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Chronic sinus congestion - Deviated Septum?

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Wow... I've put this off for so many years, but things are getting kind of bad these days, so it's time to act. Smile

I have chronic sinus congestion, and have had it since I was 14 years old. I am now 37. Since I was in my teens, one nostril has always been clogged. Not most of the time, but always. It is not the same one all the time. In fact, I have literally had my left nostril clogged completely and in a matter of ten seconds or so, it will switch over to the right nostril, and the left is clear. All of my symptoms seem like a deviated septum, but I can't find any information about the clogged nostril shifting with a deviated septum.

I have lived with this condition because it never really affected me that much. It was just kind of a nuisance. In the past five years or so, I have started having problem with allergies, and it's just gotten worse. I now have had a sinus infection (perhaps?) for about two months. I have daily sinus headaches, coughing, and nasal drainage (throat) that I can't seem to shake.

Yesterday, I purchased a sinus rinse kit, not unlike a neti pot, and am in the process of giving it a shot.

I guess I'm just getting older and less invincible, and would like to finally wrap up some of my ailments that have been around for a while. Smile
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First Helper Pa.Lyn
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replied May 31st, 2008
I cant say weather my sinus problems ( all my liofe and Im 57) were due to my deviated septum, But I have recently been to an Ear, nose and throat specialist that my primary sent me to due to chronic obstructive sleep apnea. My nostrils did teh alternating clog thing a lot of times too, but again, I dont know if this is due to the deviation, or what. I had an option of using a CPAP machine for the rest of my life, or having the corrective surgery. I chose to get it corrected. The surgery included the deviated septum correction, the uvula and soft palate thinned and tonsils removed, ( yep, all at once) this was a real experience, but I am now day 18 post op. The nasal splints came out at my 2 week check up and even though I guess its still probably too early to tell, I can tell you Ive never breathed so clearly as I have these last few days. I just couldnt see using a machine every night if I could get it corrected. My ENT said there was a 50-60% success rate, so I went for it. Having it all done at once is misserable, mostly for the first 5-7 days ( especially the first 3) but its slight improvement daily after that. The septoplasty itself actually wasnt painful for me. The plastic splints are uncomfortable, and they stay in for 2 weeks, but thats about it. Not being allowed to blow your nose for 2 weeks was no picnic, but It really wasnt painful, at least for me. That was good, because the UP3, ( soft palate and uvula thinning) and the tonsils ( also lasered off) made up for the pain the septoplasty didnt cause. Just to share, hope it helps.
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replied November 18th, 2008
Deviated Septum
Wow, the symptoms you have described could have been wriitten about me! I am scheduled for surgery for a deviated septum and nasal blockage that changes from side to side daily. After reading your message, I am very optimistic that I have made the right decision to go ahead with the procedure. I have been dealing with this for 10 or more years and finally I found and ENT that would actually listen to me. So glad I came across your posting. Congratulations, and thanks.
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replied November 18th, 2008
deviated septum/sleep apnea
I hope you have the luck I did. It is supposed to have a 50-60% success rate my surgon said, so go with that and good luck. I hope you are as fortunate as I was. I am now 6 months past and doing great. I had sleep apnea, remember, not just a deviated septum. My ent said teh deviated septum did contribute to the apnea, though. Best of luck and keep us posted as to how you are doing. It is a lot of pain, I wont fool you, and I have a high pain threshold. But If you can survive the recovery period ( 2-3 weeks) You will be ok, and I will pray that your success is as mine has been.
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replied November 5th, 2012
Hi Pa.Lyn, do you still need to use CPAP or has your sleep apnea gone since the surgery?
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replied June 9th, 2009
From what an ENT told me the nostrils naturally switch sides to be open on everyone....it is a cycling if you will...i can't believe no one mentioned this....no medical person anyway.....I believe that is the natural order of what our noses do, switch sides....now that being said...I know what it's like to not breath out of one nostril, I have a deviated septum too, and I can tell you, it gets worse with age, in early 50's and just found out last year about it....the strange part is that even with the deviated septum, when it's the left's side turn to be open, it is....so perhaps the switching is natures way of helping us breath...who knows
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replied August 8th, 2009
Did any of you find that if you laid on a side while sleeping or laying on the couch that the blocked nostril would always be the lower one? I can get the blockage to switch in the matter of a few minutes at most. If so, then this all describes me too. Its annoying at worst and doesnt affect my daily routine, yet.
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replied April 17th, 2011
chronic nasal blockage
I have suffered from lack of nasal breathing my entire adult life (now 42). At the age of 26, I had my deviated septum corrected (was thought to be the problem) and to be honest, it made no difference.

