Sinusitis Animation Video


  1. Hello from the UK,
    my dob 27/5/41 or 5/27/41 US when I was a young man age 18 ( 1959 ) I got a sinus infection left side above eye. This was complicated with what I now believe to be an abscess. Eventually blood and puss drained into my throat and from that day to present, every time I get a common cold my left hand sinus become blocked up and I get chest in fections.
    Now aged 74 there is a constant what feels like excessive drainage of mucus draining intio my throat also when I swallow mostly when lying down the mucus seems to get moved arround and makes a popping noise.
    A ct scan was taken 2012 I was told to use Flixonase for a year and if no improvement to ge a referal to the ENT at our local hospital where I recently told told in a report ” no active sinonasal disease”.
    In the meantime about two weeks ago a considerable ammout of clear mucus drained into my throat from the left hand sinus.
    Your comments would be appreciated,the good news is that I have not had any problems like the one in 1959
    Thank you

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Archie,
      It seems that I’m receiving more inquiries from adults with eustachian-tube dysfunction: this could explain your sensation and noises in the context of “no active sinonasal disease.” And, as we age mature, it is common to develop eustachian and ear issues. It might be time for a thorough ear and hearing eval. Best success!

  2. Hello, I’m from the UK. I very rarely get colds/coughs etc, but recently had my first sinus infection (started at Christmas with mild tooth/jaw ache (my teeth & gums are healthy) and a few days later turned into full cold, with crackling sinuses in my cheeks, and awful cough. After 3 weeks or so, I thought I was better, but immediately got what felt like another cold, followed by lingering/fluctuating congested nose, bad breath and occasional mild tooth/jaw aches….

    Reluctant to take antibiotics unless really necessary, I tried a sinus rinse (squeeze bottle type). I persisted for a week (2 or 3 times a day), but it has just made my nose feel more congested and even my ears feel full & a little achey now too. I’m also now reacting to chlorine when swimming, when I never did before. The sinus rinse appears to have helped rid the bad breath and it did successfully go up one nostril and out of the other, but each time I used it I felt more congested. There’s been no cold-like mucus for weeks, and the sinus rinses have all been clear as far as I could see.

    I’m not sure whether this means I am likely have an ongoing infection, or am left with inflammation / irritation which just needs to settle down. Do you know why I might feel worse with a sinus rinse when so many seem to get relief? Would a sinus rinse be helpful or a problem if I had polyps? (There are no visible polyps from a quick look up my nose with a torch) Thanks so much for any advice you can offer

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi Shell:
      Environmental irritation – like chlorine from swimming pool – can worsen with repeated exposure. Inflammation from both acute and chronic sinus infection can be long-lasting. You may have developed environmental allergies. Nasal saline rinses are usually beneficial for those with polyps – the rinses help remove sequestered secretions and bacteria. You generally would not be able to see sino-nasal polyps, at least early on; it would require a visit with an ENT doc to be sure.
      My advice: visit with an ENT doc to rule out anything truly scary (tumor), polyps, or ongoing infection.
      Thanks for sharing, and best success!

      • Thank you, I appreciate your reply. I have now seen my GP (family doctor). In the UK we have to see a GP & try the first line treatments before the GP will refer to a hospital/ENT, so it can take a while! The GP couldn’t see polyps, but I understand they can only be ruled out by an ENT… There were no signs of ongoing infection. He thinks the original infection caused inflamed/blocked sinuses which aren’t able to drain properly, & gave me a steroid nasal spray to try to reduce the inflammation and reopen the sinuses. If that doesn’t work, I guess polyps may well be the the likely cause & I will ask to be referred to ENT. It was unfortunate that I increased my swimming frequency just after the infection, which just exacerbated the inflammation/lack of drainage, so I will take a break from swimming for a while. I think the salt water rinses were hypertonic and had a similar effect, initially increasing irritation and congestion. I took a break from rinsing for a few days and used an isotonic saline spray instead which was more tolerable and soothing. Today, I tried an isotonic saline rinse, taking it gently, and felt it did help this time. Fingers crossed I can open up those sinuses before I end up with another infection. I would be so delighted if I don’t have polyps – time will tell. Thank you again.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hi Shell:

          Yes, we’re familiar with the ogre-at-the-gate method of rationing healthcare access here in the States, too: most of us must have a referral from our GP in order to see a specialist.

          Given the chronic nature of your symptoms, it is appropriate for you to see an ENT.

          Isotonic saline is the preferred concentration for ongoing, daily rinses: much more soothing, less irritating to the cilia. The isotonic spray is perfect for routine moisturization between daily rinses. My preference is to use a saline spray that contains Xylitol, for the added anti-microbial activity. Here is a link to Amazon for the spray that we use for our kids.

          Thanks for the update, and best success!

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