Snoring? Just say “OOOMMM”

You probably already know that I recommend “ooommm” for speeding the nasal cilia. Read on to see why it also helps snoring. This is important because the latest research shows that even minor snoring can result in reflux, hypertension, stroke, and even much worse – an unhappy partner However, simple solutions work. Not only for my patients, but in a recent publications of the respected magazine Chest* the authors report good results using the identical exercises I use to make the throat muscles strong and stop the noise. I have described these in my blog – www.grossaninstitute.com- and in my article Tried Everything for Snoring published in Bottom Line Health on March 2011. However, in addition to these exercises, patients have an additional advantage in stopping snoring by adding pulsatile Nasal and Throat irrigation from the Hydro Pulse™ Throat exercises: It takes time to build and strengthen muscles by exercise and the throat is no exception. Do each exercise for three minutes. Hold the tongue on the hard palate – the roof of the mouth. Say the vowel sounds A, E, I, O, U. Push the tongue hard and make the sounds loud. Move the tongue around as you do these. The sounds should be loud. Place the tongue in front of the roof of the mouth. Then slide it all the way to the back of the roof of the mouth while pronouncing the vowels. Pronounce the vowels rapidly. Press the tongue forcefully against the hard palate. Press frequently. Press the tip of the tongue into just behind the lower incisor teeth while pushing the back of the...

Post nasal drip

Post nasal drip is an unscientific term that refers to the sensation of thick phlegm in the throat, which can become infected. It is annoying because normally the throat is moistened by the nasal secretions and throat mucous glands. This is part of the mucous – nasal cilia system that defends us from disease. When the amount of liquid secreted by the nose and sinus is reduced, and the cilia of the nose and sinus slow down, the fluid thickens and you become aware of its presence. Since the thick phlegm is unpleasant and often infected because it is “just laying there” and not moving, our bodies naturally try to get rid of it, to the annoyance of our partners. Whether caused by pollution, chemical exposure, or severe infection, the treatment requires that the cilia mucous system be brought back to normal. Moisturizer spray is good, but avoid moisturizing sprays with additives or preservaties such as benzalkonium (which can actually be the root of your problems). I like preparations which you make yourself, so they’re economical, and which come with a refillable spray bottle. This allows you to moisturize and clean your nose frequently, right away when you are exposed to diesel bus fumes, smoke, or dust. If the stuff is expensive, or isn’t in a bottle convenient for carrying with you, you are less likely to use it right when you are dry or exposed to irritants. Look for a nasal/sinus moisturizer that contains no irritating additives, including Benzalkonium, and which comes in a convenient spray bottle for cleaning out your nose on the go. A good sinus...

Sinusitis for Patients

What Exactly is Sinusitis? Healthy sinuses are covered with mucous membrane, moist, delicate tissue with microscopic moving hairs called cilia, covered by thin mucous. The nasal and sinus cilia move back and forth like tiny oars, constantly moving the mucous to flush the sinuses and nasal passages. The body is defended against foreign particles and pathogens in the air we breathe by this constant flushing. When there is a blockage of the sinuses, or when the cilia fail to move the mucus, then an infection can occur. The cilia do not move the bacteria out of your body so they can multiply and make you sick. In sinusitis, the sinus tissue is infected and inflamed. Bacteria are present. The tissues look swollen in the nose and in the sinuses on examination. The patient will have trouble breathing because of the blockage. Usually there is mild pain, fever and yellow or green discharge. Often the throat and chest are affected — with sore throat and cough. Acute or Chronic? Acute Sinusitis Essentially in acute sinusitis you get over the attack fully. Might take a month but then you are clear. If we take an X ray at the start of the blockage, fever and pain, we generally see fluid in the sinus cavity, membranes are swollen, and there is severe swelling at the opening of the sinus cavities. If we take a repeat X ray later, the sinuses are now free of fluid, the swollen membranes are back to normal and the openings are no longer swollen and blocked. There is pain, nasal congestion, fever, and patient feels sick. Symptoms...

