Ventilators and Essential Oils?

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GregK

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My nose is pretty much always stuffy. Whether from allergies or winter, I don't know.

I thought of essential oils and got a bottle containing a mix of 5 oils supposedly good for clearing sinuses.

But as I'm on a Trilogy 24/7, NIV, how best to use them?

I had my wife stuff a bit of paper towel into the rear air filter port, with a few drops on it. The bedroom smelled great, per my wife, but I only got a hint thru the vent (although that wee bit seemed to help!)

Dropping the oil into the heated humidifier seems like a natural choice, but I thought I'd give it a discussion first.

So, any thoughts or experience?
 

Atsugi

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I worry that the heated humidifier is a cesspool of undesirable life forms.
And the oil, sitting on top of the water, will A) not be adequately heated enough to vaporize, and B) may get into the tubes, drip down, and form a block at the low poijnt of the tubes.



I'm wary of essential oils or anything else "natural" because the factory that bottled it isn't sterile, and the original product came from god-only-knows-where.



So I like chemicals made in strictly controlled, FDA approved laboratories.



My tiny knowledge of "stuffy nose" tells me that the nasal canal is full of snot. And either it's old snot or it's still being produced by the mucosal lining of the canal.


I'm thinking you need to shut down that production. Either the nose is irritated by some stuff in the nose, or the body is fighting a virus, or the body is fighting an allergen.


That's why I'm wary of sniffing anything up the nose--or the mouth, which is connected about 4 inches toward the back.


My first go-to would be to find out if benedryl is safe for you. (Waldryl at Walgreens) That would shut down your anti-allergy system.



If Sudafed is safe for you, I'd take one of those, too. Depends if your state allows sale OTC. That would dry up the nose and the sinus cavities in your face and forehead.



All this is speculative BS on my part, Greg, just to stimulate thought and discussion. Hopefully, experts will set me right and we'll all learn something.
 

GregK

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Oh, I've definitely followed the FDA approved route! ;-)

But I'm a bit weary of nose sprays that eventually lead to nose bleeds and drugs that cause drowsiness...
I do use saline twice daily to keep things, ah, 'soft', for want of a better term.

If I can get there using eucalyptus and orange oils, I'm game.
 

lgelb

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Couple of cautions -- essential oils eat plastic and there are concerns about your lung tissue if exposed to essential oils directly.

The herbal "sniff" my husband liked most, which my son still uses the remnants of, is the Olbas one, available in drug stores and on line. It has essential oils and that way you aren't running them through your Trilogy.

Are you on a nasal or FF mask? I would only do the humidifier thing with a nasal mask.

The humidifier is plastic, of course. I am not saying don't do it if it helps and the rest of what I'm suggesting doesn't, but check your equipment more often. It would be better to dilute the oil in the water than sniff it directly.

I don't have Mike's concern about the oil forming a block, not a couple of drops given the diameter of the hose. Admittedly, I haven't tested it. You could also nuke it slightly (in a glass container) before dropping it in. Assuming you are using distilled water in the humidifier, not sure how it's a cesspool, also assuming someone cleans it w/ vinegar once in a blue moon.

Some PALS use diffusers but in your case using the mask 24/7, you are unlikely to benefit that way unless the diffuser is really close by -- still you could try. We did a little of that.

Benadryl is sedating (may not help breathing) and causes dependence ultimately, Sudafed does things to your heart and circulation that are ultimately not good in long-term use, and causes rebound stuffiness.

Have you tried a nasal steroid? My fave, which my husband used, is Nasacort / generic triamcinolone, whatever's cheaper. Worth a try if you haven't. It should not cause nose bleeds if you are getting enough humidity. After that, if you have other evidence of allergies, fexofenadine, aka Allegra of old, is non-sedating and effective.

Standard text: make sure all your Trilogy and furnace filters are clean...
 

KimT

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Anything with a fragrance gives me a headache, even if it's natural. For some strange reason I seem to tolerate lavender in very small doses as long as I can escape it within 10 or 15 minutes.

Now I'm wondering if my cheap plastic humidifier is BPA free. That would be more of a concern for me. I'm going to see what other types of humidifiers are available for a Trilogy.

Greg, you've experimented with stuff before. Do what you think helps.
 

GregK

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Greg, you've experimented with stuff before. Do what you think helps.

That sort of brings this full circle! ;-)
If I had a good answer...

To keep my nose from crusting shut (for want of a better term) without drugs, I've been using a saline that contains xylitol, Xlear. The xylitol holds the moisture in the sinuses longer than plain saline.

But back to the oils and vent, the bit of paper towel I mentioned initially worked much better after we cleaned the vent filter! :-D

I'm still going to try dropping the oil directly into the humidifier.

thnx!
 

ShiftKicker

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Greg, use only one or two drops if you're putting it directly into the humidifier water. The essential oils can be intolerably concentrated if you use more than that straight off and cause a burning sensation that's a darn sight more than sinus clearing! At least that's what my friend told me ;)
 

KateEmerson

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Greg,

I used one or two drops of eucalyptus in the suction machine ( for smell) and the room humidifier but was hesitant to use it in the vent humidifier. I didn't have any hard evidence not to but didn't have the time to research if it could do harm. Just did as many pure saline sprays as my husband could tolerate to try to deal with what you describe.

Wondered if you tried Azgirl's " snot rocket" technique? She spoke very highly of it. It's described in the thread she started called " cough assist plus vest really helping". Kate
 

GregK

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Wondered if you tried Azgirl's " snot rocket" technique? She spoke very highly of it.

Yes, accidentally actually!

I prefer the less 'projectile' breath stacking method! ;-)
 

GregK

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After almost a week I can report that both the tissue paper and dropping 1-2 drops into the humidifier tank work well.

The drops into the tank last longer, no surprise.

I'll update after a couple weeks regarding tank damage.

btw, it's quite pleasant!
 

GregK

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After a month I can report that the only downside to putting essential oils directly into the vent humidifier seems to be a slight bathtub ring in the tank. :)
 
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