Wall Street Journal Questions Need For Sinus Surgeries
The recent Wall Street Journal Article by Amy Dockner Marcus (April 22, 2003) includes a very good discussion of alternative ways to get well without surgery. This is not quackery - with todays advanced diagnostic tools and better understanding of disease, surgery may often be avoided. In the case of sinus surgery, the article stressed the use of nasal wash for sinusitis Šinstead of surgery.
In my practice, I have long advocated pulsatile nasal irrigation for a wide variety of sinus conditions. Specifically, many of my patients using this treatment have gotten well, avoided surgery, and felt better in the long term -all without drugs. How can there appear to be a single cure-all treatment? That's because healthy cilia are the key to sinus health.
What happens is that many of the nasal/ sinus problems are a result of slow cilia function. The cilia are tiny oars that move the mucus out of the nose. If the cilia slow down,the mucous in your nose becomes stagnant, and like a stagnant stream, grows scum. Once the cilia speed up and the mucus of the nose moves properly, then the bacteria are flushed away and not allowed to enter the body. Healthy cilia are absolutely the key to sinus health. If you can restore healthy function to your cilia, then you won't need surgery. Pulsatile nasal irrigation works to stimulate damaged or diseased cilia back to healthy function, clean and moisten the mucous membranes for a better environment for the cilia, and provide other benefits. Dozens of articles show that this treatment is clinically proven. The real proof though, is the many patients of mine that have avoided going under the knife. Sinus surgery -submucus resection, removal of turbinates, and the like- is serious business, and to be avoided as long as a good natural alternative exists. See my article on empty nose syndrome for just one kind of unfortunate complication. Always follow your doctor's advice, but don't be afraid to ask him or her if they are familiar with pulsatile irrigation as an alternative.
The health of the sinus and nasal cilia also affect other chronic conditions, some less serious, where surgery is not recommended. Post Nasal Drip is caused simply by slow cilia that allows the mucus to thicken; this causes you to taste and feel it. Pulsatile irrigation works very well here too. In some kinds of nasal allergies regular pulsatile irrigation works by keeping the cilia moving and by getting rid of the pollen.
I recommend only pulsatile irrigation, not to be confused with introducing salt water into the noise any old way. Pulsatile irrigation is an enormous improvement over the yogic method of snorting salt water - much more effective and quite a bit more pleasant and convenient.
The Wall Street Journal article also recommends the non surgical approach of proper diet for sinusitis. The Sinus Cure (Ballantine) by Bruce and Grossan covers this subject in detail (Chapter 9). Increasing leafy vegetables, lots of fresh fruits and foods with essential fatty acids can make a difference in curing sinusitis, especially when combined with pulsatile irrigation to restore the cilia. DonÕt forget the benefits of drinking tea!