Nasal Lavage: Yes or No?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pearls, Mar 20, 2003.

  1. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Dr. Devin Starlanyl says that people with fibromyalgia have thicker secretions - all secretions. I certainly have think sinus mucus and have found it very helpful to practice nasal lavage. Nasal lavage is using a saline solution to wash as much as possible around the sinuses. You take the solution up through the nose, with the head tilted back and one nostril closed. Then you let the solution drip down the back of your throat, if possible, and out through your mouth.

    I've been doing it for years, which has stopped the strangled feeling mucus would cause, among other benefits. But now my new ENT does not approve of anything more than using Ocean or other saline solution to spray or send a drop or two into my nose with my head tilted back. I haven't found that to be very useful during time when there is a lot of mucus. I wonder how many of you do this and how many of the people with medical backgrounds on this board approve or disaprove of this practice?

    It is important to keep all appliances scrupulously clean. I've learned to simply sniff up the saline (approximately 1/2 teaspoon of salt to a cup of very warm water), which keeps things I must clean down to a measuring spoon and a cup. I used to use a baby syringe, which works pretty well, especially for a beginner. After I'm done, I simply wash everything out with regular water, give it all a rinse with rubbing alcohol, and rinse again (carefully - I once had alcohol left in the syringe and got an unpleasant surprise). When I was first told about this - by a nurse-practioner - I was not told how to clean everything. Later, when I did some research into this, I was aghast when I really took a look at my old syringe!

    If Dr. Starlanyl is correct - that our secretions are thinker than normal - perhaps my ENT is wrong. Perhaps we DO need to lavage if we have constant sinus problems AND fibromyalgia. Maybe the ENT is being patronizing - thinking it impossible for mere lay-people to carry out this "medical procedure." What do you think?

  2. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    I do the same thing twice a day! Have been doing this for a year now. I think it was Mikie that suggested it to me.

    It is wonderful! I also keep a warm mist vaporizer going almost 24/7, it also helps.

    I have had less problems with the sinus since I started drinking water, half my body weight in ounces of water a day, with a quarter teaspoon of Sea Salt during the day.

    I do use the Sea Salt for the nasal cleaning, table salt has chemicals in it to stop it from getting packy.

    I use the SEa Salt that is in chunks in a grinder.

    As for the doctors disagreeing with this, well thats just tough! They really don't know everything, in fact sometimes I think they don't know very much at all!

    If it works for you, don't fix it!

    Shalom, Shirl
  3. kalina

    kalina New Member

    Hi Pearl,

    I'm not at all familiar with the nasal lavage technique you describe, so I can't really comment on your doctor's disaproval.

    Just a thought for you: I use a nari pot -- a simple ayurvedic device that has been in use for centuries. It looks like a small lidless teapot with a long spout and no handle. (They are available in ceramic or plastic versions, but I use a ceramic one -- it just seems easier to keep clean.) I mix a small measure of salt in lukearm water, and tilt my head sideways at a 90 degree angle over the bathroom sink as I pour the saline solution into one nostril. The solution flows through the sinuses and drains out through the other nostril. Then I change sides and repeat. It loosens up all the gunk in there and it's very easy to use.

    I had used a steroid nasal spray for years, but since I stopped that and started using the nari pot a couple of months ago I haven't had my usual problems with nasal allergies, and I breathe easier.

    It was my doctor who wanted me to try this. Do you think your doc would have a problem with this technique?

  4. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Or any other OTC spray. They contain a chemical preservative which is harmful to your mucus membranes. You should also tilt your head forward to get the mucus out of the frontal sinus cavities. Keep sniffing it up and then blow your nose. BTW, taking the Guaifenesin will thin the mucus.

    Love, Mikie
  5. pearls

    pearls New Member

    A family member in another city also has an ENT who disapproves of nasal lavage. This doc says the nasal passages already have what they need to clean themselves. Ha! He sure doesn't have MY nasal passages!

    Mine says once in a while is okay, but wants me to use distilled or spring water because my well water might have something in it that's bad for nasal passages. (I do drink the stuff - my well water.) Anyway, it is a lot of trouble to use the bottled water because to do lavage, you really need it very warm to stand doing it!