Nose Surgeons Recommend Xylitol

Before and after sinus operations

Portrait woman

Portrait woman

Sinusitis is one of the most prevalent chronic illnesses in the United States, consistently reported by 13%–14% of adults annually for the last 20 years.

More than 250,000 sinus operations are performed annually, making it one of the most frequent surgical procedures after septoplasty (260,000).

In an article in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, doctors describe the effect of xylitol nasal irrigation in a large sample of patients who had nasal surgery. The study included 100 patients with sinonasal disease who underwent endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS) septoplasty or both concurrently.

Read: Xylitol-Clean Nose

Nasal symptoms were evaluated with the NOSE (Nasal Obstruction Symptoms Evaluation) and SNOT-20 (Sino-Nasal Outcome Test-20). In the ESS group, the general nasal symptom score “showed significantly greater improvement in the xylitol group versus the saline group.”

Symptom scores for sneezing, headache and facial pain “were also more improved in the xylitol group.”

Nasal stuffiness “showed a significantly greater improvement in the xylitol group when compared with the saline irrigation group.”

Among patients with allergic sensitization, rhinorrhea symptoms improved significantly more in the xylitol group than in the saline group.

Read: 5 Allergy Tips

The preference survey showed that more than half of the patients in each surgical group preferred xylitol irrigation.

They concluded, “We found that xylitol nasal irrigation was useful in postoperative ESS and septoplasty care. For patients with allergic sensitization, rhinorrhea showed greater improvement in the xylitol group than in the saline group.

Gustavo Ferrer, MD FCCP is a pulmonologist trained both in Cuba and the US, founder of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Cough Clinic, Interstitial Lung Disease, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine and Program Director of Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship.
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