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Q: Best places to live with sinus and bronchitis problems ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Best places to live with sinus and bronchitis problems
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: johnster-ga
List Price: $75.00
Posted: 17 Jan 2005 17:40 PST
Expires: 16 Feb 2005 17:40 PST
Question ID: 458941
What are the best places to live in the U.S. if you're subject to
frequent sinus problems (sinusitis) and sometimes bronchitis?

I've lived in nine states and didn't have sinus problems until I moved
to Dallas. (I lived in Houston, considered more polluted, and had no

Many doctors and people, I've spoken to say that many patients or
friends have complained that their problems either got worse here or
started here. The only plausible reason I've heard so far is that
Dallas is a windy place (more than Chicago) and it brings in
allergens, pollutents, etc. from other locations.

Disregarding allergens (such as mold, pollen, etc.) what are the best
places to live. I lived in Florida for seven years and I believe the
moist, salty air is better for people with sinus problems. In fact,
physicians say that moist membranes , kept that way with saline
solutions are good. Flying is not that good for sinus sufferers
because the air tends to be very dry in airplanes.

Can you help me with this question? (Not looking for medical advice)
Please contact me with any questions.
Subject: Re: Best places to live with sinus and bronchitis problems
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 17 Jan 2005 23:22 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello johnster,
  I sympathize with you... chronic sinusitis can be miserable to deal with! 

Generally, people with sinusitis do well under the same conditions as
allergy and asthma sufferers do. Sinusitis is prevalent in all areas
of the US, with the worst locations being the South and the Midwest!

  This map shows Dallas air quality to be good, currently.

However, allergen levels are rather high:

The following is a cached (stored) page, so please excuse its
appearance. (In case the link is too long to work properly, copy and
paste the URL into the address box of your browser.)

?What's the best place for people with allergies or asthma to live?
Although people can have allergies or asthma anywhere, there are some
areas where allergens (allergy triggers) tend to be more prevalent.
You might see some improvement in your symptoms if pollens and molds
in the new place are different than those you left behind. However,
it's not uncommon for people to develop sensitivities in a new
location to local allergens within a year or two. Only in rare cases
should people move because of their allergies or asthma. Bottom line:
no place is allergy-free! The good news? Effective control measures
can significantly reduce your exposure to known triggers in any

?The incidence of sinusitis is higher in Japan, Indonesia, and Europe
than in the United States. An increasing incidence of both sinusitis
and asthma occurring together is reported internationally as well as
in the United States. Certain areas have special conditions causing an
increased sinusitis incidence (eg, the fires of Kuwait and Indonesia,
the chromium content of the sands of Saudi Arabia)?

?	Environmental factors: These factors are becoming increasingly more
important and include the following:
o	The major environmental irritant, other than specific occupational
substances, is tobacco smoke.
o	Current theory attributes the increase of sinusitis and asthma to
air pollution. When the air is polluted with smog, diesel, gasoline,
and other noxious products, the sun's heat and rays may combine them
into dozens of products whose long-term effects are unknown at this
o	Additionally, smog, diesel fumes, and sulfur dioxide all combine to
interfere with good cilia function. Hypersensitivity reactions seem to
occur when the individual has an overwhelming exposure and does not
recover ciliary function. Unfortunately, new solvents are marketed
daily and the effect on cilia function is not provided by the
manufacturers. Even more unfortunate is the fact that despite the 50
million dollars spent by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) on
clinical evaluations, no drugs are evaluated as to their effect on
mucociliary clearance.
o	Known industrial toxins include chlorine, sulfur dioxide, cupric
compounds, and chromium dusts.
o	Fires are a known factor. When countrywide fires occur, such as in
Kuwait or Indonesia, the incidence of sinusitis and asthma increases.
Oil fires in Kuwait released polymelia aromatic hydrocarbons, nickel,
and vanadium into the atmosphere. This contamination resulted in upper
and lower respiratory infections. Similar problems have occurred with
Indonesia forest fires and excess smog experienced in London. Some of
the respiratory problems might be prevented by simple irrigation with
Locke-Ringer?type solutions.
o	Other environmental problems to be considered include pet allergens,
house dust mite allergen, cockroach allergen (most significant in
patients who live in the inner city), indoor fungi and molds, and
outdoor allergens (eg, trees, grass, weed pollens, seasonal mold
?	Impaired mucociliary clearance: Sinusitis and asthma are
inflammatory diseases and, as such, are caused or aggravated when
mucociliary clearance is impaired. Factors that slow cilia include the
o	Cocaine 
o	Antihistamines 
o	Dehydration 
o	Inhalation of air or steam hotter than 40 degrees Celsius 
o	Heavy load of iced drinks 
o	Chilling drafts 
o	Sulfur dioxide, ozone, smog 
o	Inhalation of chromium dusts 
o	Cupric (copper) compounds 
o	Nickel dusts
o	Chimney dusts 
o	Formaldehyde 
o	Late stages of allergy 
o	Nasal polyps 
o	Skydrol (a solvent used in airplane maintenance) 
o	Infections with Pseudomonas species, Haemophilus influenzae, and
many viral pathogens
o	Hyperbaric oxygen 
o	Reduction of airway diameter 
?	GERD: In addition to the above factors, recognition of GERD as an
irritant that brings on asthmatic symptoms, as well as throat and
laryngeal symptoms, is increasing. When the larynx is visualized with
mirror or endoscope, the arytenoids are inflamed, especially
posteriorly. Standard GERD measures may be beneficial.
?	Bacteria: Dye or tracers placed in the sinus appear 16 hours later
in the lower trachea. Thus, little question exists that bacteria from
the sinuses find their way to the lower respiratory system. Bacteria
then act as an inflammatory agent.

