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Sinusitis (?) but scared of antibiotics - any ideas?

Discussion in 'Immunological' started by Sasha, Jun 14, 2012.

  1. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    I've been getting an aching feeling on the lower rim of my eyesockets lately and posted a question on another thread where UKXMRV helpfully suggested this might be a sinus problem. I've just had a look at the NHS pages on sinusitis and, since I've also been getting frequent headaches lately, looked at the sinus headache page. Et voila! That map of the skull is a map of my pain, pretty much. My headache has its most intense bit over my right eyebrow.

    I don't have a runny nose, though I do find it difficult to breathe through my nose if I lie on my side at night. My nasal mucus isn't a freaky colour. I've got sore ears and a slightly sore throat. I think I fit the picture.

    I'm too sick (with the ME) to visit my doctor and I don't think he'd do a home visit for something like this. If I did see him, I assume he'd prescribe antibiotics and I don't want to add to my ME problems by messing up my gut flora, which are happy and do their job; I'd also rather not take more meds.

    The NHS site says, for a sinus headache:
    • Rinse out your nose with a saline nasal spray (available from your pharmacist). Nasal rinsing may help reduce swelling in the sinuses by flushing out mucus, bacteria and any allergy-causing particles.
    • Hold a cold flannel to your affected sinuses for a few minutes, and repeat a few times throughout the day.
    • Breathe moist air by using a humidifier.
    It doesn't suggest any self-treatment for sinusitis itself.
    Does anyone have experience of non-drug self-treatment for this?
  2. adreno

    adreno 3% neanderthal

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    Tundras of Europa
    Oregano oil.
    Sasha likes this.
  3. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I don't think much of that is going to help with an infection as high up as yours seems to be. I agree, oregano oil can help. I find that the best brand is Young Living Oils. It is a liquid so you have to put a few drops in a capsule and top it up with something like olive oil--otherwise it really burns.

    I also use and electric, pulsing neti pot which goes higher up. Grapefruit seed extract, though it is not really known if, like grapefruit itself, this interacts with prescription drugs. Far infrared sauna helps a lot too. And treating candida can help. Many sinus infections are candida based. Sometimes I add nystatin powder to the neti pot mix. Nystatin is an extract from the soil in NY state, so nothing like and antibiotic but does require a prescription.

    Best wishes,
    Sushi
    Sasha likes this.
  4. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Oregano oil is great, as is raw garlic. I take whole cloves orally 3x a day like an antibiotic, it will often clear out a sinus infection in a couple of days.

    Neti pot can help, but just be aware it doesn't get into all the sinuses, like Sushi mentioned.

    Alt docs or maybe even your regular doc could Rx a nebulizer and some local antibiotics, antifungal, etc. That's a good way to get medications in there without having to take them systemically.

    Xclear sinus spray w/xylitol can help once things are cleared out. Not sure it would do much good for an active infection - think it's better just as a preventative - but it might help a little.
    Sasha likes this.
  5. IreneF

    IreneF Senior Member

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    My sinuses have been much better since I started taking generic Claritin (loratidine) every day. Even though I still get sinus headaches I haven't needed antibiotics.
    Sasha likes this.
  6. maryb

    maryb iherb code TAK122

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    Sorry I can't help with the sinusitis Sasha, but my husband used to have a problem with thick mucous when lying down and also snoring, obviously coming from his sinuses, we worked out it was dairy related, (he doesn't have any outward signs of intolerances or allergies and is very fit), but he also started using a saline spray right up into his nostrils last thing at night, he doesn't snore now and he doesn't have the mucous problem. I agree with Sushi, the difficulty will be getting anything high enough up, the sprays have the power that neti pots don't. You can get them on prescription, but a tenner to buy:(
    Sasha likes this.
  7. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Not drug free but my persistant sinuses have improved being on doxycycline now for 6 months. I also use nystatin to help avoid any candida/fungal issues. I used the saline nose sprays regularly. Occassionally i would use one of those over the counter nasal sprays that help open up the sinuses, i would then give it an hour and start using the saline nose sprays several times within an hour to rinse everything out. Im looking at stopping the antibiotics soon and will aggressively use some probiotics but i havent had any gut issues with this treatment.

    good luck.
    Sasha likes this.
  8. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Wow, thanks, guys - a whole load of helpful replies in just a few minutes! I'm obviously not the only one with this problem. I've had the "eyebrow headache" thing on and off for years, I think - I feel an idiot now for not realising what that was. Just shows what you don't find out if you can't get to see your doctor with everything!

    Have just amended my online grocery order to add a load of raw garlic delivered tomorrow (wowser! that will be an interesting experience). There's a good pharmacy across the road with a good range of natural remedies so I hope they might have the oregano or grapefruit stuff. I'll also try the nasal saline spray. I'll do all that stuff for the next three days and see what happens - with any luck I might be well enough to see my doctor by then and talk through some of the other options that you've mentioned. That's interesting about the nebulizer to avoid the abx doing my gut flora in.

    Thanks, everyone - I feel as though I've got some good options now!
  9. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Thanks, heaps - it's those kind of tips that doctors probably don't mention but that patients do that are really great to know about!
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  10. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Also, treating infections in my gut has improved my sinuses more than anything else. Probably because much of the immune system comes from the gut.

    And I also use a mixture with xylitol in my super-duper neti pot.

    Sushi
    Sasha likes this.
  11. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Must admit that I never knew what a neti-pot was until the responses this thread made me look it up, despite frantically voting online for Helen's neti-pot video to raise us some ME money a while back - I thought it was something to do with potatoes (a potato starred in Helen's video). Am going to watch a Youtube demo now to see how people don't drown.
    roxie60 and taniaaust1 like this.
  12. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    oxymetazoline is the ingredient in the nasal sprays that really opens them up quickly, its recommended not to use more then 3 days in a row as there could be a rebound effect. I use to do this no more then 2 days a week and used it when i was really clogged up. Might be good to do this before going to bed which will help u sleep better if u can breath better.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxymetazoline
    Sasha likes this.
  13. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    Well, that lady didn't drown on Youtube - just ordered myself a neti pot off Amazon.
    Little Bluestem likes this.
  14. Sasha

    Sasha Fine, thank you

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    More good advice, heaps - I think my pharmacist suggested something like that ages ago when I was having trouble getting to sleep because of the breathing and I didn't want the rebound so didn't use it. But if I use it like you suggest, I should avoid that effect and, I hope, not have to use it very much if I can actually shift the underlying infection with the saline and other stuff.

    Seeing the dentist tomorrow for something else - glad the garlic won't be arriving til later!
  15. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Haha, yeah, you are going to smell bad for a couple of days. ;-)
    Sasha likes this.
  16. TheMoonIsBlue

    TheMoonIsBlue Senior Member

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    The number of replies in such a short time shows I think how common sinus problems are in me/cfs!

    I have had surgery on mine, they still swell up and get congested when I lie down, apparently common, but it makes sleeping even more difficult!
    roxie60 and Sasha like this.
  17. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Sasha likes this.
  18. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Olive leaf extract is another thing you could try.
    Sasha likes this.
  19. ukxmrv

    ukxmrv Senior Member

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    I imported the Grossan Irrigator from the USA about 10 years ago, Sasha. Before then I had a CAT scan and it showed the infection was eating through the sinus area.

    My NHS ENT is now sold on washing out the area (he saw the before and after scans) and suggests people buy a neti pot to start out. Steaming didn't get right into the infected areas for me.

    What works for me is the Grossan Irrigator with sea salt or tea tree oil. Oregano didn't work for me and I don't know why. The pain in my eye socket area reminded me to plug it in and do a clean. Feeling better today.

    A company in Hampstead or Swiss Cottage is importing the Grossan's now I think. When I got mine I needed a voltage convertor.

    Good luck! Hope the neti pot helps.
    Sasha likes this.
  20. CBS

    CBS Senior Member

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    I'll second several of the earlier comments. Not much help from loritadine (Claratin) with the sinus issues (does help a lot with other histamine issues). Getting gut issue sunder control is important (for a long list of reasons). Nasla irrigation has been a huge plus for me, even on top of the marked headache relief I have experienced with Valcyte.

    I do two types of nasal irrigation, the neti pot and the pulsating power unit (thanks Sushi for the suggestion). For me they provide different types of relief. The neti pot is easier to use without feeling like your drowning. I haven't gotten the hang of the power pulsating unit yet (brief burst seem to be the trick - too much at once and it can get overwhelming). Be sure to keep your mouth open with both. Doing so will prevent a vacuum from forming and help keep the fluid flowing from your opposite nostril. Good luck.
    Sasha likes this.

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