I am a 34-year-old female. I started having sinus infections in
1999. I had no idea what they were. I got very ill one winter, dizzy,
fever, congestion, and ear infection, fatigue. My sinuses were constantly
draining, green, thick mucus. Because I let it go so long thinking
it was just a cold, it turned into Bronchitis and I was out of work
for 2 weeks on a strong course of antibiotics.
I had no problems from my sinuses after that spell. Well, I became
pregnant in 2002; I kept a sinus infection my whole pregnancy. I
was on Keflex for about 5 months. I was miserable, not to mention
pregnant. It finally cleared up my 7 month of pregnancy, with no
Well, October 2003. The nasty sinus infection has reared its ugly
head again. I have been on antibiotics since then. In fact, I just
finished a course of Levaquin. Only this time it was worse. I have
gone a long as 1 full week with no sleep, the sinus pain (headache,
pain in front upper teeth and ear) and pressure has gotten so bad,
it woke me up out of a sound sleep. I went to my family practice
doctor and for the past three months have had numerous cortisone
shots, zpacs, nose sprays, liquibid, augmentan (the new one 2000
milligrams a day), amoxicillan, and levaquin. After realizing none
of this was working, he referred me to an ENT. My ENT discovered
that I had a cyst blocking my right sinus cavity. He drained the
cyst and irrigated my sinus cavity, but it did nothing to relieve
my pain and discomfort. Because I had the infection so long, it
spread to two of my upper teeth roots. I had to have two root canals.
He scheduled me for a CT Scan of my sinuses, and saw that the cyst
was not only back, but also full of infection. I have had the infection
so long that some of the bone in my sinus area is now diseased.
I am having surgery on Tuesday Dec 23 to remove the cyst and I am
glad for it. The pain and discomfort has cost me now 2 months off
work, depression because of fatigue from lack of sleep, and because
I was on so many antibiotics for so long, my hair fell out in clumps.
I had to go and cut my hair completely off.
I pray that the surgery will be a success. I realize it may not
be the "cure all" but any break I can get from this pain
and suffering, I gladly welcome.
~ Tammy Quarles
It all started five years ago during the winter months in the Pacific
Northwest. I usually get one sinus infection a winter but this one
was like nothing I had ever experienced.
I am currently a very active 42 year old male in very good health
living a very healthy lifestyle. I went to my family physician and
he diagnosed me as being depressed and to drink more water. So instead,
I made an appointment to see the local ENT. He took one look at
my CT and told me that I have one of the worst cases of polyps he
has ever seen. Seven days later after a run of Augmentin 875 and
a course of Prednesone I had my first of three surgeries. The second
would come four months later to do some extensive house cleaning.
Things were good for the next few years having one or two episodes
during the winter months which the Augmentin and Prednesone would
usually take care of. Then this last winter came. The sinus infection
that lasted for months and was unresponsive to the drugs.
The third surgery came in March of '03. My local ENT drilled a hole
just above my eyebrow and flushed out my frontal sinus cavity. It
was unsuccessful.. One course of drugs after another was taking
it's toll on my body and my spirit so I turned to alternative medicines.
I went to see the local acupuncturist. He used his needles and his
herbs to control my condition and for a brief time it seemed to
relieve the symptoms somewhat, but more importantly I was off the
drugs. It only seemed to mask the real problem and cost me a couple
thousand. The acupuncturist completely vamped my diet of dairy,
breads, sugars, and anything else that would create any extra mucus
in my sinuses.
My local ENT suggested that for my situation a dryer climate had
a distinct possibility to eliminate my symptoms and as most of you
know, you do what you got to do. He said that the alternative was
a frontal sinus obliteration surgery. So I quit my job, rented my
house of 18 years, and moved here to Arizona. The first few months
were decent. It would be almost two months before I would see a
doctor down here and begin the process all over again.
I am on a first name basis with my Dr. here at the local Urgent
Care. He calls me 'Lucky' and I call him my 'Banker' as I still
am without health insurance coverage here. I am fortunate that I
am single and do not have a family as we all know how debilitating
this condition can be. I refuse to miss any work so I manage but
it is very exhausting at times. Your stories give me encouragement
and all though I would not wish this on anyone, it's nice to know
that I am not alone. Thank you...
~ Jerome Etchey
I could not believe the stories as I read them - I thought I had
to be the only person that has suffered for months. I am 48 years
old and am otherwise a healthy runner.
In April, 2003 I started feeling like I had bronchitis, and then
it turned into a constant runny nose, and the constant foul smell.
