Posted , 16 users are following.
Hi, I'm having some problems getting help on the NHS and wondering if anyone else has had the same problem?
Over the past 7 years, I've found it increasingly difficult to sleep and breathe properly - getting to sleep wasn't a problem at first, but I would wake up feeling like I was suffocating. My nose would be blocked and my throat felt dry and raw.
Over the past 2 years, my nose has become so blocked that even getting to sleep in the first place is often impossible. My throat seems to close up with dryness if I try to breathe through my mouth instead.
After years of simply being prescribed sleeping tablets and told 'it was stress' - even though I had a great life with nothing to be stressed about - I paid to see a private ENT doctor. She diagnosed a deviated septum. I had surgery at a different private clinic but too much cartilage was removed and I was left with a drooping tip.
I still couldn't breathe properly so I was given intranasal corticosteroids, a CT scan and went to the 'top surgeon in ENT' who practises privately and is also a professor in the field. He showed me that, despite the steroids making my nose feel a bit clearer, the CT scan shows I have enlarged inferior turbinates and I also have possible nasal valve collapse. This made perfect sense to me because it feels like something's swollen inside my nose - especially in the evenings.
Further tests showed a strong allergy to dust mites may be causing my turbinates to swell more than usual when exposed to them.
I couldn't afford to pay anymore so I went back to the NHS with my findings. However, the NHS ENT surgeon I've been referred to refuses to believe that I need my turbinates reduced!!
When he looked inside my nose, I was very nervous so had adrenaline pumping through me and I was sitting upright in a clean, dust free doctor's office - these are very different conditions to when I'm relaxing (trying to) or lying down in bed! So of course my turbinates wouldn't have been as big as they are when I'm trying to sleep!
The Professor I had seen, had noted that my turbinates could be only slightly enlarged at times during the day, but could easily get too big when my muscles are relaxed or I'm lying down. And that I would benefit from somnoplasty and immunotherapy to keep the allergy in check long-term.
But the NHS consultant says he will only fix the structure of my nose, and feels my turbinates are pretty normal! He also said that there's no point in taking corticosteroids and I don't need immunotherapy - which was very weird because when I have stopped using the steroids, even with natural therapies in place, my nose gets unbelievably blocked!
I got a 2nd opinion from a different NHS consultant who said it's hard to find a doctor who will operate on my turbinates as they seem ok when examined in the surgery offices. He said that this doesn't mean they are always like that but that he doesn't operate himself anymore! He advised that to keep my allergy in check I can stay on corticosteroids forever and immunotherapy probably isn't available.
I don't want to keep using the steroids because my optician recently discovered that my eye pressure has increased to dangerous measures while I've been using them.
I feel I will have to take the 1st NHS consultant's offer to fix the structure and then find a way to get my turbinates reduced privately afterwards! I really don't know what else to do!
1 like, 18 replies