sinus headaches caused by weather changes

David_T(IL)April 19, 2003

I came across this site last night and I know what you've all been through. I'm 52, and at age 7 my doctor called me a 'human barometer'. The severity of these indescribable headaches peaked in my 20's and 30's, but are still leaving me feeling 'washed out' for a day or two afterwards, and almost always occur with a drop in the barometric pressure. I want to thank everyone who posted pressure-point advise, as that has been helping my sinuses very much. I'm also going to try some of the herbs and vitamins and hope for the best. Good luck to you all, and thanks.

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I used to have this really bad, for many years, until I ran across the whole mucus theory. I do periodic fasting, and eat more fruits and vegetables than grains, little meat, no sweets (just fruit), and no cow's milk. What a difference! My allergies cleared up, and they were awful. I'm still getting my migraines under control, but I don't get that low pressure front migraine anymore. I used to tell my husband whenever there was a low coming, and when it was on top of us on the weather map. He would check it and I was always right. He stopped checking it! I still can feel it, and I can feel when we have a high front too, but now it doesn't make me suffer.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2003 at 7:17PM
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David -
One thing that helps is to keep an eye on the pressure maps, and start taking aspirin BEFORE a low pressure cell sweeps across your area.

Also, reducing any upper respiratory allergic responses helps. Try Echinacea DAILY in about 1/3 the bottle's recommended dose. It minimizes the histamine release from "mast" cells, which in turn reduces inflammation in the nasal passages and that in turn means your sinuses don't clog as much so the pressure changes hurt less.

It takes 2-3 weeks to take effect ... try it for AT LEAST three months and see if the severity of the headches is lessened. You won't see a dramatic change, just less of a problem.

Other sinus-drainers: eat really hot chile peppers, or just inhale the fumes from a bottle of them. A nice jolt of hot sauce can clear out sinuses in a few minutes.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2003 at 8:58AM
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I used to live at about 4600 feet above sea level, where we would get Chinook winds. I had migraine headaches for 17 years. I spent three days out of ten with blinding, vomiting, headaches. I also had three family members including one in-law, who could not be pleased, and I accepted it to keep the peace.

I finally reached the point where I decided to no longer try to please these people. Over the period of one year my headaches eased up and then vanished.

I would occasionally have low grade forehead sinus headaches after the migraines disappeared, and one day related it to the air pressure.

I didn't need to check the weather maps once I made the connection. I would simply go to the bathroom and check the water level in the toilet. Every time, the water would be about five inches below the normal depth.

I live at sea level now, and don't have any headaches. However, my energy level goes down the drain in low pressure, which is a bother, but is bearable.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2003 at 11:54AM
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Birdygirl(z8 SW TX)

This sinus pressure you feel when the pressure drops is most likely the result of a sinus infection and perhaps a severe recurring infection. I have the exact same problem and my doctor found that my sinuses are full of fluid and are blocked up (this is causing the pain when pressure shifts). As soon as I stop breastfeeding my son, I intend to get these passages unblocked through surgical means. The pain is also severe when I change altitude as mountains and planes are currently my enemy. Make sure you don't have an infection because a sinus infection that goes unchecked may cause serious health problems in the future.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2003 at 4:26PM
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Leopard(z6 NJ)

Once again I'm suffering with horrible sinus congestion. I found the old thread, then saw that no more replies were allowed, went to the main forum page, and found another one had been started and it was right on top! I guess I have plenty of company. I think I'm just doomed to suffer for the rest of my life. I used to think I had allergies; as a child I tested positive for allergy to dust. But last year I went to an allergist and didn't test positive for anything, not even dust! Over-the-counter decongestants don't do anything for me. I've tried prescription decongestants (although I don't have a prescription for one at the moment). Sometimes they help a little (but not nearly enough), and sometimes they don't seem to do anything. But I also suffer from dry eye syndrome, and taking decongestants for any length of time will aggravate that. I can't win! About all I can do is put the vaporizer on, and that doesn't help all that much either. I don't think I have a sinus infection (the last time I went to the doctor, I was told I didn't), but even if my sinuses aren't infected, they're congested and it's really uncomfortable. I have a slightly deviated septum, but my mother said that surgery would be a really bad idea. Besides, someone said that surgery could affect my voice (I can sing very well and would hate to lose that ability). I've noticed that I often feel horrible when it rains. I get headaches all the time and take a lot of pain relievers. I became a vegetarian almost two years ago, and haven't noticed any changes since then. I'm not vegan, but I'm lactose intolerant and have to take lactase enzyme if I eat dairy products. I don't eat them very often.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2003 at 8:39PM
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darlene87(z7 Wa)

