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Berean Health & Temperance
What You Need To Know About Sinusitis and Sinus Infection
"Sinusitis is an condition consisting of infection or inflammation of the paranasal sinuses, which may or may not be as a result of infection, from bacterial, fungal, viral, allergic or autoimmune issues. Newer classifications of sinusitis refer to it as rhinosinusitis, taking into account the thought that inflammation of the sinuses cannot occur without some inflammation of the nose as well (rhinitis). It is highly contagious: viral infectious sinus for sure, and some experts believe that bacteria infectious sinus is also. Sinusitis may be passed from person to person by direct contact with an infected surface. Or it may be transmitted through the air."
What Is Sinusitis?
The National Center for Health Statistics reports that this condition is the most chronic disease in the United States. Also known as allergic sinusitis, this ailment is more common in women, particularly those between the ages of 45 and 64. Symptoms that may be associated with chronic sinusitis include: head and nasal congestion; headaches; runny nose and/or postnasal drip; halitosis; increased irritability.
Acute sinusitis is an infection usually beginning with a cold and characterized by facial pain, sinus swelling, postnasal yellow mucus and extreme fatigue. These symptoms may be accompanied by a fever, a stuffy and runny nose, sore throat, cough and laryngitis; and they may require medical attention, according to Robert S. Ivker, D.O., author of Sinus Survival.
Sinuses: Natural Air Filter It's important to protect sinuses because your sinuses filter the air you breathe. They also protect your lungs from disease by filtering out bacteria, viruses, dirt, dust, pollen, and other harmful airborne agents. Although antibiotics are commonly prescribed for sinusitis, they have limited use. "Sinusitis is often caused by a virus or fungus, and antibiotics are ineffective against these pathogens," explains Bob Rountree, M.D., who practices in Boulder, Colorado.
Natural Remedies for Sinusitis
1) An air filter/HEPA filter combination Because allergies are major culprits in sinusitis, a combination air filter/HEPA filter can eliminate potential allergens such as dirt, dust, pollen, air pollutants and animal dander. It also may help to use allergen-proof mattress and pillow covers and install an air filter on your vacuum so that it doesn't distribute dirt and dust.
2) Irrigating sinuses with saline solution Nasal washes are effective as topical disinfectants. Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon baking soda in 4 ounces warm water. Use a Neti pot or a bulb syringe to flush out your nose 2-4 times daily. Colloidal silver (1 dropperful six times daily) and commercial nasal washes containing Echinacea and Goldenseal are also effective.
3) Quercetin Quercetin is an anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting bioflavonoid found in the skin of red onions and apples. It helps decrease mucus production and swelling by blocking the release of histamine from immune cells. Quercetin can also be taken as a dietary supplement.
4) N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is an altered form of the amino acid cysteine. This antioxidant thins mucus and provides antiviral action. Use of this substance has long been prescribed by medical doctors to treat lung congestion associated with cystic fibrosis.
5) Boosting your immune system Chronic sinusitis can indicate that your immune system is compromised. Taking an antioxidant supplement containing vitamin C, vitamin E, carotene complex, selenium and zinc can help bolster your immune system. Olive leaf extract and garlic may also help by fighting yeast, which can be linked to sinus infections.
6) Hot towels or ginger compresses to your eyes and cheeks Hot towels and ginger compresses may help reduce inflammation and open nasal passages.
7) Limiting dairy products, refined carbohydrates and sweets Dairy products may produce sinus-congesting mucus, while refined carbohydrates and sweets suppress immune function.
8) Drink plenty of fluids to help keep your mucus thin.
9) Breathe warm, moist air from a steamy shower, a hot bath, or a sink filled with hot water. Avoid extremely cool, dry air. Consider using a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air in your home.
In addition to the above recommendations, if you have sinusitis you might try bromelain, an enzyme that has been shown to reduce swelling and inflammation in the sinuses. And, whenever possible, reduce your stress levels. Ivker says that emotional stress is one of the most probable causes of sinusitis because stress lowers immune response in the body. So while you're taking your natural remedies, also consider taking a break.
Consult your doctor before using any health treatment — including herbal supplements and natural remedies — and tell your doctor if you have a serious medical condition or are taking any medications. The information presented here is for educational purposes only and is in no way intended as substitute for medical counseling.
Sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal passages. A sinus infection can cause a headache or pressure in the eyes, nose, cheek area, or on one side of the head. A person with a sinus infection may also have a cough, sore throat, fever, bad breath, and nasal congestion with thick nasal secretions. Sinusitis is categorized as acute (sudden onset) or chronic (long term, the most common type).
Here is an overview of the anatomy of the sinuses (also called paranasal sinuses). The human skull contains four major pairs of hollow air-filledcavities called sinuses. These are connected to the space between the nostrils and the nasal passage (behind your nose). Sinuses help insulate the skull, reduce its weight, and allow the voice to resonate within it. The four major pairs of sinuses are the: frontal sinuses (in the forehead); maxillary sinuses (behind the cheek bones); ethmoid sinuses (between the eyes); and sphenoid sinuses (behind the eyes).
Acute sinusitis usually lasts less than eight weeks or occurs no more than three times per year with each episode lasting no longer than 10 days. People with acute sinusitis have reported unusual problems like suffering from dizziness, fainting, and feelings that they are going to collapse.
When CT Scans show significant thickening of sinus walls with polyps and cysts, these symptoms indicate the result of inflammation and infection in the sinuses. In addition, some also feel that it is these polyps and cysts that cut off oxygen circulation, thus leaving sufferers with a minimum amount of oxygen which may result in feelings of going to faint, and perhaps actually fainting sometime.
It is strongly suggested that those with acute sinusitis irrigate their nasal cavity often with a mild saline solution (a pinch of sea salt in warm pure water). Although the neti pot is often mentioned, people can use an inexpensive turkey baser! Users who irrigated their nasal passages reported that their dizziness and the feeling that they are going to faint ceased immediately after the saline irrigation! See your ENT doctor and talk with him/her about a CT scan and possible surgery if the blockage is severe with noticeable infection!