My sinus trouble started way back in my late teens.

I can remember running around for a whole summer, basically sick, blowing massive discharges out of my nose after surfing or whatever. I remember looking down at these massive things and thinking, gosh, something’s not right. Then one day that year I noticed a golf ball had formed in my armpit – yes, a golf ball, at least that’s what it felt like. (I’d later find this was a swollen gland and that it was filled with poison – your glands are there to fight toxins in your body. Swelling can be a sign that your glands are engaged in a little toxin-fighting warfare.)

The doctor told me I’d have to take antibiotics because I had been running around sick for a long time and the lump, well, that was my body trying to fight the infection. Hopefully, antibiotics would fix it they told me. If not, they’d cut the gland out because it could actually cause a really severe infection if it burst. Lovely.

The antibiotics worked. The golf ball disappeared. But I continued to get sick a lot. And like an idiot, in college, I’d often go on being sick – too busy to want to see the doctor – for months. Until, once again, I’d be put on antibiotics to clear it up.

By my late 20s I was noticing that I was congested a lot. At first, stuff like Afrin worked great. Any time I was congested, sniff a little of that stuff and  that would usually take care of it.

Then, one day, that stopped working.  And I discovered something even more strange happening inside my nose. Or should I say, I discovered something living in my nose – a big ole’ nasal polyp.

It was freaky. One morning, I noticed that it felt like my right nostril was swelling. I’d blow my nose but nothing would come out. So looked in the mirror and, lo and behold, this translucent grape-like balloon was hanging down inside my right sinus passage. It wasn’t mucus, it was fleshy, soft and TOTALLY blocking my right sinus. I remember sticking a pin in it (sanitized it first, of course), thinking maybe I could pop it, but all it did was bleed slightly. I thought, uh, better not do that again.

For the next two years I was constantly sick. I’d catch a cold and it would turn into a sinus infection, the polyp would swell, I couldn’t breathe, I’d take antibiotics, it would clear up and then it would start all over again about a month later. It sucked. But at this point, it was somehow still manageable. (And something I’ve learned about the sinus cursed people like me, we sort of just get used to it. I think part of it is that we simply forget what it’s like to have normal sinuses, to be able to breathe, smell etc. You just forget and begin to accept your new reality.)


Well, one day, I decided to move into a new house down the street. As I was moving a desk, I discovered something alarming on the wall behind it:  black mold growing in the plaster everywhere. I didn’t even really know what black mold was, nor did I think it had anything to do with my sinus trouble that had, as of late, gotten way worse (it was in this house that I discovered the visible polyp in my right sinus).

(Oh, look! Killer mold growing behind my dresser! Awesome!)

I checked more places around the house. It was in my roommate’s closets, behind some of their pieces of furniture where it was more dark and dank. And well, if you could see this much mold visibly, I could only imagine how much mold was lurking in the wall everywhere all over the house. But of all the places, it was by far the worst in my room. It was everywhere. The more I looked, the more I found. The plaster on my wall was actually saturated and moist from it.

(My roomate’s closet had it too, but alas, he was never sick. So go figure. Not everyone is sensitive to mold. One of life’s mysteries, I guess.)

During the time I lived at this house, I saw some ENTs – two different ones. Both said I had chronic sinusitis. Both said I needed surgery. Both said they’d rarely seen sinuses worse than mine. They said basically I had almost zero room to breathe and that I should really have FESS. I decided they were right. I was sick of the misery. Tired of not being able to breathe. So, I picked my surgeon, did the CAT scan for the Image-guided procedure. And then…

…I moved out of that mold-filled house and I instantly got better. (Was it the mold that took my chronic sinus problems to the next level? I think so – for sure. Many ENTs I’ve spoken to think so.  I know one thing, my sinus problems were 3 times worse living in this house. One other factoid: the woman that moved into the house after me was sick for two years. She sued the property management company for not disclosing the fact that there was mold. Get this: they just painted over it and sold the house to her without telling her about it. Insane.)


For a number of years after, I was convinced that it was the house. It was the mold. Now that I was away from it, my symptoms were way better. It was over. And I think I was right – for the most part, for a while at least.

And now that I was better, I thought, why have that surgery?  After all, who needs to have a surgeon probing around cutting things near your eyes and brain unless you absolutely have to? Not me. Hellz no.

In my 30s, bouts of chronic sinusitis seemed to flare up occasionally again. Most the time some antibiotics would clear it up. But more and more often, a little cold would turn into a month-long ordeal. I’d get a cold, but then I’d get the swelling in my nose (the polyps were still there after all). And then I’d stay sick for weeks beyond what a normal person would.

As this pattern carried on through my 30s, I tried everything: Claritin, Zyrtec, Claritin-D, Sudafed, Afrin (but the rebound sinus swelling became unbearable), steroid sprays, saline sprays, cayenne pepper spray (Sinus Buster) and, of course, the homeopathic hippie all-time fav: the neti pot.  Of course, most the time when my sinuses were inflamed, the neti pot was total joke since no rinse could even go one centimeter up my sinuses before being greeted by the Hoover damn known as my sinus polyps.

Little did I know at the time, that it wasn’t just the sinus polyp I could see. There were many, many more I wasn’t seeing. And they filled my sinus cavities (you have six sinus cavities in your head, by the way. Yes, I said, six.). I may have gotten away from the mold, but I couldn’t escape the polyps – they were there to stay now.

And hence, I couldn’t escape my chronic sinus infections. The reason is simple: if you have polyps inside your nasal cavities, you simply can’t drain mucus effectively. If you can’t drain mucus effectively, any cold virus or respiratory infection will stay in your sinuses and fester.

When these bacterial infections fester, they cause you to go on being sick long after the cold virus is gone. And this chronic infection causes the inflammation in your sinuses to just get worse. And well, at a certain point it’s all one self-feeding cycle that you can’t break and every medicine in the world can’t do a thing to help you.


Then, when I was 37, I had a baby. And that baby – God love her – was a magnet for every virus known to man, as babies always are. In a span of 6 months, I was sick about 6 different times. Each time 10-20 days of total sinus blockage. Zero air moving through my nose. I was on every medicine you can think and I was doubling the doses and nothing worked. I was chronic mouth breather. I sounded like Marvin the Martian when I spoke.

It was time to see an ENT. Again.

This time, I saw three different ENTs, including one that was basically famous and the ENT to the stars (he’s the ENT for the American Idol contestants). He took a cat scan and said he’d rarely seen sinuses that were worse.

All six of my sinuses, that should have been “black” in the cat-scan indicating open space, were filled with gray, opaque stuff. Could be mucus. Could be polyps. But one thing was for sure, something was terribly wrong.

I was then put on a course of antibiotics to see if it could be cleared up. 5 antibiotics and 6 weeks later, the celeb ENT took another Cat-scan and, well, I was essentially the same, if not – can you believe this? – worse.  At the time, I had just caught a terrible cold a few weeks earlier and my sinuses were terribly inflamed.

The polyp in my right nostril was threatening to make an appearance in broad daylight, as it seemed to be heading right out the bottom of the opening of my nostril (this actually happens to people – insane, but true). It was time for surgery. The celeb ENT agreed.

I saw another ENT to confirm the celeb ENT’s diagnosis. Same exact opinion: time for surgery.

And after a decade of misery, I decided, yes, it was time for surgery. Whatever fear, pain or consequence of the surgery, I couldn’t live like this any more. My wife was going to kill me if I complained one more day. I was going to kill me if she didn’t.

Now it was just a matter of who would perform the FESS procedure.

44 Comments so far
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Ah, good to read the trials of a fellow sufferer. I had my polyps removed almost 2 years ago. The consultant put me on nasonex steroid spray to keep them at bay, but it hasn’t worked. I know that they are back on the march. I did come off the nasonex about a month ago (went back on flixonase), I was concerned at the feeling that something (blood vessel) was under pressure and about to explode in my forehead. This led me to look at side effects, which are really worrying. I also blame the steroid sprays for masking my sense of smell, which does return fleetingly if I forget to take the spray. I did find your info on infections useful as since the operation I have had experienced morning gunge at the back of my throat. But what next/ Would love to be able to smell, not doing so is such a handicap. And I’m certainly not going for another op, anaesthetics play havoc with my memory. What I’d really like to do is track down a consultant who is not only a master at his craft but very into indepth research for new treatments.

Comment by Heather

I’m sorry to hear it’s been such a nightmare for you. This sinus stuff is so perplexing and frustrating, isn’t it? And everybody’s situation is different and unique. Have you done an MRI to see if the polyps are indeed back?

I know it’s always a good possibility they’ll return. For me, it’s been all positive and no signs yet of anything new polyp-wise. But they’re not really noticed until they’re back in a BIG way.

Hope you find some answers, my friend.