I also have severe headaches for 2 days when we have a full moon. This has been going on for over 40 years, with the severity staying the same. When I have one of those type headaches, I know it is full moon time. If the moon can have effects on the tides of the ocean, why not the body, which is mostly water.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 4:06AM
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Geez, I was thinking I was the only one that gets headaches from the weather ! Nice to know I'm not alone. Does anyone know if there has ever been any research done on this ? I've looked, don't find anything.
Take care everyone. Thunderstorm season coming soon. Thats the worst time of the years for me.


    Bookmark   April 28, 2003 at 9:14AM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

So called "weather" headaches are actually migraine, and a large amount of research has been done on them. There are a number of medications designed to treat or prevent them. Ask your family doctor about migraine treatment or for referral to a headache specialist, see the link below for more info about migraine.

Here is a link that might be useful: Article about Treatment

    Bookmark   April 29, 2003 at 12:54PM
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Had been treated for years for Migraines. Nothing much helped. Medications don't seem to work for me. I've not found any research of headaches associated with weather.

Can't say I agree these are migraines. Know what those feel like. Unless of course one can have an assortment of migraines ? These headaches are sinus related. No infection. Pressure that can even make your ears pop.


    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 12:20PM
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My whole family gets "weather headaches." Mine are quite mild, but my mother's are rather strong. We all find that mint or milfoil/yarrow tea helps clear up the sinus congestion quite nicely. For the headache itself (if it still plagues you after that), I would use lavender leaves. However, milfoil/yarrow normally works for the headache as well.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2003 at 2:50PM
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Is there a certain mint that works better than another? I've used the over the counter mint teas. YUK ! Started growing my own. What I have doesn't seem very strong.
The yarrow. You use the leaves, Flower, Roots ? Can you tell me more. I'll try anything.

Thanks so much !

    Bookmark   May 2, 2003 at 2:19PM
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Peppermint is best for migraines. As for the parts of the yarrow, either the leaves or the flowers work, really. At least that's what I find. I hope I've helped you :)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2003 at 6:58PM
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ReddKatt(Z 7a-6b MD)

There is a great herbal concotion that GNC sells that works WONDERS for my terrible * weather * headaches. There is a lot at work with these headaches:

~colloidal silver works WONDERS to kill bacteria in the sinuses and kill even minor infections. It is available in a nasal spray bottle and was a LIFESAVER for me!
~decongestants will sometimes help
~Antiinflamatories will sometimes help * motrin *
~there is an AWESOME herbal blend that GNC carries. I take it almost every week. This past Winter where we in the MidAtlantic states had the worst storm season on record, I was in capacitated most of the winter HATED IT!
The GNC product is called Migraplex and contains:
Ginger Root Extract
Feverfew Leaves extract

I have also had good results with Migracin, by a company called Nature's Herbs * Twinlab Company *. This contains:
White Willow Bark
DLPA (DL-Phenlalanine)
Aromatic Herbs * peppermint most noticably *

Both have helped TREMENDOUSLY! Take either as soon as you even SUSPECT the migraine/weather headache is heading over you !

Much sympathy and understanding from another human barometer...

Harford County, Maryland

    Bookmark   June 8, 2003 at 4:59PM
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This is a terrific thread--really enjoyed reading all the posts ... thought I would contribute what I've learned over the last year and a half:

I've had chronic daily headaches, bouts of sinus headaches, and during the last year nail-thru-eye migraines....

In the last year, after much research and experimenting, I finally came up with a regimen that keeps my sinuses clear and pain-free (no more rotating Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and Aleve day after day!!)

1.) Bought, read, and digested _Sinus Survival_ by Robert S. Ivker
2.) Bought a NETI POT (google it to get description and pictures) and taught myself to use it twice a day. *This one habit has been the single most important change in my daily habits for helping my sinuses heal and prevent infections. In January 2003, I celebrated one whole year with no doctor visits/no antibiotics for sinus infections. I *had* infections last year, but I battled them with persistent use of the neti pot and two additional ingredients: the herb goldenseal and colloidal silver
3.) Researched and experimented with many herbal tinctures for helping clear up sinus infections. I started with the recent Mayo Clinic research that most sinus infections are FUNGAL rather than BACTERIAL... (made sense to me as antibiotics never really killed the infections just beat them down for a bit) .... anyway, the upshot of all that experimenting was the discovery that the herb Goldenseal (on the endangered list)really cleaned out an infection. I like HerbPharm's organic Goldenseal --it comes in glycerin or alcohol bases.
4.) I've also researched and experimented with Colloidal Silver, and have found it very effective with my neti pot for combating sinus infections. I like Sovereign Silver Colloidal Silver--usually I just make my own with my colloidal silver generator.
5.) Link to one site that carries a nice stainless steel neti pot. I travel with my neti pot, and have found the porcelain ones very fragile ... the stainless steel ones are tough and hold much more saline (which I really like).
www. (they used to be about $14.95--cheaper than the porcelain ones!)

Cheers, BG

    Bookmark   June 18, 2003 at 6:48PM
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welcome to the home of the trick sinus!

I have had no luck with the colloidal silver, but I know many people who have...

I DO however, have a NETI pot, and have progressed from sterile saline in a bottle to brewing my own with sea salt, and hydrosols- the water left over from distilling essential oils.

the Rosemary and Tea tree ones seem to work the best for my condition on a day-to day basis, but I have added lavander oil, garlic juice, and even a 'match-head' size shot of wasabi powder to the blend, searching for the perfect solution.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2003 at 1:27PM
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ekohrman(Central KY (z6))

I have suffered weather related sinus headaches for years. I take at least 4 medications (Rx) and antibiotics when I get infections. I irrigate my sinus 2-3 times a day with saline(this helps more than anything).I have had 4 surgeries and the doctors can't figure out why I still have headaches. I need to try something new. I can't find the previous thread so I don't know the pressure points. I would like to try those if someone can post it. I'll try anything at this point. I'll try the ideas in this thread and see how they pan out. Glad there are others who KNOW weather affects your health.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2003 at 10:09AM
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littledesertrodent(z1 AK)

This will only cure the headache and not whats causing it but try growing feverfew and when a headache comes on eat a leaf or two, voila your headache is gone(temporarily only cause if it is caused from sinuses it's only treating the symptom and not the problem) I grow feverfew on my back porch and it does wonders for headaches.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2003 at 5:25PM
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I get good results with a product called HAS made by Nature's Way. Ingredients: brigham tea, marshmallow root, burdock, cayenne, goldenseal, elecampane, parsley, cleavers, and rosemary.

It is more effective if you take it regularly and not just when symptoms appear. The recommended dose is 2 tabs 3 times a day, but I just take 2 tabs once a day.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2003 at 12:06PM
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hedake(Z10 FL)

A friend sent me a link to your forum the other day and I decided to post because I want to thank everyone who's taken the time to share their experiences and offer their tips. Iwanted to share mine as well in the hope that someone here might benefit.

I've suffered with *weather head* for several years now and have had little success with doctors or any treatments.

Earlier this year I was scanning the web and came acrossed a product called Rhino-flow from respironics. I was actually searching for a C-PAP device since I also have mild Obstructive Sleep Apnea. I thought I would give the Rhino-flow a try since I needed a scrip for the C-PAP. It is a bit pricey (about a buck and a half), but I took a chance on it because like many of you have written, I would have tried anything.

It is probably similar in what it does to the Neti pot that I saw listed here. The exception is that this machine uses a small air compressor to shoot a saline mist in to your sinus cavities. There are 2 phases, the first is a lower pressure cycle that loosens the stuff up, and the second one is higher pressure that shoots the mist farther up in to your sinus cavity. During the second cycle, you hold your breath and make a swallowing motion (you arent swallowing anything, just doing the motion like you do when landing in a plane). Doing this makes your ears open cause the saline flushes out your eustation(SP?) tubes I guess. Quite honestly, after using it I can hear differently. I even had to adjust the volume, bass, and treble settings on my car's stereo after using it for the first time. And the first time I spoke with my mother after using it she didn't even recognize my voice.

I can have the WORST sinus headache in the world and it's a gonner after using the RF. And now that I can breathe through my nose at night, my OSA is much better.

The thought of using this contraption for the rest of my life is not something I look forward to, but I'm thankful to have something that works. I am going to try using some of the herbal things and the other products that have been suggested here in the RF and possibly might be able to reduce my frequency of use. I use it every couple of days now, sometimes twice a day when the weather's really screwy.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2003 at 12:53PM
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chagrin(z6/7 NM)

Nobody would ever believe me. I suffered for over 50 years, since I was a child, from what I came to call "barometric" headache. Barometric torture was more like it. At its worst it seriously affected my life because I was all but incapacitated. Doctors were of no help, and I even attended herbology school in hopes of discovering a remedy, which I did not. But, several years ago at the end of the most stressful period of my life during which I developed another strange ailment, for which no one seems to have a treatment, I drastically changed my lifestyle. I won't go into all that here except to say that among other things it involved removing stress from my life and making great changes in my diet. For over a year and a half now I have not had one single "barometric" headache.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2004 at 1:55AM
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patspan(6 MA)

I empathisize with your weather headaches.
I am from the humid east coast and suffered for may years with this.They can put you down for days.
The best thing I found was a mucous free diet and plain old steam.
No gluten, sweets , dairy and low carbs.
A shower brought great relief.
I almost never get these headaches anymore and I live in a humid area in Pa.
Remember if you are taking herbs for this to make sure you are not allergic to the family they are in.
also, take a run and a break from them.
No matter how pure, our livers recognize herbs as foreign.
I advise all my clients when taking them to consider to never do so for more than 2 weeks straight , especially with herbs such as goldenseal.
2 weeks on, a week off is a good way to remember.
For pain, ibuprofin is very good as it is an anti antiflammatory and works on the swollen membranes.

Saline spray used on a regular basis assists in keeping the sinuses mositurized as does drinking lots of warm fluid.

Other helpful herbs I have used are cayenne, horseradish, hot mustard and raw onions.
For me often just chopping an onion brings relief.
I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2004 at 7:57AM
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Their are different types of headaches. A lot of times stress headaches feel like migraines. Which is probably why the person who said bleep it and moved off the mountain headaches were better. Also for the weather system headaches it might also be your eye color. I have light sensitive blue eyes. Its a killer if i don't get ibuprophen in me after a sunny day.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2004 at 4:24PM
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I've had "weather headaches" for at least 20 years. I was taking Advil Cold and Sinus but now that doesnt seem to work either. I usually feel the headache coming on when i wake up so I immediately take a swig of gatorade(to rehydrate) and some asprin. Haven't tried any of the recommended herbs yet. The sooner you start treating it the better but most of the time it seems like you just have to suffer through it. Saline seems to be useless once the headache starts.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2004 at 8:55AM
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Judy_B_ON(Ontario 5B)

BatmanRobin: If you feel the headaches coming on and they are weather related, you likely have migraine, not sinus headaches. Ibrophen (Advil) will work better than aspirin and there are some prescription medications that will work too.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2004 at 12:01AM
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Hi, I also suffer from pressure headaches. I've gone from prescription meds for the pain, to over the counter meds. One day my husband brings home a new product by Aleve. It's a non drowsy formula for sinus & headache. You only take one caplet every 12 hrs. It's in a green box with yellow lettering. If I take one at the beginning of my pain, Aleve wipes it out. I can only say, THANK YOU GOD. I'm not a doctor, so I can't prescribe this for you. I'm only saying that it works for me!

    Bookmark   September 19, 2005 at 1:11PM
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laa_laa(Sunset /8 or 9)

I just wish all the ear, nose, and throat doctors in thus town were ordered to read this... we(the sufferers) might get at least more understanding from them.L.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 1:36AM
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try a steam bath when you see one coming on, with something liek lavender or mint on it to clear and decongest ur sinuses and nasal passagfes as much as you can to avoid preasur build up

    Bookmark   October 14, 2005 at 2:46PM
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Gourdlvr(zone 6)

Try Purple Beautyberry, callicarpa americana I think that's how you spell it, for Migraines. Start with three berries wait 5 minutes then add three more. It never takes more than 15 for me. I've only had one cluster migrane since I started taking them 5 years ago.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 6:26AM
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>> The product promoted by the previous poster (who's just registered with GW) has nothing to do with herbalism. There is no clinical evidence in support of the product on the website, and a PubMed scientific literature search only turns up one paper that suggested that xylitol had an antibacterial effect in experimentally-induced sinus infection in rabbits.

Yes, it is obvious that they dropped by to plug their product.

On the other hand, xylitol is a plant compound, just as salicylic acid (original source of aspirin) is a plant compound. So to say that it is completely unrelated to herbalism is not quite on the mark.

You missed several PubMed studies on xylitol, eric. The one I linked to below found a decrease in Staph bacteria in the nasal passages after four days use in real live humans. You really need to do the research before playing expert, son.

I used a xylitol nasal spray once - don't remember the brand ... it didn't help me, but your mileage may vary. I find good results from a daily saline irrigation, aka neti pot.

Here is a link that might be useful: The osmolyte xylitol reduces the salt concentration of airway surface liquid and may enhance bacterial killing.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 8:56PM
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"...xylitol is a plant compound, just as salicylic acid (original source of aspirin) is a plant compound. So to say that it is completely unrelated to herbalism is not quite on the mark."

Xylitol is chiefly found in various fruits and vegetables, so unless one wanted to describe all of these as herbs (a bit of a stretch), it's not an herbal remedy.

Speaking of needing to "do the research", your link has nothing to do with sinus headaches (the subject of this thread) and does not mention sinusitis.

It's important when citing research to make sure that it's relevant to the topic at hand.

At least the sellers/spammers of "Sinofresh" spared us the typical list of irrelevant papers that tend to turn up whenever supplement pushers try to impress us with "science", and which generally involve studies in test tubes or lower mammals, or involve unrelated conditions with an invitation to "connect the dots". They also seem to have avoided testimonials. Instead we're just supposed to take them at their word, buy the product and invest in the company.

Kind of refreshing, in a sleazy sort of way.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 10:12PM
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>> Speaking of needing to "do the research", your link has nothing to do with sinus headaches (the subject of this thread) and does not mention sinusitis.

>> It's important when citing research to make sure that it's relevant to the topic at hand.

You wouldn't know relevant if it bit you on the hand, eric. Xylitol has been extensively studied for its effects on bacterial ecology. In chewing gum, it not only replaces sugar (reducing their food supply), but xylitol itself has an inhibitory effect on the ability of many bacteria to grow and spread in the mouth and sinuses. It inhibits the bacteria that cause cavities and gingivitis. It has been shown that xylitol creams can reduce colonization of Staph. aureus on the skin in patients with atopic dermatitis.

If someone is interested in a non-toxic agent that has been shown to reduce levels of several common disease-causing bacteria, xylitol may be a help. If someone is looking for a product with 567 studies and the FDA's stamp of approval for that specific purpose, then xylitol is not the product for you.

Here's another study that demonstrates that xylitol may be of use to improve bacterial ecology and prevent ear aches, and it is backed up two clinical trials. Clearly, eric is pretending to know more than he does - if his cursory search on PubMed doesn't turn up evidence he likes, he is quick to dismiss that approach as quackery.


Xylitol in preventing acute otitis media.

Xylitol is a polyol sugar alcohol and is referred to as birch sugar, because it can be produced from birch. Natural sources of xylitol include plums, strawberries, raspberries and rowan berries. Xylitol inhibits the growth of Streptococcus pneumoniae and it inhibits the attachment of both pneumococci and Haemophilus influenzae on the nasopharyngeal cells. In two clinical trials xylitol was found efficient to prevent the development of acute otitis media with a daily dose of 8.4-10 g of xylitol given in five divided doses. The efficacy in these 2-3 months follow-up trials was approximately 40% when chewing gum was used and approximately 30% with xylitol syrup. The need to use antimicrobials reduced markedly when using xylitol. In a high-risk group of children with tympanostomy tubes xylitol was ineffective in preventing otitis. Xylitol appears to be an attractive alternative to prevent acute otitis media.

Vaccine. 2000 Dec 8;19 Suppl 1:S144-7. Uhari M, Tapiainen T, Kontiokari T. Department of Paediatrics, University of Oulu, FIN-90220 Oulu, Finland.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 9:18AM
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Typical tactics employed when a poster points out that there's no evidence that an "alt med" product helps a particular condition - attack the poster, and try to change the subject.

The subject here is headaches associated with weather changes, and the possible role of sinus inflammation/infection, not acute ear infections in kids.

With regard to sinusitis, the kind that can result in recurrent headaches will typically be chronic sinusitis. As such, it cannot routinely be blamed on bacterial infection and xylitol-containing products are not the treatment of choice, assuming the "active" ingredient is even capable of reaching the sinus mucosa:

"For example, one study reported the following for patients with chronic sinusitis who had not responded to antibiotics:

30% had no evidence of bacteria in their passageways.
20% had bacteria unrelated to infection."

Chronic sinusitis is related to a variety of problems, including allergies, asthma, anatomic problems and in some cases fungal infection. More information available here. Before trying various cures touted over the Internet, it would be very helpful to get an accurate diagnosis in the first place (migraines are treated differently from chronic sinusitis).

By the way, an earlier poster recommended colloidal silver to "kill bacteria in the sinuses". Physicians have abandoned this product as a routine spray in part because chronic use can permanently discolor the skin gray-blue (some credulous alt med advocates still promote the product despite its dangers and limited evidence of effectiveness).

"If someone is looking for a product with 567 studies and the FDA's stamp of approval for that specific purpose, then xylitol is not the product for you."

We'd appreciate just one good study that specifically addresses sinus problems. :)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 11:27AM
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I agree that there are many causes of sinusitis - if that is even what the person had. Since the original question was posted in 2003, I doubt that that person is checking the board daily for advice, and I was discussing sinus health more generally. While xylitol is not a cure-all for all sinus conditions, it can improve the types of bacteria present in some people and is not the zero you erroneously dismissed it as.

Biofilm forming bacteria are a common feature of chronic sinusitis, as evidenced by the link below. Xylitol interferes with the ability of many disease causing bacteria to form films and remain in the sinuses, mouth, etc.

Staph aureus, for example, is cultured from 20% of people with chronic sinusitis, and other pathogenic bacteria are common. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for sinusitis, and resistance of bacteria in the nasal/sinus areas to antibiotics is increasing. The fact that a simple compound like xylitol can reduce the need for antibiotics in a variety of related conditions is of interest to me, but obviously not to you.

Here is a link that might be useful: Prevalence of biofilm-forming bacteria in chronic rhinosinusitis.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 4:28PM
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Your linked study does not mention the product we were spammed with in this forum. It doesn't mention whether such products would have any effect on bacteria in the sinuses. It doesn't refer to xylitol as useful therapy in chronic sinusitis. It doesn't help us decide whether biofilm-forming bacteria (aggregates of different bacterial species present in association with extracellular material) cause chronic sinusitis (in fact, this has not been established).

Interesting article, yes. But "of interest" does not mean "run out and buy the product". As mentioned previously, we don't even know if the stuff gets up into your sinuses (doubtful), or if squirting it into your nose changes or reduces the kind of bacteria that grow in the sinuses, assuming they have anything to do with a person's chronic headaches or other, possibly sinus-related symptoms.

"I agree that there are many causes of sinusitis - if that is even what the person had."

Would you agree that it'd be worthwhile to get an accurate diagnosis and recommendations for treatment from a competent health professional before pursuing unproven remedies on the Internet?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 6:15PM
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>> Your linked study does not mention the product we were spammed with in this forum.

We are talking about xylitol. In another thread, you made the connection that heavy metals are bad, some ayurvedic products have high levels of heavy metals, therefore some ayuvedic products are bad. But here, you are unable to do the same thing - xylitol changes the bacterial ecology, product x contains xylitol, but we don't know if product x has any effect on bacterial ecology because there aren't 300 studies directly proving it, yada yada ...

>> But "of interest" does not mean "run out and buy the product".

Indeed. I never suggested such a thing. I even mentioned the fact that I have used xylitol and found no benefit - perhaps because my case is more related to allergies.

>> Would you agree that it'd be worthwhile to get an accurate diagnosis and recommendations for treatment from a competent health professional before pursuing unproven remedies on the Internet?

Sure, assuming such a thing is possible. How many people out there have gone to various doctors for years, used their 'proven' products, and still have chronic sinus problems?? Quite a few, I would say.

In one recent study, less than 20% of physicians got it right with respect to antibiotics and sinusitis. If 80% of doctors in one sample are not getting it right, then I would say there might be reason to seek out a different strategy for a non-life threatening condition.

Here is a link that might be useful: Criteria-based diagnosis and antibiotic overuse for upper respiratory infections.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 10:24AM
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Yes, we're talking about xylitol. So why try to change the subject to ayurvedic medicines? Xylitol is not an ayurvedic product.

"we don't know if product x has any effect on bacterial ecology because there aren't 300 studies directly proving it, yada yada ..."

As mentioned before, just one study showing any value for xylitol in sinusitis would be appreciated.

Regarding the paper that looked at videotapes of doctor visits and decided that sinusitis is being overdiagnosed: note their emphasis on criteria-based diagnosis. The authors do not mention xylitol. They do not recommend buying every product sold on the Internet or touted in forums based on testimonials. The emphasis is on reducing antibiotic use and using objective criteria to make accurate diagnoses. Once that's accomplished, it follows that the best course is to use proven treatments, which may or may not include antibiotics.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 11:52AM
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>> Regarding the paper that looked at videotapes of doctor visits and decided that sinusitis is being overdiagnosed: note their emphasis on criteria-based diagnosis. The authors do not mention xylitol.

Of course that comment of mine wasn't about xylitol - it was in response to your question about going to 'competent health professional' for sinus conditions

That study showed that over 4 out of 5 doctors who diagnosed a bacterial infection and prescribed antibiotics were wrong! Where is the evidence that a person is better off going to a doctor for a mild sinus condition than not?

Where are the evidence-based medicine studies that compare the consequences of un-needed antibiotics in 83% of patients misdiagnosed with bacterial sinusitis vs doing nothing or using some other approach like saline nasal irrigation? They don't exist!! So don't pretend that the canned answer 'go see a doctor' is supported by evidence - in this case, it may be just the opposite.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 6:11PM
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Apart from making sweeping conclusions on physicians' diagnostic abilities on the basis of one paper - what that particular study on diagnosing sinusitis doesn't mention is how often people who came in with conditions they thought were sinusitis (or had no idea about) got correctly diagnosed with completely different disorders - migraines, allergies, tumors etc.

If we could all self-diagnose "mild sinusitis" with confidence, or depend on strangers on an Internet forum to do it for us, we wouldn't have to worry about missing a more serious or readily treatable condition (and most people who've posted here haven't referred to a "mild" condition, but rather to debilitating headaches). Seeing as how you've indicated elsewhere how much you despise the medical profession, and won't even acknowledge the wisdom of consulting a physician for best options to treat a life-threatening disorder like congestive heart failure, I'm not surprised about your resistance here to getting a proper diagnosis.

