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For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Times

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  • For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Times

    A solution for nasal ills
    Rinsing of the nose passages helps get rid of contaminants that lead to colds, congestion and infection

    PREVENTIVE MEDICINE

    NOSES

    NOSES PREVENTIVE MEDICINE HYGIENE

    HYGIENE

    So your daily attempt at perfection already includes brushing and flossing, exercising, meditating, eating fruits and veggies, and overall clean, healthy living. Here's one more health habit you might consider: nasal lavage — also known as nasal irrigation or sinus rinsing.

    It's a simple, low-tech way to wash out the viruses, bacteria, mold, allergens, dust and mucus that land inside the nose and sinus passages, thereby contributing to colds, chronic nasal congestion, postnasal drip, frequent sinus infections, asthma and other respiratory ills.

    The basic idea, unappealing as it sounds, is to squirt a slightly salty water solution up your nose, let it drip out, blow your nose gently, then repeat. The mechanical action of flushing out thickened mucus cleanses the nasal passages, making it easier for tiny hair-like cilia that line the nose to push out the remaining mucus.

    No matter what product you use, technique matters. Squirt the solution up your nose with too much force and it hurts. Squirt too gently and you're not accomplishing a thing. If the solution is too salty, it stings. Ditto, if it's not salty enough.

    That said, here's the case for keeping your nose clean: The practice has been around in many cultures for centuries. And ear, nose and throat specialists swear by it for anyone — even kids — with chronic sinus problems.

    "Many patients that have sinus disease, allergies or chronic infections are improved tremendously by lavaging their nose out once or twice a day," says Dr. Gerald Berke, chief of head and neck surgery at UCLA. And for those who have had surgery to open up narrowed sinuses, regular lavage is a must.

    "The main improvement they experience is the ability to lavage out the cavity," Berke says.

    Even if antibacterial medications are added to the lavage solution, "most of the benefit is from the mechanical rinsing of the nasal cavity," says Dr. Eric Holbrook, an otolaryngologist at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. Among other things, the gunk you rinse out in mucus includes natural chemicals called cytokines, which promote inflammation. "If you remove the mucus, you can actually reduce the inflammation," Holbrook says.

    Although large, controlled studies of nasal lavage for treating and preventing colds and sinus infections are hard to come by, the little data that exist seem to support the practice.

    One study of more than 200 patients published in 2000 in the journal Laryngoscope found that patients reported fewer nasal symptoms after three to six weeks of nasal irrigation. A 1997 study of 21 volunteers in the same journal found that lavage improved the speed with which nasal cilia were able to move along mucus. A 1998 study in children published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology showed that lavage is "tolerable, inexpensive and effective."

    So, how to do it. First, the recipe. To make an isotonic solution (the same saltiness as body fluids), add to eight ounces of water one-quarter teaspoon of salt and one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda. (The baking soda keeps it from stinging.) To make a hypertonic solution, use more salt.

    The simplest, albeit messiest, way to get the solution up your nose is to cup it in your hand and sniff, although this lacks a certain elegance. Ceramic Neti pots, popular among the yoga set, work better, although you may not get the water up high enough.

    Those blue bulb syringes for cleaning out babies' ears and noses work too, though, again, it can be hard to get the solution up high enough. Turkey basters also are said to work.

    Small, 3-ounce squeeze bottles of prepackaged saline nasal spray available at most drugstores don't really flush out the sinuses; they just moisten the inside of the nostrils.

    Nebulizers also deliver a spray, not a real jet of water, but they work well for kids, says Dr. Sandra Lin, an otolaryngologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who says she has "seen patients really turn around" on nasal lavage.

    Larger squeeze bottles such as the 14-ounce ones made by SaltAire Sinus Relief get the cleaning solution higher up into the sinuses. This system, developed by Drs. Robert Pincus and Scott Gold, co-directors of the New York Sinus Center, is indeed, just as they claim, easy to use, and the buffered hypertonic solution does not sting. (Buffering means the acidity of the solution is adjusted so that it is closer to that of the body.) The SaltAire product costs $12.50.

    Dr. Ketan Mehta, a pulmonologist and intensive-care specialist based in Santa Rosa, Calif., has developed a lavage system called Sinus Rinse, made by his company, NeilMed Products Inc.

    For $10.95, you get an 8-ounce squeeze bottle with a gently pointed tip and 50 packets of pre-mixed solution to which you add eight ounces of water. The NeilMed product also can be hooked up to a Waterpik or similar system that is electrically powered and delivers pulses of solution.

    The Waterpik Technologies Inc. folks, who make oral irrigation devices that squirt water around the teeth under the gums, also have developed an attachment called Gentle Sinus Rinse. The Waterpik irrigators cost $35 to $50 depending on the model, with an extra $10 to $15 for the sinus adapter.

