The Scourge of Chronic Sinusitis and GERD Combination.
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.