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Heavy mucus flow, mild tinnitus, sinus pressure and low energy. Had surgery of straightening septum. Suggest?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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I am 46 year old male, 6', 162 lbs, and generally in good health. I take imiprimine, 50 mg/day, for mild depression, and over the counter meds for chronic allergies. I've been on & off allergy injections since I was 14, and currently do not take them. In 1994 I had surgery involving straightening my septum, nasal windows, and resection of turbinates. In the 90s I also had outpatient irrigations done. Issue: as happens every winter, I got a sinus infection, which started on 12-30-11. Symptoms include heavy XXXXXXX mucous flow, mild tinitus, sinus pressure, post-nasal drip and low energy. I've been to my GP twice, and have been through a course of Ceftin and then Avelox, combined with Flonase and daily sinus irrigation (neti pot). I have been off antibiotics now for 2 days. My sinuses have improved by ~80%, however, I still have ringing in my ears and my energy level is not yet 100%. Should I go back to my GP, go to an ENT, or just wait and see if my ears stop ringing and my energy returns? My tinitus does not interfere with my life, but is more pronounced than in previous years. Historically, when my sinus infection cleared, my ears stopped ringing. My GP looked at my ears and there is no infection or other indication of an ear problem. I don't want to sit on this condition if it should be addressed sooner than later. I have no other sypmptoms - no fever, swollen glands, etc. What do you think is going on with my sinuses? Thank you in advance for your assistance.
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for the query and an elaborate history

Ringing in the ears following an attack of sinusitis is due to blockage of the Eustachian tube (the tube connecting the nose and the ear).

Sinusitis is a condition wherein there is inflammation of the sinuses followed by infection and nasal block with or without nasal discharge. Following inflammation there is swelling of the nasal mucosa due to which there is blockage of the sinus opening leading to accumulation of the nasal secretions. Accumulated nasal secretions get infected causing headache, fever, nasal stuffiness, ear blockage, etc.

During an attack of sinusitis there is also swelling of the opening of the Eustachian tube causing ear block. Ear block creates negative pressure and accumulation of the secretions in the middle ear. The former condition causes fullness and ringing sensation in the ear.

This is a common problem following sinusitis. I would suggest you to use saline nasal spray followed by steam inhalation. Drink plenty of warm water; avoid coffee, chilled food and beverages for few days. If the symptoms do not improve please do consult a good ENT Specialist.

Hope I have answered your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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