Patient Cases Patti H.


Patti H.  Chronic Sinusitis with Frequent Infections

Patti is a fifty Seven year old woman who after fifteen years of chronic sinusitis, frequent nasal infections, asthma and a developed sensitivity to environmental pollutants sought possible relief by using acupuncture and Chinese herbs.   As she told me, she couldn’t go into home depot without experiencing her sinuses swelling because of the multitude of chemical odors in the air.  Read more

When Patti began her story she told me that she was at her whit’s end. She used a nasal aspirator twice a day, and a neti -pot. On occasion Patti also used a nebulizer.  She also was using   advair, singulair, zirtek, an inhaler and a number of different over the counter nasal sprays.  It seemed that Patti was always on antibiotics and steroids. Over the years she had multiple operations to remove nasal polyps and she had lost her sense of smell for foods. The last operation was seven years ago.

 For about five or six years she had been receiving allergy “shots” from her allergist but last year he told her to stop the allergy shots until her sinus situation improved. She had a long list of sensitivities including molds, smoke and perfumes, garden chemicals, and many of the seasonal airborne plant pollens. Her otolaryngologist (ENT) after the past seven months of switching antibiotics and anti fungals for the five recurrent sinus infections, told her there was little else he could do for her.  He was the one who suggested acupuncture; he had tried it himself, and that is why she had come for an evaluation. 

After a thorough Oriental medical diagnostic evaluation, her signs and symptoms which included the usual nasal and eye conditions also included Migraine type headaches, dark circles under the eyes, TMJ, loss of concentration etc.  All, further indications of her  local sinus problems and loss of her own immune systems ability ward off microorganisms and to adapt to her external  environments.

We developed a six month treatment plan that included acupuncture treatments once a week for eight weeks, and once every two weeks for the remaining four months.  An herbal formula was compounded (16 herbs) specifically for her case that included herbs to increase resistance to pollution, infection, and allergies.  A second herbal formula that has been part of the Chinese herbal pharmacy   for seven hundred years was used when Patti felt a possible infection brewing.  Happily this only occurred twice in the six months she was being treated with both acupuncture and Chinese herbs.   She progressively was able to reduce her medications substantially and saw a dramatic change to her sensitivity to environmental chemicals.  Her dependence on anti-inflammatory steroids ended and she gradually regained some of her ability to smell foods.  She continues to take her formula that strengthens her immune responses and has not had an infection in nearly a year.  Patti’s case was a difficult one stemming from the reduced immune system ability to protect her from common environmental substances.   This, coupled with the multiple surgeries to remove nasal polyps and the protective barrier membranes that are part of the defensive immune system boundaries left her in a compromised situation.