This is an odd subject for me to write about, but one that I’ve been intimately familiar with for many years, and I’ve recently discovered a solution for preventing this condition that does not involve antibiotics. This works for me, and it is possible that this information may be helpful to others as well, so I thought it would be beneficial to document this.
I’m referring to a condition called chronic rhinosinusitis, or chronic sinusitis. In my case, this specifically relates to the development of seemingly unavoidable life-threatening infections that require the recurrent use of antibiotics to address.
I have been fighting with this condition for over twenty years, and have seen numerous doctors and specialists regarding this, and nobody could recommend a workable solution to prevent the recurring infections that have plagued me every four to eight weeks during that time. I discovered early on that these were life threatening infections if left untreated by antibiotics, when I almost died from one such in 2001 and in 2006. This was a double-edged sword however, because the continual use of these antibiotics made the condition increasingly difficult to treat as my resistance to most relevant antibiotics grew. So much so that by the end of 2016, I found myself in an equally precarious situation where these recurring infections were not responding to multiple courses of differing antibiotics and Prednisone in succession, and fewer options remained each time.
The form of chronic sinusitis that affected me was one of the more difficult types caused by uncontrollable bacterial infections trapped specifically within encapsulated sinuses, aggravated by pathway differences in my anatomy due to prior injury that doctors could not accurately map or diagnose. As a result, I was told that surgery was not an option, and the only preventative solution I was ever given by medical professionals was to irrigate the area regularly; which I was already doing. So, by the end of 2016, when most antibiotics stopped working for me, I was somewhat desperate to find an alternative solution. My initial research was not encouraging however. I had no idea that chronic sinusitis was such a widespread condition.
According to the CDC, 29.4 million people in the United States were diagnosed with Chronic Sinusitis in 2015, roughly 12.1% of the country’s population.  The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) reported in 2016 that the annual costs associated with chronic sinusitis accounted for approximately 5% of the annual U.S. health care budget: “For 2011, this resulted in an expenditure of $60.2 to 64.5 billion USD for the treatment of patients with CRS”, and “The authors showed that this complex chronic inflammatory disease has an economic burden that continues to rise substantially”. 
My personal experiences with medical diagnosis and treatment were accurately reflected in the article titled Treatment Options for Chronic Sinusitis by the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center published in 2009: “Sinusitis is the most common chronic condition for which patients seek treatment.” “Sinusitis — both acute and chronic — is typically diagnosed based on a physical exam and symptoms. Although this does not confirm a diagnosis and whether the infection is bacterial, antibiotics are commonly prescribed.” “For chronic sinusitis, patients are typically prescribed a minimum of three weeks of antibiotics.” “Prednisone is most commonly used as an adjunctive treatment to antibiotics.” 
Also, my personal experience with increasing antibiotic resistance was reflected in the 2015 report titled The Antibiotic Resistance Crisis by the US National Library of Medicine: “The rapid emergence of resistant bacteria is occurring worldwide, endangering the efficacy of antibiotics, which have transformed medicine and saved millions of lives. The antibiotic resistance crisis has been attributed to the overuse and misuse of these medications, as well as a lack of new drug development by the pharmaceutical industry due to reduced economic incentives and challenging regulatory requirements.” 
Another report also stated that the farming industry is contributing heavily to the increase of antibiotic resistance, in a report titled The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals Threatens Public Health by the Consumers Union: “According to the federal Interagency Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance, ‘the extensive use of antimicrobial drugs has resulted in drug resistance that threatens to reverse the medical advances of the last seventy years.'” “Approximately 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used in meat and poultry production.” “The National Research Council (part of the National Academy of Sciences) concluded that “a link can be demonstrated between the use of antibiotics in food animals, the development of resistant microorganisms in those animals, and the zoonotic spread of pathogens to humans.” “Most recently in 2012, the FDA stated ‘Misuse and overuse of antimicrobial drugs creates selective evolutionary pressure that enables antimicrobial resistant bacteria to increase in numbers more rapidly than antimicrobial susceptible bacteria and thus increases the opportunity for individuals to become infected by resistant bacteria.'” “The meat and poultry production industry argues, however, that there is no harm in this.” 
So, from this information I could only conclude that my condition was unpreventable and incurable, and that my situation would get progressively worse and my options more limited as my resistance to antibiotics increased. This appeared to be the only path open to me according to conventional methods, which is the same path that I had been traversing for the last twenty years as directed by my medical team. It seemed clear to me however, that there would be an inevitable dead-end at some point in my future if I didn’t find a way to change it.
Lacking other options, I began researching natural and unconventional remedies hoping that I could find something that would help my situation. This came with its own peril by adding an extra layer of risk though. In 2010, part of a metal implant broke through the skin within the same area, and for a variety of reasons it could not be fixed. So, if I chose the wrong alternative remedy to experiment with, it was possible that I could inadvertently trigger a critical blood or bone infection to occur instead.
To make a long story short, I did eventually locate a remedy that has completely and dramatically decreased my chronic sinusitis by preventing the recurrence of infection without requiring the use of antibiotics. Moreover, no infections have occurred where the implant has broken through the skin either, which is a good indication of its safety. As it currently stands, I have not had any infections since I began doing this each day since January 2017, which is the longest stretch of time that I have not required the use of antibiotics to address an infection since my initial injury in 1994.
Since I am not a medical professional, I can only speak personally about my own situation and experiences, and have documented the steps that I took to solve my own condition of chronic sinusitis infections without the use of antibiotics. Possibly this information will be useful to others as well.
It was important for me to first understand how the biological pieces fit together.
Sinus Anatomy: “The pink membranes lining the sinuses make mucus that is cleared out of the sinus cavities and drains into the nasal passage. The right and left nasal passages are separated in the middle by a vertical plate of cartilage and bone called the nasal septum. The sidewall of each nasal passage is lined by three ridges of tissue, and each of these is called a turbinate or concha. Specifically they are designated as inferior, middle, or superior depending on whether one is referring to the lower, middle, or upper structure.” “Most of the sinuses drain from underneath the middle turbinate, into a region called the osteomeatal complex. When air flows through the nasal passage on each side, it streams through the crevices between the nasal septum and these turbinates. Both airflow and mucus ends up in a part of the throat called the nasopharynx (the very back of the nose, where it meets the rest of the mouth and throat). Air is then breathed into the windpipe and lungs, while the mucus is swallowed.” “Tear duct (called the nasolacrimal duct): drains tears from the inside corner of the eye into the nasal cavity. Eustachian tube: this is the tube responsible for clearing air pressure in the ears; it opens into the back of the sidewall of the nasopharynx.” (American Rhinologic Society) 
It was equally important for me to understand how chronic sinus infections generally occur.
Sinusitis – In-Depth Report: “Healthy sinuses are sterile and contain no bacteria. (The nasal passage, on the other hand, normally contains many bacteria.)” “The Disease Process. Sinusitis is an infection that occurs if obstruction or congestion leads to bacterial growth in the paranasal sinuses. Among the many causes of such obstruction or congestion are the common cold, allergies, certain medical conditions, abnormalities in the nasal passage, and change in atmosphere. In any of these cases, sinusitis can develop as follows: (1) Mucus drainage and airflow are blocked. (2) Secretions build up, encouraging the growth of certain bacteria. (3) The resulting infection, swelling, and inflammation create further blockage, which may cause the sinuses to close up completely.” (NY Times Health) 
I also learned that these Secretions are called ‘biofilms’, and they play a critical role in the development of chronic sinus infections.
The role of bacterial biofilms in chronic infections: “Acute infections caused by pathogenic bacteria have been studied extensively for well over 100 years. These infections killed millions of people in previous centuries, but they have been combated effectively by the development of modern vaccines, antibiotics and infection control measures. Most research into bacterial pathogenesis has focused on acute infections, but these diseases have now been supplemented by a new category of chronic infections caused by bacteria growing in slime-enclosed aggregates known as biofilms. Biofilm infections, such as pneumonia in cystic fibrosis patients, chronic wounds, chronic otitis media and implant- and catheter-associated infections, affect millions of people in the developed world each year and many deaths occur as a consequence.” “The important hallmarks of chronic biofilm-based infections are extreme resistance to antibiotics and many other conventional antimicrobial agents, and an extreme capacity for evading the host defenses.” (PubMed – NCBI, US National Library of Medicine) 
Since these details fit my situation, I believed the following plan should prevent the cycle from continuing without the need of antibiotics.
- (1) Break down the biofilm that is present in the area.
- (2) Eradicate any harmful bacteria exposed in the area.
- (3) Repeat on a daily schedule to prevent biofilm or bacteria from achieving critical mass.
After reading further about biofilms, I learned that it was already proven through experimental medical studies that common baby shampoo rinsing was an effective method for breaking down biofilms within sinuses.
New ways to flush out sinus infections: “The concept behind baby shampoo irrigation is cleansing the naval cavity with a surfactant. By doing this, the biofilms, or oily layers that bad bacteria create to protect itself from irrigation, are broken down.” (Baylor College of Medicine | Houston, Texas) 
It seemed logical that choosing a baby shampoo product with the least amount of synthetic chemicals and the most amount of natural ingredients possible would likely be the safest to use for this purpose, so I settled on a product called Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash (by Burt’s Bees) .
As it turns out, there are quite a few natural herbs that include antibacterial properties, but garlic is one of the strongest, and it effectively kills microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses while at the same time strengthening the immune system. Moreover, this has been proven by modern scientific studies many times.
Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic.: “Allicin, one of the active principles of freshly crushed garlic homogenates, has a variety of antimicrobial activities. Allicin in its pure form was found to exhibit i) antibacterial activity against a wide range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria, including multidrug-resistant enterotoxicogenic strains of Escherichia coli; ii) antifungal activity, particularly against Candida albicans; iii) antiparasitic activity, including some major human intestinal protozoan parasites such as Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia; and iv) antiviral activity. The main antimicrobial effect of allicin is due to its chemical reaction with thiol groups of various enzymes, e.g. alcohol dehydrogenase, thioredoxin reductase, and RNA polymerase, which can affect essential metabolism of cysteine proteinase activity involved in the virulence of E. histolytica.” (PubMed – NCBI, US National Library of Medicine) 
Extracts from the history and medical properties of garlic: “People learned that by distillation with water vapor, garlic yields etheric oil with its characteristic sharp smell. The examination of the chemical content of that oil commenced in 1844. In 1892 and later, it was confirmed that garlic consists of several aliphatic unsaturated sulfur compounds. As late as in 1944, the oily, colorless, unstable substance called allicin was isolated from garlic by Cavallito and Bailey. Later it was established that allicin has strong bactericide power. Even in dilution 1 : 85000 to 1 : 250000, allicin showed antibacterial activity against certain gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.” “The action of garlic is manifold. Because of allicin and other sulfur compounds, garlic has antibiotic, antibacterial and antimycotic action, which has been testified by in vitro studies.” (PubMed – NCBI, US National Library of Medicine) 
There are many commercial products that include garlic extract, but I wanted to make sure I chose one that included only garlic extract in its most concentrated form, possessed all these antibacterial and antiviral properties, and could be easily dissolved into water. I chose Allicidin (by Premier Research Labs) , which fulfilled all these requirements.
So, my plan was to first apply the baby shampoo rinse to break down the biofilm, then follow with a diluted garlic extract rinse to eradicate the buildup of pathogens, then follow with a general rinse to wash things out afterwards, and perform this ritual once each day to see what happened.
For the nasal rinse procedure, I chose a product called NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit , which is accompanied by rinse packets that consist of a combination of salt and baking soda. This small combination of salt and baking soda when mixed into the water prevents the burning sensation that occurs when water is injected into the back of the nasal passages, which makes the experience more comfortable.
Materials and Quantities
- One NeilMed squeeze bottle.
- One half teaspoon Burt’s Bees Baby Shampoo.
- One Allicidin garlic capsule.
- Two or Three sinus rinse packets depending.
- Lukewarm filtered water.
- (1) Add 1/2 teaspoon baby shampoo to water in a cup, plus 1 sinus rinse packet if desired to prevent slight burning when applied, then mix until slightly sudsy.
- (2) Add solution to the squeeze bottle and apply as directed for use until the bottle is empty, then wash the soap solution out of the bottle and cup when finished until both are clean.
- (3) Open and empty the contents of 1 Allicidin garlic capsule into the cup, plus 1 sinus rinse packet, plus water, then mix until all particles are dissolved. (Don’t include the empty garlic capsule in the solution.)
- (4) Add new solution to the squeeze bottle and apply as directed for use until the bottle is empty.
- (5) Open 1 sinus rinse packet into empty cup plus water, then mix until all particles are dissolved.
- (6) Add new solution to the squeeze bottle and apply as directed for use until the bottle is empty.
The remedy worked and continues to do so. The addition of the garlic extract rinse after the baby shampoo rinse appears to increase the process of breaking down the biofilm as well, and the once daily repetition has successfully prevented the accumulation of dangerous pathogens so that no infections have occurred since the end of 2016 when I began doing this. As I mentioned before, this is the longest stretch of time that I have not required the use of antibiotics to address an infection since my injury in 1994, despite the exposed metal from an implant that has remained the same since 2010.
I have attempted many times to locate recommendations from modern medical professionals that discuss how to accomplish the same thing for those suffering from chronic sinusitis, with limited success. Though I have found some recommendations for one or the other individually, I found none that specifically addressed the task of nullifying both biofilm and pathogens simultaneously for greatest effect. In contrast, the most common treatment according to medical professionals is still the use of antibiotics as a preventative measure. This seems counterproductive to my situation and as a global policy because the ever-increasing resistance to antibiotics is fast becoming a global risk, and the populations where preventative treatment is applicable is huge.
It is also greatly disturbing that antibiotics are so freely used in farming, when the arguments to justify this are so clearly weak and based on falsehoods. Hopefully this will be addressed before antibiotics are rendered completely ineffective in fighting common diseases as a result. Time will tell. Unfortunately, in many cases from what I’ve observed, it appears that business interests are commonly given higher regard than the future security of humanity by those in power.
- (1) FastStats – Sinus Conditions – CDC
- (2) Chronic Rhinosinusitis: 5% of the annual U.S. health care budget – AAAAI
- (3) Treatment Options for Chronic Sinusitis | Primary Care Connections October 2009 – UCSF Medical Center
- (4) The Antibiotic Resistance Crisis – National Library of Medicine
- (5) The Overuse of Antibiotics in Food Animals Threatens Public Health – Consumers Union
- (6) Sinus Anatomy – American Rhinologic Society
- (7) Sinusitis – In-Depth Report – NY Times Health
- (8) The role of bacterial biofilms in chronic infections – PubMed – NCBI, US National Library of Medicine
- (9) New ways to flush out sinus infections – Baylor College of Medicine | Houston, Texas
- (10) Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash – Burt’s Bees
- (11) Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic. – PubMed – NCBI, US National Library of Medicine
- (12) Extracts from the history and medical properties of garlic – PubMed – NCBI, US National Library of Medicine
- (13) Allicidin – Premier Research Labs
- (14) NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit