Diane’s Story

Living with CRS for 30+ years

“It’s a burden to have chronic symptoms all the time.”

Diane is a retired nurse practitioner. She enjoys walking and biking on the beach, and traveling with her husband in their RV. Diane started experiencing chronic congestion and headaches in the 1980s. “I always had some allergy symptoms in New England, but they were confined to May and June. But once I moved to a Southern state, it was pretty much all year, and I ended up with recurrent sinus infections.” She tried over-the-counter remedies and treatments with her ENT, but her symptoms persisted. Today, she still takes several medications and nasal rinses daily to control her disease.


What a new treatment would mean to her

Diane believes that effective treatment for CRS is limited. She would appreciate a treatment with few side effects, because she experiences unpleasant side effects from many medications. “Something that is easy to maintain would be good – less cumbersome and more durable than doing saline rinses with sterile water twice a day. For me, this would free up a lot of time and make traveling easier.”

How CRS impacts her daily life

Diane’s CRS symptoms meant she didn’t feel good a lot of the time, which impacted her mood, sleep and ability to focus, waking many mornings with a headache. Allergies and illnesses continued to complicate her CRS, and she has had CRS symptoms serious enough to see her doctor several times a year. “I would be constantly coughing up phlegm and blowing my nose.” She has had chronic drainage and nausea, both from postnasal drip and also as a side effect of different treatments. “I just don’t tend to do great with a lot of the medications.”

Traveling for Diane is a hassle to bring all of the CRS medications and supplies she needs. She plans to travel internationally, and she wonders how she going to manage taking her supplies or buying them. She says trying to keep her CRS under control is definitely a commitment. “It’s cumbersome to rinse twice a day. I’m retired, but if I was working and trying to do this, it would be really difficult.”

Her challenges with treatments

Diane has taken many over-the-counter sinus and allergy medications daily for 30 years. She received allergy shots monthly for 12 years, and she has taken prescribed antibiotics and steroid nasal rinses for years, but she continued to experience symptoms that impacted her daily life. “I had chronic symptoms all the time.”

Diane had sinus surgery in 1995 that she describes as “horrible,” and her symptoms returned. She avoided a second surgery until her symptoms again grew unbearable. Though her symptoms lessened after her second surgery, they have not gone away. After much experimentation, she has created a daily regimen to manage her symptoms – immune supplements, steroid spray and saline sinus rinses morning and night. She adds an antihistamine if her symptoms get worse. “I do the nasal rinses twice a day every day, though it’s really a pain to keep that up.”

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