In the past two to three years I have had sinusitis about 8-10 times – potentially more as sometimes it isn’t as severe, and I’ve got so used to it now anyway! I once felt it come on whilst on holiday in Turkey and talked myself out of it randomly – telling myself to relax so I didn’t get worse. I find I am more susceptible to sinusitis when I’m stressed or run down.
This time I’ve had it for the past month, starting with swelling in the sinuses and (as gross as it sounds) green snot, and a feeling of permanently having a blocked nose (caused by the swelling). I recognised it as sinusitis, but only due to the number of times I’ve previously had it, otherwise you would just think it’s a cold and get on with life. Still, I carried on with normal activities and ploughed on, it wasn’t making me feel ill so was just an annoyance I could ignore.
Then this week it took a turn for the worse.
I got to work feeling like I’d run a marathon by 9.30am – nothing new for someone with a thyroid condition so got on with it – then by lunchtime I had the tell-tell sinus headache and general rough feeling.
A sinus headache is generally between the eyes as well a feeling of pressure there and down either side of the nose (see the image on the Sudafed pack), sometimes spreading to the upper teeth. Once you’ve had it, you know it’s your sinuses when it comes back!
As well as the headache my glands had started to swell (a colleague even agreeing and saying she could see they were swollen) and I had a flu-like feeling come over me. It was time to go into the doctors. Although I couldn’t get in for a week. A week!! Thanks NHS.
Not wanting to feel this rough for a week, I tearily (only because I’m ill, not because I’m an emotional wreck) walked into a pharmacy and asked the pharmacist what they could do for me. I’d already been taking Sudafed max strength for nearly a week, but she pulled out some behind-the-counter Sudafed tablets which are stronger and have saved me the last few days. However, I have recently been told that you shouldn’t take Sudafed or medication like this if you have a thyroid condition – I am investigating this now, what else will keep me going?!
Also, I have noticed that I haven’t been sleeping too well, probably due to the caffeine in the tablets – I have completely cut out caffeine so am very sensitive to it!
Sinusitis is one of those infections that can particularly effect people with thyroid conditions, antibiotics usually do the trick and I have found over-the-counter sinus medication like Sudafed to help too. Other sinus medications are available.
An alternative treatment, which is going to be better for those of us with thyroid conditions, is a sinus wash. This is a very glamorous option which involves squirting the mixed solution up one nostril, which then comes out the other nostril and your mouth (along with a bit of snot). Works a treat.
I’ve also been advised to sit with my head over a steaming bowl of water with Olbas Oil in to clear the sinuses. Still yet to give that a go, so will update on how that works.
Update from a week later…
So I finally got to the doctors. He told me that the guidelines have changed for how sinusitis is now treated. The NHS now see sinusitis as a viral infection so prefer not to prescribe antibiotics unless the infection refuses to budge.
This is what I have been told by my doctor, I am not a medical professional so can’t elaborate. I did question why I had sinusitis for so long (6 weeks at this point), to which the doctor suggested that I could have had a few strains of the infection merged into one and that it can take 8 weeks for the infection to go. However, my doctor did give me a prescription for antibiotics in case I felt any worse.
If you have any other remedies or experiences with these new guidelines please comment below.