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Would an ENT help?


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I've been treated several times in the past couple years (as in, over a half dozen times) for sinus infections. In the past few months, it's been a sinus infection, bronchitis, and now strep. Throughout each, I've had constant (no exaggeration -- constant) sinus drainage in my nose and the back of my throat.


I have awful allergies. Since menopause hit, I can't use any of my go-to allergy medications -- they either don't work or they have downright nasty side effects with me. I know that this constant drainage is making things like strep and bronchitis worse, because I never feel "good." I'm sneezing and coughing and blowing my nose / coughing up drainage almost all the time, even when there is nothing else going on (like bronchitis or strep).


The doctor who has been treating everything, really wants me on steroids, but I can't take steroids. I already have a high heart rate, and steroids literally make me want to call an ambulance. He insists that nothing will treat the underlying issue (allergies; chronic sinusitis) except steroids.


My daughter sees an awesome ENT for her ears. Since he's an "Ear, Nose, and Throat" guy, and one of his specialities on his website lists "allergies," would it be a stretch for me to see him to see what he can do? I have no personal experience with an ENT, as the allergy issue is new to me since menopause hit a couple years ago (prior to that, I had zero allergy issues).

Edited by AimeeM
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Many ENTs do coordinate with an allergist - often in their office.  I had allergy shots to help with chronic sinuitis.  Also- some people with chronic inflections and troubles with drainage can benefit from sinus surgery to open things up in there.  Sometimes the topography in there is such that things can't drain the way they should. 


PS - I do a saline rinse (I like the NeilMed saline rinse and bottles) to help combat chronic inflammation in the nasal passageways.  The salt in the saline can shrink the tissues allowing for better drainage. 

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It wouldn't hurt to get a consultation.  There are a number of physical issues that can make infections more likely to take hold- things like enlarged tonsils, deviated septum, nasal polyps... All of which interfere with the nose's self-cleaning mechanisms and therefore make allergies worse and infections more frequent.  I think it would help you to know if you have any of those physical issues exacerbating the allergy/infection problem

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Two things to consider:


--Ask them to evaluate if you may have a colonized bacterial infection. With multiple infections and a strong allergic response alongside, this is definitely a possibility.


My son had this problem. To treat, his allergist prescribed a weird but wonderfully effective regimen. We dissolved Muriprocin antibiotic cream (prescription antibiotic) into a Neilmed nasal irrigation bottle with the Neilmed powder packet. I measured out a three-inch line of the cream out and then dumped it into the bottle with warm distilled water and the Neilmed powder. Stir and shake for several minutes to dissolve. Then use the Neilmed as directed, keeping mouth open and shooting into one nostril to drain out the other.


You may not be able to do this part because of your steroid concerns. (I have steroid issues as well--I literally am unable to sleep after 2-3 nights on a steroid nasal spray. Exhausted but wide awake for days.) If you can, follow up with Qvar inhaler BUT not taken through the mouth. Instead, cut the end off of a baby bottle nipple and place the nipple over the mouth of the Qvar inhaler. Place the cut end of the baby bottle into your nostril and pump once while inhaling to deliver Qvar directly into nasal tissues and sinus cavities. The allergist feels this works because the dispersion is a much finer mist and can get in all the nooks and crannies.



--Consider doing a daily sinus rinse like a neti pot or Neilmed nasal irrigation. My mother-in-law had chronic sinus headaches and frequent infections for decades. Once she started a daily irrigation regimen she saw drastic, dramatic improvement.



The bottom line with the two methods above is that they cleanse and medicate the affected area directly, locally rather than systemically as with an antibiotic. Unfortunately, antibiotic pills just don't work well with sinus infections. (Ask me how I know....)

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