Sunday, October 12, 2008

Your Sinuses

Before I go into this article I read.... I have to tell you about my personal experience with having ones' sinuses irrigated.

While living in California, my allergies had continued to get worse and worse, so I went to an allergy doctor in Orange County near where I lived. I can't remember the guy's name, but I didn't much like him when I first met him. (Always go with your gut!!)

Anyway, he sat me down in a chair and asked me a ton of questions. The lighting was low also which I thought was sort of strange. So, he starts rattling on and on about different allergens and stuff. He tells me to close my eyes and that he was going to irrigate my sinuses, but not to worry, it doesn't hurt.

Well, I reluctantly did as I was told and the next thing I knew that fat bastard was nearly on top of me, pinning me into the chair, while he shoved a hose up my nose with a full force of water coming out! I'm here to tell you that was a very unpleasant, and scary, experience as I was choking on the flood of water going down the back of my throat and struggling to get out of his clutches!

He released me when he was finished, and I immediately gave him a searing verbal reprimand about the whole thing. (He was unmoved by my reprimand, by the way. Was almost smirking, in fact). The fact is, I really could breathe like a normal person, but his bedside manner left a lot to be desired. I never went back to him either.

I did go to another allergy doctor who I told up front that under NO circumstances would there be any irrigation going on!! We went the shots route instead which took longer, but it did help a lot! I have not had shots for about 12 years now and feel I would like to do that again, but had such a negative experience when I went to a doctor in Portland (she was an idiot, to say the least), that I never went back to her either.

That being said, I have tried to do that irrigation thing on my own but just can't force myself to do it while having flashbacks of my first experience. If you can do it... it really does help... I simply can't do it and won't let anyone else have a crack at me! After reading this article, there are several ways to do an "irrigation" now that are certainly less invasive than what happened to me or flooding your own sinuses with water.

The article is based on information from Jordan S. Josephson, MD, a nasal and endoscopic sinus specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

He says, "People who irrigate on a regular basis feel better, breathe better, sleep better, have fewer sinus and nasal infections, and suffer from fewer allergy problems. Flushing the sinuses is also helpful for other seemingly unrelated health conditions including asthma, snoring, sleep apnea and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). These can all originate from a condition he calls “Chronic Airway-Digestive Inflammatory Disease” (CAID), which occurs when irritants such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or pollutants are swallowed or inhaled and cause inflammation in the upper respiratory system (the nose and the sinuses), the lower airway (the lungs) and the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The membranes that line the nose, sinuses and lungs are so sensitive that inflammation in any of these areas can affect other areas in the body,”

There are several ways you can do this. Some people use a Neti Pot (e.g. SinuCleanse)… others prefer a squeeze bottle (e.g. NeilMed)… while a third option is a higher-tech, modern version called an irrigation machine (e.g. Hydro Pulse) that provides a gentle, pulsating cleansing, albeit at a much higher price (they start at about $100). Or, you could use a nasal saline spray (e.g. Goldberger's Saline, AYR, Little Noses), which has the advantage of being portable. Full irrigation will, obviously, work better than just using a nasal spray. The good Doc believes in full irrigation and using a nasal spray as needed throughout the day. He also believes that a nasal irrigation should be done twice a day.

Dr. Josephson said the process is nowhere near as distasteful or messy as it sounds. “It’s actually very easy -- I can irrigate while fully dressed, in a white shirt, tie and suit, and never get anything on me.” He recommends various stretching exercises and head positions while blowing your nose and after you irrigate to remove any leftover irritants as well. He also recommends that you tilt your head from side to side while blowing your nose.

In Dr. Josephson’s view, “Daily life is filled with transmission of germs and irrigation helps clear them away.” Given our environmental challenges, Dr. Josephson suggests making sinus irrigation a regular part of daily hygiene, like showering and brushing your teeth and suggests you do it once or twice each day.

Well, there you have it!

No comments: