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sinus congestion


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i know this doesnt directly relate to POTS, but i've had very bad sinus congestion for long time, tried all the nasal sprays and meds, doctors dont think its allergy related, but i cant sleep coz so stuffed up and if blow too hard, heart starting kicking up, just wondering if this somehow related to autonomic system and if theres anything that might help, anything i spray, even saline goes up and clogs nose more, totally fed up!! thanks,


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It's probably not related to autonomic problems--like the rest of the world, we can have allergies. I have pretty bad allergies myself and have had sinus surgery which really helped. Also, sinus sprays, alone, did nothing for me. I've mentioned this on the board before, but my sinus and allergy doc both suggest rinsing the sinuses with 8 to 16 oz of saline solution at least 1x a day.

Here's where I get my solution and bottle from:


and I used to use this one:


I personally like the neilmed system better because it's been cheaper for me in the long run, and because my doc frequently gives me free samples and occasionally a free replacement bottle.

You can mix your own buffered solution of salt, baking soda and water, but I find the premixed stuff easier to store and is premeasured.


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I'm no doctor but I personally think my stuffy nose is related to the autonomic difficulties as well as the allergies I have. If I remember correctly, for some of us the veins in our legs become distended because blood pools there. I happen to think that the same kind of thing occurs in the capillaries in my nose (though my allergy doctor does not agree with me). I think the capillaries in my nose have a tendancy, for me anyway, to become more distended than normal, especially if there is low barometric pressure outside (rainy). I use Breathe-rite nasal strips every night to keep my nose open. It works somewhat and I don't do well with pills. If my heart is not doing badly with racing or anything, I take 1/2 of a prescription pill that my allergist gave me, guafenesin with phenylephrine. But the phenylephrine can definitely raise the heartrate, so I rarely take the above. I'll take the pill only when I'm totally desperate. I also sleep on a wedge incline with my pillows on top of the wedge which helps keep the nasal passages open more. Besides that, if you have allergies, either to things or foods, try to figure out your triggers and avoid them. Easier said than done. There's a whole long spiel I could go into, but it's too lengthy and boring to relate here and I can't honestly say that my stuffy nose improves from any one thing I do. And, BTW, I do NOT have sinus infections, just a stuffy nose problem. I can relate to having this problem. (Maybe we can find a forum on which they discuss stuffy noses, or allergies, and what to do about it?)

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If it does happen to be allergies, the doctor I'm working with is one of the best. I will give you the list of things he's told me for what it's worth:

1) bathe before bed--especially if you've used any hair products such as hair spray, gel, mousse, etc. which are sticky and tend to hang onto things like pollen. Your hair then rubs on your pillow, and you in turn end up placing your face right in your allergens.

2) cover your bedding with mite-proof covers, and wash all your bedding, including the covers and mite covers in VERY hot water OFTEN. When I'm having a tough allergy time, I change my pillow case each night.

3) No cats, dogs or other dander producing pets in the bedroom.

4) Rinse your sinuses with copious amounts of saline...not a spray, a RINSE that washes out any allergens that might be aggravating your sinuses and nose. If you've had a sinus infection, be sure to disinfect your rinse container.

5) He has me swab the inside of my nose with an Rx ointment called "bactroban" aka mucoprin.

when I stick to the above routine, I do my best...of course, human nature (or at least MY nature), is to back off when I've been feeling really well for a while (sinus-wise, anyway). And then, of course, I usually end up regretting it. I did rinse religiously before and while I was away in Europe because I really didn't want to get sick while I was away!

According to my doc, I was told "not to waste my money" on things like air filtration. However, we'd already owned an Ionic Breeze. While it may not be a cure-all, I can tell you I clean the thing a few times a week and am always a bit startled at how much disgusting stuff is on the filter...and I'm quite glad is there rather than my nose or lungs!

I've never seen any research (peer reviewed journal, etc.) linking sinus congestion and autonomic difficulties... anyone else seen anything in that regard? I've seen all sorts of stuff on the web regarding allergies that aren't referenced to research studies. I'm certainly not saying it's not possible, just saying there's nothing out there yet from the research I've read so far.


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