Comment by brettcraig

I had nasal polyps for ten years, 17-27. I couldnt even touch alcohol, the polypos almost DID come out of my nose! Then one day someone suggested cutting out wheat, gluten, yeast, and dairy, (sounds impossible and extreme I know!) But after two months, everything had gone. I even have my sense of smell back. I was a miracle for me, and I say this in the hope that u at least try. I wouldnt wish nasal polyps on my worst enemy!!!!!! Its very hard to give up your favourite foods, but i believe its the root cause of the problem. The Dr’s never even suggested it to me, and u have to wonder whether they want to keep ppl paying the billions they do for sprays and other such remidies, that never work with polyps.! Gd luck!

Comment by robbie

Hi Robbie, I too have nasal polyps. I have had two surgeries and now do not have good insurance to get more. I would like to try the diet. Can you give me more details. I heard that maybe sugar can be a cause as well. What about coffee? Any help you can give will be much appreciated!! Nancy

Comment by Nancy Feldman

Just had polyps removed from deep in my sinuses and feel pretty good. The bleeding stopped after 14 hours and now just feel little tired and was told not to blow my nose for several days.., that is the hard part. I think I will be very happy that I had this procedure done.


Comment by Rhonda

How you feeling now? Better I hope!!

Comment by brettcraig

great!! Keep us posted on your progress. Good luck!!

Comment by Nancy Feldman

I am a fellow polyp sufferer as well. This blog could have been written by me word for word! I just had a huge polyp removed yesterday as it was just about dangling outside of my right nostril. Easy procedure but once the ENT took it out he could see that I had at least 4-5 others. I did cut out wheat, sugar, dairy etc….definitely did not help me but I have heard it helping others….lucky ducks! I hope this thread continues as this is one depressing condition to have.

Comment by Sarah Jane

Totallllyy related to this!!!! So did u get the surgery??

Comment by Yuki

Yes! The whole story is on the blog!

Comment by brettcraig

I have polyps in both of my nostrils and I am thinking about getting the surgery. I hear it is extremely painful and it takes forever before your normal again. I need to do something because my girlfriend is about ready to kill me from the snoring and loud breathing. Also, I have black mold in my home and I do not know if it is the cause of getting polyps or how I got them but I wish I knew….

Comment by Sam

Its not terrible I dont think. It is a mystery these polyps. Theories but no absolutes on causes.

But i found the surgery to be extremely helpful.

Comment by brettcraig been reading about this type of therapy for awhile now. I don’t have polyps but I am trying to help those who do. Cell salts work small quantities under the tongue. its not luck its science

Comment by Steve

Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after
I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all
that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say great blog!

Comment by Mathew

Outstanding story there. What happened after?
Good luck!

Comment by ways to get your ex back

Read recovery room. It’s all there!

Comment by brettcraig

Hi Fellow nasal polyps sufferers. I have had them for about 4 years, since turning 40 actually!!). I have had 1 op which worked for about a year and am awaiting another . I hope everyday that the letter letting me know when the op is happening has arrived! I am now seeing a naturopath who has been great letting me know what I am allergic too. Still have them though! Can hardly speak. Resort to prednisolone on really bad days. Nasonex is totally useless for me. Snore, sleep apnoea and generally feeling crap. I constantly sound like I have a clothes peg on my nose. Sit open mouthed ..Can’t smell a thing and consequently no taste either! Hope they just find a way of getting rid of the blighters. Hate them. Feeling miserable :(

Comment by Kels

I have been off of gluent/dairy/sugar etc since 2 February 2013 & have had NO issues with polyps! No sinus infections…nothing! My energy level is up & am able to breathe! I am taking 5 Green Tea capsules a day as well as nettles in capsule form. Between the natural supplements & change in diet my nasal distress has diminished. I should add that I was food allergy tested & tested positive for many foods. My new doctor who is a Naturopath said this was probably only temporary & thought I would be able to go back to some of the foods if not all of them.

Hang in there & be your own advocate! It took me almost 4 years to find a doctor who was willing to think “outside the box”.

Comment by Sarah Jane

Are you off of Coffee too? I keep starting the gluten/dairy/sugar reg but cannot stick to it.

Comment by Nancy Feldman


I don’t drink coffee. :)

Try to stick with the elimination of gluten/wheat/dairy/sugar….you can do it & there are plenty of alternatives! :-)

Sarah Jane

Comment by Sarah Jane

I have had my sinus problem for six years now.alot of black mold in a house I moved into,chemicals from work,?? don’t know. doctor told me I had sinus poylps.long story short,i had 4 surgerys by two’s.i moved from east cost to west cost,hopeing the change in weather would help.NOPE.looks like I will need surgery # 5. I wish there was a doctor who could find a way to fix it and forget it.going though life with out any smell or taste just sucks. steroids work,i call them (the magic pill) makes you feel awesome.but they won’t give you more than a weeks worth,because there bad for you. for all of us,hope they will find a cure

Comment by dan

Vitamin C with bioflavinoids has worked wonders for me. I take 3,000-5,000mg every day plus a high quality multi vit. Google Vit C for Nasal Polyps! My year of suffering is now over in a matter of days.

