The title says it all, it’s been a month of chronic sinusitis infection that really wore me down. What started as a cold, which became a cough and then a hellish night of sinusitis pain has dragged into a month of chronic sinusitis infection. If it was just mucus coming out or a block nose, it’s not so bad. Sinusitis infection comes with cheek pain, tooth ache (it’s actually the pressure of the nasal cavity pressing on the jaw bone) and a headache that can’t be banished by paracetamol. But I have learnt something in the process:
1. 98 % of all sinus infections are viral – so taking antibiotics will not help in this case.
2. If it drags on, get your doctor to to culture the nasal mucus. If it is bacterial, then antibiotics will help. What happened for me was the the first round of antibiotics didn’t whack it hard enough. After 4 days upon finishing the course, my sore throat was back. So it was onto a 2nd round of antibiotics, steriod spray and antihistamine spray. The pattern repeated itself, 4 days after the end of the antibiotic course, my sore throat was back again. By this time, I was really sick of the routine.
3. See an ENT when antibiotics don’t help. My ENT did a suction of the nasal area and said he would attempt to culture my yellow nasal phlegm but no promises, he said – “they might be half dead from all that antibiotics.” A week later, I get a call from him – my germs are strong – Resurrection! The bacteria lives! Petri dish zombieland galore! Lucky me to be in the 2% who get a bacterial sinus infection, this explains my long drawn high noon gun play with my sinus bacteria pets. No option but to do a mass extermination with another round of antibiotics – this time – – extinction is the name of the game.
4. When it’s a chronic sinusitis infection, don’t take antihistamines. This, to me, was a new advice given by my ENT. Reason? You want your muscus as runny as possible to flush the bacteria out. when it’s been dragging for weeks, antihistamines only make the muck pool thicker and much harder to blow or cough it out. To think I was diligently spraying and taking my Zyrtec in my efforts to get better.
5. To questions whether I tried alternative health remedies in the beginning – yes I did. Propolis tincture- check; olive leaf supplement – check, saltwater gargle – check; ate a bit more garlic – check. Maybe it help slightly. I can’t scientifically say. But it didn’t wham bang wipe it out.
I am still on the second half of my antibiotics and I am hoping this will be it! But at least, I am feeling much better and back in action! If it happens again or if I can’t resolve it, I am considering surgically widening the hole of my sinus – not something I am looking forward to, so I really hope this 3rd round works.