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jetset1 Jun 29th, 2006 04:10 PM

Sinus issues and travel..
Okay, bear with me, this is serious. Has anyone had the surgery after years of taking pills and alternate remedies?
I am about to that point. Airplane travel, you already know how that affects it.
No, peppermint schnapps will not be acceptable either. kindly, J.

chepar Jun 29th, 2006 04:31 PM

Do you mean the surgery to help those with a deviated septum?

I don't really have too many problems with airplane travel, but I dive often and often have trouble with that.

I know several people that have had the surgery specifically to help them with their diving (and have had successful results), but I am loath to undergo surgery because for me diving is just a recreational activity.

I assume that the surgery that helps them with diving would also have positive results in equalizing the air pressure differences experienced while flying.

jetset1 Jun 29th, 2006 04:51 PM

I had the septum surgery and still didn't help.. I'm thinking about a specialist. thanks, J.

xxxx Jun 29th, 2006 05:42 PM

DH had the surgery a few years ago. His was not deviated septum--it was more on the order of scraping out the sinus cavities and removing some non-cancerous polyps.

The surgery has reduced the frequency and severity of his sinus infections. However, his surgery was extensive and he had splints and packing in his nose for a week.

jetset1 Jun 29th, 2006 05:53 PM

Yes, that's what I'm afraid of. I was let in on the harsh aspects of the surgery from someone, and I was frightened about the whole business, start to finish. I am tired of the sinusitis, nose spray and steroid spray.
I suspect I better just bite the bullet soon. Thanks for your info., J.

lynnejoel1015 Jun 29th, 2006 05:58 PM

my aunt had the surgery after years of trouble. she's SO relieved. do you have a good doctor that you trust? what's her/his advice?

good luck! my mom and i both suffer, too. blech!!

jetset1 Jun 29th, 2006 06:41 PM

There is one here, but honestly, I've been nervous about it.. so I need to decide what's worse, my fear, or however many more years of suffering I can do.
Thanks for weighing in.

travel_addict Jun 29th, 2006 07:04 PM

I don't know if this would help your situation, but have you tried a Neti Pot?

I use one before & after flying, and also anytime I have allergies or a cold. Basically, you put pure salt into a container with warm water and pour it into one nostril until the liquid is flowing out of the other nostril. To do this without gagging, your nose must be lower in the sink than your mouth. It's kinda tricky at first, and I know it sounds really gross, but I don't have anymore sinus issues.

(do a search on the internet if you want to know more...)

jetset1 Jun 29th, 2006 07:10 PM

travel addict~ yes, I believe Prevention magazine(my little bible) had a good article about it, including how to order one.
Maybe I should try that before the next step.. since I've built up enough character by now, I won't try to tough it out.
The side effects from even otc stuff are ridiculous. J.

travel_addict Jun 29th, 2006 07:24 PM

Jetset - I've also been taking Stinging Nettle & Quercetin for allergies and I've had tremendous improvement. The Nettle is an herb and Quercetin is a bioflavonoid. Both take awhile to work though - unlike OTC stuff that takes effect immediately. They're both more of a long-term allergy & sinus solution. You probably won't notice anything for the first 2-4 weeks.

A really great book on natural remedies is called The Prescription for Nutritional Healing by Phyllis Balch. It lists all sorts of ailments and what to try naturally for each. It gives you the dosages and more.

Do they have any natural health stores in Alaska?? :)

jetset1 Jun 29th, 2006 07:52 PM

travel addict~ you are wonderful to share all that. Yes, we have natural health stores and I'm writing your specifics down now.
This is most encouraging.. I will let you know after I give the new method some time. J.

sunny16 Jun 30th, 2006 03:15 AM

travel_addict, what kind of OTC stuff do you take that works immediately. I have been fighting a sinus infection for the last few days, and I have to fly tomorrow. None of the OTC stuff I've taken has worked yet. I'm a little nervous because I've never flown with something this bad before. Going to try to see a doctor today for some prescription stuff.

hokeypokey Jun 30th, 2006 04:28 AM

I didn't have bad sinus trouble most of you describe, but I suffered by being stuffed up all morning every day. A few years ago we took the carpet out of the bedroom to expose the hardwood floor underneath & I've had no trouble since. I use a dust-mop under the bed every week and I'm amazed how much "stuff" is on it. Who moves a heavy bed every week to vaccuum? We'll never put carpet in our bedroom again ! There's nothing like feeling good.

travel_addict Jun 30th, 2006 05:07 AM

Sunny16 - I actually don't take any OTC stuff unless I'm practically dying. I'm more of a natural girl, and probably a little paranoid about the pharmaceutical industry with all their side effect listings in hushed tones at the end of beautiful commercials. I never quite understood the reasoning behind advertising for something you can only get with a doctor's prescription. :)

The Neti Pot, if done correctly, will clear out any sinus issue immediately. You may have to pour the saline solution in each nostril a few times, and maybe repeat every couple hours at first, but it really does work. Try to get pure sea salt if you can, and in mine, I only use about an 1/8th of a teaspoon. Too much and it burns. And too hot of water burns too!

