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[flagged] Sinus flush after positive Covid test reduced risks 19 times (medrxiv.org)
27 points by timonoko 7 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 20 comments

I have scar tissue on the surface of my sinus that used to cause me more than my fair share of sinus infections. since I started using a neilmed to blast out my sinuses at the slightest hint of congestion it hasn't been a problem. I think it's like what flossing is for your gums but for your sinus - highly recommend!

Neilmed appears to be brand name saline solution, do you use it with a neti pot, or a syringe, or something else?

mine came as a kit with little packets to mix with distilled water and a squirt bottle, the bottle doesn't seem like anything special you stick the nozzle in your nostril and squeeze it


Unfortunately there’s not a control arm here. Looks like maybe original design was to determine effect of the additive as treatment, with sodium bicarbonate as the control. But both arms were significantly different than the population average, leading to this publication.

Given that it’s hard to know if selection bias slipped in anywhere, for example during recruiting:

> During the study period, 826 unique patients aged 55 and older were eligible to be contacted within 24 hours of a positive PCR; 79 were able to be enrolled and receive irrigation materials on the day of contact.

Sounds batshit crazy. But so it says:

Patients who initiated isotonic saline nasal irrigation after a positive COVID-19 PCR test were 19 times less likely to be hospitalized than the national rate.

Crazy how? With the caveat that I know essentially nothing about biology past school lessons and therefore I have a real risk of being dangerously naive, to me this seems more like a Columbus Egg to me: Washing hands reduces the risk for other diseases, this is washing inside one of areas the disease targets.

That could be, but I also think people given a task by authority are likely to have a placebo response and down play symptoms that could cause the authority to question their compliance.

FYI the pre-print has been updated [1]. It now says 8 times less likely.

[1] https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.08.16.21262044v...

Dammit. It would have been funny if flushing was more effective than vaccination. Was it 13 times less deaths with Delta-variant?

Nobody in this study used just an isotonic saline solution, they added either Povidone-iodine (an antiseptic) or Sodium bicarbonate aka baking soda (making the solution slightly alkaline). Saltwater and basic irrigation appear to be fairly commonplace, I'm not sure about the iodine. The paper warns that prolonged use of an iodine irrigant should be accompanied by monitoring of thyroid function. But using the alkaline solution was almost as effective, if the paper is to be believed, anyway (they reference another paper where saline solution provided no benefit).

The reason I was googling this was my nose been itching for a week. I have not had influenza for 40 years, because at first sign of sinus irritation I start flushing. But this influenza seems oddly persistent.

One day soon I will go to Lidl and buy Covid testing kit...

"A consecutive sample of outpatients 55 years and older were contacted from daily COVID-19+ lab reports between September 24 and December 21 of 2020"

What have the authors been doing since?

This study seems worthless. It had no control, it attempted to base its conclusion on a comparison with CDC data, and it didn’t mention whether participants were vaccinated.

Fwiw, the study took place September 24, 2020 to December 21, 2020. The first vaccinations in the US occured in December 14. Pretty safe to assume nobody was vaccinated.

It's kind of tiny. Instead of the expected ~8 out of 79 hospitalised it was 1. They quote p=0.006 . Feels like in the real world that could easily be luck.

This is a bit unrelated, but at the same time is kinda relevant.

Sinus flush can fuck up the balance in your nostrils, possibly increase the mucus production of the membranes. Which will encourage you to flush more "since you're washing out a lot of mucus, so the whole process working". It's a vicious cycle. Source: me. I have a stuffy nose issue for years now, even after surgery. In general it's only annoying during the morning and while I sleep.

Is this a product that big pharma can make bank over? If not than this study sucks and we should never speak of it again and ban all mention of it on the internet.

But do I get to keep my sense of smell?

With isotonic solution, I would expect pretty short periods of loss of smell over the 14 days, but your results may vary.

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