  You are correct that dry air is irritating to the nasal membranes,
aggravating the sinuses, but allergens probably contribute as well.
?Winter time is a major problem time for sinusitis due to the dry air.
We suggest that people need to have a humidity of 40-50%. HEPA filters
will work better for most people. Antihistamines can sometimes be too
drying for long term use. The other medications are listed elsewhere.
The allergy problems need to be addressed. The clicking sounds are
probably related to the sinusitis. People in Arizona also have
problems with sinusitis as well. Usually most people find that after
sports, their nose will clear up for a while.?

?Loss of taste and smell is not uncommon with severe sinusitis.
Alcohol can be a problem either due to an allergy to a component of
the alcohol or due to the drying effect of the alcohol. It is also
common that people will not take their medication at night after
taking a few drinks and also decide its too much trouble to turn on
the vaporizer. Winter is more commonly a problem because of the dry
heat causing the humidity to fall as well as dust being more of a

?An important function of the sinuses is to humidify the air we
breathe; a person with weak sinuses may therefore have a problem in
especially dry air. Moist air, that between 40 and 60 percent
humidity, is very helpful for the proper functioning of the mucous
membrane, especially the cilia. Dry air is usually found in
conjunction with
o	arid or semiarid climate 
o	forced-air heating systems (they not only dry, but give the sinuses
more to filter)
o	air conditioning, especially in cars 
o	oxygen therapy for various respiratory conditions 
o	wind 
o	mountains (the higher the elevation, the drier the air) 
o	wood-burning stoves 
Dry air is hard on sinuses, but excessively moist air can also cause
problems. Many microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and molds,
thrive when the humidity exceeds 60 percent.?

?Although the moisture content of cold air is generally much higher
than that of dry air, the shock of cold temperatures to the mucous
membrane of an impaired nose and sinus can cause Significant
irritation and ciliary injury, and often results in at least a runny
nose. Many of us are familiar with the constant mucus drip associated
with cold weather activities such as ice skating, skiing, and
snowmobiling. If you have chronic sinusitis or another respiratory
condition, it is wise to take some precautions to protect your mucous
membranes from cold air. In recent years it has been reported that
many members of the Swedish cross-country ski team have developed
adult-onset asthma due to their strenuous exercise in cold, dry air.
The least stressful air temperatures on the respiratory tract are
between 65' and 85'F.?

