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The Scourge of Chronic Sinusitis and GERD Combination.

Updated on October 12, 2014

Weather Related Suffering

I have suffered for some years with GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease, sometimes just referred to as acid reflux. The first time I experienced the symptoms I was awoken at night with sever chest pains. I thought I was having a heart attack. After a visit to the emergency room I was diagnosed with acute gastritis. I was awoken several more times and just waited out the pain. Each episode would last about 4 hours, before the pain died down. I subsequently went to my GI specialist and had upper GI endoscopy. I was diagnosed with GERD and was put on medication to control the acid produced in my stomach.

Some time after this diagnosis I quit smoking. I then developed constant post nasal drip, sinus pain, shortness of breath, excessive yawning and I was constantly clearing my throat. After many visits to my ENT specialist I underwent the inevitable sinus surgery.This was absolutely disgusting. I must admit that I did feel better after a few weeks. I still, however suffered from sinus problems. Whenever I went from a cold temperature to a warm one, or vice versa, it seemed as though my bronchial tubes closed, making it hard to breath. After I became used to the new temperature I could then breath normally again. About a year after the sinus surgery I retired and moved to Malaysia. My ENT doctor said that I should see some improvement after moving to a new climate.

I did feel better after moving, until recently. I am still bothered by temperature changes, but this time it is a small change from an air conditioned room to a non-air conditioned room. I can have shortness of breath going from the warm humid shower to the bedroom. When I first leave my condo and go outside I have shortness of breath. When I go to the gym I am usually okay as long as the A/C is on and there is air circulation. Of course the locals complain they are freezing with the A/C on. Lately with the monsoons and daily rain and thunderstorms my sinuses are killing me. A change in barometric pressure is enough to start my sinuses draining and clearing my throat evey few seconds. According to my ENT specialist the constant post nasal drip triggers a coughing reflex and also causes asthma like symptoms.

The interesting point here is that there is a relationship between chronic sinusitis and GERD. It is like a viscious circle, with one causing the other, but it is like what came first, the chicken or the egg. I take medication for GERD but cannot take medication to ease the sinusitis, as I also have BPH. Antihistamines and decongestants cause the prostate to swell, thus causing difficulty urinating.I do frequent saline sinus irrigation, which does help sometimes.I also have to say that I have IBS in addition to the above conditions. When I am bloated with IBS I also suffer difficulty breathing. I have to learn to live with these conditions, but it is extremely irritating at times. I wish medical science could come up with something that could help me breathe easier. I'll just have to wait, suffer and see.

Chronic sinusitis update - still suffering.

It's been over two years since I originally published the s Hub, so I thought I would publish and update. I wish I could say I have found a cure, or at least things have improved, but nothing has changed. Since publishing this I have moved back to the US, from Malaysia and have noticed a difference. I can now add the night air to the list of triggers of my breathlessness. As son as the sun goes down and the temperature drops a few degrees I begin to constantly clear my throat and have more difficulty breathing. When I go to bed at night I have to clear my throat every few seconds, for between a half hour and an hour before I begin to fall asleep.

Since publishing the initial Hub I have seen a few new doctors and it's always the same old story. They look at me like I am crazy and suggest using a nasal spray, intended for either asthma or bronchitis/COPD. When I tell them I have already tried the drugs they just say "well I guess you will just have to live with it". Wonderful!!

If anyone has had similar difficulties please let me know if you found something that helped.


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      Juliana 22 months ago

      Ive also been suffering from LPR, sinusitis and shortness of breath and im only 19, its due to corset usage .

