Sinus Infection, 3 months and counting. Any remedies / tips?


Hello again,

Its time for a sad tale ... once upon a time Onfire was a stressed little lecturer who struggled against students and management to do his job fully. One day towards the end of November he developed a bit of a headache and, after 3 weeks of feeling groggy and headachy, went to the doctors.

Apparently it was a sinus infection which was causing the stabbing pain through the top of my skull - and antibiotics were issued. Now, stupidly, i forgot to take the last 2 tablets as the headache seemed to have gone, but within 10 days it was back and another course of antibiotics were issued / taken. The main headache seemed to go away but the general shiity feeling remained - just like drunk / hungover all the time. Over Christmas i had a cold and cough which i have just about shaken off but the shiity feeling has remained.

Basically i have the same feeling as when you realise you have drunk one pint too many - or indeed have woken up after one too many. My head hurts, my eyes hurt, i feel sort of sick and sort of dizzy, i am off my food, walking a mile or so leaves me utterly wasted - i find it hard to concentrate ... i feel shiit.

I am back in the doctors tomorrow, but am happy with the idea that it is a stubborn sinus infection - i cannot take time off work, or i would have missed the best part of a term already ... does anyone else suffer like this?

I have already tried decongestant tablets - but they made me sick (aparently one of the side effects), and i have given up cheese and red wine (they are triggers apparantly) - mind i have lost my appettit and cant face alcohol so that bit wasnt hard.

Do you have any ideas to make me feel better - the doc will eventually solve it, but i need to get back out doing phys (ive just gone up a jean size) and i have to be able to concentrate on planning, marking and delivering at work ... please help me.



Get your GP to refer you to your local hospital and have your sinus washed :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


thanks cruncher - i am assured that wedging a crochet hook up my nose until the bone cracks would be less painful than having a full wash / cavity operation ... but its an option.

i was hoping for something like ... inhale steam every morning or sleep with the blood of a freshly killed rabbit smeared on the pillow ...

any other effective solutions please?
Erm, old wives tale but hey, you never know.

Fill a bowl full of hot steamy water, and honey and lemon juice and mix thoroughly. leave for a few minutes.
Take one mug. Add whiskey hot lemonade and sugar (a hot toddy).
Drink the lot.
This should cause you to sweat like a necrophilliac in a morgue.
Place face over bowl and cover with a towel.
Inhale the fumes for as long as you can stand.

To be honest though, like you said, the doctors should sort it eventually, but this should clear your head for a while at least.


i have tried the hot toddy - inhalation combo ... thanks for the tip ... i will try the steam plus lemon, plus honey inhalation now.

as for the snorting tea tree / olbas oil ... is that a wah? i am desperate, i have my best mates wedding on saturday - im best man - please dont f*ck me up, i want to be better not speaking with blood running from my nose.

thanks again


Mr_Logic had something very similar to what you describe years ago. Symptoms like permanent flu that wouldn't go away irrespective of pills, activity or anything. As she was living in the Fatherland she was referred to a nose surgeon who operated in days, after perforating the side of her sinus with a knitting needle, without anaesthetic.

From being involved in the above and seeing unnecessary suffering for two months my advice is:

1. Get a blood test to check for white blood cell count and to check for infection.

2. If your sinuses do not clear it may be because they cannot clear. Has a specialist checked it? There may be a blockage. I am sure that the nose and sinuses are designed to clear themselves. If they have not may be they are blocked or obstructed. Your GP may not have the skillsets, ability or aptitude to do this.

I am not a doctor and may be giving the wrong advice for the wrong symptoms but take it for what it is and hopefuly it may be able to help.

Hope it gets treated or clears up soon. It doesn't sound like fun.
onfire said:
thanks cruncher - i am assured that wedging a crochet hook up my nose until the bone cracks would be less painful than having a full wash / cavity operation ... but its an option.

i was hoping for something like ... inhale steam every morning or sleep with the blood of a freshly killed rabbit smeared on the pillow ...

any other effective solutions please?

Onfire, my dear, there are no effective solutions less for the nasty man breaking your nose, shoving some tampons up there, and "douching" every day for 5 weeks (depending on the hospital).

The bonus side of it is getting to pick the scabs out of your nose everynight and getting away with "look at the bugger I just got out!", snoring, and getting to sleep every 2 hours.

Mate, you need them cleaning, I am 6 weeks in from the "who the feck has been playing with my nose while I was asleep" pullavah, and I still can't breathe properly through my nose, but bloody hell, the drugs are great.

If you don't do it, you are a poof. No pain, no gain.

Yours, world of experience in this,

Sluggy x
I have had this condition for most of my life and suffered a through a bitch of a year a couple ago with a persistent one that lasted 9 months with reinfections and I had the same type of global warfare going on. The MO just kept giving me same old same old a/b's which did faff all. New MO came in as a locum and I was lucky coincided with another attack. She basically said "This is shoite you need at least a month of a tetracycline course as the sinuses have a relatively poor vascular supply and uptake of medications and the usual courses of stuff simply do not get time to get into the area effectively". So I being the highly cynical person I am went yeah thanks doc and thought fantastic another idiot who wants to hit me up with meds but I took them anyways and, to my surprise it worked. I have not had a problem more than a few snuffles, in certain weather conditions, which go within a day or a hot shower since.

Steaming with or without a mix of tea tree and eucalyptus oil in the water is a gentle and reasonably effective means of loosening the mucous in your cavities but might have limited success if you are really clogged up badly.

Cannot speak to biccies "snort it pure" as I wouldn't be game to try it myself.

There is also another option called Olbas oil. I have a mate who swears by the stuff as he constantly gets low grade sinus irritation and he says you just sniff the stuff, do not snort it, it feels like it burns but it clears the sinuses within seconds.

Snorting up salty water through your nose 1-2 times a day to wash out the cavities is another slightly more active option. If you cannot do that - I know I couldn't I would just end up choking and puking - there is a thing in Oz called Fess nasal spray. It is saline in a metered aerosol pump you can use it 1-4 times a day as needed. I recommend it to most of the veterans as well who end up with shocking sinus issues and they swear by it. Unlike decongestant or antihistamine sprays you can use saline sprays regularly without the "no more than 3 days at a time" problem you get with other nasal spray medications. Go to a chemist and they may have a saline nasal spray under a different brand name in the UK.

You may also need to get your MO to give you a referral to an ENT specialist so they can stick a scope up your nose and check for polyps which will also cause problems. You do not say if you have had sinus issues in the past and this is just a really bad episode or just a one off. I am presuming you cannot see any obvious causal factor for this (eg broken nose) that would have caused enough of a change in the boney structures of your nose to cause blockages. This would tend to suggest some kind of soft tissue changes and/or infection being the more likely culprit.


War Hero
Quadruple dose of tabs in the chamber of fun, light em up... take the mask off and breath deep...... recite war & peace backwards before being carried out...... 8O

You may find the sinus'es have cleared, clue being all the snot running down ya chin :lol: :lol: :lol: ....
Been there done that X 3. Diagnose that they are probably trying to save on proscribing anti-biotics.

Second time round I self-presented to casualty asking for the anti-biotics the Doc should have given me. Turn up dead early and take a travel mug + a good book.

As it was quiet, Houseman refered me to the duty consultant in ENT who gave correct diagnosis, advice and antibiotics. also provided collateral note back to Doc. Third time round doc reads notes and says" You need anitbiotics don't you"

In winter, it does not seem to go away completely, but a mixture of popping ears, viks, olbas oil and keeping water out of ears in shower seems to keep it at bay.

Good excuse for hot toddys all round as well :wink:

PS: I've been out a while but.....could this be service related by any chance??


Book Reviewer
Had the op 24 years ago. Now if I ever get a slight recurrence I drop two menthol crystals (available from ethnic shops or good pharmacies) in a bowl of boiling water and snort the fumes with a towel over my head.

It works a treat and keeps the kids away for an hour.


Dear onfire,

I don't know your location, but if you're in Germany or know somebody there, get a couple of packets of "Gelomyrtol forte" from any "Reformhaus". It's a natural cure, thus no side-effects, and will clear up the condition in a week to ten days. Repeat as necessary, although I find that one course (two packets of twenty tabs apiece) sees me OK for six months or more.



mizkrissi - thanks for that, i used to suffer with the cavities behind my nose after surfing and kayaking, and often suffer the pressure build up behind the nose ... but this is whole head, and an entirely new world of misery for Onfire! No broken nose or anything else ... just a bit stressed combined with lots of working out in the damp cold air which may have brought on an infection.

subbsonic - you mention keeping water out of your ears, for the last 4 months my shower has been broken and i have bathed every day, i havent allowed water up my nose, but do submerge my ears each time ... do you think that might be linked.

sluggy - im only slightly disturbed by the idea of 'crack and pain' but am more worried that lots of people i have spoken to say theyre no better after the op.

thank you all for your help - i know i am not the only one to suffer, but i certainly have a few tricks to try ... off to doctors and chemists tomorrow.

Cheers all


I've suffered from sinusitis for about 10 years now on and off.

For short term relief I highly recommend Otrivine nasal spray. Once a day use provides instant relief for up to 8 hours. Opens the sinus up so much you won't believe it. The down side is you can't use it for longer than a week or it will have negative effects such as chronic shortness of breath. Overuse (more than twice a day) causes the same problems. Its available over the counter from the chemist.

More effective long term relief is a nasal spray called Flixonase. It does not give instant relief and takes a week or two to work. It cured me for several months but the sinusitis returned.

Cutting down on dairy products is supposed to help but I can't confirm it works as I've not tried it yet.
I had a similar problem for a long time saw the ENT specialist, month of antibiotics, steam inhalations etc. Eventually saw a cranial oesteopath, took time and wasn't cheap but it worked
Otrivine is good stuff, olbas is brilliant - you can also get it in a wee Vicks style inhaler, as well as putting it on your pillow at night (annoys the missus but keeps the cat off the bed!).

I have just waited donkeys for an ENT referral (which involved a camera up the snotter, which is 'interesting'), although in this case it's for recurrent nosebleeds. What the ENT registrar said bears out one of the posters above - if your GP is cack, present yourself to A&E (NOT on Friday night at kick-out as they will not be amused) as the chances are you'll get referred to ENT on the day, although I'd take a good book as you'll be inspecting a lot of waiting rooms. Don't get snotty (!) with the A&E lot, explain the circs and say that you're willing to wait but that you need sorting and the chances are you will be.
I once had a nasty sinus infection that lasted two weeks. I didn't opt for antibiotics, but spent much of it in bed feeling sh!t instead. Then all of a sudden I had an overwhelming urge to sneeze. Putting my hands up to cover my mouth, I caught a large green, bloody and veiny mass about the size of a golf ball that shot out of my nose. I felt much better after that. Hope this helps.

Had the Op about 50 years ago but still get occasional bad attacks, last one about 10 years ago when I was on my own, quite scary as you can become very week very quickly. Keep the lurgy at bay by using Otrivine as soon as I start getting congested and at the same time one gets good at recognising the symptoms and taking precautionary measure.

It is sometimes known as the swimmers disease as it is very common amongst people who do a lot of swimming or similar sports.