Millions of Americans suffer from sinus problems, allergies, asthma, snoring, sleep apnea and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). According to Dr. Jordan Josephson, they all have a common, underlying cause, which he calls Chronic Airway-Digestive Inflammatory Disease (CAID).
Dr. Josephson, an otolaryngologist and author of Sinus Relief Now, says that understanding the connection between these health problems is the key to treating them successfully. Dr. Oz talks to Dr. Josephson about some ways to find relief from CAID-related symptoms.
Keep your sinuses clean. Dr. Josephson says nose-picking is permissible—just not in public!
Clean up your environment. Dr. Josephson suggests targeting areas with mold, pet dander and dust, as well as checking air conditioning ducts, removing old carpeting and using air filters.
Avoid foods or beverages that trigger symptoms. Some foods are more sinus-friendly than others, Dr. Josephson says. "Chicken soup has been shown to alleviate symptoms of the flu and speed up your recovery, and so chicken soup is great," he says.
Lose weight if you are overweight. Dr. Josephson says that being overweight aggravates most respiratory/inflammatory ailments, which in turn contribute to a person gaining even more weight. "It's a vicious cycle," he says.
See your doctor. Dr. Josephson says there are effective treatments ranging from medications to surgeries to lifestyle changes that your doctor can recommend.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is when nighttime breathing stops. Symptoms include chronic snoring interrupted by pauses in breathing, depression, excessive fatigue during the day, irritability, headaches and restless sleep. Aside from being unhealthy and even dangerous, Dr. Josephson says snoring and sleep apnea take a huge toll on relationships.
If a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, Dr. Josephson says the first step is getting the person to understand they have a problem. Tape record their snoring if necessary.
Consult a board-certified otolaryngologist, or someone who specializes in nasal and sinus surgery as well as snoring and sleep apnea surgery, for treatment.
If you are overweight, Dr. Josephson says losing weight can dramatically improve symptoms of both snoring and sleep apnea.