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Sinus flushing
Old 04-15-2020, 09:37 AM   #1
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Sinus flushing

In February, I had a CT scan of my neck to look at why I have nerve issues causing numbness in my right thumb.


I finally saw my doctor today, and he told me that the report showed that one of my sinuses was completely blocked. I have had periodic (maybe once a year) sinus infections my entire life, and they are quickly cured with a round of antibiotics. I do not remember having one at the time I did the CT scan, but I guess I cannot be sure I did not.


So the Dr tells me I need to get a new X-ray of my sinuses to see if there is anything wrong. Other than normal seasonal allergies, I emphatically do not have any sinus issues, and I told him so. He tells me I also should start flushing them with saline solution.


My question is: for what? I even had an argument with DW because she thinks I should do this (at least the flushing part). BUT I DONT HAVE ANY ISSUES.


Am I over-reacting to this? I admit I want to stay out of the healthcare system as much as possible, but I am pretty healthy and don't think that a yearly sinus infection should lead down this path.


Even (as I told DW) if I attempt the flushing, what am I supposed to say to the Dr as I tell him I don't want the X-ray? That I don't have any problems? Well I don't now!


Thanks... this is mostly a rant, but observations or other personal experiences welcome.
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:47 AM   #2
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Are you able to breathe freely from both nostrils? No sinus drainage at all?
I have many allergies and use a net pot often.
I would think a clogged sinus would be a breeding ground for bacteria.
Have you tried a Neti Pot before? They are simple to use, just make sure you always use either distilled water or cooled, boiled water. Never use faucet water directly.
Maybe if you have had this for a long time, you don't remember having clear sinus'
What do you have to lose by trying?
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Old 04-15-2020, 09:50 AM   #3
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Normally I do not have sinus drainage. I have had life-long allergies. But I do not have even what I would call chronic sinus trouble.
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:13 AM   #4
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I would really want to know what the scan shows. I would take that seriously.
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:30 AM   #5
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I'm confused about your symptoms in your thumb. How does if feel? Pins and needles? Numb? What kind of sensations? Do you have strength issues in that arm? Pain?

I have degenerative disc disorder, my C7 nerve is damaged, my pinky and to lesser extent my ring finger are numb with some sensations. I think C6 includes the thumb. Dr. Google suggests carpel tunnel syndrome as a possibility, are you at risk for repetitive motion issues?

I guess it could be sinus related but I think an ENT would want to look closer. I'd always been told an MRI would be useful for nerve impingement. I think the CT is what an ENT would ask for related to sinus problems.

I've used neti pots and similar sinus blasters no problem and many people think they can help reduce sinus problems. Nothing to lose by trying.
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Old 04-15-2020, 10:43 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoodaGazelle View Post
Am I over-reacting to this? I admit I want to stay out of the healthcare system as much as possible, but I am pretty healthy and don't think that a yearly sinus infection should lead down this path.


Even (as I told DW) if I attempt the flushing, what am I supposed to say to the Dr as I tell him I don't want the X-ray? That I don't have any problems? .
Yes you are. Listen to the Doc, DW, and then live with the consequence of your decision.

I have been doing a sinus rinse for years whenever congested. It helps to avoid / defeat infections. Its a lot like waterboarding yourself - and acquired taste so to speak.

Best wishes
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nerve damage
Old 04-15-2020, 01:30 PM   #7
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nerve damage

Quote:
Originally Posted by MRG View Post
I'm confused about your symptoms in your thumb. How does if feel? Pins and needles? Numb? What kind of sensations? Do you have strength issues in that arm? Pain?

I have degenerative disc disorder, my C7 nerve is damaged, my pinky and to lesser extent my ring finger are numb with some sensations. I think C6 includes the thumb. Dr. Google suggests carpel tunnel syndrome as a possibility, are you at risk for repetitive motion issues?

I guess it could be sinus related but I think an ENT would want to look closer. I'd always been told an MRI would be useful for nerve impingement. I think the CT is what an ENT would ask for related to sinus problems.

I've used neti pots and similar sinus blasters no problem and many people think they can help reduce sinus problems. Nothing to lose by trying.

It is not fair to call it "pain". I have had numbness and tingling in my thumb and sometimes my index finger for at least 6 months. I believe that this was initiated trying to serve in tennis, after many years away from it.



There is no real strength loss, but I *do* feel a little weakness trying to pinch items between the thumb and index finger. When you cannot feel things, it messes you up a bit.


The Dr prescribed Prednisone, which I have heard might help. But I think that the going down the sinus path for no reason is what I think is wrong.
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Old 04-15-2020, 01:32 PM   #8
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I am going to continue to review the data from the scan, and figure out what to do next. I had more stress from the sinus issue than the reason I went in in the first place. But that is just me. :-(
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Old 04-15-2020, 02:35 PM   #9
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BoodaGazelle, Not sure about your sinus issue and the scan but I am a big believer in sinus rinses. I use a squeeze bottle called "NellMed". I use it most everyday and it has greatly reduced my sinus infections. I also breathe better and have reduced snoring. Now if I don't do it I feel congested. I highly recommend. If you do sinus rinses--be sure to use boiled water or distilled water to avoid bacteria, etc.
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoodaGazelle View Post
It is not fair to call it "pain". I have had numbness and tingling in my thumb and sometimes my index finger for at least 6 months. I believe that this was initiated trying to serve in tennis, after many years away from it.