Comment by

Hello ryan are you still taking the vitamins.and if not how long do you have to take them for?I have bad nasal polyps as well

Comment by eddie

This is my advice for what it is worth Please do not just keep suffering from sinus issues and nasal polyps,

I think sinus issues may be related to cold, dampy black mold houses black mold creates micotoxins this is very very serious illness, Even if you cannot see it in your house it may be hidden leak in the walls check around if you have to tear open the sheet rock close to the pipies or gutter, You can die from black mold so this is very serious , If there is black mold move out ASAP like today!! Once the fungus is in your nose blood it is stop all foods that create candida/fungus stop all sugar / dairy /wheat. You must go to a really good ENT doctor that really really cares about you . They first give you antibiotics , the neti pot and if it does not work then you must go back that way the doctor can get serious ….This is your health, if the doctor can’t help you find someone that will. Please do not just keep waiting and waiting . You have one life and you deserved to be healthy and happy plus the nose is too close to the brain and you do not want any complication take action now please do not wait!!!

Comment by GRACE

Had the surgery fifteen years ago and within 4 years they were back. Other than (10 day dosages of )prednisone which only clears it up temporarily, one other thing opens up my nasal passage ways. Exercise or an extremely elevated heart rate. Now I have been trying to explore foods that may help open up blood vessels especially in the nasal area.

Comment by Terry

Hey! I’m seeing a 2nd ENT on the 6th. I visited with one & I went to the car & cried :( my throat is always a bright red with tonsils stones. The very back wall of my throat. Looks like its filled with pus pockets. I cant ever breathe out of my nose. Sometimes I can breathe out of one side. It will change from right to left side. The first ent said it was meds that i was on. But told him it was like this b4 and has been for several years. His assistant ran a camera down my nose & throat to look.around. he said I had a polyp. The Dr came in & said there wasnt anything to b done I had dry mouth & to get off my meds. He was a real jerk! So, going to see a different Dr & just say that I dont have a primary care dr. He instantly started treating me bad as soon as he read on my chart who my primary care Dr was. Was very strange!!

Comment by amber

Hi guys, arrrg so sorry to hear of all this nasal misery, i thought i was the only one, ive had a nightmare year with polyps, co-insides with just moving into the property as well.
I,m a chef without taste or smell, great eh and i have polyps in both nostrils, the one in my right tends to try to escape and is often quite visible, swollen and to be honest now the panic attacks are gone they just seriously gross me out and i.m totally sick of felling like a small child with a ever flowing nose grrrr, rant over.
Hey i got a trick to make them reduce and vanish overnight when flared up, going to speak with my gp to see if i may have unwittingly come across some relief, seriously its happened last three time, if its safe il let you guys in on it, yesterday no air and an alien in my nose, today, a lot better, not gone though.
best wishes to you all


Comment by nigel moss.

Hey Nige, So what is the miracle cure? Am waiting with bated breath ( and clogged nose). Nancy

Comment by Nancy Feldman

I think I found the cure and answer as to why we get nose polyps :). Here is everything I learned. first things first, if you have nose polyps you should look into getting tested for a “YEAST INFECTION”. apparently that’s what’s causing the polyps. that’s why they say to stay away from wheat, dairy, and mainly sugar, because your apparently fighting the yeast infection. there is an over the counter medication that is supposedly very good for killing yeast infection and its called “FLUCONAZOLE”. I haven’t tried it yet since my doctor already prescribed me with other medicine for my polyps called “AMOXICILLIN”.
this is my first week in this battle so I can’t give you guys any results yet, but i will keep posting after a week. sorry about that, I just felt you guys would appreciate some immediate answer from someone who’s made a break through in this problem. anyways I’ll keep you guys posted, and maybe you guys can confirm if this has worked for you guys as well.

