As a kid, the growing hole in the ozone layer was always something I worried about. The fact that we shouldn’t contribute to it by using aerosol cans. When my healing journey began a year and a half ago deep into the world of integrative medicine, it included visits to a functional medicine M.D. and my periodontist, who both had mentioned ozone to me. That was the first I’d ever heard about ozone used by doctors.
But it was at my periodontist Dr. Sanda Moldovan’s office where I experienced ozone for the first time as a way to help my body heal. It was used on my teeth – with an ozone shot as an emergency for my gums, ozonated water and pure ozone after a teeth cleaning, and ozone oil to take home after my Waterlase laser procedure, which would help my gums heal. I also drank ozone water there on days where I felt a cold coming on, and it would help. When I first got there, I was surprised to meet a fellow young patient with serious periodontal issues in the waiting room, who gave me some light on a dark day. This handsome Marlboro-type guy pointed to the ozone oil and told me it really helped him.
Ozone, or O3, is suddenly the “new” yet old treatment in integrative medicine, used for a variety of medical issues. It has a third oxygen atom, but it’s an unstable form of oxygen, so when you make ozonated water you have to drink it quickly, since the third atom will fall off to become O2. Some believe ozone is a super form of oxygen. While less known in the U.S., ozone is widely used in Europe, with some municipalities even using ozone to disinfect their public drinking water. According to an NIH review of ozone, it’s been around for 150 years, used for medical purposes. Since it has antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s often used for healing wounds, but it’s been known to treat more than 114 diseases.
About two decades ago during a routine physical, my doctor at the time mentioned I have postnasal drip. I didn’t really think about what that meant until ten years ago, when I had my first acute sinus infection. Unpleasantly colored mucous kept flowing out of my nose uncontrollably like a green monster, something I’d never experience before. I figured I got it after touching a grocery cart and not properly cleaning my hands and touching my nose. After rounds of systematic antibiotics didn’t really work, a local antibiotic gel did help. But I noticed after that, on my right side, there was always yellow colored mucous if I had to blow my nose if I was sweeping dust or had hay fever and had to sneeze. Again, I thought nothing of it. I did notice at some point though, that every morning when I woke up, I did have to spit colored mucous. Some days yellow, some days green or darker green. I thought everyone had this issue. I must’ve gotten used to it at some point and forgotten a time when my nose was clear.
When my periodontist did a CT scan a year and a half ago, I found out that I had a full blockage in my right sinus. It’s unnerving to see an entire sinus passage fully blocked.
The past year and a half has been a journey about taking care of the one body I am given in this life. And it’s interesting that most of my medical issues have been in the throat chakra region – the major energy center of the body that is about giving and receiving information. And on a higher level – “What do I want to say while I am here in this life?”
Since the CT scan, I’ve been doing research to find how little there is beyond regular ENTs giving antibiotics or doing sinus surgeries. There are blogs and forums and people like me trying to find a solution for their chronic sinus infection. A year and a half ago my CBC blood work showed my body was fighting infection. It could have been my gums plus the sinus issue.
Last July I had another acute sinus infection, after exposure to moldy dirt. My ENT referred me to a well-known local ENT at a major hospital who focuses on sinuses who offered the roto-rooter sinus surgery to wash out the blockage. But he was open to me doing my functional medicine path, saying, “I’ll learn a lot from you.” I’ve yet to go back to him because I am still on this journey that began at that same time with seeing another functional medicine doctor known for treating mold patients. We did a deep nasal swab that regular ENTs don’t do, since it can take up to a month to grow something that is fungal. Anyone can do a deep nasal swab through MicrobiologyDX in Massachusetts. I’ve done several myself since then to see if there has been any changes.
After getting diagnosed with MARCoNS from that lab, there are two different protocols that are based on the theory that MARCoNS is often from mold exposure, which I figured mine was since I literally had moldy dirt particles hit my nose last July. But I probably had MARCoNS for years in that chronic side and not known it. Some say people with dogs get MARCoNs from dogs’ noses, but I have no dogs. But mold is all around us in general. I combined both protocols. I went to compounding pharmacies near and far to order custom-made sprays, some packed in ice mailed from across the country. I tried BEG, Itraconazole, EDTA, colloidal silver, as well as Nystatin in a spray and atomized form. Then, I found a new nose probiotic powder on the market, the only one of its kind out there just for sinuses, which was cultured somewhere in Korea probably, but packaged in New Jersey. I tried that, as well as baby shampoo and the kimchi juice route, that is part of the research those in my situation try. I prefer eating kimchi, rather than having it in my nose.
I then tried an iodine rinse late last year, which I did for months. It was from the founder of the Bulletproof empire and fellow Thrive contributor Dave Asprey. I liked it because iodine is one thing we’re lacking anyway. He had a similar story about a chronic sinus infection and he was also about to get the same sinus surgery, but found that solution for himself. But when I recently did a follow up CT scan at my dentist Dr. Grace Sun’s office for an appliance to help my teeth, we noticed the same blocked right sinus that I thought I had cured from a year ago. After all of last year, my breathing felt better, but the sinus was still totally blocked, to my surprise. I was disheartened.
