin isn't working any more, then what? Should I just stay in bed 'til I feel better? I need to get and stay robustly healthy! I really am not much of a complainer, but I would really appreciate some input. Many thanks for your consideration.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:00 PM   #2
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Seems like everybody in New Orleans has sinus problems. Guess it's the climate, or maybe all the mold. My sinuses aren't as bad as most so I do nothing about mine. But they do give me trouble.

Usually going to the doctor results in prescriptions (often good ones, but sometimes a drug will become ineffective and you have to switch to another). Then, if bad sinus infections persist, they'll recommend sinus surgery. Everyone I know who has had the surgery thinks it is a godsend for the first 6-12 months, and then they start having sinus trouble again. So, I think the surgery is usually pointless. I'm sure their doctors disagree (or they wouldn't recommend the surgery), but I am just reporting what I see going on among my friends and former coworkers.

Sorry to be so discouraging! My friend F. says that swimming in a warm saltwater swimming pool really helps his sinuses. Improving your overall health through better nutrition and judicious exercise can't do any harm. Staying away from your allergens as much as possible is common sense. Other than that, I have no suggestions.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by antmary View Post
I get seasonal allergies, especially in the spring and autumn. I love my oak forest, but I think I may be allergic to those beautiful trees. Over the years I seem to have developed a penchant for sinusitis. I feel like one side of my nose is plugged up most of the time
When I lived up North I had a lot of allergy problems especially in the fall . I was constantly visiting an ear,nose & throat specialist with no relief . I finally went to an allergist was tested and had allergy shots . They really helped with the help of a steroid nasal spray and a daily dose of Allegra.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:25 PM   #4
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Oh, W2R, thanks for your feedback

By this time, I would consider surgery if the surgeon was skilled and experienced. There is a new procedure that is less invasive, where a sort of balloon is inserted and expanded to open the nasal cavity. I wish I could just clean every thing out and start over.

I am focusing on my diet, which is already pretty healthful. More fresh, leafy greens are always good. And, increase my exercise.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
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When I lived up North I had a lot of allergy problems especially in the fall . I was constantly visiting an ear,nose & throat specialist with no relief . I finally went to an allergist was tested and had allergy shots . They really helped with the help of a steroid nasal spray and a daily dose of Allegra.
Moemg,
I appreciate your feedback. I think that is a good idea...I haven't ever been tested for what I am allergic to....It seems that the standard of care is antibiotics, which doesn't really treat the cause. But, I must say, if there were an antibiotic out there that would cure this sinus infection, I would try it.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:34 PM   #6
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You should try using a neti pot and see if that helps. I had to use all kinds of Rx's (last was Flonase) for being stuffed up at night, they helped some, but ended up getting a lot of nose bleeds as a result. I bought my neti pot and all it takes is some luke warm water with non iodized salt (I use 16 oz water with 1 teaspoon salt). Pour 1/2 through each nostril, it clears out the nasal sinuses. I did this daily (you can do this multiple times per day too) until I got improvement, for me, it was in a week or so. I only do this when needed now, maybe 5-10 times/yr. Also helps when you get a cold or stuffed up symptoms.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:27 PM   #7
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I live in the country in MN and work outside, so I have a lot of problems with this most summer....weed pollen seems to be the worst.
I have had the most luck cutting back on most OTC meds, as they seem to cause rebound issues.
The past couple of years have gone alot better for me. I bought a personal Vicks steamer on-line , a mini electric version of a big one. I use this to moisten and loosen up my sinus. I also use Neti and I take generic Mucinex pretty much all summer.

I never had the runny nose, watery eye type, I always suffered from plugged up ears and sinus and headache. If I feel a bad spell coming on I go right to the steamer and Mucinex and can usually find relief. Also, be sure to drink lots of fluid, Mucinex tells you to drink 8 ozs with every dose. I think keeping the sinus hydrated is important. Good Luck...this routine has really helped me.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:42 PM   #8
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The steamer idea sounds interesting. I'll look into it...and Mucinex as well. I do need to stay dehydrated, especially when it is hot, dry, and polluted in the summer/autumn here.
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:43 PM   #9
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I use steam too. I pour some hot water in a salad bowl, add a small amount of vicks vaporub to the water, place my face a foot or so over the water and cover my head and the bowl with a bath towel. It helps to loosen things up.

I try to stay away from meds.
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Old 09-21-2011, 07:28 PM   #10
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I have had your problem all my life. I remember in high school I would have sneezing attacks and would feel awful most of the time. Today at age 64 I still have problems. I have tried everything know to man and nothing works. I do use the neti pot but I could not tell you if it actually works. Some days I feel good and some days I do not. It robs you of your energy, I know that. I have thought about surgery but like someone mentioned it only worked for a short period. The only time I remember feeling really good is when I was stationed in Puerto Rico back in the 60's. I think the ocean air may have had something to do with it. I work at a golf course and would you believe I am allergic to Bermuda grass and thats all we have. I cut the greens and get sick even if I wear a mask. I am been on antibiotics, steroid shots, Zyrtec, you name it I have had it. What I would pay to find that magic fix. Tom
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Old 09-22-2011, 04:05 AM   #11
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Do you mean Azithromycin, a macrolide ? It won't help for seasonal allergies.
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If zythromycin isn't working any more, then what?
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Old 09-22-2011, 11:39 AM   #12
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Do you mean Azithromycin, a macrolide ? It won't help for seasonal allergies.
I just had a CT scan, and found that I have a "deviated septum," which explains why drainage is more difficult for the left nasal passage. The problem, is that I get allergies - typically in the spring and fall - and finally see my doctor when the headache/earache symptoms return. She gives me Azithromycin, which does help...'til next time. I am afraid of antibiotic resistance, and don't know where to go from there.

Right now I am focusing on the allergy side; it seems to be the least intrusive, and more holistic way to go. If I can keep from getting stuffed up in the first place, that would help. In the meantime, I am focusing on walking every day, eating well, getting enough sleep, staying socially connected, etc.

I appreciate all the feedback from people on the forum
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:32 PM   #13
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My DD had a severely deviated septum, probably caused when she was thrown from a horse & broke her nose. In her case, the septum essentially closed off one side of her nose (ie, she was only breathing through one nostril) and she was getting major sinus infections, headaches, runny stuffed up nose, etc. as a result.

After a few years of this, she finally had the surgery to correct the deviated septum. In her words, she never knew how good it felt to breath and not have problems every day.

YMMV
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:36 PM   #14
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My DD had a severely deviated septum, probably caused when she was thrown from a horse & broke her nose. In her case, the septum essentially closed off one side of her nose (ie, she was only breathing through one nostril) and she was getting major sinus infections, headaches, runny stuffed up nose, etc. as a result.

After a few years of this, she finally had the surgery to correct the deviated septum. In her words, she never knew how good it felt to breath and not have problems every day.

YMMV
I hate to say it, but maybe that is what I need to look into.
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Old 09-22-2011, 12:54 PM   #15
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I hate to say it, but maybe that is what I need to look into.
I've been there with the ear & sinus infections. Zithromax is a marvelous tool, and hopefully the shorter dose regimen doesn't lead to resistance. I've noticed that chronic workplace fatigue tends to make you susceptible to a lot more of those problems... mine pretty much disappeared after ER.

I have a constricted left eustachian tube (you don't want to see the camera they use to check that out) and the only way to clear it is to twist my head way over to the right and do a valsalva maneuver. I don't know if that'll help flush out a sinus, though. When I was scuba diving 3-4 times/week, the frequent pressure changes helped keep everything clear and I never had a problem. Navy divers report the same anecdotal evidence-- the more you dive, the fewer sinus problems you seem to have.

Spouse claims she's had more success with Allegra than Zyrtec. I don't know if a switch would help you, but the experiment is a lot less painful than surgery.

Neti pots aren't exactly mainstream in America, but I strongly strongly recommend trying one of them for a month or two before you choose the surgical option. Or, if you want to achieve the same result without a neti pot, try surfing in 20-foot waves...
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:20 PM   #16
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I've had sinus pains and allergy issues all of my life. I had a full course of allergy shots when I was a teenager which helped at the time. I did this again when I was in my 40's and it made things better then also.

I've found over the years that being rested and in shape reduces my allergy symptoms. I've also found that if my hystamin level is high then things that don't usually bother me cause a break out. For example, I can usually eat strawberries no problem, but not when the pollen count is up.

This can work in reverse for tree allergies. When the pollen count i up, I avoid the foods I know can trigger me.

Lorne
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Old 09-22-2011, 02:31 PM   #17
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I've been there with the ear & sinus infections. Zithromax is a marvelous tool, and hopefully the shorter dose regimen doesn't lead to resistance. I've noticed that chronic workplace fatigue tends to make you susceptible to a lot more of those problems... mine pretty much disappeared after ER.

I have a constricted left eustachian tube (you don't want to see the camera they use to check that out) and the only way to clear it is to twist my head way over to the right and do a valsalva maneuver. I don't know if that'll help flush out a sinus, though. When I was scuba diving 3-4 times/week, the frequent pressure changes helped keep everything clear and I never had a problem. Navy divers report the same anecdotal evidence-- the more you dive, the fewer sinus problems you seem to have.

Spouse claims she's had more success with Allegra than Zyrtec. I don't know if a switch would help you, but the experiment is a lot less painful than surgery.

Neti pots aren't exactly mainstream in America, but I strongly strongly recommend trying one of them for a month or two before you choose the surgical option. Or, if you want to achieve the same result without a neti pot, try surfing in 20-foot waves...
I use a neti pot daily...the idea of going to the beach...oh, I would love that! When I was a kid, we went swimming every day, and I never had a problem. I would like to rent or purchase a nice cottage over on the No. Calif. coast for the summer months.

But, right now I have to focus on getting over the infections.
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Old 09-22-2011, 03:56 PM   #18
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I used to have sinus problems. I devised this therapy (which may be complete bunk and could be dangerous): I snorted water. Snort and blow, snort and blow, 'til the mucousy stuff stops coming out. I don't know whether it ever actually helped me, but for whatever reason, I no longer have sinus problems.
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