Chronic sinusitis refers to inflammation of the sinuses that continues for weeks, months, or even years. Allergies are the most common cause of chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis can persist even after antibiotics are given. It’s the most frequently reported chronic disease. Chronic sinusitis can also be caused by structural abnormalities of the nose, such as a deviated septum (the bony partition separating the two nasal passages), or by small growths called nasal polyps, both of which can trap mucus in the sinuses.
Acute sinusitis occurs when bacteria invade the sinus cavities and impair proper drainage of mucus from the sinuses to the nose. Chronic inflammation of the nasal passages or rhinitis also can lead to sinusitis. Allergic rhinitis or hay fever is the most common cause of chronic sinusitis and is a frequent cause of acute sinusitis.
Investigate your sinusitis. It could be food related, environmental, or reactions due to chemicals . Vasomotor rhinitis is caused by humidity, cold air, alcohol, perfumes, and other environmental conditions. Medical science believes the sinuses around your nose act like small air-quality filter centers. It’s their job to warm, moisten, purify, and generally condition the air you breathe before going to your lungs.
Entering bacteria gets trapped and filtered out by mucus and minute nasal hairs called cilia. This air-flow system can sometimes slow down when something impedes the cilia, if a cold clogs the sinus openings, or if an allergen swells the sinus linings. Then air gets trapped, pressure builds, the mucus stagnates, and bacteria breed. Infection sets in and you have sinusitis. When you get clogged up, you may end up with a permanent thickening of the sinus membranes and chronic congestion.
Sinusitis can also be caused by a variety of factors, such as virus, fungal infections, and medication side-effects. Inhalation of airborne allergens such as dust, mold, and pollen, often set off allergic reactions.
Those who are cigarette smokers and people who suffer from upper respiratory allergies are even more likely to develop bad sinus problems.
There are four pairs of sinuses in the human skull that help circulate moist air throughout the nasal passages.
The common cold is the most prevalent predisposing factor to sinusitis. Acute sinusitis typically causes symptoms of nasal congestion and a thick yellow or green discharge. Other symptoms include tenderness and pain over the sinuses, frontal headaches, and sometimes chills, fever, and pressure in the area of the sinuses.
Chronic sinusitis differs slightly, in that symptoms can be milder and may only include postnasal drip, bad breath, and an irritating dry cough. Hay fever, environmental triggers unrelated to hay fever, food allergens, and dental infections can also lead to sinusitis. Humidity is the key to keeping the cilia working, the mucus flowing, and the sinuses drained.
Managing Your Sinusitis
Prevention is the key!
Twice a day, stand in a shower hot enough to fog up the mirror. Or lean over a pan full of steaming water with a towel draped over your head, creating a steam tent. Inhale the vapors as they waft up toward your nostrils. Eucalyptus oil is often used in a steam inhalation to help clear nasal and sinus congestion. Eucalyptus oil works similarly to that of menthol by acting on receptors in the nasal mucosa, leading to a reduction in the symptoms of nasal congestion. Just add 4 to 6 drops to a pan of steaming water with a towel draped over your head and inhale the vapors.
Applying moist heat over the sinuses, is an easy way to wash away sinus pain. Apply a warm washcloth over your eyes and cheekbones and leave it there until you feel the pain subside. It may take only a few minutes.
Flush out nasal secretions. Mix 1 teaspoon of non-iodized salt or sea salt with 2 cups of warm water and a pinch of baking soda. Pour it into a shot glass, tilt your head back, close one nostril with your thumb, and sniff the solution with the open nostril. Then blow your nose gently. Repeat on the other side.
An Ayurvedic solution, similar to this is done in the same manner with a Netti Pot. It looks similar to a tea pot, but with a longer, narrower spout for the nostrils. These can be found in most health food stores.
Bromelain is a plant-enzyme. Bromelain is not actually a single substance, but a group of protein-digesting enzymes found in pineapple juice and in the stem of pineapple plants. It is primarily produced in Japan, Hawaii, and Taiwan. Local swelling is the releasing of histimines in a localized area causes the vasodilation and increased permeability of blood vessels. Bromelain has an anti-inflammatory effect and is a very effective treatment for sinusitis. It is recommend taking 200 to 400 milligrams three times a day on an empty stomach at least ninety minutes before or three hours after eating. Discontinue use if you develop any itching or rash.
Cayenne Peppers contain Capsaicin, a substance that can stimulate the nerve fibers and may act as a natural nasal decongestant.
Garlic has the same chemical found in a drug given to make mucus less sticky. This is a wonderful natural antibiotic and detoxifier which protects the body against infection by enhancing immune function.
Horseradish is an herb used traditionally, as it dissolves mucus. One half to one teaspoon (3–5 grams) of the freshly grated root can be eaten three times per day. Horseradish tincture is also available. One quarter to one half teaspoon (2 to 3 ml) can be taken three times per day.
Nettle Leaf, 300mg, taken twice per day can lead to effective results. Stinging Nettle plant (Urtica dioica) relieves hay fever symptoms quickly in most people, has no toxicity, and is even a valuable source of iron and trace minerals. Do not take this herb if you have high blood pressure.
Wood Betony is used in traditional European herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory remedy for those with sinusitis.
About the author
Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac. – http://www.Peacefulmind.com – Therapies for healing mind, body, spirit
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Originally posted 2007-05-18 08:10:59.
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