Getting back to xylitol, if there still are questions about the harm in trying an unproven therapy for something one thinks may be sinusitis (aside from wasting time and money and potentially overlooking another disorder) - consider the fact that repeated xylitol use, just like antibiotic misuse, can spur the development of resistant bacteria. For instance, xylitol-resistant bacteria that cause tooth decay have been found in the mouth after oral use of xylitol. What would happen if chronic use of a xylitol-containing nasal spray led to development of a resistant organism that overgrew the sinuses in the absence of other bacteria that previously had held it in check? This problem has occurred elsewhere - ie. severe, debilitating diarrhea occurring when certain antibiotics kill off most of the bugs in the colon and allow Clostridium difficile to proliferate. It would be highly regrettable if use of a product intended to improve symptoms of sinusitis wound up causing a far worse form of infection.

We just don't know - just like we don't know if xylitol would do any good for people with sinusitis. And maybe it's not a great idea for us to be guinea pigs for such a product, even if the advertising spam and don't-trust-doctors diatribes sound alluring.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 7:45PM
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I have always had sinus related events. However, when I turned 50 there was a sharp increase which now included low grade headaches, migraines, loud white noise in ears, muffled hearing and a general fatigue. I have had sinus surgery, been to a neurologist for migraines, a sleep doctor for the fatigue
and not one of these helped to get rid of symptoms. I do know that weather does affect my head. I accept that and try and cope. I try to recognize when I am heading into one of those times and even though I see it coming, I don't have any idea how to stop it or lessen the symptoms. So, I have decided that traditional medicine is not the way to go. Does anyone who reads this forum have any ideas for me?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:22PM
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I had suffered for many years with sinus like headaches - and I was the "Human Barometer" most people on here can relate to - a few hours before a rainstorm or a change of pressure, I would suffer a terrible pressure headache/migraine.
This then manifested into a constant pain in the front of my head, making me unable to shake my head because of the pain.
This then lead to fits of feeling dizzy when my head was dipped and then I raised it.
After I started getting my right leg numb for a few seconds after one of these incidents, I sought a better remedy than the usual Doctor issued medication.

I discovered Oil Pulling.

Using extra virgen coconut oil, within 2 weeks, I had been cured! No more headaches, no more pain in the forehead, no more sinus pain and no more dizzyness !!

The other day, it started raining - a thunderstorm and I thought - hang on - I don't have a migraine! It was then I knew I had cured it!

Please - do a search on Oil Pulling and try it out - it cost me 7 dollars for a 500ml pot of Coconut oil (it is expensive here in Brazil), but it was worth every penny!

I hope this helps anyone out there that is having the same problems I had.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2013 at 3:21PM
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I am 19 going on 20 and since I was about 16 I started getting sinus headaches, due to weather changes, very violently. Most of the time I end up with an ear infection a day or 2 after (Due to the fact that, for me anyways, it cause post nasal drip). I have been searching all over for ways to help, cause I would much rather not have to deal with it so much. But it is nice to know that I am not the only one with this issue.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 7:16AM
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I also suffer from weather-related headaches, and I have been diagnosed with migraines. I never thought of my weather-related headaches as migraines though. My migraines feel totally different. I can usually tell when a storm is going to come through, because I get a dull, sometimes throbbing headache. Sometimes the pressure in my head makes my jaw and teeth hurt. Usually no amount of ibuprofen works. Hot showers do help, but not when I am at work! I would love to find an effective remedy. I had a headache for the past four days and all I could assume was that it was weather-related because we saw a significant temp drop here. Thanks to all that shared suggestions on coping here. I may have to try some.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 2:27PM
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I just wanted to say THANK YOU very much for everyone's suggestions & sharing your experiences. I finally put 2 & 2 together recently and realized I was able to predict rain a day before due to sinus headaches and continue to feel the effect a day later. Of course, most people said it must be mold or something else being stirred up here in KY that has my sinuses out of whack. Now I KNOW I'm not crazy and VERY much appreciate the helpful suggestions as I discovered allergy medications do not help.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2014 at 1:58PM
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