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Sinusitis Tips – Relief for the Sinus Sufferer

Sinus Sufferers: Most Often Asked Questions about Chronic Sinusitis, Sinus Relief

Dr. Murray Grossan is a noted ENT specialist . Dr Grossan is one of the USA’s leading medical experts on Sinusitis. Dr Grossan is the creator of the pulsatile nasal irrigator attachment to Waterpik, an award winning medical device and subject of numerous research studies over the past 20 years.

  1. What are the main causes of sinus disease…?
  2. Why is a nasal irrigator more effective than saline nose drops…?
  3. How often should you use the nasal irrigator…?
  4. The recent Mayo Clinic research findings talked about finding fungi in the nostrils of sinus sufferers. Could one add an anti fungal such as grape seed extract to the saline solution for better results…?
  5. After using your nasal irrigator I have the urge to blow my nose-is this a good thing to do? Does it clean out the nostrils of bacteria, allergens etc or does blowing my nose dry it out again…?
  6. I noticed you don’t recommend steam inhalation for sinus relief why…?
  7. Would it be helpful to take saline spray to the workplace to keep one’s sinuses moist in the dry air-conditioning at work…?
  8. So, would using a saline spray several times daily be a good preventative measure for sinus sufferers to keep their sinuses moist…?
  9. What do you consider to be the optimal humidity for a sinus sufferer in their bedroom at night…?
  10. What is the best compromise between fresh air/open windows [more moisture] and avoiding allergens entering the bedroom…?
  11. Some sinus sufferers seem to have the worst time at night, waking up with pain over the eyes and nose…?
  12. For the early morning sinus sufferer I see you recommend lemon tea on wakening…?
  13. It is the middle of the night and I wake up with my sinuses killing me- the best quick fix…?
  14. I read that heart burn [digestive problems ]trigger sinus problems-is this why you recommend papaya enzyme tablets to reduce sinus swelling…?

Q. What are the main causes of sinus disease ?

A.The main causes of sinus disease are blowing nose too hard, not clearing up the first infection, getting chilled , not resting, and drinking iced drinks. This may start out a mild infection but with heavy ‘macho’ blowing, the pus is spread all around the nose and ear.

With the allergy sufferer, after sneezing and exhaustion, without rest, the sinus infection may become chronic. Weather can make a sinus condition worse, but it is not be a cause.

In menstruation and pregnancy there may be swelling of the membranes, but this is not the cause of the sinusitis.

Most sinus problems show slow nasal cilia. These are the microscopic hairs that beat to move the bacteria out of the nose into the throat where they are swallowed and the stomach takes them out. By using saline with a special attachment that fits on the standard pulsating dental irrigator device such as a Water Pik ‘ the cilia are pulsed at a rate of 20 pulses per second at a special pressure that is just right. Thick mucus is removed so that the cilia return to normal rate of beating. If the pressure is too high you can put pus into the ear or other parts of the sinuses. There is a chemical called ICAM – 1 that is the entry way for the common cold virus. Pulsatile irrigation is ideal for removal of this so that the cold virus can’t enter. IgE is the chemical that the allergy products – dust, pollen – combine with to make the allergy symptoms. This is also removed by pulsatile irrigation. The flow of the saline past the sinus openings displaces out the pus in the sinus. There are at least 30 medical journal articles that recommend this treatment for both sinusitis and allergen control.

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Q. Why is a nasal irrigator more effective than saline nose drops?

A.The saline drops don’t pulse the cilia back to normal, don’t flow past the sinus openings to displace the pus and may contain preservatives that irritate the nose.

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Q. How often should you use the nasal irrigator?

A. The sinus irrigator should be used daily if there are symptoms ,or if the common cold or allergy season is bad. If there are no symptoms, this means the cilia are working OK and you don’t need the irrigation.

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<h4Q. The recent Mayo Clinic research findings talked about finding fungi in the nostrils of sinus sufferers. Could one add an anti fungal such as grape seed extract to the saline solution for better results?

A. I see no objection to adding grape seed extract to the irrigation. It will take me some time to evaluate the result of this addition.

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Q. After using your nasal irrigator I have the urge to blow my nose-is this a good thing to do? Does it clean out the nostrils of bacteria, allergens etc or does blowing my nose dry it out again?

A. After you irrigate, your sinuses contain the saline solution. This solution has displaced the mucus, bacteria, etc that was in the sinus. Usually the cilia start to move as a result of the pulsation and this is why 20 or more minutes later the saline comes out. This is very desirable. It shows the saline went where you want it to go.

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Q. I noticed you don’t recommend steam inhalation for sinus relief why? I have always found when I have a cold, a steam inhalation with eucalyptus was helpful.

A. Steam inhalation does bring circulation to the area, but hot steam can inactivate the cilia and if the nose has swollen membranes, the steam keeps the moisture in the tissue from evaporating.

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Q. Would it be helpful to take saline spray to the workplace to keep one’s sinuses moist in the dry air-conditioning at work?

A. Good idea. Saline spray is helpful to keep the nose moist. Be sure to avoid Benzalkonium and Thimersal preservatives as these may burn and irritate the nose. Breathe.ease doesn’t contain any of these ingredients.

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Q. So, would using a saline spray several times daily be a good preventative measure for sinus sufferers to keep their sinuses moist? It seems a really cheap, and easy thing to do?

A. Yes, daily saline spray can be helpful to prevent sinus problems.

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Q. What do you consider to be the optimal humidity for a sinus sufferer in their bedroom at night?

A.The optimal humidity is about 20 %.

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Q. What is the best compromise between fresh air/open windows [more moisture] and avoiding allergens entering the bedroom?

A. Simple answer! Close the windows in allergy season. The plants pollinate at 5 AM. If the windows are open the pollen hits the nose. For allergy sufferers the body thermostat doesn’t work well and any chilling starts the cascade of sneezing, etc.

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Q. Some sinus sufferers seem to have the worst time at night, waking up with pain over the eyes and nose. Why is that?

A. The reason why sinus sufferers feel worse at night, and awaken with pain is that during sleep, the cilia ‘sleep’, so dust, pollens accumulate giving maximum swelling.

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Q. For the early morning sinus sufferer I see you recommend lemon tea on wakening? Why?

A. For the allergy sufferer the thermostat is off kilter. Instead of getting up out of bed and starting the day, the allergic/ sinus patient erroneously warms up his body by sneezing and hacking. This does warm the body but it starts a cascade that is undesirable. By drinking hot tea before getting out of bed the body is warmed and there is no need to sneeze.

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Q. It is the middle of the night and I wake up with my sinuses killing me- the best quick fix? I am not going to irrigate in the middle of the night.

A. Prevent this before it happens. Do pulsatile irrigation and let papaya tablets dissolve in your mouth the day before. Let chewable papaya tablets one four times a day dissolve in your mouth between the cheek and gums [available in your local health food store or online. If you wake up place a chewable papaya tablet in your mouth and let it dissolve. You should be able to go back to sleep.

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Q. I read that heart burn [digestive problems ]trigger sinus problems-is this why you recommend papaya enzyme tablets to reduce sinus swelling?

A. No, this has nothing to do with heart burn or reflux of acid from the stomach. You can take papaya for digestion, but in that case you swallow it. This is a totally different deal. The chewable papaya for sinusitis is anti inflammatory, reduces swelling and thins the mucus, allowing the cilia to function. If it is a really painful sinus pain, the relief can be very dramatic.

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