   So, where to live? 
The ideal place would be an area with a humidity of 40%-60%, not too
cold, with clean air and few allergens. We have ruled out Japan,
Indonesia, Europe, and Dallas. We can also rule out the following US
Denver, CO
Dallas, Texas
Los Angeles, CA
Spokane, WA
El Paso, Texas
Steubenville-Weirton, OH
Albuquerque, NM 
Phoenix-Mesa, AZ 
Memphis, TN
Las Cruces, NM
Sacramento, CA
Baton Rouge, LA 
South Dakota
Southern Minnesota
North Carolina
California's San Joaquin Valley
Dayton, Ohio referred to as "Sinus Valley."
Florida and California, where there are pollinating plants all year.
Midwestern US
Southern US

?People living in the Midwest and South have a higher incidence of
sinusitis than those in the Northeast and West.?

?The percentage of adults with sinusitis was higher in the South than
in any other region of the United States?
On Page 28 of this document, you can see which regions of the US have
a higher incidence of sinusitis. The West and the Northeast have the
lowest incidences of sinusitis, with the West ahead by a nose! (Pun

   Now we are down to the warmer climates of the West and Northeast.
 We?ve already ruled our Phoenix, Spokane, LA, Albuquerque, and the
San Joaquin Valley. You?ll want to avoid locales with very high and
very low humidity.

The states with the highest humidity today are :
01/18/05-00EST 	100 %	at	Verdi, NV (STEX)
01/18/05-00EST 	100 %	at	Friona, TX (USTX21)
01/18/05-00EST 	100 %	at	Strasburg, CO (COSG)
01/18/05-00EST 	100 %	at	Carnelian Bay, CA (CAKB)
01/18/05-00EST 	100 %	at	Flournoy, CA (CAPK)
01/18/05-00EST 	100 %	at	Souris, ND (USND28)
01/18/05-00EST 	100 %	at	Heron, MT (IDBF)
01/18/05-00EST 	100 %	at	Port Alexander, AK (FPN)
01/18/05-00EST 	100 %	at	Williams, CA (USCA24)
01/18/05-00EST 	100 %	at	Deming, WA (WAGL)

The 10 states with the lowest humidity today, are :
01/18/05-00EST 	11 %	at	Chignik Lake, AK (USAK15)
01/18/05-00EST 	13 %	at	Levelock, AK (USAK43)
01/18/05-00EST 	15 %	at	Big Lake, AK (AKWA)
01/18/05-00EST 	21 %	at	Ararat, NC (NC14)
01/18/05-00EST 	21 %	at	Grizzly Flats, CA (USCA18)
01/18/05-00EST 	21 %	at	Ferguson, NC (IKB)
01/18/05-00EST 	21 %	at	Alta, CA (BLU)
01/18/05-00EST 	21 %	at	Ararat, VA (NCMT)
01/18/05-00EST 	21 %	at	Alleghany, CA (CAVL)
01/18/05-00EST 	21 %	at	Claudville, VA (VA61)

This page has a historical listing for the past year of high and low humidities

To help you make your decision, here is a nifty map of the US. Select
the conditions you?re interested in such as Temp., Wind Chill, etc.
and click on an area.

Air Quality Maps

Humidity Map

This site rates the best places to live by crime and education
statistics, stress, prices of gas, hurricanes and climate.

   I have chosen two locations that seem to meet most of the
conditions that are best for sinus sufferers. Since I don?t know what
your age, marital status, employment status or employment needs are, I
am unable to pick the ideal location for you.

  Here?s what we have: you need a location with an ideal humidity, not
too cold, and clean air, preferably in the west. I omitted the
Northeast, because of the cold. You can increase your choices if you
are able to stay indoors during more humid or cold weather.

Two locations I have found that may ease your sinuses are Salem,
Oregon, and Payson, Arizona.  You can look at these towns, and using
the tools I have posted, select others by humidity and temperature.
Remember too, that most physicians feel it does not matter where you
live, as long as you are properly diagnosed and treated. Doctors no
longer recommend that patients move for allergies, respiratory
infections, or sinusitis, as after a few years, some patients become
sensitized to the new area, and symptoms return.