I am a permanent mouth breather which severely inhibits my daily life, especially during activities like meditation, yoga, jogging, etc. Nightime breathing is terrible, I snore and sometimes gag and wake myself up. At any given time, I never have more that about 20% capactiy in nasal breathing.

I visited a new ENT last year, who advised me that they could put permanent stints in my nasal passages to widen them so I can breath normally (but it is not guaranteed to work) Of course,this would also alter the outside appearance of my nose, making the bridge (weirdly) wider.

For the first time in my life, I recently used Afrin, it is a miracle worker but, I know, it is not a long term solution because of all of the negative side effects. I am starting to wonder why this actually works though. Are my nasal membranes permanently swolen, can this be a food allergy and is there a natrual remedy to this? would appreciate any thoughts on the subject! Thanks
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replied November 4th, 2011
Hi
I had surgery to remove nasal polyps about 8 years ago and then another surgery 4 years later to remove the recurring polyps and have my septum straightened. I discovered that when I eat sugary foods or starch rich foods (rice/potatoes/pasta/bread) the nasal congestion, sneezing, etc is more intense. I cut out the above mentioned foods and the nasal irritation eased. To cut out these foods means a pretty restrictive diet, however it does prove that these foods contribute to irritation of the sinus and polyps/membrane.

I would be interested to hear from anyone suffering from polys/anosmia who have found improvements through diet.

Frank
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replied March 2nd, 2012
I have had constant congestion for the past 2 months now. I got a cold and got congestion, then the cold went away and the congestion stayed. It had been on both sides where I am unable to breathe from my nose at all. Sometimes I get mucus in my throught, which is always clear. It seems to be that there is always mucus in my nose/ throat, which is kind of slimy like and always clear.
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replied March 2nd, 2012
Acupuncture worked for me.
Different conditions require different treatments, but here is my experience. I had chronic sinusitis and was on antibiotics more than I was off of them. Each time I took stronger and stronger antibiotics, and my sinusitis would seem to clear up as long as I was on the antibiotics but then come back as soon as I got off of them.

My primary care doctor sent me to to an ENT who, after running some tests, said I had a slightly deviated septum and that we could try surgery if I wanted to. I was desperate so I said yes.

The surgery--can't recall what they were called but I had four in one day--wasn't that bad. Not fun but not that bad. But for me, it did not stop the sinus infections.

All in all I had recurring bouts of sinusitis for more than three years and was on longer and longer bouts of strong antibiotics. Nothing would keep the sinusitis away. It dominated my life.

Finally, thinking I had nothing to lose, I decided to try acupuncture. I went to an acupuncturist who had been trained in China and had been in practice for a long time.

It worked. It wasn't cheap--about $80 a session and my insurance didn't cover it--but it was worth it. I got my health back.

If you're anywhere near the Rockville, Maryland, area, consider trying Dr. Chan. I don't get a kickback or anything; I haven't seen him in years. And I'm sure there are other skilled acupuncturists, but I can vouch for him.

He did not have a lot of faith in medical doctors (MDs) who do acupuncture along with their regular medical practice, because they have a lot less training in acupuncture than a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner does. But who knows? It might work and some insurance companies will pay for that when they won't pay for a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner.

Oh, and it doesn't hurt. The needles are the size of a hair. The only time it hurt was when the ENT removed scar tissue from the original sinus surgery and I went to the acupuncturist afterwards for treatment to speed up the healing. When the needle was put into the area that had just been operated on, it hurt a little but was still tolerable.

Well, that's what finally did it for me. Best of luck whichever treatment you choose.
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replied September 18th, 2012
Amazing. I have had the shifting sinus thing for years. Unless I am totally exhausted, I dread going to bed because I have to flip over every 4 to 5 minutes. Don't get very good sleep anymore, but when I do - you can bet I am congested in the morning. Elevating above my feet does help - but the pillow stack I have going now is crazy. Good luck all. I know how you breathe!
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replied March 26th, 2013
Deviated septum
Hi, I found out today after 7 long years and so many anti biotics due to sinus infections it's not funny, that I have a nasal septal deviation convex and a mucosal hypertrophy in the inferior turbinate. Defiantly getting surgery as its been so painful the past few years I've been in tears. Tried taking anti inflammatories and after long term use now suffer from migraines also.

Just wanted to say I for one feel so sorry for all of you who have suffered the same debilitating symptoms. It has seriously altered my life. I have become very short tempered due to every doctors inability to find what was wrong. I have been yelled at and made to feel I needed anti depressants because nothing was wrong.

I can't wait to get this fixed...

Good luck peeps xxx
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