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A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 14922
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
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Ive had sinus pain/pressure off and on for most of the last

Customer Question

I've had sinus pain/pressure off and on for most of the last month. Not too much drainage or not feeling stuffy most of the time, just pain. I called my doc and she called me in an RX for ZPak for a sinus infection. I hate taking meds and didn't know if pain and pressure automatically qualify as an infection -- I have had problems with sinus infections in thepast, but not for about a year now.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Vakul Aren replied 3 years ago.
Dear Customer,
Welcome to just Answer.Sinus pain and pressure may occur in infective conditions and may also be seen in allergic inflammation of the sinuses.Ideally you need to see a ENT Surgeon(Otorhinolaryngologist / a ear,nose and throat doctor)who can examine you.If you are prone to sinus infections and have been having them in the past,it would be reasonable to assume a infection.You need to get a blood test done to check for infections,a X-Ray of the Sinuses may help diagnose any infection.The ENT doctor may do a Fibreoptic Endoscopic Sinus Scan(FESS) for diagnostic purposes,if there are any problems,FES surgery may also be needed.Steam inhalations,analgesics and decongestants may help alng with the antibiotics.Saline irrigation will help in chronic sinusitis.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So you're suggesting I should take the course of antibiotics, and not try and flush it away? I haven't had repeated infections this year - I really feel the ENT consult and your other suggestions are a bit overboard.

 

I just wanted to avoid antibiotics.

thank you

 

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 3 years ago.

Hello,

You have accidentally opted out Dr. Aren so he can no longer respond to you. Please opt him back in so he can answer your question.

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Felt it was a little overboard for an initial question. thank you.
Felt it was a little overboard for an initial question. thank you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It wasn't accidental - I was seeking another opinion. (I prefer NPs!)

Thank you

 

 

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Aren has given you an excellent answer. If your practitioner examined you, she or he would not have prescribed an antibiotic unless they believed you had a bacterial infection. So it's important to take the antibiotic. You also need at least 6-8 glasses of fluid daily to help your medications work. The over-the-counter meds like decongestants (if you don't have hypertension and can take them) will also decrease the pressure and pain. I like acetaminophen for pain since it doesn't cause stomach irritation. Antihistamines are only very useful if allergy is a component of the problem. Steam inhalation will also make you feel better. You can breathe steam for 5-10 minutes several times a day I just pour boiling water and a teaspoon of table salt into a big salad bowl, lean over it and throw a towel over my head - instant steam room.

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Well, my doctor didn't examine me - she took my message over the phone (Innocent) I can't take sudafed so usually just end up with saline spray and hot sauce!

 

Like I'd explained, in the past (1994-2000) I'd had problems with chronic sinusitus. I haven't really had ongoing problems til the last month or so. I prefer not taking the antibiotics because of all I'd taken in the problem years. Do you think flushing twice a day with neti pot would help me avoid the antibiotics?

Thank you for your help!

 

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 3 years ago.

If you have a bacterial infection, flushing 24 hours a day for the next month won't help. I would suggest you actually see a clinician in person for an evaluation. Since you have had a chronic problem, you may well need some of the diagnostic tools that Dr. Aren mentioned. However, the first step is to have someone actually examine you.

 

A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 14922
Experience: Board Certified NP, MS, RN. Private practice & hospitalist
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