      Im on Prilosec has been 1 month, my throat burning is gone, sour metal taste in mouth as well. But i still have almost everyday horrible sinuses pain and headaches, bad breath, shortness of breath with exertion, post nasal drip, congested nose when lying down, coughing, pain swallowing and almost choking ... :( i really want to get the surgery for this . Ive changed everything on my diet to low acid bland whole foods, cut most fruits, tea, seasonings. What really irks me is the sinus pain and shortness of breath, makes me feel miserable. Ive had a spirometry test and my oxygen levels are 100%, im sure its the vagus nerve sending signals for the airways to constrict so no acid can get in them, hence the shortness of breath, and the sinusitis it must be sending a signa too to produce mucus to protect it from acid...

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      Oyea 2 years ago

      I suffered from heartburn for years, the Drs couldn't figure it out. Then I went gluten-free, and the heartburn went away. I don't have celiac (I've been tested), but I must be gluten intolerant. You might try to stop eating gluten and see if it makes a difference.

    • steveso profile image

      Steve 2 years ago from Brockport, NY

      Thank you for your comment Susan. I have tried everything you mentioned to no avail.

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      Susan Nash 2 years ago

      I was diagnosed with GERD and have been having sinus problems that don't seem to respond to treatment. What is working for me is sleeping on a wedge pillow. Don't try using several pillows - that can make it worse. Your head needs to be 6-8 inches higher than your feet. Follow other advice such as don't eat or drink 2-3 hours before bed and wait an hour or more after eating before exercising or bending over. You also can try a strict alkaline diet for a few weeks to try to get the esophagus to heal. Eating very small meals seems to help as well. Check out Jamie Kaufman's book "Dropping Acid" the Reflux Diet for diet ideas. Just taking PPI's won't fix the problem which she believes is due to pepsin irritating the esophagus and the valve between the esophagus and stomach (don't want to spell it!)

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      Larry 3 years ago

      My gastritis came about from overuse of ibuprofen after surgery. Now, when my sinuses are acting up, my gastritis really glares to the point of when I sneeze (or fill my stomach) my right side (leg and arm) get tingly to numbness.

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      Jaqu50 4 years ago

      Hi steveso, I also turned 50 recently and developed the same symptoms. Although I have always had sinus problems, but usually managed to control with antihistamine phenergan. But then two years ago I started getting severe shortness of breath. Then fainted with upper stomach pains and nausea. Was given nexium which worked for a while then caused other stomach issues. Tried chinese medicine and acupuncture without any meds but was very rough going for 7 months with no positive outcome. So went back on losec and zantac. Now losec seems to be wearing off maybe try nexium again. Haven't had a good day for a long time. Very depressing. Have had two endoscopies normal and colonoscopy normal. I think there is a definite link with sinus and gerd. Feel stinging/burning in nose, throat and chest. All gets very depressing when it doesn't let up. Sorry for all the complaining. But your symptoms seem very like mine, except for the menopause! Thanks for letting me vent. Oh also trying various naturopathic treatments which I think are helping then not so sure. Frustrated.

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      Dustin 5 years ago

      I am experiencing a lot of those problems if i had the money i would get a biofilm test done by frylabs and i also used to protonix once and that helped but i used medical marijuana that used to help with the insomnia and the headaches id recommend edibles and vaporizer though and jesus helps too.

    • steveso profile image

      Steve 5 years ago from Brockport, NY

      Thank you for your comment. At least I didn't get these problems until I was in my fifties. I feel your suffering and I hope some day we will find something that will help us.

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      Ima Saultive 5 years ago

      My Dr told me that the reflux causes your body to produce excess mucous, this makes me soo sick. I don't even get heartburn or the obvious reflux pain, now I just feel sick to my stomach and exhausted. It used to make me vomit too and terrible headaches! I found that if I take a Claratin D 10 or 12 hour at the start of my day it keeps those symptoms in check as well as my gerd meds!! It's a living hell! I'm only 30!

    • steveso profile image

      Steve 6 years ago from Brockport, NY

      Many times when people tell me they have chronic sinusitis I ask them if they have GERD or acid reflux and the answer is yes.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Badder 6 years ago from USA

      I have these same problems. I never linked the two together though, but I guess it all makes sense.