ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- According to the CDC, more than 30 million adults in the U.S. struggle with chronic sinusitis: stuffy nose, congestion, swelling, facial pain, trouble sleeping - the symptoms can be debilitating. Now, a new way of treating it may finally offer relief.
Jim Dryden is pretty healthy, but when he comes down with even a mild virus, watch out.
“When I get a cold, for instance, it would last for probably five or six weeks," said Dryden.
Simple colds lead to flare-ups of sinusitis. Desperate for relief, Dryden enrolled in a study with Jay Piccirillo, MD, an otolaryngologist at Washington University St. Louis.
“Oftentimes, they’re prescribed multiple rounds of antibiotics, which have their own costs and side effects," said Dr. Piccirillo.
Dr. Piccirillo is testing a way to deliver the steroid budesonide deep into the nasal cavity using nasal lavage, a method you might know as a Neti Pot. Budesonide is a common anti-inflammatory nasal spray. Dryden mixes the steroid in his nasal rinse every day.
“The lavage actually delivers the medicine to areas of the nose that we don’t think the medicine can get to by just using the spray,” said Dr. Piccirillo.
His study shows an extra 20 percent reduction in symptoms.
“We think the addition of the steroid medicine to the lavage is an alternative to antibiotics and, in fact, it’s probably even more effective because at the end, probably most of chronic rhinosinusitis is an inflammation problem, not an infection problem,” Dr. Piccirillo said.
“It has been very helpful,” Dryden told Ivanhoe.
Dr. Piccirillo says both budesonide and the use of nasal lavage are common and widely available. The new part is simply the delivery system.
Dr. Piccirillo says this is available right now to patients who are interested. He suggests patients talk to their doctor about how to add the powder form of the drug, not the commonly used spray, to a saltwater nasal rinse.