Doctors going low-tech to fight sinus infections


Armed with modern medicine's latest and most state-of-the-art technology, an elite team of Houston doctors is deploying a new tool in the fight against chronic sinus infections: baby shampoo. Baylor College of Medicine otolaryngologists are having many patients include a dollop of the gentle detergent to their saline nasal irrigations, the now almost trendy practice of flushing out mucus and irritants from the sinuses. In 2013, University of Pennsylvania researchers reported in the American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy that 60 percent of study participants improved significantly after irrigating their sinuses twice a day for four weeks with water, salt and baby shampoo. Takashima, who emphasizes the need to "think outside the box" with patients whose sinus problems have not responded to standard treatment, recently launched a first-of-its-kind clinical trial studying the inclusion of probiotics in nasal irrigation. What's likely changed is that antibiotics and steroid treatment depleted the patient's habitat of beneficial bacteria so pathologic bacteria have settled in.

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