The patient: “Anabel,” a woman in her mid-60’s who loves to spend her free time “exploring deep woods and trails.”
Why she came to see me: Anabel simply could not escape her frequent nasal infections. She was referred to me by her friend whom I treated for ear infections.
How I evaluated her: I first sat and simply talked with Anabel about her ongoing problem. She shared that no matter what drugs and procedures had been tried, her nasal infections returned—sometime diagnosed as “viral,” occasionally “bacterial,” and often “allergic.” She had tried dehumidifiers, HEPA filters, wheat- and dairy-avoidance diets, multiple antihistamines, allergy medications, and many, many, antibiotics. I did a physical examination of her nose and took a swab of the tissue relatively deep within that I applied to a microscope slide and stained it with a small amount of tincture of iodine. I placed it under my microscope that had output into a laptop computer in my exam room. This stain would reveal if there were yeast organisms present in her nose.
Indeed, there were yeast organisms in the mucus sample. I explained that often these organisms can disrupt the physical and immunological strength of the underlying membrane and allow bacteria or viruses to take hold, and that common allergens found in the environment can further aggravate inflammation in the nose.
How we addressed his problem: While it is virtually impossible to eliminate yeast in the nose, it can be held at bay by simply deeply rinsing both nasal passages with a salt solution containing some aromatic alcohols like eucalyptol (from the eucalyptus tree bark), menthol (from a number of plants in the mint family), or thymol (from the cooking herb thyme). I made up a solution in my pharmacy and dispensed it to her. She performs the rinse at least twice a day and often when she returns from her woodland outings.
The patient’s progress: Anabel reported feeling that her nose had “opened up” substantially and that she was breathing more freely. As of one month, she’s had no reoccurrences of any of the past infections that had plagued her. Did we find a “cure”? Only time will tell but I believe that we found and limited a substantive trigger.