And HokeyPokey, I would love to have hardwood floors in my bedroom! Unfortunately, it's not been possible in this house. Maybe the next place. I'm terribly allergic to dust too (and cats, the maple trees that surround my house, and even my wonderful little dog!) The Nettle & Quercetin has really helped with that.

Good luck Jetset & Sunny16!

travel_addict Jun 30th, 2006 05:12 AM

Oh, and Sunny16, if you really do have an infection, massive dosages of garlic can help. You can either swallow raw cloves if you want to smell, or buy odorless supplements. Kyolic is the best brand.

If you're taking blood thinners or getting ready for surgery, avoid the garlic. In addition to being a natural antibiotic, antifungal, and antiviral, it's also a blood thinner. Works great for high blood pressure and cholesterol too.

sunny16 Jun 30th, 2006 05:17 AM

Thanks for the tips, travel_addict! I am a big fan of garlic too, but I've never used it to cure a cold. I like using Yogi Teas' Detox blend, which has a ton of spices. That has cleared up colds for me before.

LarryT Jun 30th, 2006 05:20 AM

In addition to whatever antihistimine &/or decongestion you take before flying, there is a product that really helps prevent rapid pressure buildup when going up to altitude and down to land. They are called "Earplanes" Can get them at WalMart (and other places). They are small soft plastic ear plugs that contain a small pressure restricting valve. They really work and help me considerably.

JJ5 Jun 30th, 2006 06:30 AM

I can truly commiserate, as I've had terrible sinus/allergy my entire life. I had adinose etc. removed when I was a kid and also extensive sinus cavity and jaw surgeries (had tiny bones-too small/called a specific birth defect but I don't remember the name, and bone near cheek sinus was pocketed) in my 40's. I have had mixed results with sinus surgery. I do know one person who has had about a 8 out of 10 result. But I have spore, mold, pollen allergies that still cause repeated congestions in season. Allergy anti-gen shots help but marginal, not complete. One son and one Granddaughter have the same and get shots every week right now in series and then off again for a few years. Then more testing and repeated serums. IMHO, allergy medicine is not an exact science. They can find out exactly what you are allergic to with time, and much money. But curing? NO. Coping is the right word.

Honestly, I would be very careful in suggesting that kind of sinus surgery to anyone. You need to have immense tolerance for having your upper breathing blocked and packed. I also had my jaw wired. I know how to eat White Castle hamburgers through my teeth. They melt.

In my 20's and 30's flying was painful, like a chisel stuck in my ear. Now it is pressure, slight pain and pop, followed by a sinus headache behind and under my eyes.

This has nothing to do with deviated septum or nose constricted flow/input of oxygen problems. It's sinus/pressure problems with air pressure change within the sinus cavities.

I would have to have immense sinus infections about 3 or 4 times a year to consider that surgery. And if you do it, search like heck for the right doctor and talk to his former patients.
Once in awhile a result can be that the enlarged sinus gets infected MORE. It's not common, but it happens.

A good and experienced doctor won't mind that you ask for contact with success stories or about his real numbers on your type of operation.

If it is JUST your sinuses and not any jaw/ dental areas- then if you are young, you may have good reasons. I would not do the jaw again, I had to be awake and it ended up being 4 surgeries, not just 1. I have great results and all my next to perfect teeth and no TMJ- but still I would not want to go through that again.

Chele60 Jun 30th, 2006 07:25 AM

I've had surgery to correct a deviated septum and the resulting sinus problems that go along with that. It wasn't specifically for sinus infections, though. However, ever since that was done my breathing has been better, I have way fewer allergy attacks, and far fewer sinus infections.

I did have the splints, but they are nothing more than tiny plastic "toothpicks" that eventually disolve. Feel a little funny at first. Nothing bad. I was warned that I might have to have my nose packed, but it never happened. The doc did everything with a laser and bleeding was minimal. More and more now there is less need to pack the nose after surgery. The only really inconvenience, I guess, was having to sleep in a slightly sitting up position the night after surgery.

I still get an allergy attack now and again, but OTC meds take care of it easily. And when flying, I just take a decongestant a couple of days beforehand, and there is no problem whatsoever. And, yeah, I used to have pain (icepick jammed into my ears/brain sort of thing) and tons of pressure and totally out of the day of flying. Now I just make sure I drink lots of fluids, and I'm fine.

And the best home remedy to clear out sinuses? (And actually referred by a physician after surgery, go figure) A saline rinse. 1/2 teaspoon water in one cup warm (not hot) water. Use a nasal aspirator. Messy, yeah, but gets it done! Can be repeated 2 - 3 times a day, but do use caution as this can really dry out sinus tissue!

Suerich68 Jun 30th, 2006 07:40 AM

My daughter had the surgery but still suffers & takes allergy meds.

JJ5 Jun 30th, 2006 07:44 AM

Saline rinses stop infection, they have helped me tremendously.

When you have sinus surgery the sinus cavities are packed densely with gauze etc., not just as wound care from surgery but to keep the spacial clearances "open" and shaped so they can fufill their function (air filled when they are normal)eventually after healing. I'm not sure if they have any surgery for sinuses that does not get followed up by packing for the spacial reason.

If that happens, I would do that surgery in a minute.

FainaAgain Jun 30th, 2006 08:34 AM

I suffered, and went through all kinds of tests. CT scan excluded infection, though.

Allergist couldn't find what is it I'm allergic to, but prescribed some sprays.

The nose/throat specialist said the surgery may help if the sprays help, but was not enthusiastic about it.

I use OTC spray NasalCrom 1-2 times a day, depends on how I feel.

And I do understand why you don't want that schnapps. I don't like mint. Chocolate liquor is so much better! ((D))

enzian Jun 30th, 2006 08:44 AM

When I was a teenager my parents and I all went to an ENT doctor who used the sinus irrigation. I haven't had an infection (or any "sinus trouble") since.

When my son developed chronic sinus infections at age 10, our doctor suggested orthodonture over surgery (which I would not have considered for him anyway). The orthodonture lowered a narrow palate and made more room for the sinuses. He's been fine ever since too.

JJ5 Jun 30th, 2006 10:22 AM

Wow, enzian, that sounds like an excellent idea and outcome. But I'm pretty sure that it must be done before a certain age. Maybe not- but it would depend upon the bone condition re new growth/healing. Did they have to take donor bone from another area, or did they just lower and excise (nothing to add) with what he had? At 10 you can grow new bone pretty quickly.

In my case the jaw WAS related to a sinus and they used phoney biologic bone substitute on the upper jaw and hinge and in my chin (came in a tube) and also some tissue donated from the palate (roof of my mouth). That's one of the reasons it ended up in repeats, not enough tissue etc. If I was a car, I would be bondo.

You sound like you had a great orthodontist. That's good to know if my one Granddaughter does not improve- she's 7.

enzian Jun 30th, 2006 10:37 AM

JJ5---no, it was nothing drastic or traumatic at all. The orthodontist put a bar inside the roof of his mouth that could be lengthened, a wee bit at a time---it had a little thing my son turned 1/4 turn each day with a tiny
Allen wrench. It caused an odd sensation, but no pain, and there was no bone gained or lost; just the shape of the palate was changed. After several weeks of this he ended up with a gap between his front teeth, but that was easily remedied with the braces, which was the second step. Now he's a handsome young man with a great smile and no more sinus trouble.

I think this is a fairly common procedure, and I'm so glad our doctor suggested this route. I would guess it does have to be done at an early age, for the same reason most orthodonture is done when kids are around 11 or 12.

karens Jun 30th, 2006 06:36 PM

I've had sinus infections, 3 or 4 a year since I was in my late teens. A few years ago, I was getting infections that were not responding to the strongest antibiotics (first Levagquan, then the A antibiotic whose name escapes me right now -Avelox?). A cat scan revealed a very deviated septum. As much as I dreaded it, I clearly needed surgery.

As my ENT described it, it wasn't "pleasant". By far, the worst for me was recovering from the general anesethesia. I was miserable and ended up staying in the hospital about 5 hours past when they originally said I could expect to leave. The nurses kept asking me, don't you want to go home? I was so weak I couldn't even talk, and was really dizzy. As soon as the anesethia wore off, I felt so much better.

I did have packing overnight. I can't imagine living with that for a week.

The ENT said my septum looked like a boxer's - it was so crooked. He said he cleared out a lot of infection from the sinuses in my cheeks b/c it just could not drain on its own.

The surgery was a success - I didn't have a sinus infection for at least 18 mos. following the surgery, and now I get 1 or maybe 2 a year.

I think it's also related that I seem to sleep much sounder at night - maybe b/c I can breathe easier.

trippinkpj Jun 30th, 2006 06:43 PM

So several years ago (7 or 8) my primary care physician referred me to an ENT because of a deviated septum. the ENT confirmed that I had one, but said in my case the surgery may not resolve the problem so advised against it. After many years of prescriptions for pills, nasal sprays, herbal steams, various over the counter pills, I'm ready to have my current PC dr. refer me to another ENT. At the moment Flonase is working okay for me. But I'm still not "clear".

jetset1 Jun 30th, 2006 07:39 PM

karens.. I made an app't with the dr. who specializes in sinus here. I really think I have a terrible infection which your post speaks to.
My face is hot, I feel like the white blood cells are all fighting to the death in there. Will be wonderful when this gets fixed. take care, J.

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