There is no real strength loss, but I *do* feel a little weakness trying to pinch items between the thumb and index finger. When you cannot feel things, it messes you up a bit.


The Dr prescribed Prednisone, which I have heard might help. But I think that the going down the sinus path for no reason is what I think is wrong.
I wouldn't bother with sinus issues for numbness in your thumb. I'm not a doc just someone who has dealt with numbness.
Sounds very similar to my experiences. It may be your C5-C6 nerve was compressed and injured. It controls the thumb and index finger. Prednisone should help treat the numbness if it's a bad/injured nerve.

The serve "could have" caused injury to the nerve if you have issues. My last experience was because I slept on my left side. Woke up to a pain burning down my left arm and little strength in my hand.

The difficulty pressing your thumb and forefinger is because everything is working except the nerves. It can be maddening because you are telling yourself to press really hard but then you drop stuff. PT can restore your strength and mobility. A neurologist would probably love to do an EMG or nerve conductivity test at some time in testing.

I would seriously consider checking out the numbness with a doctor who specializes in this, preferably a neurologist, not a GP or ENT.
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoodaGazelle View Post
It is not fair to call it "pain". I have had numbness and tingling in my thumb and sometimes my index finger for at least 6 months. I believe that this was initiated trying to serve in tennis, after many years away from it.



There is no real strength loss, but I *do* feel a little weakness trying to pinch items between the thumb and index finger. When you cannot feel things, it messes you up a bit.


The Dr prescribed Prednisone, which I have heard might help. But I think that the going down the sinus path for no reason is what I think is wrong.
My guess is the sinus issue is unrelated. I expect the numbness is from a pinched nerve and will pass once it has sufficient time to heal, since it sounds like you injured it.

But sometimes by chance we learn about problems before they get serious. I would definitely follow up on the sinus issue.

Could it be a growth of some sort? Why mess around with that?
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Old 04-15-2020, 03:42 PM   #12
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BoodaGazelle, Not sure about your sinus issue and the scan but I am a big believer in sinus rinses. I use a squeeze bottle called "NellMed". I use it most everyday and it has greatly reduced my sinus infections. I also breathe better and have reduced snoring. Now if I don't do it I feel congested. I highly recommend. If you do sinus rinses--be sure to use boiled water or distilled water to avoid bacteria, etc.
+1 on the squeeze bottle.
I don't use it these days as regularly as I should but it really helped me years ago when I had a lot of sinus issues.
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Old 04-15-2020, 05:04 PM   #13
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To the OP--you need to follow up on the numbness issue. But if you have sinus issues I would definitely try the sinus rinse, I bet it will really help.
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Old 04-15-2020, 05:09 PM   #14
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My guess is the sinus issue is unrelated. I expect the numbness is from a pinched nerve and will pass once it has sufficient time to heal, since it sounds like you injured it.

But sometimes by chance we learn about problems before they get serious. I would definitely follow up on the sinus issue.

Could it be a growth of some sort? Why mess around with that?
I am guessing this was what the doc was thinking. Unrelated, but turned up in the exam.

Get it checked. Could be nothing, could be something.
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Old 04-15-2020, 05:22 PM   #15
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As some of the people said here, make sure and use distilled or boiled water. I use distilled just because it's convenient. I used to use tap water until I read this article...

Rare brain-eating amoebas killed Seattle woman who rinsed her sinuses with tap water. Doctor warns this could happen again

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle...sible-repeats/
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:12 PM   #16
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I advise preventative care and do the nasal douche. The more antibiotics we take, the more drug resistant bacteria becomes. Do you really get annual sinus infections? Seriously, every year? That’s a warning to take better care of yourself. What if your next infection doesn’t respond to drugs? Of the things I don’t want near my face or brain, raging colonies of bacteria are high on the list.

I think you should’ve started douching years ago.
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Old 04-15-2020, 06:32 PM   #17
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Thanks to all who replied. This whole episode is about the numbness, which I am definitely following up on. It's mostly annoying, but I would not want it to get worse.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:43 AM   #18
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I'm interested in how you resolve this BoodaGazelle. I have tinnitus. Had a hearing test. Audiologist immediately set up a ENT appt. for me as I described to her the flowing of water in my ears and my nose drip. But the ENT canceled appt. due to CV19 issue. So here I sit seriously considering sinus flush. I tried the neti pot and it freaked me out, did feel like waterboarding. I also have the drip down the back of my throat. It's really NBD, but I'd like to resolve this at some point.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:46 AM   #19
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I feel awkward in saying this after all of the nice replies, but I will be blunt. I am *not* following up on any sinus actions, because I do not have any sinus issues. I went to see my doctor about my nerve issue, and I feel like he is fishing for more stuff to do (I really like him and I think he is a good doctor, but I have seen this before, where they want to get you into the system).


If the Prednisone does not help my thumb numbness/tingling, I am not sure what I will do.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:50 AM   #20
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I feel awkward in saying this after all of the nice replies, but I will be blunt. I am *not* following up on any sinus actions, because I do not have any sinus issues. I went to see my doctor about my nerve issue, and I feel like he is fishing for more stuff to do (I really like him and I think he is a good doctor, but I have seen this before, where they want to get you into the system).


If the Prednisone does not help my thumb numbness/tingling, I am not sure what I will do.
OK! That solves the problem.
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