Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
149 Doctors are Online

Sinus infection. Should go for surgery or homeopathic treatment?

User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2291 Questions
Question about surgery/frontal sinus risk
Wanted to run some basic questions by someone else, since the ENT specialist I'm seeing isn't very helpful. I've been dealing w/ a sinus infection for a few months and antibiotics didn't get rid of it. So he ordered a CT scan, and told me today that I need surgery. He didn't show me the scan or give me a report, but said one sinus on my cheek is completely blocked, one on my forehead has some blockage, and I think 1-2 others have some blockage too. I should say: My symptoms don't seem that bad. Noticeable (mainly post-nasal drip/mucus in throat), but not awful. Only other symptom is sort of tenderness/achy feeling on side of my neck (a new symptom, not sure if it's related).

I don't like the idea of surgery, but what I'm worried about is when he told me if I did nothing the infection could theoretically spread to my brain. He said this was very unlikely and downplayed the possibility, but wouldn't elaborate -- and now that I look online, I get the impression it's a serious possibility with the forehead (frontal) sinus issue. Now I'm paralyzed with fear. Am I going to suddenly get meningitis or a brain infection because of this? Should I be in the emergency room treating this? If so, why should I wait a month for surgery, which is what he's saying the wait it? Or is there some homepathic way I could treat this, with a Neti pot or whatever?

I'd still like to avoid surgery. But I'm also scared now that my life is in danger.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 5 hours later

First of all, I would like to reassure you that the things what you have described does not seem to be very serious.

There are two types of sinusitis (i) Acute sinusitis (with a short duration of symptoms) and (ii) Chronic sinusitis (long-standing symptoms)

Bacterial sinusitis is almost harmless, a course of antibiotics generally eliminate further problems. In rare cases, however, sinusitis can be very serious. Bacterial infections from the sinuses can spread through natural dehiscences and weakness in the bony barriers. In long standing infections, the surrounding bone undergoes pressure necrosis due to constant presence of fluid, while in acute stage massive osteolysis (bony destruction) is commonly seen.

The features of acute sinusitis are fever, headache (pressure or pain behind the eyes, toothache, or facial tenderness), nasal congestion, nasal discharge, bad breath or loss of smell, cough, sore throat and postnasal drip. Whereas in chronic sinusitis the features are almost similar but not associated with fever or any life threatening symptoms.

With your description, there does not seem to be any signs of any complications or acute episode, it could be more of chronic sinusitis involving the left maxillary sinus and the frontal sinus without much of debilitating symptoms.

The neck pain could be a referred pain from the throat, due to post nasal drip causing inflammation of the posterior pharyngeal wall.

I do not think so, you need to rush to the emergency and get the medications. I feel, you need to discuss with your doctor and start on medications for opening up of the sinuses.

The medications include steroid nasal spray (such as fluticasone or momentasone) a mucolytic (such as bromhexine or ambroxol) and probably a course of antibiotics if your post nasal discharge is either yellow or XXXXXXX Apart from this, you need to do steam inhalation 3-4 times a day, drink plenty of warm water (to rehydrate the nasal and throat mucosa); avoid chilled beverages, excessive coffee/smoking if any. Neti pot can also be tried to decongest the sinus openings.

Surgery is planned only after giving the necessary medications for at least a period of 6 months (unless there are complications involved) and it has failed to resolve the symptoms or the disease.

Hope this answers your query;

Wish you good health and speedy recovery.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask an ENT Specialist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor