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Chronic Sinusitis from Allergies- what other treatment is there aside nasal steroids?

LRLR profile image
16 Replies

I have ongoing sinusitis from allergies (hay fever ) which is causing me headaches every day and night. I have had an MRI head scan which has shown inflammation in my sinuses. The doctor has offered me nasal steroids however I tried these for a year and whilst they helped my asthma and nose- they brought on frequent focal migraines, even if I try them again for just 3 days I get a migraine every time.

Does anyone know of anything else I can do for chronic sinusitis? I am using steri-mar daily (saline water) but it’s not enough to stop the headaches. I am on the waiting list to see ENT. I have asked for antibiotics but the doctor says these will not work.

I am grateful for any other advice or insight as I am really miserable with these headaches.

Thank you x

16 Replies
Tree20862 profile image

I use Saline spray every day and the steroid spray a couple of times a week during allergy season. If I use it more often than that, my nose gets too dry and irritated. My allergist is aware of how I use it.

LRLR profile image
LRLR in reply to Tree20862

Thank you for this, I hadn’t considered taking it this way- it’s worth a try!

Nanto4 profile image

Good morning from another sinus sufferer.I have had 2 operations in the past and have been told i now need a 3rd .I also have right side headaches day and night that my consultant said is caused by the inflammation and blockage ,my asthma is also undsteady because of this .Im currently using Avamys nasal spray but it not really doing much,when i am on steroids for asthma episodes it is the only time i get any relief.Do you get frequent infections ?.

LRLR profile image

Hi, thank you for your reply.

No I haven’t had a bacterial infection for maybe a couple of years, however I used to get them maybe once a year after another illness so I did used to be prone to them.

To be honest I had no idea I had sinusitis until I had the head scan- my main symptom was daily headache which moves (forehead and top of head) and feeling pressure. I knew I had ‘rhinitis from hay fever and that this effected my asthma however it has never felt severe and congestion only mild, not like others have to suffer.

Sorry to hear you’ve had so many operations. I have a friend with more sever sinusitis and she has only found relief when she is on steroids but then it comes back.

Emaych61 profile image

I use NeilMed sinus rinse, Dymista nasal spray (on an as and when required basis only) and one Clarityn tablet daily, having had the first one recommended, the second prescribed and the third suggested (as in requiring a daily antihistamine but left to GP to recommend one) by an ENT specialist. Prior to that I was on Avamys (which was useless). All nasal sprays I’ve tried thus far (about four) will cause sinusitis and/or nose bleeds if I use them on a daily basis, hence the “as and when required basis only” approach. The sinus rinse will also cause irritation if I use it regularly, so again that is used only when my sinuses are playing up. I’m currently on consultant led care for my asthma and they are aware how I am using the medication.

Littleeak profile image

I have rhinitis which often affects my sinuses. I too am on dymista twice daily & antihistamine tablet once daily. Last time I spoke to the GP, after becoming fed up of waking up every morning with pain above my right eye,

he suggested Neilmed sinus rinse & to change my antihistamine tablet to cetirizine hydrochloride from loratadine for a month. I could also up the dose to 2 a day. This helped until I got covid! That left me with sinus problems including blurred vision & a 'sinus' headache. A couple of ibuprofen & a 'head' steam helped enormously even the GP told me that steam can make things worse! I use a few drops of olbas oil in boiling water, put my head over it with a towel on top. I've done it for years & it always helps to move the cattarh.

flowerjunky profile image

My consultant recommended Neilmeds Sinus Rinse which I find helpful and soothing. A starter pack contains 60 doses and a squeezable bottle which can be reused. Hope this helps

peege profile image

I used to be the same, horrendous headache that lasted a week to ten days!For years I was treated for migraine but I was always suspicious as I never had flashing lights or the aura some people get with migraine.

I was seeing a facial consultant for an unrelated jaw pain, she did a scan of my face & head and immediately sent me next door to the ENT specialist. He took one look and said "I bet you have horrendous headaches "! He showed me the scan where the 2 sinus cavities in my forehead were full as were the cavities either side of nose and the tube from sinuses down to nose we're extremely narrow. I also had nasal polyps which he could see with his 'nasal search thingy'. He recommended Strerimar the sterile seawater spray (in supermarkets now), a steroid nasal spray (now available over the counter in England). Also an operation with I had 6th July 2007 (tge day before the London bomings). It worked, weeks later horrible lumps of solid matter came out. I've used the steroid nasal spray ever since and have never had the terrible headaches, unfortunately it's about £7 from pharmacy but worth every penny.

For relief right now use acupressure, (you maybe able to find videos on youtube), it works a treat, it helps release 'fresh' mucus so relieves pressure but you'dmore than likely need the straightforward op to get rid of tge solid matter that's been building up over time.

If you can't find instructions for sinus acupressure points or video let me know & I'll explain - its very simple. Peege

LRLR profile image
LRLR in reply to peege

Thank you for this I have just searched the acupressure videos, they are really good.

peege profile image
peege in reply to LRLR

Ah great. I think I do it unconsciously now, just press the top of my eye sockets to release a bit of mucus. There are also points either side at the base of back, of scull.I dont know if anyone mentioned drinking plenty of fluid, helps to keep everything moisture & flowing well (ie mucus, phlegm, blood). Good luck

Sorry to hear you’re struggling, have you got pain under your eyes, across your forehead? If so I would persist with asking your GP for antibiotics, which steroid nasal sprays have you tried? My ENT prescribes one which is called Dymista which I use all year round, then during summer if I’m struggling he switches me to Flixonase nasal drops. I also use Nelimed saline nasal spray, and my respiratory consultant prescribes fexofenadene x3 daily. I am also prescribed a low dose daily antibiotic called azithromycin by my respiratory consultant for my asthma, but my ENT consultant would have also added this or clarithromycin to help with recurrent infections - azithromycin also has anti inflammatory properties. Hope you feel better soon

LRLR profile image

Thank you all for this information and advice, I really appreciate it! I managed to have a doctors appointment today and asked for antibiotics, she reluctantly gave me 5 days of amoxicillin to try, although she said that only 2/100 people need antibiotics for sinusitis so they probably will not work.

However two doses later this is the first night I do not have a headache so I am hopeful!

Lottie36 thank you for the info this helped me to get treatment today. Also to answer your question I had tried dymista before and avaymys. They both really helped my asthma and rhinitis but my focal migraines were constant whilst I used them. However the GP said if the antibiotics do not work then to start one of the nasal sprays again but not daily- so good to know I have that option.

I also found a hot steam shower has helped too so will keep this up!

Thanks again everyone!

Alliecat profile image

My sinuses have been horrible lately... Have had allergic rhinitis for years and used to take flixinase but was quite complicated putting the drops in. So was given Avamys spray... And the last few weeks the nurse also have me a saline spray.. I also take antihistamines every day and montelukast at night and I now have a blocked ear again... Had 2 operations on my nose but they didn't help now I have no sense of smell and limited taste just phoned the GP again as my chest has started to crackle a bit which could mean another chest infection... It's all swings and roundabouts eh?

LRLR profile image

Hi Alliecat, sorry to hear this it must be really difficult for you living out with all this. I hope you get your chest treated as soon as possible. X

Nutzs47 profile image

I have allergic asthma and post nasal drip (I very rarely get a snotty nose) and after years of taking cetrizine for my hay fever I’m now on fexofenadine and a steroid nasal spray all yr round along with montelukast as well as Fostair 100/6 x2 twice daily .I now only get occasional headaches

Chloe2Chloe profile image

I have had a similar problem but taking cetirizine has helped me a lot, no prescription required

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