Empty Nose Syndrome

What Is Empty Nose Syndrome? What are Turbinates? Turbinate Surgeries How do you prevent ENS? Treatment What Is Empty Nose Syndrome? The nasal turbinates are shelf-like structures in the nasal cavity (which begins where the inside of your nose enters your head). They serve to provide moisture, warmth, and airflow for breathing, and many of the body’s natural defenses against infection. There are a variety of different problems associated with the turbinates. Sometimes the turbinates themselves are damaged by disease, and can shrivel and no longer function. In other cases the turbinates can swell and block breathing. There are journal articles recommending surgical removal of diseased turbinates in order to provide adequate airflow for breathing. After such a surgery, however, the turbinates can no longer provide mucus, cilia, and enzymes to protect against infection, and secondary infections can occur regularly and in turn may require additional surgery to clear the infection. Often patients will have 3 or 4 subsequent surgeries. There can be dryness, burning, crusting, and sometimes pain. The pain associated with this syndrome may come from the raw surface or the exposure of nerve endings or infection. All this adds up to the “Empty Nose Syndrome” as a side effect of surgery. In patients with removed turbinates, the X-ray of the the nose looks empty to your doctor, hence the term, “Empty Nose Syndrome” (ENS). The worst symptom, in my opinion, is the feeling of not getting enough air. The turbinates acts like a pressure valve in the nose; they change the air pressure of the air you breathe much like using your thumb on the end...

Nosebleeds

Do you get Nosebleeds? When the nose is dry and crusted, it may bleed, especially if one goes to a dry or cold area at high altitude. For the acute nose bleed try nose drops, such as Neosynephrine 1/4% . Place on cotton, place the cotton in the nose and press gently from the outside. Sitting up is best. Ice to the face may help. Try to stay calm, the more the excitement to more the blood pressure the more the bleeding. For chronic nose bleeds, Use lots of saline nose spray and an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin Ointment in a 15 gram tube. This has a pointed tip you can insert into the nose, the soft part, then squeeze the nose from the outside to spread it around. Do this 2 or 3 times a day. In most cases of bleeding the nose is infected and the antibiotic ointment helps. If you are taking aspirin or aspirin substitutes, including non steroidal anti-inflammatory medication, this may cause you to bleed. Dry climates are a frequent cause of bleeding; in this case, use lots of saline nose spray. Most important, keep the bedroom moist at night. Hang a wet towel, put water in a bowl, have a plant that takes lots of water. If you need to pick your nose for crusts, your nose is too dry – use an enhanced nasal moisturizing spray and/or gel, whatever works best for you. Absolutely avoid any preparations with additives or preservatives – these usually cause more problems than they solve. Nosebleeds are seldom fatal. It looks bad and it feels bad...

Snoring and What to do About it

Why do we snore? In deep sleep the muscles of the tongue, throat and roof of mouth relax and allow the tongue and soft palate and uvula to fall backward. The heavier the person is, the more overweight, the more this backward fall can close the breathing passage. In a recent study it was shown that by correcting the nasal condition and shrinking the tonsils, even sleep apnea can be corrected. Did you know there are doctors who specialize in snoring? And no wonder, snoring can destroy a relationship ! It can also change you from a pep and energy person to one who drags himself around all day half asleep. Normal Sleep Normally the person breathes openly and there is no alteration of sound such as snoring. If the nose is congested, if there is post-nasal drip or sinus or allergy, the reduced airway can produce sounds, which the partner doesn’t care for. However, a second change takes place. When there is drainage from the nose, this can affect the soft tissues of the throat. The tonsils may enlarge, there may be swelling of the back of the throat or the top of the throat too. Even the tongue may be affected. This enlargement acts as a stop valve to create the obstructive aspects of snoring called sleep apnea. Social Snoring Socially, snoring can be a true handicap. No question that snoring severely bothers the partner’s sleep, and earplugs may not be a sufficient answer. A separate bedroom is not a happy answer. Social snoring may be defined as loud noises made in sleep that doesn’t affect the...