Loss of smell, runny nose, sinusitis ... - Parkinson's Movement

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Loss of smell, runny nose, sinusitis connected to PD?

I have over the past 6 months had a weird pressure sensation in my head on the right side, pressure around the base of my skull around my neck, feeling slightly dizzy (I don’t have PD, my husband does). I have seen the GP several times and they have just said you are under stress with your husband’s diagnosis and are getting too obsessed with medical things. Don’t google your symptoms. Basically, you are imagining it. They did blood tests etc and found nothing. So I tried to imagine I was having stress symptoms, nothing physical. Just my brain inventing symptoms.

Well last week the pressure in my head got worse and I really started feeling bizarre. My right side of my face and eye and right arm felt a bit disconnected. So off to the GP again. I got a new young doctor and he said he thought it could be sinusitis. I didn’t feel like I had an infection as I had nothing show up in the bloods, no temperature, no pain or discharge although I did have an annoying post nasal drip. He said my blood pressure was raised and my oxygen levels were low so maybe that explained the weird spacey sensation. He gave me a nasal steroid which I tried a few times, then went against advice and googled it and decided it wasn’t a great idea. So then I looked up natural cures for sinusitis and found nasal irrigation.

I have been trying this for a few days now and slowly I can feel all the blockages in my sinuses clear. There must have been blockages in my sinuses for ever as I can never remember being able to breathe through my nose like this ever before! I can feel a new clearness in my head from my ear to my throat too! I still have some funny sensations around the base of my skull but massaging around there I can actually feel fluid being released and running down my throat. The doctors had told me there is nothing in your head at the back there and that isn’t where your sinuses are. To me it felt like it was connected as when I moved my head back and forth it made popping noises and I could feel fluid in the back of my throat. When I told them that I could really see they were thinking I am quite mad!

Well today I found this article that says that this is where the cervical lymph nodes are that clear your Glymphatic system.


“In 2015, the traditional view of the brain having no lymphatic vessels was challenged by evidence showing functional lymphatic vessels lining the cranial dural sinuses in rodents1,2. This observation may have profound impact on our understanding of inflammatory and degenerative central nervous system (CNS) diseases. The authors suggested that their findings of lymphatic vessels may represent the second step in the drainage of the interstitial fluid from the brain parenchyma into deep cervical lymph nodes after first been drained into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) through a glial “lymphatic” (glymphatic) paravascular pathway. The latter is suggested as a brain-wide route for clearance of water and waste solutes from the brain3. Moreover, several reports indicate that reduced glymphatic function may be instrumental in conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease3, and post-traumatic illness4. Clearance of brain waste metabolites by the glymphatic system is enhanced during sleep5.”

This seems that it might be a possible explanation for loss of smell and runny nose in PD too so I googled that too :


“Rhinorrhea, defined in previous studies involving patients with Parkinson disease (PD) as the presence of a runny nose unrelated to allergies, respiratory infections or sinus problems, has been reported to occur more frequently among PD patients than healthy controls.”

I wonder if some of the Parkinson symptoms can be exacerbated or even caused by sinus infections? What do people think?

Anyway I can recommend the following methods to clear your sinuses if post nasal drip or runny nose or loss of smell are an issue. Maybe try it anyway as I never realised I had an issue until I gave it a go and found I could breathe so much more easily. I have probably been low on oxygen for a long time!

To each cup of boiled cooled water in a bowl or large mug add 1/2 tsp salt and a sprinkle of baking soda to buffer. Dip your nose into it and suck up the water until it runs into your mouth and spit out. Don’t breathe it in! Do this a few times then blow nose gently. It sound disgusting and my kids say it’s gross but I think it is preferable to steroids and antibiotics and seemed to work very well. Repeat a few times per day to clear any infection.

I have also tried this method with baby shampoo which is supposed to break up any biofilms where bacteria clump together to avoid antibiotics and steroids. Biofilms are the reason some people find sinus infections keep reoccurring even after repeated treatments. I used a couple of drops in a cup of water. It tasted unpleasant and made my passages feel dry and my eyes dry so I followed with a few more plain salty rinses. It definitely cleared more mucus away than the plain salty wash but was not very pleasant.


Sorry for the very long rant but I have to share with somebody, and my family is not very interested in my research😁😆😆😆. I can’t get my husband to try it but I wonder if it would clear up his runny nose. He has had bad allergies since a kid and used to have to have steroid injections regularly for hayfever😢😢😢 so it does make you wonder if some of the allergenic materials like pollen get stuck in a biofilms and remain there causing irritation forever. The runny nose might be the body trying to clear it out.

PS Interestingly I just read the post or Dr. Mischley and using dogs to sniff out Parkinson’s on earwax. I wonder if the earwax is linked to sinusitis as it is supposed to cause bad breath. On the other hand my husband’s odd smell seems more related to oily skin.

