Sinus Infections

@Nate_Pearson I have listened to the best podcast around. Definitely 5 Stars. Nate, you have often discussed your struggles with training, life and sinus infections. I have currently come of a great train block and about a 15 point improvement in FTP. I was in my last few days of recovery when I a Sinus infection again hit me. So bad they first thought it was the flu and it took a couple days to break a low grade fever. This is probably the worst one I have ever had. Missed multiple days of work. I understand that your current sinus situation has improved a lot. Could you outline what actions you have taken and still do to lower your rate of sinus infections?

Keep up the great podcast and thank you for making us all faster and more knowledgeable.


I second this request. I would like to know more about this as I am always congested at night.

I’m not Nate but I used to get several sinus infections per year and eventually found out I had a deviated septum. I had surgery on it and don’t think I’ve had one since (several years later). Also on some meds prescribed by my ENT which seem to help.

I am also not Nate, but I addressed my recurring sinus infections by getting my allergies under control. I started getting allergy shots (for the third or fourth full series!), and this time, it seems to help.

Thank you for responding. Definitely have a deviated septum. I will add that to the list of things to have checked. It is frustrating having 3-4 major episodes a year.

I supposedly have no allergies but I only confirmed that from blood tests. I have heard that the blood test is as valid as the back pin prick method. Will double check that as well.


I am also not Nate. But I used to have a deviated septum and had surgery to have that fixed as well as turbinate reduction and rhinoplasty (enlarging the passages to some of my sinuses).

Did that ~2 years ago and the improvement has been substantial. Wish I had done it years and years ago. Don’t get severe annual (ish) sinus infections any more and the chronic sinus headaches are pretty much gone. Also I can breath through my nose consistently.

This was discussed in Podcast 239 when they did their goal reviews, and Nate talks about what he did.

I remember that episode. I will check back out!

Does anyone know what the sinus wash treatment Nate had was called? I have used various saline washes over the years with varying luck and wanted to be able to speak to a (UK) ENT specialist about that specific treatment.

I also had numerous sinus infections per year, after far too long I went to a specialist who scanned my head, and it turned out I had an abnormality in my nasal cavity that would cause fluid to pool in one area instead of drain, also the passages in my forehead were too small to drain effectively.

I had surgery to correct the nasal cavity and they used the balloon inflation method to break the bones of the forehead passages (which are like egg shell) so they would heal larger. Apparently when they did this so much gunk came out it extended the surgery by quite a bit as they had to clean it all out, but man, what an improvement!! For a few years after that I’d only have maybe 1 or 2 a year, then I started sorting out my diet and I don’t get them at all now, its a life changing thing!

I used to use the Neilmed sinus rinse bottles to clean mine out before I had surgery and the amount of thick nasty coloured gunk that would come out was great, altho’ my doctor reckoned it would just wash the infection into other areas, but I felt better so kept it up… YMMV and all that :slight_smile:

Visiting ENT is on the list! Sounds painful. What was recovery like?

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I took a week off work for it and had to have it packed/splinted for 3-4 days (getting that removed was both an immense relief and one of the stranger physical sensations I’ve experienced). Took 2 weeks to feel normal ish and 4-6 before I was cleared for hard training.

This was for a deviated septum/turbinate reduction/normal rhinoplasty (not the balloon procedure that someone else had described). Outpatient procedure in the hospital.

Recovery was really good, bit sore for a number of weeks after but nothing ibuprofen didn’t fix, I had a general because of the passages in my nose being deformed, but the balloon bit you can get done as an outpatient kind of deal, my ENT gave me the equipment used so if it didn’t work he could have another go in his office later on, but didn’t need it :slight_smile:

Here’s what I did in order and I’m now pretty good!

  1. Sinus surgery + fix deviated surgery + tonsillectomy
  2. Another sinus surgery to further reduce my turbinates
    After these two things I was still having problems.
  3. Mayo Clinic visit (not helpful)
  4. Local ENT did this ballon thing in my 6 sinuses that made them bigger. He also gave me Wilson’s solution and mupricin as a prophylactic when I get a cold.

#4 was the game changer for me. I barely hold any mucus in my nose when I wake up, and it’s always clear. It used to be TONS of yellow every single morning.

I shoot 20ml of wilson’s solution into each nose if I feel like I have a cold coming and then use a cue-tip to put a little mupricin on the inside of my nose.

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I’m another one who suffered for years.
After x-rays for another sinus infection the doc asked me “When did you break your nose?”
I looked blankly at him shrugging my shoulders.
Saw an ENT specialist and had surgery to fix my 90 degree septum and to open up my sinus drainage channels. He also removed some polyps but they weren’t an issue.

That was probably close on 20 years ago and I’ve never had a sinus infection since. I use a steroid spray daily though to keep things under control (yes it’s UCI legal)

I’ve got a deviated septum and some narrow passages and I don’t drain well. I’ve never considered surgery but I’m about to see my doctor and I’m going to ask to see an ENT. I too use a steroid nasal spray which has helped control it for about a year but I think it’s caused some weight gain too and I’d like a better solution .

Wow, didn’t think that the recovery would be so long. This was great information.

How are the realists so far?

Thank you,


Thank you for taking the time to respond. This is great stuff. I will keep the list when I go to my ENT.

Awesome product by the way!

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Thanks Nate, I can get Neilmed saline in the UK but can’t find Wilson’s solution (even on prescription - any searches bring back a Wilson basketball called ‘Solution’!).
I’ll ask a medical professional if they know of it now know what it is made from.