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Machaon 10-28-2003 06:40 PM

"Upside Down" irrigation with peroxide works for me!
How I fixed my sinus problems.

No more chronic sinus infections!!! After decades of swollen, stuffed-up sinuses, thick yellow gunk, and miserable infections, I finally have the condition under control. I feel great! I don’t even take sinus meds any more.

I have found a simple, inexpensive method of irrigation that effectively treats my sinuses and either prevents or heals my sinus infections.

My sinuses first get stuffy, and then I feel like I am getting a cold. Over the next few days my sinuses start closing up, and getting more congested. I get a thick yellow discharge. This condition has either led to an infection, or continued to give me misery for long periods of time, so I start a series of ‘upside down’ irrigations.

I buy a plastic saline nasal spray, for about $2.50, and empty it. I then fill the empty saline nasal sprayer with a pinch of baking soda, a pinch of salt, 3ml to 5ml of ‘common store bought’ 3% hydrogen peroxide and 50ml water. I never exceed 5ml of 3% peroxide to 50ml of filtered water, or a one to ten dilution of 3% peroxide to water AT MOST!

Mixture: 3ml to 5ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide
Pinch of baking soda.
Pinch of salt.
50ml of filtered water.

Hydrogen peroxide can be very irritating to the sinuses, so I am very careful with the mixture. When I first started experimenting with the sinus irrigation, I used more than 15ml of 3% peroxide, to 50ml of water, and it really burned my sinuses and made my sinuses close up much worse on both sides, and the discomfort lasted for several days. So I never use more than one part of peroxide to 10 parts of water.

To do the sinus irrigation, I kneel, and place the top of my head down onto the floor of my shower and spray the contents firmly into my sinuses, which are tilted upwards. It is really not as bad as it sounds. In fact, it beats the HELL out of having closed sinuses and getting constant infections and constantly taking antibiotics.

I place my head down on the shower floor so that my sinuses are facing upwards, and so that I don't swallow any of the mixture and so that the mixture soaks deep into my sinuses. The more clogged my sinuses, the longer I keep my head down on the shower floor, letting the mixture seep deep into my sinuses. I shake the mixture occasionally and make sure that I spray most of it into my "upside down" sinuses. I spray it into both nostrils, and after they fill up, when I spray into one nostril it comes out the other. I keep my head upside down on the shower floor for a few minutes after the irrigation in order for the mixture to get deep into my sinuses. I even shake my head and contort my face in order to help work the mixture into the sinuses. I don’t know how much that helps, and it probably makes me look like an idiot, but who cares-----, nobody is watching! <g> A lot of the mixture usually foams out of my sinuses, down my forehead and onto the shower floor. I keep my eyes closed so that it doesn't drain into my eyes. I don’t breath in through my nose during the irrigation, mostly to avoid sucking some of the mixture into the Eustachian tubes of my ears.

Even at 3ml peroxide to 50ml water, it burns, or stings, somewhat. Most of the time it just burns a little. But sometimes it burns quite a bit (depending upon how sensitive my sinuses are at the time). I just grit my teeth and tolerate the stinging of my sinuses, and after a while the stinging or burning starts getting better. I found that there is no additional discomfort after the irrigation is over, unless I use too much peroxide.

The irrigations usually produces a lot of foam, especially if I use 5ml of Peroxide. Sometimes there is a mix of blood with the foam. Subsequent irrigations might produce very little foam and a lot of bloodish water. I guess it all depends upon the condition of my sinus at the time of the irrigation.

The Irrigation is not the most pleasant experience, but it isn't too bad, and it works for me. When I first started using this type of irrigation, I gave myself several irrigations within a day, to treat a suspected infection, or to treat very irritated, swollen, or closed sinuses. Then I would repeat the irrigations over the next few days until my sinuses seemed to be responding. Then I would skip a day or two and see if my sinuses continued to do better. The number of irrigations I use is also based on the amount of garbage that needs to be flushed from my sinuses and how my sinuses feel. If the discharge is relatively clean, and my sinuses are not too bad, I limit the number of irrigations. Relatively clean, to me, means that some of the discharge is clear and some might be yellow, but it is not too thick. If my sinuses aren’t too bad, just a couple of irrigations for one or two days seems to improve the functioning of my sinuses and takes away that ‘getting a cold’ feeling.

Every time I get stuffiness that lasts for a couple of days, and if it seems to be getting worse, I irrigate, and I've irrigated many times over the past two years. The result-------- I have not had to use antibiotics in the past two years, and I have not had an untreatable infection. Every time I feel like my sinuses might be infecting, I treat myself. The irrigation takes 10 to 15 minutes depending upon how long I want the mixture to seep into my sinuses. Not bad to ward off infections! Every time my sinuses start to ache, I treat them. Junk comes out, and the ache goes away.

After a series of irrigations, it still can take a few days for the sinuses to get better, but when they do, I feel great, with wide open and calm sinuses. What a great relief to not have to use antibiotics several times a year!

Before each irrigation, I place a towel and a tissue nearby. After the irrigation I lift my head, while it's in the shower, and let my sinuses drain into the shower. It can look pretty bloody, foamy and nasty. I then get up and use the tissue(s) to clean my forehead of the foam that seeped out of my sinuses during the irrigation. (This is not something I do in front of a girlfriend that I am trying to impress.) I don't blow my nose for a few minutes in order to give the mixture a little longer to do its job. After that, I blow my nose.

The first few times I did this irrigation, the discharge was real nasty, but not any longer. I am guessing that a lot of junk gets stuck up into the sinuses for a long time and that the "soaking, upside down" irrigation helps to loosen most of the junk. Just recently my sinuses were aching. I did an irrigation, and some weird junk came out and the aching went away. I used to suffer with achy sinuses for days. Now the aching stops after only one irrigation. The irrigation really works for me!

It is my understanding that some infections can stay dormant in the sinuses for years, and only become ‘active’ infections when certain events activate them. To me, that is why my infections kept returning several times a year. I don’t think that the antibiotics ever really got rid of my infections, but I don’t know for sure. I don’t know if I get sinus infections anymore. But, I don’t worry about them. If I get stuffy for several days, I just irrigate and forget about it. I feel much better!

I wanted to share my experiences with other sufferers. Does anyone do a similar type of irrigation, or has anyone found a more effective and less messy method? This seems safe and effective for me, but I have no idea if this type of sinus irrigation would help others, or make their conditions worse. Not being a doctor, I don’t recommend this for anyone unless they check with their doctor first.

Sophina 10-28-2003 07:50 PM

Humm..Now that sounds interesting. I think I will try it. I have chemical sensitivies though and have never really had a sinus infection. I think my nose swells due to the reaction to the chemical.. but,, swelling is swelling. Thanks for sharing. :-) What can I expect the first time??? Sounds like it could scare a person. LOL...

Sophina 10-28-2003 08:23 PM

WOOO HOOO...Yes, it did burn. I don't think it all came out of my sinuses. It will probably run out in bed tonight.. LOL I have done irrigations before, but never heard of the peroxide. I love peroxide though on small infections. It will heal a hangnail in half the time it normally takes. Again,,thanks for sharing, :-)

n7ynk 10-29-2003 03:20 AM

Hydrogen peroxide should never be used to irrigate a sinus, as the rapid release of oxygen in the wound can cause air embolism (Doughty, 1992).
I have started to research this type of irrigation and I found this article. Be careful!

Machaon 10-29-2003 06:20 AM

Sophia, you asked: "What can I expect the first time???"

The main reason I use the "upside down" irrigation is to ward off or treat sinus infections.

When I use too much peroxide, or my sinuses are very sensitive, the irrigation can cause me sinus irritation for two or three days. For me, it is worth it if I can avoid antibiotics and take care of my sinus infections. Here is a log that I took from one of the times I used the irrigation.

My log said:

This represents my log depicting my actual experiences, when I was trying to find a cure for my sinus infections with 3% hydrogen peroxide.

This log was taken right after I just got off ten days of Amoxicillin for a sinus infection. I thought that my sinus infection was fixed. My sinus infections start with pressure in one or both sinuses, which doesn’t go away and then continues to get worse. I’ve had surgery in my right sinus, which has left scarring, so my right sinus gives me most of my problems with infections.

My log said: ===>

"Day 1: 9:10pm Sinus pressure, right side, DAMN! Right sinus closed. I'll do 1 part peroxide to 10 parts water/baking soda treatment tonight. 2 irrigations. 1st one very bloody. 10 parts water to 1 part peroxide. Added a 3rd irrigation no foam, no blood"

"Day 2: 12:40pm, feel better. did a 4th irrigation. Added double pinch of baking soda."

"Day 2: nighttime: Damn. Right sinus closed ALL NIGHT!"

"Day 3: 9am. feel better. 1pm Did another 1 part peroxide to 10 parts water, with baking soda irrigation. Lots of foam. Sinuses more open after treatment. 4:53pm feel good all day. Did 2nd peroxide/baking soda irrigation. Foamed quite a bit. Did not blow nose for 8 minutes after irrigation. Seemed to help clean out gunk. Sinuses feel more open"

"Day 4: 7:53am. morning. Right sinus closed. 10:44am. did another peroxide/baking soda irrigation. 2:07pm. 2nd peroxide/baking soda irrigation, lots of foam, did 3rd peroxide/baking soda irrigation. Added pinch of salt. 1 part peroxide to 20 parts water. Lots of foam"

"Day 5: 6am. Sinus better in morning. more open. 7:31am Sinus VERY GOOD!!! Did another peroxide with two pinches of baking soda and added one pinch of salt. 1 part Peroxide to 20 parts water. Foamed but not as much. 3pm. Sinuses open today. 1st day open! nighttime-- sinus a bit stuffy again"

"Day 6: 7:52am. Sinus stuffy. No treatments today"

"Day 7: Sinus OK. 1pm another peroxide/one pinch baking soda/one pinch salt, 1 part peroxide to 20 parts water, irrigation. 6:05pm - Sinuses feel GREAT!!!"

"Day 8: sinus little stuffy. No irrigations today."

"Day 9: no irrigations today"

"Day 10: sinus feels great. Did an irrigation, peroxide/one pinch baking soda/one pinch salt. 1 part peroxide to 20 parts water. Foamed again. Sinus discharge really clean"

"Day 11: sinuses good."

"Day 12: no irrigations"

"Day 13: 1 part peroxide to 20 parts water/one pinch baking soda/one pinch salt - discharge is red. slight foam."

"Day 14-20 no irrigations"

"Day 21: 1 part peroxide to 20 parts water/one pinch baking soda/one pinch salt irrigation"

"Day 22-27 no irrigations"

"Day 28 Two peroxide irrigations, (1 part peroxide to 15 parts water)/baking soda/salt irrigations."

"next 87 days --- no irrigations."

"next day, sinus stuffy for 3rd day in a row. Slight Asthma. One peroxide/baking soda/salt irrigation."

Hope this log of my experiences with irrigation helps. (or puts someone to sleep!) <g>

Machaon 10-29-2003 06:42 AM

N7YNK, you said: "Hydrogen peroxide should never be used to irrigate a sinus, as the rapid release of oxygen in the wound can cause air embolism (Doughty, 1992)."

Please go back an re-read the article on "air embolisms" and peroxide. The article is not talking about the sinuses that are related to one's nose. The article is referring to "wound sinuses", or otherwise known as wound cavities or abscesses.

I have used peroxide/baking soda and salt to flood my sinuses, in an upside down position for over two years now, and find it totally safe, for ME. The peroxide can be a little bit nasty so I am very careful not to use more that one part peroxide to ten parts water.

I am not a doctor, nor an expert. As always, no one should try this type of irrigation unless they check with their doctor first.

I am overjoyed in not having to have worried about sinus infections over the past two years. I have not found any problems with the "upside down" peroxide/baking soda/salt irrigation, except that the peroxide can irritate my sinuses. Will I ever run into any problems. I don't know. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I LOVE IT!!! <g>

Machaon 10-29-2003 07:00 AM

Sophina, you said: "WOOO HOOO...Yes, it did burn."