    Other nasal hygiene products are becoming available on the Internet and in stores. It may sound weird, but you just might end up with one of the true blessings in life — clear sinuses.
    Daughter of Father with HCM
    Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
    Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
    ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
    Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

  • #2
    Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

    You know that has been in our family for ever, that's what my mother use to use on us when we had a cold, and always gargled with it for sore throats. My mom use to say salt was the best healer
    Shirley
    Diagnosed 2003
    Myectomy 2-23-2004
    Husband: Ken
    Son: John diagnosed 2004
    Daughter: Janet (free of HCM)

    Grandchildren: Drew 15,Aaron 13,Karen 9,Connor 9

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

      this article makes it sound really difficult but it isn't. if you don't want to mess around with squirting or solutions, buy a "neti pot" (search here or google for link as i'm running late right now ). the site i list here has a video on the site on how to use it.

      my routine (which i'm about to go do):
      1. run tap till water is warm-hot and fill a 2-cup measuring cup with water
      2. add a level 1/2 teaspoon of NON-iodized salt (kosher or sea, fine grain) and stir well
      3. pour 1 cup water into neti pot and "wash" one nostril
      4. repeat with other nostril
      5. gently blow your nose a few times to drain the excess water after each nostril

      (the pot allows you to simply tip your head and run the water through, no snorting or sniffing ---be sure to breathe through your mouth!!! puting the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth while you do that makes it easier).

      i do this before i get in the shower so if i don't drain well enough, i'm safe to dribble a bit. my personal quirk. more than you ever wanted to know, i'm sure.

      i recently found out some people i worked with also do this, my boyfriend used to all the time, several of my good friends do it. it really works and it really makes a HUGE difference in my life!

      thanks Cyn!

      s

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

        Actually, I have done it also for several years. I use an attachment for a water pik to do it, and mix water with non-iodized salt. I bought a neti pot for traveling though, and the problem was that the one I bought was metal, and the spout broke off. I think I am going to buy a bottle mentioned in this article with little packets to carry with me when I travel.

        I agree, though, that it has made a huge difference in treating my sinus problems. I still use steroid spray every day also.
        Daughter of Father with HCM
        Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
        Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
        ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
        Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

          Hey Jim, are ya listening?!?

          My ENT had me do this after sinus surgery too. You'd be amazed at the stuff that settles in the sinus cavities after such trauma.

          Reenie
          Reenie

          ****************
          Husband has HCM.
          3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

            Yeah, Reenie i hear ya.... apparently i have the only ENT in the country who does NOT endorse nasal/sinus rinsing. He specifically told me not to do this! Good lord
            "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

              Jim - Maybe you shouldn't irrigate because you might spread some horrible resistant microbe like you had into your blood stream, and that's what your doctor wants to avoid. I think I would listen to him on this point and not us. We don't know what type of infection you had.
              Daughter of Father with HCM
              Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
              Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
              ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
              Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

                or at least wait several months until you know the tissues are healed up in there.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

                  Jim, I already told you to find out why he doesn't want you to irrigate. He may well have the best reason in the world. My ENT had me irrigating within a week or so of my sinus surgery. Maybe it's because of the septum issue that wasn't corrected when you had the initial surgery???

                  Reenie
                  Reenie

                  ****************
                  Husband has HCM.
                  3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

                    Originally posted by Reenie
                    Jim, I already told you to find out why he doesn't want you to irrigate. He may well have the best reason in the world. My ENT had me irrigating within a week or so of my sinus surgery. Maybe it's because of the septum issue that wasn't corrected when you had the initial surgery???
                    Eeeeeasy there, Reenie. LOL. No need to scold.

                    I may have already PM'ed you about this, but with the way my brain is functioning lately (literally) i might have forgotten. You are correct about the septum issue. Since my ENT forgot to have me sign the correct consent forms prior to the sinus surgery, the septum was not corrected as it should have been, and now i need to schedule the additional surgery. Until then, he says that i will probably not see any real relief. I'm telling you, these doctors of mine are some real rocket scientists.

                    However, when i asked him about irrigation (and i've asked him several times now at your urging), he not only said that it wasn't a good idea for me specifically, but that he doesn't recommend it for his patients in general. He does however recommend using a saline nasal spray and snorting it up into the sinuses, so i don't really see the difference? Perhaps because he is so young, the idea of using a 'neti pot' is just a little too old-fashioned for the guy. He says that the debridements will clear away anything that has formed up there.

                    Thanks for all your help and good advice, Reenie. I really do appreciate it

                    Jim
                    "Some days you're the dog... some days you're the hydrant."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

                      I'm sorry I sounded mean, Jim. I didn't mean it that way. I meant it with a laughing tone in my voice. That's hard to emote through messages. LOL Glad you're better than you were, but hope you get lots better soon.

                      Reenie
                      Reenie

                      ****************
                      Husband has HCM.
                      3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

                        I have a lot of sinus problems, as well. I use this really great product called Nasaline. It's a large syringe like plastic container that has a comfortable top for the nose that holds about 2 ounces of saline.

                        I bought it a my local health food store, but if anyone to see what it looks like or buy it on the web here's a site that sells it. Nasaline tells you how to make the saline so you don't have to buy it.

                        http://www.natlallergy.com/allergy/p.../spreadid/1557

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

                          Would someone E-mail me with the answer to this question? [email protected]
                          Why is this string of messages so big that it doesn't fit my 17 inch screen? I have lazy eyes, and cannot possibly read anything that I have to constantly move back and forth. Frankly, I can't understand how anyone can tolerate or deal with a presentation such as this---

                          Caroline Paulson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

                            Dear Liona

                            Technical questions about the board should be directed to Tim Stewart.

                            S

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: For Sarah - Article about nasal irrigation from L.A. Tim

                              I just move the slide at the bottom of the screen a bit to the right until the red lines on both sides of the postings are visible – Presto, no more problems.

                              About nasal irrigation – How would you handle it for an elephant – a bag of salt and a fire hose? - - - - Sorreee.
                              Burt

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