‘Some days, I couldn’t really concentrate on anything but my sneezing and sniffling, and would end up feeling exhausted. Student Georgina Wong, 17, who had chronic sinusitis. In 2006, a functional endoscopic sinus surgery was done on her to remove infected tissues and clear out trapped mucous

For Georgina Wong, having chronic sinusitis meant not only sniffling and sneezing all day, but losing sleep at night as well.

“I found myself waking up a lot in the middle of the night as I had trouble breathing through my nose, “said the 17 – year- old Canadian International School student.

She added that her sinusitis attacks, which could last as long as a few hours or even the whole day, would cause her cheeks to ache and often left her tired.

“Some days, I couldn’t really concentrate on anything but my sneezing and sniffling, and would end up feeling exhausted, “she said.  

Georgina was first diagnosed with the condition by her pediatrician when she was eight years old.

On top of her allergies, she also had an underlying condition known as immotile cilia syndrome, which affected her body’s ability to clear mucous from her respiratory passages.

The combination of these conditions predisposed her to frequent sinus infections, which eventually led to chronic sinusitis.

Given her young age at the time, her doctor did not recommend surgery, so she managed her condition with antihistamines and steroid medication.

She also used home remedies like steam inhalation and eucalyptus oil to provide some relief during sinusitis attacks.

Her parents also took her to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor on a few occasions for mucous extraction procedures which cleared her sinuses for a few months.

“After the sessions, she would be okay for a while but the infections always came back, “said her father, Mr David Wong, 48, a commodities broker.

In 2006, a functional endoscopic sinus surgery was done on her, after her ENT doctor found severely inflamed sinus passages in a scan.

The five-hour surgery helped to remove the infected tissues and cleared out trapped mucous.

Since going for the surgery, she said that she has been using a nasal rinse daily to prevent further infection.

She has also been careful to avoid aggravating her allergies and to maintain good hygiene.

Relieved now that her long ordeal with the condition seems to be in check, she enjoys being able to have more peaceful nights of sleep.

“I don’t have a constant running nose anymore, “she said.  

“I can concentrate better during the day and my school work is a lot less interrupted than before. “