Sinus Pain – Sinusitis, Rhinitis

Letter from a member: Non-allergenic Rhinitis and Immune Disorder

Contributor: Susan E.

Hi, I’m a reader of your newsletters, and I think I even bought a few things.

I have been having constant sinus infections for the last three years, after having been “normal” from the age of 20-35. (Before that I had constant “allergies” which never responded too well to treatment and never caused the traditional itchy eyes, runny nose – my sinuses were just “blocked.”) I finally got referred to a doctor who told me he was certain I had an immune disorder even before testing me. One simple blood test later, and I am now on a regimen of a monthly infusion of gamma globulin for the rest of my life- Thank goodness I have great insurance!! (It costs about $5K each time.)

While these disorders are quite rare – especially the ones that become serious later in life – it would not be surprising to me that some of your “multiple chemical sensitivity” patients may actually have “nonallergic rhinitis” with an immune dysfunction. My sensitivity to fragrances and smoke and solvents and you-name-it is due to swelling of my sinus cavities that still occurs after my sinus surgery- classic MCS, right? Well, no. It may be the same cause as many other individuals with similar symptoms, however- an immune deficiency. You don’t have to catch HIV or have AIDS; my immune disorder is genetic. My troubles early in life were not serious enough to set off the warning bells, but perhaps they should have! Please pass these along to your readers:


  1. Eight or more new ear infections within a year.
  2. Two or more serious sinus infections within a year.
  3. Two or more months on antibiotics with little effect.
  4. Two or more pneumonia within a year.
  5. Failure of an infant to gain weight or grow normally.
  6. Recurrent deep abscesses in the skin or organs.
  7. Persistent thrush in mouth or on skin, after age one.
  8. Need for intravenous antibiotics to clear infections.
  9. Two or more deep-seated infections such as meningitis, osteomyelitis, cellulitis, or sepsis.
  10. A family history of primary immunodeficiency.

Check National Institutes of Health for more information on Primary Immunodeficiency

Thank you for providing such a wonderful service, giving us information we can trust as well as reasonable prices on the items that can help many people function and feel better! Feel free to use my name (or not) and to edit my message for length and clarity. Thanks!

Source: Warning Signs by the Jeffrey Modell Foundation Medical Advisory Board.