Kayla's Sinus Story on The Morning Blend

Kayla's Sinus Story on The Morning Blend
Reviewed by
Published on
June 21, 2021
Updated on
December 30, 2021

It wasn't until she started working at ADVENT that Kayla learned there were more than just pills and sprays to treat her chronic sinus issues...

-All right. First up this morning, anyone who has chronic sinus infections or headaches knows how miserable they can be. It becomes a seasonal cycle of frustration year after year for people. In our continuing series, Breathe Well, Sleep Well with ADVENT, our next guest has been living that life since she was a teenager. We're joined by Kayla who used to treat the symptoms with pills and sprays, but since working at ADVENT, she's learned so much more. And also joining us is Medical Director and board-certified sleep and sinus surgeon, it's Dr. Ethan Handler. Good morning to you both.

-Good morning.

-Good morning. Thank you for having us.

-Absolutely. Let's start with you Kayla, because is it true then that you had a ton of sinus problems before you started working at ADVENT? You were constantly doing what most people do is throwing pills and sprays your own way.

-Yes, absolutely. So I have been suffering from sinus issues since I was about 14. I was having constant sinus infections, headaches, so much sinus pressure. I started going to my primary care provider and they just made it seem like it was completely normal to be suffering with these symptoms this frequently. They started prescribing me two prescriptions at a time. They would say, take this one first for right now and just keep that other one for your next flare-up. And then you can start taking that. They never raised any red flags. They never suggested any alternatives. It just made me feel like that that was how my life should be, was just taking all these medications and over-the-counter medications. And then finally years later, I remember I had a breaking point. I was driving to a family party with my husband and I just started crying. I had such a bad headache. I had such bad sinus pressure. I was just so exhausted and drained. Like that was just how my life was going to be. It was really tough.

-I think so many people can relate to what you just said and just that experience of getting pills and prescriptions and whatnot thrown at them. And that's not the root cause. Dr. Handler, I bet you hear this all the time, stories like Kayla's.

-Yes, for sure. I mean, unfortunately it's kind of a band-aid like approach and it's just the way the system is set up to a certain extent and, you know, so throwing pills and medications and hearing about patients having just prescriptions on hold at the pharmacy, antibiotics, that sort of thing. And so, you know, really for us, it's been about kind of focusing in on that Breathing Triangle© and that's really the nose and the mouth, right. And trying to take care of issues you know, front and center getting after it in the clinic and the operating room, however, we have to address those issues and attack a root cause. So that people like Kayla don't have to suffer, you know, from a huge quality of life you know, issue. And as Kayla mentioned, I mean, people think they just have to live with it. And I think that that's the wrong mentality to have and there's ways that we can address it. And we take you know, a very forward-looking approach from that standpoint.

-Well, and I love what you guys do because I've been to ADVENT. And I know when I had some issues too, it wasn't like, you were like, oh, you need a surgery. Instead, you were like, actually you just have a little bit of inflammation and here's how we can help with that. Just actually try this spray once in a while. So it's not that you're constantly going to recommend surgery either. I want to make that point clear because you really do address the root cause and how to address it. And in Kayla's case and in so many there's something that can be done. And so Kayla, I know that people constantly get this potential back to their life by treating the root cause when they've got this issue. So for you, what was the biggest thing that changed in your life?

-Yeah, I would say the biggest thing was I had no idea that sinus issues affected sleep. So before I came to ADVENT, I was waking up probably around three times a night, just constantly waking up. I thought it was my bed or my back, or maybe I just couldn't sleep through the night. And now after coming to ADVENT, I can sleep throughout the night. I feel so much more rested. I have so much more energy and I just had no idea that the sleeping and the sinuses were connected.

-Oh my- That makes me think of my brother and my mother. I mean, I know everybody hearing you is like, I know somebody who's not sleeping and also a sinus issues. Dr. Handler, what's the connection there? Why are those two connected that way?

-Yeah. So I mean, really it stems from, if somebody is mouth breathing at night, it's going to be putting themselves off on their worst foot forward from a sleep quality. I say this to patients all the time. You know, if I really want to give you a crummy, night's sleep, I'd stuff up your nose. And there's always kind of a light bulb moment where they're like, oh, that's, that's kind of the life I'm living. You know? And then there's this alternating congestion issue when people flip flop from side to side and feel alternating congestion. And so if at baseline, your nose is not working well, when you're upright throughout the day. And a lot of patients talk about, Hey, you know, 30 minutes after I wake up, I go to the shower, I blow like a farmer. And then I get my day going. But it all gets worse at nighttime when you're laying down. And so, as Kayla mentioned, you know, lots of people buy their new mattresses and that's thousands of dollars, you know, and they do all these other things because the marketing around those things are exceptionally good. But the reality is we just need a nose that's working and working well. And then it's going to, again, put our best foot forward from a sleep quality standpoint. To mention also, Kayla, you know, I hear it a lot. The patients are like, I used to wake up three, four times a night and I sleep through the night and that's a cool thing. Because then you can kind of like start your day. And again, it's a quality life issue and it's very impactful.

-So we're out of time, but I can guess this answer, Kayla, I would assume that you would tell people just not to wait. What would you say to someone?

-Yeah, absolutely. I waited, I think like over seven years and if I would have known this was an option, I would have gotten treatment so much faster. I just didn't know that this was an option. I would definitely recommend if you are having problems, please try to find another alternative.

-Absolutely. Just find out, right? It may not be it. And it may. And if so, your life can be so much better. Thank you both for joining me. That was a really nice conversation. I appreciate it.

-Thanks for having us.

-Thank you.

-And you can go to ADVENTknows.com to schedule online. It just takes 60 seconds. Most insurances are accepted and there's no referral required. So you can go in and see if there's a root cause to your problems. There's five Milwaukee area locations Wauwatosa, Mequon, Oconomowoc, Oak Creek and Pleasant Prairie.

First published by ADVENT on
June 21, 2021
Table of contents
Kayla's Sinus Story on The Morning Blend