You might try irrigating with a SinusRinse bottle (available at any major drugstore). The starter kit comes with packets of a salt mixture that you can use to help get the junk draining out of your sinuses - just follow the directions that come with the bottle - you can do it as often as you like and it will help get the thickened infected mucus out of your sinuses.
A couple of things - first of all please DO NOT use the sinus flooding technique that is listed on the top of the message board without talking to your doctor (there's a lot of discussion about the approach but it uses Hydrogen Peroxide in the irrigation liquid and about half of the people who reported trying it say that it made them worse - it can cause burning and inflammation that may make things worse).
As for Freebee7's questions - it's hard to tell what's normal when you start irrigating, but you won't always get a lot of junk out - it usually drains out gradually (and some of it will probably run down the back of your throat so you may not see it).
You should definitely stop the Sinex nasal spray - it can actually make things worse if you use if for more than a day or two because it causes rebound swelling (have you been using that for a long time? If so, that could be part of your problem). Instead of the spray try using 12 hour Sudafed/pseudoephedrine as a decongestant (be sure you get the 12 hour and only take it in the morning, it can make you a little wired if you take it at night).
You can't go wrong with the vapor steam inhaler - keep that up.
The other two things you might consider: Mucinex (which is available without a prescription) can help thin out mucus secretions and may help that stuff drain out of your sinuses. And, if you have allergies - or suspect that you do - are you taking an antihistamine like Claritin?
It can take 5 days before the infections starts to clear so I'd give it until Monday, but if you don't start to notice some improvement by then I'd recommend going back to the doctor.
I take mucionex d once a day and irrigate twice a day. When i had a stubborn sinus infection this past winter, i irrigated 4x a day. Occasionally, i might see some thickened stuff come out, once or twice something of color.
Another thing that helped me was using a shower massage on my cheeks. My chiro would also "reshape" my sinuses and while it was really uncomfortable it did help. Massage therapists can work on them too
Thank you so much for the great advice. I just purchased the nasal spray because of this infection, and I used it twice and it was completely miserable! So I have not used it since and will definitely not based on your suggestion.
I have not really been allergic to anything. My concern is, this started after getting an abcess molar removed, that is when I remember having sinus problems. I believe I've had this sinus infection for quite some time. I drink occassionally and the following morning my sinuses would bother me, and I had pain in my jaw and under my ear, but nothing excessive. Everything has been on my right side.
I still feel clogged high up under my eye and around my eye and dry. Yet I've been doing the rinse, the inhaler and drinking lots of water. The rinse seems to moisturize during and a bit after, but then becomes dry and my skin is dry as being dehydrated.
I will start on the Sudifed tomorrow and try the Mucinex as well, thank you.
I should also mention that I am feeling better as of today, my energy has returned and my head doesn't have the pressure that was there. The only remaining issue is not draining.
Thank you for your reply. I would say my home is dry because I've had the air conditioner running 24/7 because it's been in the 100's here in Los Angeles. I know this is not helping, but don't feel I have a choice. I will purchase a humidifier though. Thank you!
I had to go back to the doctor yesterday for another round of antibiotics. They gave me another weeks worth, two times a day of Cipro 500mg (I'm told this is more catered to Sinus infections, unlike the Amoxicillan) and Prednisone 20mg for five days (I was told this will help open up the sinuses). And I'm continuing the NeilMed Saline Rinse, my doctor has asked me to add VINEGAR to each application. Has anyone heard of this before? He was unsure how much to add (1/4 tsp or 1/2 tsp), so I have not done it. He said I could buy a pre-mixed bottle that includes vinegar, but so far the pharmacies haven't heard of it and I have not seen it.
They are saying if this round of antibiotics doesn't work, I may need to have surgery to clear out my sinuses. I want to avoid this at all cost, so I'm doing everything in my power to do what I can.
I started using a hot compress (gel pack) after the saline rinse and this has helped to drain some down my throat. Anyone with the same problem may want to try this too.
A couple of things - first of all, on the Vinegar, it's not used to help moisturize, it's actually supposed to help fight the infection. My ENT recommends it when people have a sinus infection but I can't say it's ever helped me knock out an infection (without antibiotics).
Second, don't let the "surgery is the next step" comment worry you until you've seen an ENT who specializes in treating sinus problems. Typically the treatment for a persistent sinus infection would include a solid month of an antibiotic like Cipro or Levaquin and a course of oral prednisone to reduce the inflammation in your sinuses (along with a nasal steroid spray).
Just curious, when you say it's "not draining" are you saying that because you still have pressure up in your sinuses around your eyes, or is there something else that is causing you to believe that it's not draining?
I suspect that the dryness may have more to do with dry air and the antibiotics than the infection.
Just to reassure you, it's not uncommon for a sinus infection to drain without much visible evidence of drainage (most of the infected mucus will drain down the back of your throat, especially if the infection is in your sphenoid or frontal sinuses). The pressure may be a sign that there's still some junk that needs to drain so keep irrigating with the SinusRinse bottle.
As for the dryness, both the antibiotics and the Nasonex can cause some dryness, so what you're experiencing there may not be from the infection. Once you get through the antibiotics the dryness should improve some.
Hope you do start feeling better in the next day or two.
Well that is good to know, because I was expecting to see something during the rinses and using the compress. I've noticed that using the hot compress has helped to drain some. There is still pressure under and around the eye "frontal sinuses" and clogging right below the corner of my eye, but I think it's coming down, just very slowly. I'm still getting a fever and today still a little dizzy.
Good to know about the dryness. I'll just keep using the vasoline around the inside until I finish the antibiotic and nasonex.
Thank so very much for your help!