Safety of Probiotic Nasal and Sinus Irrigations for Chronic Sinusitis

Refractory chronic rhinosinusitis (RCRS) affects 450,000 Americans despite endoscopic sinus surgery and maximal medical therapy. One of the prevailing hypothesis for the underlying cause is an altered microbiome with a higher proportion of pathogenic bacteria and a reduction in protective bacteria. Although probiotics confer many health benefits in the GI tract, their use in the sinuses through irrigations has never been investigated in human subjects.

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Baby Shampoo and Probiotic sinus irrigations

Rinse Your Sinuses With Shampoo Or Probiotics? 

Doctors at Baylor College of Medicine say patients with persistent, chronic infections can benefit from boosting the standard saline nasal rinse.

By: Carrie Feibel, April 13th, 2015 04:00 AM

If you suffer from allergies and sinus infections, you may have tried nasal irrigation, which involves flushing out the nose and sinuses with salt water. It’s a cheap and effective home treatment. Now doctors at Baylor College of Medicine are tweaking the recipe, saying some patients can benefit from adding baby shampoo or even probiotics to the nasal rinse.

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Make your own natural nasal saline irrigation solution to treat allergies and sinusitis

The use of saline (salt water) irrigations for the nose and sinuses has been shown to be highly effective in improving allergy symptoms and shortening the duration of a sinus infection.  Typically, for allergy sufferers, I recommend irrigating the sinuses once every day to every other day with 8 oz of salt water.  As there are some data indicating the over irrigating the sinuses can deplete natural immune cells that reside in the mucus of the sinuses, I would not recommend irrigating more than once a day.

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Why are doctors still using 2D imaging (CT an MRI scans) when 3D is readily available?

Doctors continue to use the "slices" shown on 2 dimensional CT scans  to educate medical students, surgical residents, and even patients.  As the images are in 2D, it can be quite disorienting even to medical residents, let alone patients who are trying to learn about their own pathology.  As such, we are making push to bring 3D technology into the main stream.

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How can doctors improve patient education as it relates sinus disease?

Technological advancements over the last few decades have revolutionized medicine and offer a means to facilitate patient understanding. To date, no data exists as to how three-dimensional reconstruction of imaging can impact patient education during the informed consent process of sinus surgery. Our study sought to define how the perceived understanding, the satisfaction, and the anxiety of patients undergoing sinus surgery were affected by three-dimensional reconstruction of imaging.

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Allergy shots versus Allergy drops? What's right for you?

Understanding Your Condition

What are allergies?

An allergy is a reaction your body has to a substance around you. This summary talks about allergies to particles in the air such as pollen, dust, pet dander, or mold. Allergies happen when your immune system (the system that protects your body from germs) reacts to one of these particles (called “allergens”).

This reaction by the immune system is what causes allergy symptoms. Allergy symptoms from allergens in the air (airborne allergens) can include:

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Top 10 tips to avoid sinus infections (sinusitis):

1. Frequently wash your hands
2. Keep the nose moist with nasal saline sprays (the cilia inside the nose work more effectively in a moist environment).
3. Keep your allergies managed well
4. Avoid nasal irritants such as pollution, smoke
5. Irrigate your sinuses on a regular basis (from once a day to once a week for some) with a saline sinus wash
6. Take oral probiotics especially after taking antibiotics in efforts to replenish the natural biome of the sinuses
7. Try to avoid taking antibiotics or steroids if possible as both will affect the natural good bacteria (biome) that lives in the sinuses and allows bad bacteria to proliferate
8. Persistent nasal congestion can decrease airflow to the sinuses and may also block the outflow track of the sinuses.  If you have a badly deviated septum or a hole in your septum, getting that repaired will be beneficial.
9. Swim in salt water pools as they are less irritating to the nasal and sinus mucosa and produces much less inflammation when compared to chlorinated pools
10. Try to maintain a healthy lifestyle and maintain a strong immune system as other illnesses such as a viral cold or flu can cause a sinus infection to occur