Sinus Infection Relief

Find out how to spot sinus infection symptoms and ease the pain—or even stop your next sinus infection before it gets started

I Had a Quick Sinus Surgery and an Easy Recovery

Judith Schofield, 69, of Independence, Mo., had sinus trouble so severe that she was nearly housebound. She took every medication available, but still had sinus headaches, facial pressure, and a stuffy nose; she even started to lose her hearing.

"After surgery, my life became my own again."
I've had allergies, asthma, and sinus problems since I was in my early teens, but for most of my life it wasn't a big problem. But when I moved across Missouri to the Kansas City area in 1993, my sinus symptoms just kept getting worse and worse.

It started to affect my life in a big way. I had headaches and pressure in my face. I couldn't breathe through my nose while I was in bed. And I was starting to lose my hearing due to fluid buildup in my ears.

Because allergies can cause sinus tissue to swell, which can lead to an infection, I visited an allergist. Tests showed that I was allergic to certain types of grass. He started giving me weekly injections to treat my allergies, but my health kept getting worse. I was using an inhaler and a nebulizer for my asthma. I frequently took the antibiotic Levaquin and the steroid prednisone. I used nasal spray. It seemed like I was on every medicine imaginable.

Nothing seemed to help, and I got to the point where I was nearly housebound. Plus, my sinus problem was making my asthma even worse.

We live in a historic house, with a basement and plenty of woodwork, and one doctor told me we needed to sell the home and move into a cleaner environment. He also urged me to get rid of my cat and dog because of the allergens. Everything I loved and valued, I was told to give up. I didn't listen; we stayed in the home. But I did have an environmental company test the house—it didn't even have that much mold or dust in it.

An ear, nose, and throat doctor recommended sinus surgery. But one of my daughters had had sinus surgery, and it was an ordeal. She had black eyes afterward, and her nose was packed with gauze. What's worse, the surgery didn't really help her sinus symptoms. So I said, "Sinus surgery is not for me." The doctor got angry and sort of tossed my records at me and said there was nothing else he could do for me.

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As told to: Eric Metcalf
Last Updated: January 15, 2009

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