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Why can't I get rid of my sinus infection? Stress?

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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 07:31 PM
Original message
Why can't I get rid of my sinus infection? Stress?
Is there a super special way to drain your sinuses? I've finished the antibiotics, used the nasal spray, done some steam time, ate lots of Tabasco sauce...it's been over a week already, geez!

Someone told me that I'm so stressed out that my body is revolting against me in much the same way Bush's does when he gets his boils, and that my aches and pains are psychosomatic. I also have weird achy pains, but the doc says I'm fine.

So two questions: WTF with this sinus thing, and can your mental state 'create' a physical state (I know it can make it worse, but create one)?
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OldLeftieLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yogurt
Eat lots of yogurt with active cultures, because the antibiotics you took - which you probably didn't need, since most sinus infections are viral - killed all the good bacteria in your system, and, with them gone, your sinus, as well as your gastrointestinal tract, become breeding grounds for lots and lots of things you truly do not want or need.

Avoid the antibiotics unless you've been cultured, and a specific bacterial infection has been diagnosed. Too many pills, too many complications. Most sinus infections are like colds, and will clear up in 10 to 14 days.

Get a good humidifier and use it in your bedroom at night. Stay away from nasal sprays, except for saline, because they'll make your sinus dependent on them, and you'll experience what's known as the "rebound" effect. Use saline spray, and that is all. The others are pure poison.

Drink a lot of water during the day, but don't go nuts. Moderation is the key here. Don't get too tired.

Stress makes everything worse, but, there's also good stress, which can be just as tiring.

This from a mother of six who knows everything about what goes on inside anyone's head, alas.

Good luck.
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. get the combo decongestant/antiexpectorant tablet
often marketed as nondrying sinus formulas. These capsules contain Guiafisin the active ingredient in Robitussin. Easier on the stomach than the syrup.

This medication thins the mucus, which will enable it to drain. You can get it OTC, and ask your pharmacist about a new OTC version of just this med alone. AGree also w/ the saline spray, makes you feel better.

The only other nasal spray type thing I recommend is Flonase or something similar as the mild steroid in them is an excellent anti-inflammatory and will reduce the swelling in your sinuses and also enable draining.

There is a milder OTC version of this available also.

Your sinus infection can be bacterial. The initial trigger factor may be a viral infection like cold, flu etc or may be allergic in origin, but when that gunk gets hung up in your cheekbones and can't drain it can cook up a yucky bacterial mess.
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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Why do I need the guafenesin (or whatever, LOL)?
I've been thinking about getting a decongestant, but I was on the antibiotic and already take a steroid (I have asthma)--I didn't want to do too many things medicine-wise. Plus, my nose doesn't feel stuffy--it's all up in my cheekbones, way high up there. So I kind of thought a decongestant wouldn't do anything, but I guess that's silly?

Thanks for the advice--I'm still trying to figure out what the trigger was. Allergies would do it, you said?
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yellowdogintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
24. guafinasin thins the mucus and allows it to properly drain instead
of turning into sludge in your sinuses. It really does help; and often your breathing won't be impaired, but the head full of gunk makes you feel like hell.

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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Thanks--I had not thought that about the yogurt...
I've run the course of the antibiotics---I actually went to the ER because I felt like I was going to pass out, and he didn't culture me, just poked around on my face, looked everywhere, and said "you've got a sinus infection, take this."

I was feeling so awful I took it without thinking, figuring I was getting the quick fix and being okay with that.

I use the humidifier, though! 10-14 days just seems so awful long...ugh.

Thanks for all the advice-- a mom of six has probably seen a bunch of medical wonderfulness, huh?
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Avoid the yogurt
Seriously. It's a sinus infection, not a fever.
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OldLeftieLawyer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. You poor honey
Let this mom tell you something you'll never forget - that doctors are right half the time and wrong half the time, and your duty (which really sucks) is to be so hugely informed that you can tell which is which. It's a remarkably inexact science, medicine, and a patient needs to protect him/herself all the time.

The feeling of maybe passing out is the swollen sinus membranes - they're the same tissue that surrounds your brain, so when the tissue expands, it presses on the brain, and one of the little-mentioned effects of this is dizziness, fatigue, and depression. How's that for Nature telling you to take it easy?

Yeah, being sick is a drag, and these things are no fun. But, this year seems especially bad in terms of recurrent things. I've watched everyone around me get sick, get better, and then get sick again.

Robitussin DM, by the way, is a really good cough medicine (someone mentioned its main ingredient in one of the posts, and that was brilliant) that thins out the mucus very nicely without the awful decongestant effect - you'll get that with just the cough medicine. (The high is slight, but nice.) Also, caffeine is a great vaso-dilator, so go with caffeinated drinks when you can - avoid fruit juices and sugary things. Diet Coke is our mainstay.

Don't forget, too, that allergies make these sinus things flare up wickedly fast.

Isn't this a nasty world? But you'll be fine, and you'll know what to do the next time. Just make sure you take a good B-complex multivitamin. That helps a lot. And don't smoke. Cigarettes.