?Odd, but I used to get a lot of colds when I was living in San Diego.
I would get secondary sinus infections at least once a year there that
required antibiotics. Since moving back to the SF Bay Area, I rarely
get colds, and have yet to get a secondary infection after 2 years.
Location may have something to do with it, as well as gas heaters and

?"My Dr. said that Cleveland is one of the worst places to live if you
have any kind of sinus trouble or allergies." Could be, but he was
referring, undoubtedly, to outdoor air. Indoor air pollution from
tobacco smoke is much worse than the worst outdoor air anywhere.
Moving from a house in Cleveland with one smoker in it, to a house
with no smokers, will make a much greater improvement in overall
breathable air you have, than moving from Cleveland to a wildnerness
area. Even an apartment building, in super-clean city, with say 20
apartments, with one apartment having one smoker in it, will probably
have worse air in all the 20 other apartments, than you will have
outdoors in cleveland.?

Crabcakes? Picks: Towns with Low Risk of Sinusitis

Salem, Oregon

Today?s weather

The past year?s weather

Humidity is not too bad, with the worst being in the morning

Payson, Arizona
The humidity and temperature are about as close to perfect as you can get!

Today?s weather in Payson, Arizona

The past year?s weather averages

The data on the following site is a dated, collected in 1993, but
informative none the less.
?Having lived in Denver, I had a good clue. The Mile-High City, one of
this country's most polluted metropolitan areas, is often covered by a
thick, brownish-gray pall of smog, known locally as the brown cloud.
Most cities in the world are similarly afflicted, but especially those
situated in valleys where temperature inversions are frequent; in
cities where diesel fuel is used extensively, especially in Europe; in
heavily industrialized regions; and in most areas where there are
coal-fired power plants. Almost every country in the world is now
familiar with this rapidly growing dilemma; it has reached such
immense proportions that it is visible from space. The question is,
what is this filthy air doing to the human beings who created the

?According to the EPA's 1993 National Air Quality and Emissions Trends
Report, the metropolitan areas with the highest eight-hour
concentration of carbon monoxide in that year were:
1.	Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA 
2.	Spokane, WA 
3.	El Paso, TX 
4.	(tie) Denver, CO - Anchorage, AK - Las Vegas, NV-AZ - Provo-Orem, UT 
5.	(tie) Steubenville-Weirton, OH - Albuquerque, NM - Phoenix-Mesa, AZ
- Memphis, TN-AR,-MS Las Cruces, NM - Sacramento, CA - Baton Rouge, LA
All of these cities met or exceeded the federal limit of carbon
monoxide for eight hours. But carbon monoxide is an odorless and
colorless gas. What is that stuff that we can see-the brown cloud-and
what is it doing to our sinuses when we breathe it??
?But Los Angeles is not unique. Other areas of the country are well on
their way to matching that city's severity of pollution and its
damaging effects on the lungs and sinuses. There are also many
agricultural communities that claim to be sinus "capitals" as a result
of the pesticides and fertilizers that fill the air. I've heard from
people in South Dakota, southern Minnesota, Iowa, North Carolina, and
California's San Joaquin Valley, all reporting that "everyone has
sinus problems." The residents of Dayton, Ohio refer to their city as
"Sinus Valley."?
?In many areas of the United States, especially in parts of California
and Florida where there is something pollinating year-round, allergies
are the major contributors to sinus problems.?
?In recent years an increasing number of physicians are recognizing
that food allergies might be a factor in chronic sinusitis. The foods
most often implicated are wheat, cow's milk and other dairy products,
chocolate, oranges, eggs, and artificial food coloring.?

  I know you didn?t ask for medical advice, johnster, but how your
sinuses are being managed is a factor as important as the location in
which you reside. So, being in the medical field, I can?t help but
sneak some into your answer.

?Question: I moved to New Mexico three years ago after 45 years in
Michigan - started having almost constant sinusitis, especially in
spring and fall. Once it became so bad - after three courses of
10-days of antibiotics, which obviously didn't do the job - I landed
in the emergency room with severe bronchitis, hardly able to breathe.
Had a CT scan, was put on 21-days of antibiotics and given Flonase to
use daily, which I do. Have had three serious sinus infections in last
four months - am now on 7-day course of 500 mg Levaquin (and
antibiotic eyedrops), doctor has recommended switching to Nasonex. I
am in normal good health, weight, etc. 53 years old. Should I be
taking an oral drug daily as well as the nasal spray? These infections
are depressing me, in terms of the amount of time and energy (not to
mention cost) they are taking up. Am also worried about how much
antibiotic I've pumped through my system.
Dr. Rosenwasser: Significant sinus disease may require long term
treatment with nasal washes, antihistamines, nasal steroids and
occasionally antibiotics for adequate control. The decision to do any
of these things depends on the clinical circumstances and the
risk/benefit of any of the interventions. It sounds as though your
sinusitis is complicated and requires significant medication. It would
be good to be checked by a specialist to make sure there are no immune
or other complicating problems for your sinus condition.?