20 Replies

Hi, my husband supposedly had 'asthma', during mid 40's. Always kind of clearing throat during the day. Worse in winter, prescribed ventolin and steroid inhalers too, as had a wheeze with the throat clearing during the day. Well two years ago we decided maybe it was post nasal drip , we purchased a neti pot and he hasn't had the 'asthma' or throat clearing since, hasn't used inhalers since then. So much awful stuff comes out esp when first using it, he now uses it maybe every few weeks and no respiratory issues at all, I would recommend the neti pot, got ours on trade me, they come with the sachets of saline mix, then we made our own with salt and baking soda.

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Thanks, does he have PD, or you? Makes you wonder how the steroids affected them! My son was given a steroid inhaler for asthma prevention when little but I decided against it.

All my kids suffer from hay fever and one has asthma so I am trying to get them all to try the nasal irrigation as I am becoming ever more wary of all convention cures which seem to me to be responsible for more harm than good.

I am completely shocked and annoyed that I had seen 3 different GPS and actually went to a and e at the hospital one night 6 months ago as I was feeling so weird and thought I must be having a stroke or something. They actually sent me to the psych ward for assessment because they thought I must be mad to be googling my symptoms and trying to work out what was wrong with myself instead of going to the GP and taking the drugs they gave me. I told them I thought anyone who doesn’t try and work out what could be causing their own symptoms was more crazy in my opinion, which was what earned me a trip to”the other side” for a mental assessment. Fortunately my neighbour came down and vouched for my sanity, and the psychiatrist said she thought I was just highly intelligent so was doing what is normal for me since I have a scientific background. It was scary that they have the power to section you on the grounds of insanity for questioning the medical establishment.

I am going to send a copy of the article on Glymphatic drainage to the GPs I think as who know how many other people are unnecessarily experiencing weird head and body sensations due to their sinuses being infected.

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Here is a Neti pot demo for anyone who is interested


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Does he have any trouble using the Neti pot? My husband is very stiff around the shoulders so it makes it hard to turn his head and neck to the side.


Hi, yes he does have PD, I am like you, the reader and researcher trying to find a better way forward , at this stage he is better than he was a year ago. He doesn't find the neti pot hard, you can sit at the sink and do it if needed, and have the help of another who can do the pouring. Husband likes to do it himself as he says the crap that comes out is for his eyes only!

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Huh, hilarious! My husband is reluctant but I have just discovered if you make a full mug full of solution and bring it to your nose in an upright position and tilt as if you were drinking it but instead suck through your nose it works. I think it might go deeper than the Neti pot possibly as it washes out the passage down to the mouth ( yuk) and I can feel it in my tubes that run to my ears too. ( eustachian tubes).

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Thanks. I’m going to give it a try. I’ve had sinusitis my whole life - worse when living in the uk. I always feel like I have gunk in the nose/throat. Would be nice to breath better and I’m sure it would help with the muscle tiredness.


Yes, I never even knew I had a problem until I washed it all out and found I could breathe so much better. I maybe have never been able to breathe properly!


Hi, I live in Los Angeles and am of Mexican descent on both sides. I was born in 1940. I share that because I'm unsure if those two items have anything to do with what my mom had me and my sister do with colds, and what I continued with my own two children.

When a cold would arise I, my sister, and my children, were never given over the counter stuff or pharma. My mom, as I did, would put warm water and salt in a wide cup and have us breath it up our noses and then have it drain out of our noses......all this gunk would come out and our colds never lasted more than 2 days. As an adult I never get colds.

A memory of my colds (late 1940s) was this remedy.

I was the caretaker for my son who died of PSP, age 55, at home. About 6 months later, I had many of the head and neck ailments you describe. I attribute it to the relieving of the stress/sadness/pain.....even my joints and walking was affected.

Sending prayers and good wishes.

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The article does say the byproducts of post traumatic stress are removed by the Glymphatic system so that is very interesting. I know that this definitely does explain my weird symptoms as I have seen lots of weird disgusting stuff come out and the dizzy feeling is going away but I can still feel one spot inside my head where it feels like something is still lodged. Definitely in the same area though. One thing that came out was what looked like a tiny flake of white paint! Who knows how long that has been stuck up there. It may have been causing an irritation for years.


Any time I feel a cold/ sore throat coming on I do this. It works


Are you my age????? When I share these remedy's, which were so common in my day, I feel I am DEFINITELY giving away my age.

Big hug..........



First time I did this it was gross and so diff. It got easier. I only use salt in the water. I see others use bicarbonate as well

Hugs to u


I don’t know! I am 55. I have been wondering if half the problems are caused by over dependence on doctors and not enough going back to old school remedies. I can’t believe I have never heard of doing this before, but to be fair I have been to 3 doctors over the last 6 months all of which tried to intimate my weird head sensations were imaginary, but actually my sinuses must have been blocked for years, maybe decades and must have got to a point where they were actually pressing on nerves or brain?? Is that even possible? I have a new lightness in my head!🥰


I Just tried this face yoga too.