There. Tonight, you're just my newest kid. Feel better, honey.
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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #13
19. Wow, you just made me feel so much better!
Thank you for explaining the swollen membranes--I was just asking sundog if you feel weird with a sinus infection. I feel completely run down, slightly dizzy at times, and am feeling a bit more down mentally than usual. I thought that was quite unusual (and scary) for just a nose thing.

So good to know that's normal!

I don't smoke, so that's good--thank you so so much again.
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Sanity Claws Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. Avoid dairy and soy products
I know this conflicts with the prior message but generally dairy and soy help cause muscus. A little bit of yogurt might help but otherwise avoid dairy.
Acidophilus, the culture in yogurt, is available at health food stores. You might want to try that, as well as other natural immunity boosters, lik zinc. Caveat on zinc -- you should never take more than 90 mg a day.
Those are things that I can think of off the top of my head. YOu might want to surf the web to find out natural solutions.
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:10 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. I've never heard soy, but dairy for sure
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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:11 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Didn't know that about zinc...
Why is that?

I've been googling, but DUers are very good with advice and help to narrow down the vast amount of stuff I'm finding.

Thank you!
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Canadian Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
4. This is kinda gross
but when I get a sinus infection, I clean my nostrils out using q-tips and hydrogen peroxide. Then, I sniff polysporin. Like I said, gross, but seems to work for me.
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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:13 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. Polysporin helps it all drain out?
I'm not even sure I know what that is! Is that like...Neosporin?

Someone else told me hydrogen peroxide. I don't have any in the house (apparently that's a big no no?)....

Gross is fine, I'm so ready to be done with this.
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Canadian Socialist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #14
18. Yes
polysporin is the same as neosporin. It's just what we call here. It's a topical anti-biotic. I only clean enough of my nostrils so when I sniff the ointment, I'm not also sucking in more bacteria.
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sundog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
7. It's a two week ride
two full weeks...

I had it a few weeks ago & it's a pain in the ass to shake off. A lot of people have had it recently... don't worry.
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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:20 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. Did you feel weird, or just like you had a bad cold?
I don't feel like I have a cold at all, which makes me feel kind of strange. Good to know it's going around, I have a tendency of thinking the worst where my health's concerned.

Two full weeks, huh? Ugh....
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sundog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. common in sickness is...
to start to get paranoid that you'll never get over it

you will doll, believe me

first week felt really fucked up, second week just nasal CRAP
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RagingInMiami Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:09 PM
Response to Original message
8. You want to avoid dairy products - especially milk
Then get some salt water and use one of those ear syringes and wash out your nose. It's nasty, but it's the best cure.

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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:28 PM
Response to Reply #8
20. I've been fighting the urge to do that.
Because my nose is pretty dry--seems like the gross stuff is too far up for the syringe to reach. But I guess that's why it's a syringe, eh?

Hmm. Just thought of what I'll be seeing. Yikies.
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:11 PM
Response to Original message
12. The very best thing for a sinus infection is a neti pot
you fill it with a mild salt water solution and it makes the mucus go away. The minute you start getting mucus do it. It is a fascinating thing to do. The shape of the pot lets water flow in one nostril and out the other without gagging you. PM me if you need more details . many heath food stores carry these beauties. If you cannot find one where you live PM me and I'll hook you up with one.
If it is really bad and up in your head I have more tricks.
Moist heat is also good.
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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:17 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. It is really far up...
I've heard of neti pots, someone recommended it to me because I have allergies--they have a few on ebay (or, they did). As I was saying upthread somewhere, it's not so much in my nose (well, at the top of it, between my eyes) as much as my cheeks/head, so any info there would be appreciated.
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:29 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. delete dup.... spell check was strange
Edited on Sun Mar-27-05 10:43 PM by Melissa G
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Melissa G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:38 PM
Response to Reply #15
23. you may need one dose of the drug described up thread to make
the mucus runnier so it can drain from the upper sinuses. This was my experience... Then I used the salt water spray in a seated position with my head in an as upside down position as much as possible so gravity is getting the salt water up there in the frontal sinus. this will usually allow the neti to finally do its job.
Moist heat in a pack like elasto gel is also heavenly for this condition esp with the cheek pain. But Neti Neti Neti at the first sign of mucus and it won't come to this. Good Luck. PM me if you need more help. I can get you a pot if you need one.
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Momof1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-27-05 10:32 PM
Response to Original message
22. Hows your teeth? Any problems with cavities on upper teeth?
I've had a sinus infection on and off for 6 mos. I kept going back, and they gave me stronger and stronger antibiotics. On the last trip the Doc mentioned that I have a cavity up top, and that was what was causing the infection.
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tjdee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-28-05 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. Good question...I have cavities on the bottom, but the top's okay...
I think :scared: My dental insurance doesn't kick in for a while, so I can't take care of that right away--if the sinus infection keeps up I'll know where to look. Thanks, wouldn't have thought of that at all!
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