?It is a common misconception by internists that steroids should not
be used in sinusitis. In general, we do not like to use steroids when
patients have an infection because they may worsen the infection.
Because nasal steroids are essentially not absorbed, and they reduce
the inflammation in the nose so that drainage can occur, in general,
they should be used for sinusitis.?
?We like to keep the humidity at the lowest between 40-50% for
sinusitis. There is a problem with keeping the humidity higher than
50% in patients who are allergic to dust mites or mold since dust
mites and mold like a humidity above 50%. So, it's not incompatible,
although in patients who are allergic to dust or mold, we obviously
like to keep the humidity lower than we would otherwise.?

The following site may not be very attractive, but it contains a great
deal of relevant information on sinusitis.

   Have you had your sinuses cultured for bacteria and fungi?  Is it
possible that your home or workplace contains mold spores? Have you
tried Flonase, regularly? It must be used for a week or so before you
see any results, and it works well, when used daily. It is not
absorbed into the body and is safe for long term use.

?In a study conducted at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in
1998 and published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings (vol.74, p.877,
1999), Dr. Jens Ponikau and colleagues found that 96% of the 212
chronic sinusitis patients assessed were actually suffering from a
fungal infection in the sinuses, not bacterial infection, as had been
assumed for the past 50 years by medical experts.. The reason this
research group found the fungi that had not been found by previous
studies is because the Mayo Clinic group used a new and very sensitive
means of determining microorganisms causing infections, known as
polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The difference in accuracy between
culture plates (commonly used) and PCR is like the difference between
binoculars and a telescope. Fungi are one of the most common forms of
life on earth.?

This site has a lot of pertinent information too!
This book, by Dr. David Kennedy ?Living with Chronic Sinusitis? may interest you.

I hope this answer has helped you select some places to move, if you
do plan to move! I wish you the best!

If any part of my answer is unclear, please request an Answer
Clarification, before rating. This will enable me to assist you
further, if possible.


Search Terms
best place live + with sinus problems
sinusitis epidemiology
prevalence sinusitis
worst states sinus problems
Dallas + sinusitis incidence
Humidity index US
sinusitis rates US
Air quality US

Clarification of Answer by crabcakes-ga on 20 Jan 2005 20:26 PST
Thank you for the stars and the generous tip! Both are appreciated.

The humidity in Florida is way too high for sinusitis patients!

By the way, personally, I DO believe allergies play a part in
sinusitis. I did not research this as you aasked to disregard
allergies!   :-)Sincerely,
johnster-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $25.00
I felt the researcher did their best to answer my question. One question?
if allergies are not a factor, is Florida an attractive possibility
because of the higher humidity and "sea-air"?

Subject: Re: Best places to live with sinus and bronchitis problems
From: probonopublico-ga on 18 Jan 2005 01:06 PST
This is fascinating!

I am posting this Comment as an aide for a return visit.

Call me cheeky but I have sinus problems that I am wresting with.
Subject: Re: Best places to live with sinus and bronchitis problems
From: am777-ga on 18 Jan 2005 02:03 PST
Hi Johnster,

..not a medical advice...just a friendly one......
have you ever considered visiting a docter that is also trained as a
"Classical Homeopath"............

All the best,

Subject: Re: Best places to live with sinus and bronchitis problems
From: probonopublico-ga on 18 Jan 2005 04:04 PST
Anne-Marie (am777-ga) has offered some great advice.

I was affected for 4 years without a lasting cure, although I obtained
relief when dosed up on antibiotics. Last month I turned to
alternative stuff and I have been pleasantly surprised.

Still not cured but I am feeling better by the hour.

I was very sceptical but now I wish I'd started sooner.

Like Anne-Marie, I am not a doctor ... and, unlike crabcakes, I am not
a researcher.

Just a fellow victim.

Victims of the World Unite!

All the Best


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