Possible chronic sinusitis affecting 3rd class medical

Discussion in 'Medical Topics' started by alias, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. alias

    alias Guest

    I might have some possible chronic sinusitis and trying to understand if it can be a deal breaker for a 3rd class medical certificate.

    I'm generally healthy, I don't take prescriptions, and I have no symptoms on my day to day life. At 4 years old I had a surgery for nasal polyp removal. I'm close to 40 years old now. I have experienced sinus discomfort and pain in the eyebrow area in the following cases:
    • SCUBA diving - I could not equalize and go down more than a few meters
    • During descent on an airliner - it happened only a few times on short hops
    • During rapid descent on a flight lesson - it happened once but it was only discomfort, not pain
    I don't have any discomfort or other symptoms on my day to day life. I discussed this with my primary care physician and I had a sinus CT scan done. She said I might have chronic sinusitis and that I've been living with it for my whole life without realizing. She said it could be due to allergies. She prescribed me a trial of PredniSONE tablets and Fluticasone spray. If they help I will sleep better. I generally sleep OK, so it is hard to tell if they are helping or not.

    I know that chronic sinusitis is a deal breaker, even for a 3rd class medical certificate, but is my situation falling in this category? What are my options? Thanks!
     
  2. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    If you want to fly, don't lead the doctor to that diagnosis.
     
  3. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    [Where did I leave that flame suit?]

    What Medexpress question are you attempting to answer?

    Answer all questions truthfully.

    Go fly

    [hmm....]
     
  4. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

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    Be careful with the terminology here.

    Like you, I have had (and still have) frequent sinus infections. One year I had 11 MD diagnosed sinus infections! Basically I was on antibiotics for a full year! But my MD refused to call it “chronic”. Chronic sinusitis is a problem in the FAA’s eyes. Multiple and frequent (not chronic) sinusitis is not so bad! Ask your doc about the difference.

    Mucinex and Afrin became friends...

    -Skip
     
  5. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I had gone a couple of years between sinus infections and came down with one a couple of weeks ago. I've found that my best friend (short of antibiotics IF I have an infection - not just bothersome sinuses) is a steroid shot to reduce the swelling in my sinuses. Afrin works, but has a really short shelf life in that if you use it for more than a day or two, your sinus membrane is hooked on it and will basically swell up without it, so breaking the habit is miserable.
     
  6. Heftiger

    Heftiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Have you seen an ENT?
    Is outpatient balloon sinuplasty on option? I’ve had the procedure done. It improved my breathing and the FAA could care less.
     
  7. alias

    alias Guest

    Thanks for your feedback. I guess I'm trying to figure out if this is a case chronic sinusitis or not. The question on the form is Hay fever or allergy, For example: Chronic or seasonal [...] sinusitis. I am still to visit an ENT. If the diagnostics from by primary care physician and the ENT differ, I guess the ENT one will prevail.

    Also, I don't have any symptoms on my day to day life. So, can it be classified as chronic if it does not really show in your day to day life?

    Anyway, I should probably sort this out before going to the AME since I have to list the CT sinus scan in the Medical Visits list and he will probably ask about it.
     
  8. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    A doctor can diagnose whatever s/he feels is appropriate. Let the ENT know that you want help with your sinus problems, but it would be problematic for you if the diagnosis was chronic sinusitis. Explain why. Get treatment if you need it and move on.
     
  9. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The distinction between recurrent and chronic sinusitis is frquently a radiologic (CT) finding of thickened mucosal lining, or of air fluid levels on a “Waters” view (XRay) of the maxillary sinuses.
     
  10. alias

    alias Guest

    Thanks for your comments. This is helpful.

    My Sinus CT scan says:
    • Findings: Frontal, Ethmoid, and Sphenoid Sinus: Mild mucosal thickening
    • Impressions: Mild chronic sinusitis
    If I get a treatment and a new CT scan that does not say "chronic sinusitis" will I be go to go for a 3rd class medical or am I doomed for good? Thanks!
     
  11. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You likely need to have a "drainage" procedure to requalfiy- a Caldwell Luc, or the like. Sigh.
     
  12. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    What's the "sigh" for in this context? Worthless procedure? Unnecessary in your opinion? Or something else?
     
  13. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's just unpleasant. VERY unpleasant.
     
  14. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I just read about it. Yowza. Again, I'd steer the doc away from the chronic diagnosis unless it was causing me a *real* problem.