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Nicholas Merwood
Nicholas Merwood,
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 7
Experience:  Pharmacist at Next Step - Drug & Alcohol Office
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My allergies have been really bad the past two weeks. I went

Customer Question

My allergies have been really bad the past two weeks. I went into my allergist on Monday and she put me on Augmentin for a sinus infection. I have Samter's Triad and am prone to them. I told her how my ear had been blocked for the past week. She looked in my ear and said she saw mucus in it and that my other ear was fine. To help relieve my blocked ear, she recommended that I lay floor with my head to the side, spray Afrin up each nostril and plug my nose and swallow. My ear is still blocked and I am having a hard time hearing out of it and now my other ear is going in and out of being blocked. It is driving me crazy. Is there anything I can do to unplug my ears?
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Nicholas Merwood replied 7 months ago.

Hi Kathleen,

I'm sorry to hear about your problems. It must be difficult living with Samter's Triad. Before I give you any advice about other treatments, I need to know if you take any other medications or have any other medical conditions or allergies? Also can you confirm you are not pregnant.


Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I am on 325 mg of aspirin daily (undergoing aspirin desentization for triad)
Patanase nasal spray twice daily
Flonase, twice daily
Pulmicort rinse twice daily in sinus rinse
Advair 115 twice daily
Singular 10mg once daily
Prilosec, once daily
Synthroid137mg once daily
500mg Augmentin twice daily
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Zyrtec daily. No I am not pregnant.
Thank you!
Expert:  Nicholas Merwood replied 7 months ago.

Thanks for that. Sometimes a nasal decongestant such as Afrin spray will not be effective if it can't reach the area of inflammation/congestion. There are a couple of other options in these cases. The first is to take an anti-inflammatory such as Ibuprofen. Now in your case, I wouldn't recommend this as you are already taking one (aspirin) and have a history of stomach issues (Prilosec), and a history as asthma. The other option is to take an oral decongestant. Something like pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine would work well. Oral decongestants can be a problem with poorly controlled thyroid conditions, but if your hypothyroidism is well controlled then they should be safe. Keep in mind that these oral decongestants are stimulants and can keep you awake if taken at night time.

Expert:  Nicholas Merwood replied 7 months ago.

Also just to clarify, it sounds like the mucous is in your middle ear (which my information above was based on). If there is excessive discharge/wax in the external ear canal then wax softening drops can be instilled into the ear (if the ear drum is in tact).

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
It is in the middle ear. sudafed often makes me feel crazy. Is there another product I can try?
Thanks so much
Expert:  Nicholas Merwood replied 7 months ago.

Another option which comes to mind is any older fashioned oral antihistamine which you can buy over the counter at a pharmacy without a prescription. Something like chlorpheniramine or diphenhydramine tablets/capsules may help. They have 'anticholinergic' or drying properties and may help dry up secretions in the nasal passages, sinuses and middle ear. They can be sedating and some people may feel a little drained whilst taking these. They are safe to take with all of your current medications.

Expert:  Nicholas Merwood replied 7 months ago.

I hope you find some relief either way Kathleen. I know how much even something as simple as hayfever can affect someones quality of life. I can't imagine what it must be like to live with those symptoms and more constantly.

Expert:  Nicholas Merwood replied 7 months ago.

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