Drug-Free Sinus Relief

Cold and flu season is here, and for many of our patients the only thing that’s worse than the stuffy head feeling is the drugged feeling associated with all of the medications we use for symptomatic relief. 

With sinus and nasal congestion, the Eustachian tubes, which internally connect the ears to the nose, become blocked.  This results in an inability to equalize the pressure across the ear, and results in the stuffed ears feeling that is associated with most colds. 

In the 1920’s Adam Politzer, M.D. developed a method of treating this.  Dr. Politzer used air pressure which was forced through the nose at the same time the patient swallowed.  The air pressure then caused the Eustachian tubes to be inflated and allowed any congestion in them to drain.  The air pressure then normalized across the ear, resulting in a sensation of popping (similar to the sensation most of us feel in an airplane or with a change in altitude.) and a relief of the uncomfortable pressure in the ear.

The Politzer Maneuver can be performed for Eustachian tube dysfunction or with barotitis, a condition which results from frequent pressure changes, such as those experienced by SCUBA divers.  The maneuver itself takes only a few minutes and can provide relief for minutes, hours or days.

Using a newly available device, the Ear Popper®, a sanitary nasal tip is used for each patient.  The pressurized air is kept at a gentle enough pressure to inflate the ear canals without risk of damaging the ear due to pressure.  Finally, the procedure can be done in a physician’s office and can be used in conjunction with medication to more rapidly relieve the symptoms that are associated with “head congestion”.