After taking antibiotics twice with my Internist, and then steroids
for asthma (that I do not have) and nothing helping I was then sent
to an ENT. He put me on a strong antibiotic for a month. This did
not help either. I then had the CT Scan which indicated all the
cavities were full of fluid. I had surgery in August. The Dr. told
me it was the worst he had ever seen, and as far as I know I had
only had one sinus infection prior.
After the surgery I took another dose ofaAntibiotics. I have been
faithful with the irrigation - tried it with the antibiotic, and
broke out in a rash. I have been on two different nasal sprays,
had many "suctions" in the Dr's office, and now almost
four months later I have been on Levaquin for 1 1/2 weeks - 1 1/2
weeks to go. I am still not well. If I am not better they will do
another scan. No more surgery for me, so I don't know what they
will do. I cannot smell - not even the 14 foot Christmas tree. I,
too, am sick of being sick. I was always healthy.
~ Robin Cubbage
I just read a couple of your Sinus Experiences and the one by C.
Darby sounded a lot like me! I've suffered with sinus infections
virtually my whole life (that's 40 years) and can remember one of
my earliest sinus scares being a visit to the hospital my 8th grade
year for a massive sinus infection. It cost me my whole spring break!
Here I am, 26 years, 4 sinus surgeries and countless antibiotics
later and there's still no relief. I just finished another round
of antibiotics this morning for the worst case of strep I've ever
had - it cultured in my throat, soft palate and nasal passage. I
didn't know a person could be this sick. I've given serious consideration
to having my tonsils removed, but hear that doing that at my age
could be exceedingly painful. Considering the pain I was in a week
ago, I could probably take it - along with another 5 boxes of popsicles.
I've tried everything - heat (rice in a sock, microwaved for 1 1/2
min.), cold, nasal steroids, saline washes, antibiotic washes and
2 months of IV antibiotics. Alas, the infection is still there.
I am, however, getting some relief, with SinoFresh spray. This antiseptic
spray is not cheap, but it helps me get the sinus (just the left
- isn't that weird?) to drain. If it drains, it stays out of my
throat and relieves the facial pressure.
Sinusitis, rhinosinusitis, whatever you call it, needs some serious
research and development help if it's causing close to 40 million
people a year to be ill. I know it's cost me work time, home &
family time, and just good health for far too many years. My husband
is a saint to have put up with me all these years. My health is
rarely great, but I remind myself that it could be worse! Hopefully,
not much worse!
Thank you for collecting and disseminating information through both
your Website and your newsletter. I can't wait to get good news
~ Lori Theaker
At first glance on the outside I am a nearly thirty year-old in
the prime of life and health. On the inside I am 100 years old with
inflamed head, heavy limbs and hard breathing. Every task is a monumental
effort. While it is comforting to learn of others like me, and to
know that I am not the mental case I sometimes feel I am, it pains
to know of such widespread and intense suffering. I am amazed at
the courage, hope and spirit I have read when no relief is in sight.
My experiences began over 10 years ago as a college sophomore at
Cornell University. After a year of throbbing, bone-crunching headaches,
constant infections, fatigue, joint pain, nonstop antibiotics, unexplained
weight loss and precautionary treatment for Lyme’s disease
after a positive titer, I surrendered to my first sinus surgery
to remove a cyst and enlarge my sinus cavities upon returning from
an internship in Australia. The experience was entirely miserable
with the doctor drilling the wrong side of my head, hitting a nerve
leaving my mouth numb for three months, and vomiting buckets of
blood in recovery after being given orange juice. I believe I also
woke in the middle of surgery and recall an animal-like intense
pressure and tears streaming down my face. I was then over-anesthetized
and sobbed for hours in recovery. Days later came removal of the
old gauze packing. My brother who accompanied me was green. I don’t
think I wanted to see myself.
I did have a period of respite, but still fought chronic fatigue
and generally pushed myself to graduate with honors, while carrying
a high load of credits and working several hours per week. My advisor
and the teammates who worked in the research lab were extremely
supportive and flexible on the days that I just dragged myself through
I actually felt healthy during a summer of intense physical work
as a national park ranger in Grand Teton National Park. I returned
to graduate school at Johns Hopkins University and began to get
the first dragging hints that I would soon be fighting my old nemesis.
Yoga seemed to be the most restorative. After a couple more years
of recurrent infections and development of another cyst, I again
had surgery by a different ENT in upstate New York. He removed scar
tissue from the first surgery and enlarged the sinus passage again,
after which I immediately felt better. The gel packing and recovery
was also much improved.
Within two years I again began having daily and intense headaches,
blurred vision, foggy thinking and general malaise, so returned
to this same ENT. He basically said my sinuses are now anatomically
correct, although I did have growth of some polyps, to take cold
tablets, continue using saline washes and see an allergist.
I did it all.
My asthma/allergist specialist through CT scan discovered I had
another cyst that was completely blocking my left nasal passage,
which required my third surgery. At this point I had gone from hiking
50 miles a week a few years earlier to not being able to walk to
my mailbox. My fingers were blue, my skin was pale, my head ached,
my limbs hurt, I woke up each night drenched in sweat, I could never
get a deep breath and I burst into tears easily. My peak flows when
tested for asthma, which I was diagnosed with, were a fifth of normal
volumes. I was also diagnosed with mono. My employers through this
period of several months allowed me to work half time for full pay.
Although I didn’t have many environmental allergies, I implemented
all the recommended allergy filters and chemical-free products in
my home. My doctors began to suspect that that a chemical allergy
to newspaper ink was contributing to my problems, so I quit my job
as a journalist.
After surgery and freelancing from home for a period of time I felt
better, but again began my downward spiral after taking a job outside
my home for the salary, benefits and mental stimulation. For the
past year I have had one-month where I have felt human. My head
is constantly painful and swollen, my ears are plugged, my eyes
are swollen, my teeth twinge with every step and my breathing is
consistently low. Vacations or activities outside of work and sleep
After again being skin tested for allergies, I was diagnosed with
a number of food allergies, including corn, soy, tomatoes, strawberries
and melon, but not the common offenders of milk, wheat and chocolate.
I tried the National Institutes of Health allergy diet three times,
and every time ended up extremely sick within a week. I am working
with an allergy nutritionist who is focusing more on whole foods,
no sugar, no yeast and more lentils, which has increased my energy.
I am also taking vitamins and a course of probiotics to restore
my natural gut flora. If I were able to stay off antibiotics and
prednisone I believe this treatment would help, but it has not staved
away the constant infections, which are becoming increasingly acute.
I have also found some relief from a chiropractor who works with
the body’s energy field in addition to spinal manipulation.
I am working with my general practitioner to order the sinus nebulizer.
I have found that a water pik is more effective than baby syringe
bulbs for nasal washes. I use all of my 12-day supply of sick days,
and also apply my 25 personal and vacation days as sick days. I
am considering trips to Arizona in fall and spring to help break
the cycle, but fear the painful pressure of flying.
I am a scientist and journalist by training, but this experience
has opened my mind to realize we are only beginning to understand
a tiny portion of the body’s workings. While surgery, steroids
and the limited antibiotics I can take because of resistance and
allergies keep my body vaguely functional, I have found that alternative
practices take me closest to peaceful living. For the sake of my
husband, family and friends, I hope research and new treatments
will one day allow me to again become the energetic, positive, pain-free
person they once knew and now only see rare glimpses of.
~ Julie Berry Diehl
I am female, age 48. Until I was 30, I hardly knew what sinuses
were. I came down with a cold which left me with a sinus infection
that year and after that, my sinus problems have never completely
Reading some of other experiences, I guess I am luckier than some.
I'll relate just the last two years of only one diagnosed sinus
infection but constant thick mucous that will not drain by itself
and doesn't blow out. What does drain is a constant down the back
of my throat and what doesn't drain is a feeling of pressure in
my nasal passages and sinuses that requires me to snort and sniff
and then cough. I am a professional and this is a very bad thing
to have to do at work all day long.
Some times its worse than others - in 2003 we took a long car trip
from KS to CA and back and my poor husband had to listen to the
sniffing and snorting all the way there and back. If I don't sniff
and snort I just have a terrible feeling of pressure in my face
I can't live this way, something has to happen. I wake up every
day wondering how my sinuses are today, will I snort and sniff just
a little bit a work or will I sound like a pig rooting for mushrooms.
How embarassing to be a professional woman with a constant snort,
sniff, cough problem. Or sitting in a meeting trying to swallow
whatever it is coming down the back of my throat and nearly choking
on it because I avoided sniffing and snorting.
Sometimes my upper teeth hurt, even when I'm not having an infection,
and sometimes my eyes swell.
And if I get a cold or the flu - well, it always lingers in my sinuses
and requires steroids to get rid of it - and still the drainage
and discharge continue after the infection is gone.