I can actually feel it affecting my sinuses!

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It makes three of us caring for our husbands. :)

Mine has suffered all his life from sinus problems and remember he was using steroids for his allergies. Recently, his speech therapist made an appointment for him to see an ENT and evaluate his vocal chords. Vocal chords are fine, but ENT found POLYPS of nasal cavity! Polyps cause sinus problems, allergies, dripping nose, and loss of smell as the main symptoms. ENT rushed to schedule him for a surgery to remove polyps. However, we told him we wanted to do some further searching before my husband had them surgically removed. We found out that using TEA TREE oil topical application or nasal spray with 1oz of distilled water, 1/8 sea salt and ONE drop of Tea Tree oil shrinks polyps and eventually disappear.

He is so happy he avoided the stress of being under the "knife." :)

PS. I had searched for natural alternatives to allergies and nasal sprays, and found a lot, but hadn't searched anything about Nasal Cavities Polyps as we didn't know he had them.


That is very interesting as the first bizarre turn I had where I was dizzy and nauseous and my head was spinning I had been using tea tree products- shampoo, deodorant and I had just used the toothpaste for the first time that night. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to it or had been somehow poisoned by something. I hadnt realised there was tea tree in all 3 of the products until I started looking at the labels of all the products I was using. All organic natural products. Maybe something in the teatree started working on the problem area too fast and caused a die off reaction or something. That was when I went to the a and e dept at the hospital as I seriously thought I was having a stroke or had been poisoned by something I was using. They treated me like I was nuts! I am a very rational scientific person not one to imaginary illnesses, and I have never been to hospital except for child birth so I was furious to have to talk to the psychiatrist to prove I was sane! Perhaps I have some polyps up there too! I am a bit scared of tea tree now though 🥺. I may dip my toes in the water again then and see if I further improve my airways.

Your husband is lucky to have you! It seems too many people are happy to sit back and let a doctor who sees them for 15/minutes a few times a year and who went to med school 20 years ago diagnose them. Not me. If that is crazy well I guess I am crazy😆


We are not crazy, just scared of medical doctors who are quick to prescribe meds and perform unnecessary surgeries. I have experienced such doctors and they cost my husband and me very dearly. Unnecessary surgeries which could have been avoided if I knew then what I know now. . . Vets are even worse. I lost my toy poodle after surgery for an intestinal obstruction that was not there! I learned a lot but unfortunately the hard way.

I don't believe tea tree oil has done any harm, but I may be wrong. Could you find out if you are allergic to tea tree oil? I only know that it is harmful if you ingest it, topically it is a wonder essential oil.

I now challenge doctors' and vets' diagnoses and am not quick to follow their recommendation. That is the reason our first visit for my husband's PD was Cleveland Clinic Functional Medicine. See how it goes with Dr. Mischley. . .I might go back to Cleveland FM.


My cat died and the other was very ill after eating Science diet pet food recommended by the vet for years as a sole diet. I brought the other one back to health giving him raw meat and probiotics and now he is healthy and shiny and hasn’t been sick for a few years and he’s 13. Before that he had hyperthyroid treatment , low level infections, and abnormal leukocytes. His fur used to be straw like with a raw patch at the base of his tail. He is now glossy and shiny. This proves to me the power of food as a medicine. The vet told us to feed our new puppy the same brand food solely. Not likely. He has raw meat, dried salmon treats and a special natural pet food made in New Zealand from local ingredients which has probiotics in it and everyone says how shiny he is! Science diet has gluten based cereals in it which can’t be healthy for pets.

I tried to see if I could be allergic to tea tree but there wasn’t a test. Apparently a lot of it is Chinese stuff and may be contaminated with other things. I found a site that had side effects of tea tree and they were all the symptoms I had. But now I think it was certainly my sinuses. Whether the tea tree combined with infection makes a nasty reaction I’m not sure.


It appears that we both are companion animal lovers! In a private message I will send you the link to the site we built in my little dog's memory. After his passing, I read and learned a lot about vaccinations and nutrition. My other two toy poodles lived to be almost 20 years because they never had any kind of commercial food and had no yearly vaccination for rabies and ticks and fleas meds. I started them on homemade food and would very seldom take them to our vet. I now have one little dog, another toy poodle, 11 years old and he thrives on homemade food and walking with us. The only time we take him to a vet is to have his teeth cleaned.

Nasal cavity polyps are not uncommon. Of course, till our appointment with the ENT doctor, we had no idea that polyps are common and can cause serious breathing problems.

PS. The tea tree oil is buy is made in Australia. :)


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