Comment by Michael

YOU ARE DEFICIENT IN VITAMIN C. I suffered for a year with these awful things. Literally thought I was going to die. After finding a post from someone sayin take 5000mg vit C an bioflavonoids every day I was cured in less than 2 weeks. I was so thankful but mad because my ENT could not tell me this. I started with 3000mg of vit c and that did the trick for me. I can smell again, drink alcohol, eat salt, and breath through both nostrils. I have never been able to breath so well.
On a side note, I do not eat gluten or soy And choose organic and pasture raised meats as well. Life is great now!!!

Comment by Mike

I would think if one had a yeast infection that one would not want to take antibiotics as it destroys the good bacteria & can actually cause yeast to grow. I definitely agree, however, that yeast should be checked. I wish you well! :)

Comment by Sarah Jane

Wow! I am completely blown away with all your accounts. For almost 20 years I thought I was alone in this battle. I am finally having surgery next week. I am terrified. Not only because of fear of pain and complications, but more for the longevity of the recovery….I have three kids and me being out of commision is not really great for our household. My polyps are deep in my sinus cavitiies, no where near the openings of my nose. However, I suffer from daily head aches and facial pressure. Has any one experienced those along with their sinus problems?

Comment by Aimee

Good luck, Aimee!!! I had some pressure for sure. No smell. Constant plugged nose. Sick all the time. It stinks. I think you’ll get some relief soon!!! Lemme know how it goes!

Comment by brettcraig

Has anyone tried cayenne spray or coconut oil . Please share what has helped … I am dying here and thinking of going back on prednisone once again just so that I can get a bit of relief,

Comment by Kathy Trew

Didnt work for me at all. Cayenne, that is.

Comment by brettcraig

try to do nasal irrigation with garlic everyday. I felt this is amazing .

Comment by varinder kaur

Cayenne/Turmeric capsules in tandem with a “clean” diet works GREAT for me. I went from having polyps falling out of my nostrils to being polyp/sinus infection free for a year. :)

Comment by Sarah Jane

Great news! What was your daily intake? Also how much mg are in each capsule? Thanks

Comment by Jamie

I have just begun to look into alternative medicines, etc. for my polyps. I had surgery in 2012. It all went well, I didn’t take any pain meds, I could smell things I never knew I was missing. The downside, I seem to be sick every 2-3 months now. And like others, if I get a cold I have it for weeks and my nose plugs up and the polyps inflame. Only relief is Prednisone which we all know is not good for you. I’ve done the Neti Pot, the Naseonex and other nasal sprays, Budesonide through a nebulizer . . . you name it, I’ve tried it, medically speaking. Now I’ve been told another surgery could be looming. That won’t be happening. Although the surgery went well, the anesthesia did mess with my memory and although I have intermittent relief, I get sick more often now and I don’t feel fully recovered and it’s been two years! Time to be my own advocate and it helps to find I’m not the only one out there with this issue. Definitely going to try the gluten/dairy/sugar free diet and do some more research on the Vitamin C with bioflavonoids. Good luck to us all!!

Comment by Larie

How is that going? We all need to know. Thank you!

Comment by Nancy Feldman

I started taking 3000 mg of Vitamin C and 3000 mg of Bioflavanoids daily. That’s all my stomach could handle, even though previous comments said 5000 mg each daily. It’s been several weeks and I am clear as far as breathing goes with occasional congestion shifting from one side to the other. Taking a decongestant usually takes care of that. I still cannot smell a darn thing. So I would recommend the Vitamin C/Bioflavanoid combo which seems to have reduced some of the inflammation, but apparently not all since I still can’t smell. Doctor says the inflammation of the polyps blocks the smell sensors and that’s why I can’t smell. If my nose is clear for air passage I can only assume the polyps are still inflamed enough to block the smell sensors. Will find out tomorrow.

About every 3 months I get some sort of infection which causes one or both ears to get congested (like water in the ear) and it causes terrible ringing in my ears. Doctor puts me on antibiotics and within a couple days I’m feeling better, but after initial bout of ear congestion ringing lessens after antibiotics but never goes away completely.

Does anyone have any feedback on not being able to smell? Are most of us without a sense of smell? Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks!

Comment by Larie

Hi Everyone , This sinus problem is not small . I am waiting for my sinus surgery .it is on June 5 ,2014. there is long list before me . its hard to breath for me ,cant sleep ,cant work . But i found herbal treatment .Guys, i did nasal irrigation with garlic and salt and it was amazing . my nose is clear and i am not feeling any headache . i slept well last night . and today morning i am so relaxed. Guys try this , find the right way to do this and dont use Tap water . i hope it will help you to . thanks

Comment by varinder kaur

I have simular sinus problems with an unexpected complication.

Comment by wendy

What is that??

Comment by Nancy Feldman

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