Are Your Sinus Medications for Meniere's Disease Helping You or Hurting You?
It is important to understand how
your sinuses work if you have Meniere's disease. Sinus pressure can be
behind some of your symptoms and increased sinus pressure may even be the
trigger for an attack. It is also possible that the sinus medications
that you are taking to get rid of the sinus pressure may also be causing
some of your symptoms.
A Quick Lesson On Sinuses
Your sinuses are
hollow air-filled spaces within the bones of your face, behind and above
your nose. Sinus means a cavity or hollow, but we see them as part of
our breathing apparatus The lining of the sinuses produces a soft
gel-like fluid called mucous, and tiny hairs, called cilia.
What is its function?
The mucous and cilia humidify and warm the air you breathe, aid your
sense of smell, and improve the sound of your voice. There is a constant
sweeping by theses cilia of mucus out of your sinuses and into your nose
and throat through small openings which cleans and moisturizes your
Why is it a problem when the sinuses don't function properly?
When the sinus linings become infected, usually due to viruses or
bacteria, they may swell, causing an obstruction and interfering with
normal drainage of mucus. Infection causes swelling, which makes it even
harder for your sinuses to drain, causing pressure pain headache fever,
and local tenderness.
Things you can do to help yourself.
Drink plenty of liquids to help dilute the secretions. Have you ever
"steamed" your face? It feels so good.
A quick method is to fill a sink with very nice warm water, gently
put your head over the waves of steamy warm water, and place a towel
over you and the sink. Inhale a couple of times, but don't prolong it.
Just feel the warm breeze on your face. Applying warm facial packs work,
too. Be careful not to scald yourself.
Avoid bending over with your head down. This can cause more pain and
Recognizing That Too Much Of A Good Thing Might Not Continue To
(This information is intended to help you understand how your body works. It
is not meant to diagnose or treat your Meniere's disease symptoms in any way. The more helpful
information you have, the better decisions you can eventually make.)
When you read on our website that Meniere’s is not a disease, isn’t your
mind shocked into thinking “so what is it”? try to see Meniere’s only as
symptoms related to balance and hearing. It makes it easier to understand
what I am trying to help you see. Your symptoms of balance and hearing only
come when the nerves are “activated” (stimulated). So right away, you can
see that something has to stimulate one or both nerves. This helps you to
understand that there now is a CAUSE. Know that EVERYTHING in nature has a
CAUSE. NOTHING happens without one.
I won’t go into the classic Meniere’s
disease symptoms, you can read them on our
website. If you have
visited our website and requested more information, you will undoubtedly
have received our “observations” on Meniere's disease. This is a list of ideas that others have
told us to have caused their symptoms. It’s quite a lengthy set of possible
causes. But the point I want to make is that they are all causes for
someone! No one has all of them. Nothing ever happens in nature without a
cause. And we have learned that sinus problems are a major cause for many,
many people both with and without Meniere's disease.
It’s normal for people to treat sinus problems with all sorts of remedies:
drugs, sprays, and other treatments, including saline (salt) washes. The
point is that you want to get rid of the symptoms. If you choose to use
sprays or drugs, you should be aware of a “dark side” to this treatment and
it is the results of something you do with the best of intentions. The dark
side is a term called “rebound”.
The term "rebound" has several meanings, but it always seems to be “allergy
time” and I want to bring something to your attention. Did you know that
taking a dose of your nasal decongestant is very helpful, but taking more
than the PRESCRIBED dosage could be counter-productive? Yes, that's true.
And few people understand this. We all assume it's good to do something that
clears up our sinuses...So a bit more wouldn't be harmful, and maybe also
We also believe that over the counter medications aren't really medications.
So you rationalize that there is no harm in taking them...and as they are
harmless, but work well,
taking more isn't a problem...Right? Wrong! Taking more could do one or two
things: make the situation worse or make the whole effort useless. At this
point I am speaking mainly about nasal decongestants and allergy products.
These are products to help you breathe better when your nose and eyes are
irritated and you just can't stand it any longer. So you reach for the
sprays or the tablets.
In essence "rebound" means taking MORE of a good thing and thinking it will
be even better and more helpful. But there are other meanings to "rebound".
I’ll briefly mention a few here, but know others also exist.
You could be "rebounding" from or recovering from an illness. It could also
mean the sudden retraction of a muscle after it has been in a certain
position for a while. It's what happens when you cut elastic after it's been
stretched. It "pops" back into close to its original position. Another
rebound definition could be happening with your abdomen. If you have ever
had appendicitis, you will recall the "tapping" the doctor did on your
extremely sensitive abdomen and you really wanted them to stop! The doctor
puts pressure on the abdomen and the release of this pressure causes pain.
This is a form of unwanted (involuntary) rigidity and is diagnosed as
"rebound tenderness". This is a diagnostic test and tells the doctor that
this requires immediate medical attention.
