My journey to solving my chronic sinus problems has been a frustrating and often times painful journey. Since I was extremely young, I have dealt with severe allergies that span through all seasons, both, indoor and outdoor. I began seeking help where most patients start, the allergist.
The allergist conducted both skin and lung tests. I tested positively (reacted) to every allergen in the panel. I was diagnosed with sever allergies and asthma and placed on a steroid nasal spray, nebulizer and inhaled steroids for asthma control. Following several years of continued issues with my sinuses including: sever postnasal drip, nosebleeds and 5-7 sinus infections per year; the allergist recommended that I be placed on allergy shots. The allergy shots seemed to begin offering some relief to my chronic symptoms after a year of receiving them; however, I always knew that this solution was masking the problems not solving the underlying issue.
In 2007, the allergist referred me to a local otolaryngologist (ENT) for further insight into what might be causing all my chronic sinus issues. After an examination, the ENT suggested that I undergo deviated septum surgery to remove a cyst that was blocking my left sinus cavity and remove polyps. They hoped that the surgery would considerably clear my sinuses allowing better drainage and preventing future infection.
The recovering is a long and painful process and within months of the operation they reported that my polyps had returned. Upon hearing this news, I was resigned to the fact that there was no permanent solution, and the best I could hope for was moderate control over my symptoms. Over the next few years, I stayed on nasal steroids to reduce the polyps’ sizes and used a neti pot to irrigate and flush my sinuses.
A few months ago, I made a decision to relocate to Atlanta, Georgia. Being from Florida, but having lived in Georgia before, I knew I was in for a tough time with my allergies. I was attending a dinner with some friends and Dr. Andrew Pugliese was eating at the table with me. Upon hearing my story, he encouraged me to come in to the office and see if he could find a permanent solution to the chronic problems I have been experiencing. I agreed and scheduled an appointment for the following week.
After a thorough examination, Dr. Pugliese recommended that I have a full immunoglobulin workup done in order to access deficiencies and potential root causes. After receiving the results, he informed me that I had been suffering from Allergic Fungal Sinusitis (AFS) all these years, which explains why antibiotics had only been a temporary solution. He placed my on a full spectrum antibiotic to remove the existing bacterial infection in my sinuses and a nasal nebulizer to attack underlying fungal infection. I was placed on Zantac to control heartburn at night in case I was experiencing laryngopharyngeal reflux, too.
I have been on the nebulizer for about a month now and I can say my symptoms have drastically improved. The sinus pressure and constant swelling has subsided allowing me to consistently blow my sinuses for the first time in years. I have been extremely impressed by Dr. Pugliese’s attention to detail and his passion for not just helping his patients, but solving the underlying issues to improve their overall health.
He is a true student of medicine on a constant journey for knowledge to give his patients the highest level of care. I have been back twice for follow-ups and he has echoed my opinion that I am on the road to healing. I cannot thank Dr. Pugliese enough for helping me find relief and fix a problem that I have struggled with my whole life!