syzygy wrote:In my case, I don't think that CPAP caused my sinus infection; in fact, I didn't even know I had one until a CT scan showed I did. I suspect I've had the infection since before I started CPAP more than a year ago.
I am now on antibiotics, and have been on and off for 2 months. I had a second CT scan after 6 weeks of antibiotics, and that indicated that the infection was still there, so I'm wondering if the CPAP has been hindering my recovery. It's also true that I don't really feel any better on CPAP than off it. It's clear that there are significant trade offs with regard to using/not using the CPAP.
Please note that since my sinus infection was probably not caused by CPAP...
First of all, continue to work with your doctor as you have mentioned. Also, since you are saying "It's also true that I don't really feel any better on CPAP than off it", I'd encourage you to STAY ON CPAP until you see the doctor. If you are on CPAP it is for a reason and if it isn't making it worse, I'd sure keep using it!
If you want some medical guidance prior to your doctor appointment, call and ask to speak with your doctor's nurse who may have suggestions to help you until you can get in to see the doctor.
syzygy wrote:I would be interested in hearing any thoughts from people who have been in similar situations.
I'm sorry to hear about your sinus issue and have a lot of empathy for you.
About 18 months ago, I was having breathing issues which were waking me up due to a feeling that I couldn't get enough air while I was sleeping.
This eventually led me to an Ear/Nose/Throat doc who sent me off to check for structural sinus issues, infection, allergy, acid reflux, sleep apnea. He said don't be surprised if you have a combination of things. Over the course of a year, various specialists, allergy tests, sleep study and a CT exam, I found out I had all of the above including a sinus infection that he said I'd probably had for years. Various antibiotics could not kick my sinus infection and I ended up with sinus surgery to open my sinuses up and allow my sinuses to drain better. That finally seemed to end the sinus infection.
I started CPAP 3 months ago in response to "severe" sleep apnea.
Because of the variety of issues, I've found I have to do several different things to keep my sinuses clear at night and the CPAP comfortable to use. Unfortunately, you may need to experiment a lot as well. I have made my CPAP experience much better by trying small adjustments for an entire week and keeping what works and stopping what doesn't. Only change one thing at a time or you won't be able to figure out what is helping. For congestion and sinus pressure, I have experimented with a variety of over the counter decongestants and allergy medications, but those will only help symptoms of a sinus infection, not the root cause.I felt what appeared to be a sinus infection coming on a couple of weeks ago:
1) I was able to alleviate some of the pressure and runny nose by using double-saline packets
in my 8oz NeilMed sinus wash bottle. This seemed to help at first, but unfortunately it didn't end the congestion and after a few days it started drying and chapping my nose quite a bit, so I went back to single dose twice per day.
2) What did work really well for me, was adding 2 tablespoon (1 ounce) of a product called Alkalol in the evening to my 8oz NeilMed sinus wash (along with the normal saline packet)
. It really clears things out and seems to keep me clear so I can sleep better. This combination did an incredible job of breaking everything up and clearing out my nasal passages. I bought Alkalol on the recommendation of a person on this website. The pharmacist where I purchased it said there was an ENT in my town that sent all of his patients in for Alkalol, for use in their daily sinus wash and for after sinus surgery. Alkalol does not seem to be very common and I had to have the pharmacist order it for me. http://www.alkalolcompany.com/index.php ... is-alkalol
I don't know if the Alkalol will help you, but it sure helped me.
3) The other product that was strongly recommended to me was Mucinex (generic is widely available and is known as guaifenesin)
. I bought it, but haven't had to use it yet.
Good luck and I hope you find a fix soon!