But then, I knew about the healing powers of ozone. I did my research to find what is hopefully my final stop for my sinus issue – ozone insufflations. I went to AMA Regenerative Medicine & Skincare, which seems to be the only place in Southern California that offers ozone for a host of general medical purposes that are not dental. Since it is a rare place that offers ozone for many ailments, people travel from all over to their offices in Beverly Hills and Orange County.
Their website stated some other facts about ozone that includes boosting one’s immune system, reducing the level of acidity and oxidation in your body, killing bacteria and viruses, stimulating white blood cell production.
Medical power couple Dr. Asher Milgrom and Dr. Alice Pien founded this place to help those looking for the latest in functional medicine. While they have been guests on the “The Doctors,” I found them through their own video about ozone insufflation for sinus infections. There is surprisingly very little written about ozone specifically to combat chronic sinus infections, as well as for those who have MARCoNS.
Dr. Asher Milgrom, who got a full scholarship to the M.D./Ph.D. program from the University of Chicago, had an interesting backstory, which was unusual for a doctor. He put himself through college working as a cantor, teaching Judaic mysticism and philosophy. He’s worked in Israel at a university’s department of entomology as well as Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He’s probably one of a few or perhaps the only neuro-biochemistry Ph.D major who has been through a coma and near death experience. After coming out of that life-changing moment, he later created AMA to help others on their various healing journeys.
Just before I met them, I noticed on Dr. Pien’s page that she had been to Dr. Brian Weiss’ training workshops. I found out both had been to Dr. Weiss’ workshops and believed in past life regression therapy as I do. Synchronicity.
When I met Dr. Milgrom to get my first ozone treatment there, he said, “Let me guess – a full occlusion,” when I told him what my CT scan showed. He’d obviously seen this countless times before in his practice and that was such a comfort to me. To find a medical doctor, a scientist who believes in data, who is also open to things like ozone therapy, and has seen what I have and have been trying to fight since last July.
I told him I muscle tested that I need at least six weeks of ozone insufflation. I knew from my myofunctional therapist who had gotten ozone injected in her gums five times, that her chronic sinus infection (which she saw on her own CT scan from our periodontist) also hadn’t gone away after her year-long battle with it, that coincided with mine.
The wonderful thing about doctors in the functional medicine world is they’ve heard of terms like “muscle test” and “coconut oil pulling” and they know what it is and are accepting of those on this healing path.
My first time at AMA for ozone therapy for my sinuses, I got a shot of ozone from Dr. Pien up towards my right sinus, as well as the ozone insufflation. For a few days I did feel the point where the needle was. But that pain was worth it I figured, if it wipes this out for good, like Dr. Milgrom has said he’s seen in their practice many times before me. I’m excited to do a new CT scan down the road, after giving this process time to work. What I most liked was the benefit from the ozone insufflation in my nose – it physically made me sneeze everything out that was in my blocked sinus. Something the iodine rinses and other sprays I tried didn’t seem to do much, if at all.
After the first time of breathing three air syringes of pure ozone into my sinuses, minutes later, I blew out a lot of yellow, light green colored mucous from my right side. People with healthy sinuses would blow out clear mucous.
I’ve kept a health journal since my healing journey began a year and a half ago. On my fifth week, I noticed I breathed in the ozone – I didn’t hold my breath well, so the ozone slid down my throat, making me cough. I chalked it up to the universe telling me I didn’t need it that much that week.
Last week was my sixth week of ozone insufflations. It’s not been a linear path. There were some days where there’d be more mucous afterwards for days as a postnasal drip or even from my nose. I still have postnasal drip that is colored in the morning, but lately, some days, it seems to be less. Knock wood.
What seems to be continuing steadily is that after some visits lately, I’ve noticed I sneeze a lot less in general, and a lot less colored mucous as well. Compared to the very first time, when afterwards I seemed to be clearing out everything that was blocking my sinus. So I am thankful for the moments where things seem to be looking up and headed in the right direction.
I spoke to a fellow patient who is 80-plus years young and swears by these ozone treatments for himself. He does ozone insufflation for his ears, which I had never heard of before. He said it took three months before he felt some steady positive effects. After six months he threw away his hearing aid. Since I would like quick results, he said something wise that I’ve taken to heart for my own ozone journey – that it took years for these things to develop, so it would make sense it would also take time to heal it. What he said had merit. I never noticed my postnasal drip until one day every morning I’ve had colored mucous, and just gotten used to it. After years of what was probably a slow change in that direction.
After my visits to AMA, I sometimes will smell the ozone for a day in that side of my nose that I’ve been working on. It’s funny, because during my iodine rinse months, especially when I added a drop of zinc or some Agri-sept, I noticed when I would go outside and breathe in air, I could smell pure ozone. That was before I tried ozone insufflation in my nose.
When the smell of ozone lingers randomly after an ozone insufflation treatment now, it’s comforting. That this pure, unstable form of oxygen is working for me on my healing journey.