Typically I'd go to see my doctor and he would put me on antibiotics. Or I'd wait to see if the symptoms would just go away. I tried a humidifier at night to alleviate the stuffiness, along with nasal sprays. This would help a little, but it was very tiresome to feel like I constantly had a cold. I was rundown and felt miserable at times; I was frustrated that nothing seemed to fix the problem. I tried allergy medications such as Allegra, but they didn't really help either.
I know teachers are prone to sinus trouble because they're exposed to more cold viruses than people in the general population, and sinus infections can start with a cold. However, my doctor told me that people with allergies are at greater risk of sinus infections too; basically, anything that causes tissue in the sinuses to swell can start the process.
I decided to go back to my ear, nose, and throat doctor because I wanted to see if I was having any physical problems beyond the allergies. To help open the nasal passages, he recommended a nasal spray to ease the congestion, along with a mild steroid. This treatment made things a little better, but it wasn’t enough. After two or three months, during which I had congestion and a runny nose almost constantly, we discussed sinus surgery. My doctor obviously didn’t want to perform the surgery unless it was the only alternative; he didn’t push it. During the procedure, he said, he could open up the sinuses around my eyes and along the cheek area by inserting instruments through the nose and carefully cutting away tiny bits of tissue and bone. My septum, which is the cartilage that separates the nostrils from one another, was also too far over on one side, making it very hard to breathe out of one of my nostrils. The plan was to fix this deviated septum and fix my sinuses at the same time.