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Sinus Problems


I have sinusitis and perennial rhinitis, and often i have periods where i have a constant and very painful sinus ache. I have steroid nasal spray and antihistamines, as well as paraceptomol on top of that, and nothing seems to work. I have also tried steam, but that doenst really work at all. Ive spoken to my dr about it and he just tells me to keep on going with what i have now, which is obviously not working. So does anyone have any other suggestions?

5 Replies

Ask for a referal to an ENT cons. I used to have dreadful trouble with sinus pain and infections after a couple of tinker operations the surgeon ""went in with a hammer and chisel"" and I have not had a single infection since. It was horrid at the time but oh boy it was worth it. That was 9 years ago now.



Hi Haagendaz,

I'm sorry to hear that you are having these problems. I suffer from sinusitis and perennial rhinitis as well, and often get the very painful stuffy high pressure sinus headaches with it, especially when I get a cold. The swelling in the sinuses seems to predispose to the trapping of mucus and the easy development of infection. Not only are they quite painful and annoying, but I also find that I then often progress to a chest infection.

There are several things that can help. I don't know if you are using the steroid nasal spray all the time, or just when you have symptoms - I found that using it twice a day, every day, really made a difference. If you are not on a leukotriene antagonist such as montelukast (Singulair) or zafirlukast (Accolate) then you could ask your GP about trying one - these can help with sinusitis as well as asthma.

Your GP may prescribe antibiotics if you have an overt bacterial sinus infection, characterised by headache, feeling generally unwell, severe sinus pain and tenderness, redness over the sinuses, and thick green nasal mucus. However, antibiotics are often not very effective in these cases, as they don't tend to penetrate well into the sinuses.

Decongestants containing pseudoephedrine (eg Sudafed) can help with the symptoms of stuffiness and headache, but you should discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist before taking them. Tablets containing pseudoephedrine can have side effects like fast heart rate, insomnia and nervousness, and don't mix terribly well with some of the asthma medications that also cause these sorts of effects. Nasal sprays containing pseudoephedrine don't tend to have so many side effects, but can cause a rebound effect - which means that the congestion can get worse as the drug wears off.

Nasal irrigation with salt water can help to clear some of the thick, hard to shift mucus, which is often the key in both relieving the stuffiness and stopping secondary bacterial infection from building up. You can get a 10ml syringe from your pharmacist to do this. Boil up a pint or so of water, and add a couple of teaspoons of salt. Allow to cool, and then take some up in the syringe and squirt up each nostril. You should feel it running down the back of your throat - not particularly pleasant, but if you repeat it a couple of times a day, it should be helpful. There is a saline spray available (Sterimar) which does the same thing - you can get it on prescription or buy it from your pharmacy.

Steam inhalation can be useful in conjunction with these other things, but, as you have discovered, it may not be enough to clear the sinuses on its own if you have a lot of thick, tenacious mucus. However, once you have cleared the thick mucus by doing the other things, steam inhalation may help to soothe your airways and keep your sinuses clear. Adding something like Olbas oil to the water, if you can tolerate it without it worsening your breathing, can also help.

As Bex says, if these simple measures don't help, then do speak to your GP about referral to an ENT surgeon. Surgery might seem like a drastic option, and in fact it is not very often done these days, but in certain people it can be the solution to the problem, particularly if you have scarring, polyps, narrowing or some other physical obstruction in your sinuses.

Hope this helps

Em H


Clogged Sinus...


I have this trouble now and again, caused by my asthma, and I tried all sorts of medications - including a sinus rebuild operation. None of it worked for me! Then my dear old Mum introduced me to the very old fashioned Vick's Inhaler - works every time. It loosens the muck in the sinus and costs a fortune in tissues, but the relief is well worth it. No more headaches, and they used to be a permanent fixture!

Kindest regards,




Thank you for your replies Bex, EmilyH, and polytix.

Bex: I used to be under an immunologist before i moved to england, so he used to be in charge of this. When I came here they just told me to continue with the same treatment which isn't doing much. Do I just go and ask to be seen by a ENT consulant? I think my mom sees one.

Oh and to clarify my treatments: I have been on rhinocort for many years now(two sprays in each nostril once a day), and the type of antihistamines changes (a lot of them seem to upset my stomach). I am currently on Loratadine every day. I used to me on montelukast but it gave me stomach problems as well.

EmilyH: Everytime i move and get new GPs they all want to prescribe me antibiotics for it, but I have tried that before, but it didnt do anything. (I think its chronic (?) caused by allergies) Is the nasal irrigation with salt effective? I have heard about it, and I think i might try it.

Polytix: The vick's inhaler... is it minty? I think I've tried something similar except you dont inhale it, it is something called ""tiger balsam"" (i dont think they have it in england) and when you put it under your nose or eyes everything loosesns up and comes out.

Thank you so much for answers. It is really helpful and I am happy that I can always rely on good advice from you people :)

Oh, and another question: Is sinusitis related to stress in any way? I always seem to get these sinus aches when I am under a lot of stress.

Thank you again

Have a good weekend:)

Take care!


You couldl try olbas oil. You just put some droplets on a tissue and inhale it.


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