I finally got a NETI-pot and use it once a day. I was surprised
that it really does seem to make a difference though it stings like
I am able to work unless I get a sinus infection but I'm sure that
my presence annoys those who have to listen to me sniff and snort
all day a lot of days. I feel that my sinus problems are a constant
presence in my life, something I have to think about all the time
with guafesin pills, nasal sprays, bed side humidifier, and irrigation
- not to mention thinking all the time about the impact on those
~ Krista Jackson
I am 22 yr old female. My sinus problems started christmas of 2002
after 3 bouts of sinusitis all within a month, which eventually
went away without antibiotics. Although the runny nose and congestion
had stopped, I was left with a stabbing, itching sensation above
my left eye which I put down to bruising because during my sinusitis
I also bumped my eye and to press my eye area it felt extrememly
tender to the touch. So basically thought nothing of it. I never
did seek medical advise as I was petrified at what the doctor would
tell me. I had never suffered headaches before and now all of a
sudden they were there every day.
But after giving my partner earache for 9 months, I eventually made
an appointment. I had done a bit of my own research on the net and
found the condition "rhinosinusitis". It seemed I fell
under the category of a chronic sufferer, so I felt more confident
to see the doctor. When I saw him, the doctor confirmed my findings
and prescribed doxycycline for 10 days and nasonex nasal spray.
So far I havent suffered as frequent and as severe, so the antiboitics
have seemed to work.
I also have a 4 year old son who seems to suffer with a condition
called rhinitis which is very much like rhinosinusitis but without
the headaches and achiness.
~ Rebecca Jones
I’m a 40 year old man who has suffered from chronic sinusitis
my entire life. As a small child I was always going to the pediatrician,
as soon as one infection cleared up another would start and it has
been this way ever since. I had sinus surgery approximately ten
years ago, at which time they also corrected a deviated septum,
neither was any help. I have had allergy injections 3 times a week
for my whole life, I’m allergic to no medication or food just
cat & dog dander, grass, mold, pollen. Then of course irritants
like smoke, cologne, air pollution & chemical smells make life
even worse. I find myself taking more and more medication, irrigating
my sinuses w/ sea salt, and used a nasal spray with an antibiotic
in it. I’ve tried holistic medicine, acupuncture, reflexology,
massages, Feldenchrist, vitamin therapy which is outlined in the
book Sinus Survival. However I must admit nothing seems to help.
Now someone advised I try a macrobiotic diet, I must admit the macrobiotic
diet I haven’t tried yet.
I live in Michigan and fall, winter & spring are the worst.
I have infections from late September to June, the book Sinus Survival
indicates Michigan, New York & Ohio are among the worst states
for sinus suffers in winter months. I’m constantly on antibiotics
plus prednisone, prescribed nasal spray, and allergy medication.
The Sinus infections often turn into bronchitis and this last time
into viral pneumonia. It took two antibiotics, plus a prednisone
dose pack, Entex, & Allerx dose pack all taken at the same time
to end it. At my last doctors appointment they indicated I now have
liver dysfunction from the high doses of medications I’m taking.
The infections have made my life miserable. I’m constantly
sick with horrible drainage going down the back of my throat; I
cough constantly, lose sleep, miss work, catch any virus going around;
now I’ve been diagnosed with migraine and cluster headaches
that are triggered from the sinus headaches. This has all made me
horribly depressed. I am so frustrated; I wish someone out there
had the cure. I don’t think the general population knows exactly
how debilitating sinus infections can be or how much we suffer.
I often times feel guilty when I miss a lot of work and go in feeling
horrible only for the infection to get even worse. I find myself
in bed most week-ends and feel as though I have no quality of life.
Thank you for listening; my heart goes out to each and every one
of you because I know first hand how you suffer.
~ Michael Tonda
I'm amazed at how well the nasal inhalation treatments have helped me. Last year I had MRSA of my sinuses and since my doctor had me start the inhalation treatments I've not had one infection! That is amazing especially since I have terrible allergies.
Thank you for such a great product.<
~ Donna S.
The itraconazole was very effective.
From the end of January through the first part of May I had continuous nasal production of a clear mucus and sinus pressure. Within one week after using the nebulizer and the itraconazole my sinus production of mucus virtually disappeared. I no longer had sinus pressure. I am very pleased with the results.
~ Don W.
The product that you sent to me has totally cleared up a sinus infection
that I've had since December. Your telephone call explaining the
treatment to me put my mind at ease before I had even gotten the
package. Thank you so much for being so helpful, informative and polite.
Mary E. P.