I feel so bad for you. Peroxide can cause quite a sting in the old nose.

How much peroxide did you use to water? I am very careful when I measure the amount of peroxide. I never exceed one part peroxide to ten parts water, or 5ml peroxide to 50ml water.

When I first started experimenting with the peroxide irrigation, I used a much more and stronger peroxide solution to water. I saw stars! It really stung badly. I was already suffering with a miserable infection, so the experience just made me feel worse.

But, it took away my infection! I'll kick myself upside my head, if I can get rid of a sinus infection! <g>

And..... after three days, I felt great! So, the next few times I got sinus infections, I cut down the amount of peroxide until I found an amount that would still get rid of my infection, but not bring me to my knees. After that I added baking soda and salt to the mix.

Best of luck, and I hope that you wind up feeling great.

LarLarz 10-29-2003 04:55 PM

Sounds great! I think my sinuses are plugging up my ear. Do you think this will help me? I am so desperate to try ANYTHING. Aww baking soda =(
Do you think Peroxide and water would work or no?

Machaon 10-29-2003 05:09 PM

[quote]Originally posted by LarLarz:
[b]Sounds great! I think my sinuses are plugging up my ear. Do you think this will help me? I am so desperate to try ANYTHING. Aww baking soda =(
Do you think Peroxide and water would work or no?[/b][/quote]

I've used just peroxide and filtered water, without the baking soda, to treat my sinus infections, and it has worked very well. In fact, when I successfully treated my first infection, I did not use baking soda.

But....... I am not a doctor. I cannot say whether the "upside down" irrigation with peroxide and water would help you or hurt you. Sorry. I can only say what works for me.

Do you have an ENT that you can check with, who knows your unique sinus situation?

Best of luck. I know the misery of sinus disease.

LarLarz 10-29-2003 05:20 PM

Hi. Well I tried it with just the salt and peroxide. I used a capful of peroxide in alot of water. (Afraid of using too much!) I used a bulb syringe. I didn't have to turn all the way upside down. I just tilt my head back far. Not sure of the long term effects but alot of crap came out of my head. Still dizzy...but also getting over a cold. I'll let u know how it works for me.

Thanks for the tip...and u can be sure I will be buying peroxide at my next trip to the supermarket.


Machaon 10-31-2003 10:06 AM

Laura, (aka: LarLarz), you said: "Hi. Well I tried it with just the salt and peroxide. I used a capful of peroxide in alot of water. (Afraid of using too much!)"

Just checking to see if you are OK. I've always been careful to use between 3ml and 5ml of 3% peroxide per 50ml of filtered water, so I don't know how effective a capful of peroxide to a bucket of water would be. I wonder if the mixture was strong enough to do it's job, and I wonder if the mixture was able to seep into the infected sinus area?

Usually it takes several days for the irrigation to work, but I just wanted to check with you and get some feedback, either positive or negative. Is there something positive you can report, or was it just a messy, uncomforable experience? [img][/img]

LarLarz 10-31-2003 11:51 AM

Hey Beerzoids,

Well, i am not sure if it worked or not. I suck at measurents...but I would say I used about a cup of water, maybe alittle more and a capful of peroxide and I didnt really measure the salt. But I put more than just a pinch in. It wasnt messy...BUT...because I was blowing my nose so much from it I was so sore the next day. My glands under my chin and I don;t know what around my ears...(not sure if they are glands or not) and my chest was also sore from blowing too hard I guess. But it is so hard not too! When you want to get it out. So I don't know if that was what worked or if it is just a coincedence since it has been a week. I am afraid to do it again bc I don;t want to be swollen or in pain. But I don't think it hurt any! If I do try it again I guess I will try it without blowing my nose. I did it two days ago. That night I still felt awful. But then yesterday I got really nauseas and everything started draining. It did the same thing today. I think it must build back up when I am sleeping.

I am also trying to figure out a way to clear out my Eustachian tube. The pain and pressure and popping is driving me mad. When my sinuses drain, they feel like they are draining too. But not all the way.

Thanks and keep the suggestions coming!

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