Upper and lower airway problems

Posted by anunez @anunez, Apr 9 6:16pm

Hello All, I have been reading posts on shortness of breath, MAC and Bronchiectasis looking for clues to my problems which began suddenly 3 years ago with a productive cough that has persisted. I have seen an allergist, ENT, pulmonologist, and most recently an infectious disease doctor. I have taken many courses of oral antibiotics, used inhalers and tried allergy medications. I have had sputum tests, cat scans and sinus surgery. I can not keep my airways clear and have suffered with chronic cough for over three years. I do not have COPD. I have been diagnosed with bronchiectasis, asthma, and chronic sinus disease.

Most recently my last two cat scans in Jan and early March showed an infection in my right lung that did not resolve after six weeks and two courses of antibiotics. I am now using a nebulizer with 7% saline twice a day. The next step was to be a Bronchoscopy but the COVIC-19 crisis hit and I am on hold. It has been a very rough winter. Luckily I am sheltering at home but i have not felt comfortable being out in public since February due to the constant coughing up phlegm.

I absolutely have chronic rhino sinusitis which may be the primary issue. I am doing sinus irrigation 3 times daily. I use a steroid in the sinus rinse along with a mucous thinner and saline.

My question to the community is: Does anyone have both upper (sinus) and lower airway disease and how have you managed it? I am 69 years old and was in perfect health until this started.

Hi @anunez I am so sorry to hear that the infection in your right lung did not resolve. It must not be easy having your bronchoscopy delayed, and not knowing when it will be rescheduled, but you have come to the right place to talk with people who have similar experiences. I’d like to invite @sueinmn @windwalker @irene5 @thumperguy @heathert @migizii @tdrell @alleycatkate and @rits to this conversion – they may be able to offer support and help you to find the answers you seek.

You mentioned you also have chronic rhino sinusitis – does doing sinus irrigation help with the symptoms at all?

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@nunez I'm sorry to hear you are struggling, a lot of people are dealing with delays in non-emergency procedures, and it is so difficult. Many of us have had to undergo multiple courses of antibiotics to resolve lung infections.
Can you tell us what was diagnosed from your sputum cultures? Have you had any procedures to try to relieve your sinusitis?
I intermittently deal with sinusitis, asthma and bronch – all of them give me up and down days. The only suggestion I have at this point is to do what you can to keep the mucus flowing. I find some relief from the congestion with Breathe Easy Tea from Traditional Medicinals – widely available in the tea aisle of larger markets and on line. I also us Mucinex (Long acting guaifenesin) to keep the mucus thin.
Stay calm and stay well.
Sue

Liked by Chloe Liu

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@chloeliucw

Hi @anunez I am so sorry to hear that the infection in your right lung did not resolve. It must not be easy having your bronchoscopy delayed, and not knowing when it will be rescheduled, but you have come to the right place to talk with people who have similar experiences. I’d like to invite @sueinmn @windwalker @irene5 @thumperguy @heathert @migizii @tdrell @alleycatkate and @rits to this conversion – they may be able to offer support and help you to find the answers you seek.

You mentioned you also have chronic rhino sinusitis – does doing sinus irrigation help with the symptoms at all?

Jump to this post

thank you for your reply. I am using nasal irrigation 3 times daily right now. It is helpful but only for a few hours. I look forward to hearing comments from anyone that may have some experience with this issue.

Liked by Chloe Liu

REPLY
@sueinmn

@nunez I'm sorry to hear you are struggling, a lot of people are dealing with delays in non-emergency procedures, and it is so difficult. Many of us have had to undergo multiple courses of antibiotics to resolve lung infections.
Can you tell us what was diagnosed from your sputum cultures? Have you had any procedures to try to relieve your sinusitis?
I intermittently deal with sinusitis, asthma and bronch – all of them give me up and down days. The only suggestion I have at this point is to do what you can to keep the mucus flowing. I find some relief from the congestion with Breathe Easy Tea from Traditional Medicinals – widely available in the tea aisle of larger markets and on line. I also us Mucinex (Long acting guaifenesin) to keep the mucus thin.
Stay calm and stay well.
Sue

Jump to this post

Sue thank you for your reply. I will try the Breath Easy tea. I have tired Mucinex in the past and will give it another try. It seems that it would be helpful as I have thick mucous which does not flow well. Often the mucous seems to be sitting deep in my sinus or down deep in my throat. I use a steroid and mucus thinner in my rinse but not sure it gets to where it needs to go to be helpful.
I had sinus surgery in Sept 2018 and it did help at first. But the cough has never stopped. I think it has been difficult to know for sure what is causing the cough. Is it a lung problem or a rhino sinusitis problem or both. The infectious disease doctor theorized that something about the structure of upper ways is causing the lung issues.
Past sputum and sinus swabs have found pseudomonas aeruginosa over the past two years. I have been treated with a 10 day course of Cipro, levofloxacin, and Tobramycin in my sinus rinse. I have tested for MAC several times. I have had some positive and mostly negative tests. I have a sputum test pending right now. If they found pseudomonas I would have heard by now as it has been 3 weeks. Dr. said it would be six weeks for results. I think until I can have the bronchoscopy I will not know what is going on for sure.

Liked by Chloe Liu

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