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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Serious sinus problems for a Teacher

03/09/1999

Question:

I have had sinus surgery almost 4 years ago. The right side of my face swells and causes pain and pressure, excruciatingly. Biaxin helps so it doesn't get worse and if I take a Z pak twice (back to back) it will usually clear up. However, now I am on my 2nd Z pak and it hasn't completely improved. It's like there is an impaction. I've been allergy tested and was slightly allergic to molds. I have been told I react to the climate changes. I did not ever have any trouble with this until about 4 years ago while on vacation. Since then every Winter, I have chronic problems. Is there any other avenues I can try other than more surgery? I do nasal irrigations morning and night. Are there other antibiotics in the family of Biaxin but stronger that might work?

Answer:

First, if you haven't had a recent CT scan of your sinuses, it might be worthwhile for your physician to consider this option. Despite having undergone previous surgery, sometimes the maxillary sinuses (in the cheeks) can continue to cause problems.

There are other antibiotics which have a broader spectrum of antibacterial action than the ones you have mentioned, however, I would not be inclined to pursue any of these until after you have a scan.

Good Luck.

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Response by:

Thomas A Tami, MD Thomas A Tami, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati