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Thread: Need advice re: sinus infection & ear infection

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    Default Need advice re: sinus infection & ear infection

    Hi everyone,

    I'm on my third week of antibiotics, Levaquin specifically, and I still have one more left. I started with a sinus infection in the beginning of June and did 1 week of antibiotics per my Rheum but then I flew to St. John and the flight messed with my ears. I came back and saw my ENT and she said my sinus infection was fairly advanced (my upper sinuses were infected as well as the lower ones). She also told me I had fluid and an infection in my right ear. I have had some hearing loss and hearing distortion in my right ear since that so I saw another ENT who specializes in ears. I was nervous about the hearing loss and my primary care physician said it might be a perforated ear drum but the ENT said it wasn't perforated but it just looked infected and fluid-filled. He said with time and finishing my course of antibiotics it would get better.

    I also told him I'm flying to San Francisco on Friday (from Philadelphia so ~6 hours in the air) and he said it would not be fun for me and that I have a higher risk of perforating my ear drum but otherwise it was okay for me to go. I felt like I was getting better on these antibiotics for awhile but now I don't even know. Today is a particularly bad day because my face all around hurts and my nose feels very swollen. Plus, my hearing is off so I just feel like a total basket case. I'm Darth Vader breathing all over the place and it's so loud in my right ear.

    I realize that I probably will have to wait out this infection and focus on getting better but I feel like I don't have enough time to rest and not being able to breathe well is extremely frustrating for me. I'm 24 and I can barely handle two flights of stairs right now. I have tracheal stenosis and, although it's under control now, it doesn't help my breathing at all. On Monday, my ENT said my nose looked like a mess. I'm very self-conscious about how loud my breathing is, because of comments made to me in the past, but right now it's especially bad. I work full time and I'm wondering if it's too much for me. I don't feel like I'm getting better and work is very stressful for me right now due to some things happening in my office.

    So now for my question:

    Does anybody have any advice for helping me breathe through my nose? I do saline rinses 3-4 times a day and use lanolin to keep my nose from getting dry but I think I need more help. I'm wondering if a nasal steroid might help me out? I really don't want to miss out on my vacation and I would like to feel as well as possible, even if it's only in the short term. I've contacted my rheumatologist and am waiting to hear back from him. In the mean time, I wanted to reach out here and see if anyone has dealt with a similar experience before.
    Last edited by jlove; 07-17-2014 at 05:01 AM.
    Diagnosed October 2012

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    I have a lot of swelling and inflammation in my nasal passages due to allergies. I take nasonex as needed to help open the airways but I do not think that will be of help for you. I don't have tracheal stenosis but I do have asthma that I am treating with medication.
    Have you asked your ENT about improving your breathing through your nose?
    Stress is a problem. Maybe you could work on relaxation exercises like mindfulness and meditation? Maybe you need to take a bit of sick time to recover?
    I hope you find the answers you're looking for and feel better soon.

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    I had good luck with nebulizer steroids in the nasal rinse. If your nose is that bad, it might be time to ask your doc to up the pred for a while to see if you can get the inflammation down a little.

    How are you rinsing? 8oz Squeeze bottle? I've been running no less than 2 liters through twice a day with a Waterpik. It's the only thing that keeps my sinuses open, avid when il am in a flare up, I've done even more tha 5 liters at a time to keep the junk coming out.
    MikeG-2012

    "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have"


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    I have some good luck with nasal rinses. However, my problem is more of a constantly running nose. I added a steroid to the rinse. It is called betamethasone. It was amazing at flushing out the mucus. But...I have to caution you. I used it every day in the morning, until all of a sudden, everything seemed to tighten up on me. My usually runny nose got stuffed up and my lungs became extremely constricted and I got VERY short of breath. Since then, I have dropped down to using it on e or twice a week. It was great to have a dry nose for awhile....until the shortness of breath came along. when I get done with the latest pred taper, I plan to experiment a bit more with finding the right balance with the betamethasone. I am just concerned that it might end up stuffing you up even more. Wonder what your doctor would say about it?
    Jacquie (aka Lifelong Booknut)

    Updated status: "Honorary Weggie"

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    I don't have a short-term answer and I know that's what you are looking for, but for the long-term, you might consider surgery. My sinuses were really messed up from wegs and my ent did surgery to open up all the channels to the sinuses. The people at the UofU committed on it being a nice job. It made all the difference in the world to me. I can now breathe through my nose.

    I guess there is one semi-short-term help. Prior to getting my surgery, they put me on a CPAP. It was great, so even after the surgery, I continued to use it. The CPAP keeps my sinuses open all night and I wake up with them open. I think that helps to keep things clear throughout the day. Hope something helps.
    Wegener's (​GPA )- dx Apr10, Granulomatous Hypophysitis - dx Apr10, Diaphragmatic Paralysis - dx Feb16, Bradycardia - dx Dec16. (my story)
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    I've never found a good solution to breathing through my nose... I have inflammation and narrowed nasal passages too. It does help to clear the gunk with rinses sometimes but I also notice the passages open up on their own at random. I know how you feel about the noisy breathing. Mine comes and goes. I'm self-conscious when I'm a mouth breather because I feel like I must be sitting there with that mouth-hanging-open kinda dumb look. But I'm sure others don't notice.

    It it sounds as though full time is a lot for you right now. I notice so many on here being so so scientists about trying to continue at work, which is ironic because many people with no major health issues are off work at the first sign of a sniffle. Stress definitely makes everything worse. If there's a way for you to take some time off, I think just resting, rinsing, making whatever appointments and treatments you need, and not worrying about who hears you breathe could do wonders. I hope you feel better soon.
    Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.
    - English proverb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vdub View Post
    I don't have a short-term answer and I know that's what you are looking for, but for the long-term, you might consider surgery. My sinuses were really messed up from wegs and my ent did surgery to open up all the channels to the sinuses.
    I completely agree vdub!! Mine were never better since my post wegs diagnosis sinus surgery. I'm dreaming of the day when I have my upper sinus passage opened up with the balloon procedure. But until all the inflammation is under control in the lowers, doc does not want to risk a surgery to only have it last two weeks or a month or two and then have everything snap back shut.
    MikeG-2012

    "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have"


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    Well I had an interesting day today. Mike, you were on to something... I wasn't on prednisone but now I am. My Rheumatologist called me last night saying he was concerned about the message I sent him yesterday, shortly before I posted this. An X-ray, an exercise test, an office visit, a CT scan, another exercise test, and another office visit later... I don't have a blood clot in my lung but this sinus infection is looking more like "active disease." as Dr. Merkel likes to call it. Luckily I work at the medical school at the University of Penn so I basically work at the hospital because I went into work for two hours and then my 2 hour doctor's appointment turned into a full day of fun. Worst case scenario would have been the blood clot, an ER visit, and no trip to California so, although I am mentally exhausted, I am fairly optimistic. I cannot stop talking smack on prednisone because it made me look like a monster once when I was 17 but I have to say, I'm looking forward to it. I did a small prednisone pack when I started antibiotics and it's the best I've felt in weeks. Dr. Merkel also said we might have to consider switching up my drugs from methotrexate to something else but we'll see how this goes. I'm just going to take my vacation and my prednisone and look forward to feeling better.
    Diagnosed October 2012

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