Another definition of rebound is what can happen when you are taking too
many headache remedies too often or overusing one. According to the National
Headache Foundation, the only way to stop this is to stop the medication,
but don't do this without
your doctor's knowledge. Other corrective measures might be needed to help
overcome this result. Headaches may "rebound" as the last dose wears off,
leading one to take more and more pills. Please consult your pharmacist or
doctor. You will have to initiate the conversation. Few medical people think
of this possible cause.
Are you aware that caffeine can also cause physical dependence when it is
used for a long time? This may lead to those withdrawal (rebound) headaches
when you stop taking it. But one of the big challenges is that often your
doctor doesn't KNOW what meds OR OTHER things you are taking. (Many of my
patients see several doctors who all prescribe different drugs. Chemicals
These headache remedies may contain caffeine. Now think this through. You
may already be getting a dose of caffeine in your cappuccino. Research
hasn't proved or disproved that caffeine-containing headache brands may be
more likely to trigger rebound headaches, but just keep it in mind. And as I
preach a lot.: think before you switch to the decaffeinated products.
Remember that pure chemicals create the actual decaffeination process. And
they in their turn may cause you more problems. Maybe you just need to cut
back and watch for negative signs, such as hyperactivity and jittery
Some drugs also cause indirect rebound headaches. For instance, codeine is a
narcotic analgesic. It's a painkiller and acts on your central nervous
system. This means your whole body is numbed to any painful effects. And
when you take some pain killers for a long time, your body may get used to
them. Then larger amounts are needed to produce the same effects. This
result is called "becoming tolerant".
When you decide to stop this cycle you may have already become "dependent"
and your body will go through a withdrawal process: cleaning out the
residual effects. One of the first signs you will have most likely, will be
(rebound) headaches. Personally I often wonder if some of this activity
isn’t the cause for what people call “panic attacks or anxiety episodes”:
not just for pain killers, but for all sorts of other meds.
Now we come to nasal congestion. This has to do with your sinus tissue. Many
people use headache medication and need to understand this rebound process.
Many, many more don't know that something as seemingly innocent as a nasal
decongestant could be causing exactly the same response: "rebound".
Why would you use a decongestant in the first place? What is congestion?
Something enters your head through your nose (or your mouth) and your body
recognizes it as an unwanted visitor. This could be unpleasant smells, or
allergens, such as dust or mites…any intruder.
Your body tries to protect you. It uses your four sinus sets as filters.
They react by increasing the fluids in an attempt to wash away the toxins.
This additional fluid causes you to feel "congested" (full).
You feel stuffy and your eyes might be watering. Your nose might be running.
It's an unsightly and unbearable situation. (Congestion is the swelling and
congestion of the nasal mucosa: the soft, moist lining of the nasal
passages.) And you can't stand the discomfort. You need help. You speak with
your doctor and they prescribe a "decongestant" ("de" meaning "away from")
..FOR A FEW DAYS.
Decongestants are used to treat nasal congestion and other symptoms
associated with colds and allergies. The commonly used forms are liquid and
tablets. Nose sprays or drops may be used for acute situations but FOR NO
MORE THAN TWO TO THREE DAYS IN A ROW OR AS PRESCRIBED BY A PHYSICIAN.
Decongestants work by narrowing blood vessels, leading to the clearing of
Decongestants are available both over-the-counter (OTC) and by prescription.
Now you have help and can reach for the spray, liquid, or tablet. The blood
vessels that have been dilated to bring the increased fluid supply now are
chemically told to reduce this process and your nose stops running and the
eyes feel better. A few days later you are fine again. But unfortunately you
continue to be exposed to that same irritant (intruder). And you continue to
use the same products that worked so well.
Over-the-counter nasal sprays, if used for a prolonged period of time, can
CAUSE "rebound rhinitis" or nasal congestion symptoms. Decongestants can
cause nervousness, sleeplessness, or elevated blood pressure. So all the
effort you put into getting rid of the symptoms are now working against you.
You need to discuss this with your pharmacist or doctor. It's really useless
and counter-productive to buy more medication that isn't working for you any
longer, but in fact it is now working against you. Why would you do that?
Because you didn't know! But you do know now. And now you should be paying
attention to ALL labels. They are put on products with very important
reasons and most of it for your protection.
Rebound is an action of certain drugs that works against your specific
needs. It doesn't mean it's a bad drug. It means you need to know for how
and for what reason you are taking it. Your original reason for taking it
was good. Your continuing reason was not in your best interest.
By Karin Henderson - Nurse, Retired.
Are Your Drugs Making You Sick?
Meniere's Disease and The Inflammatory Process and
Meniere's Disease and The Inflammatory Process
A Very Simplistic Explanation of Free Radicals
and Anti-Oxidants" & an Antioxidant Tutorial
The Body's Healing Process
If you would like to know more about the system for Meniere's disease that we talk about throughout the
site that has been used by people to get relief from their symptoms,
use this link to go to the Meniere's System Information page.
If you have not signed up for our Meniere's Disease Health Information
Newsletter you can learn more about it, or sign up for it, by
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