Sinusitis
14 Case Studies
5 Member Stories
3 Research

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses that produce the mucus necessary for the nasal passages to work effectively. It can be acute or chronic, and it can be caused by viruses, bacteria, allergies, or an autoimmune reaction. Natural therapies can help.

What is sinusitis?

Chronic sinusitis occurs when the spaces inside the nose and head (sinuses) are swollen and inflamed for three months or more, despite treatment. This common condition interferes with how mucus usually drains and makes your nose stuffy. Breathing through your nose could be tough, and the area around your eyes may feel bloated or tender. Chronic sinusitis can be caused by growth in the sinuses (nasal polyps), swelling of the lining of your sinuses, or an infection. The condition can affect adults and children.

Chronic vs. acute sinusitis

Chronic and acute sinusitis have similar symptoms.  However, acute sinusitis is a temporary infection generally associated with a cold. Chronic sinusitis signs and symptoms of clast at least 12 weeks, but you can have many episodes of acute sinusitis before creating chronic sinusitis. Fever isn't a frequent indication of chronic sinusitis, but you may have one with severe sinusitis.


See: Ayurveda and Indian Herbs for Sinusitis relief

Sinusitis signs & symptoms

Common signs of chronic sinusitis include:

Nasal obstruction or obstruction, causing difficulty breathing through your nose

Thick, discolored discharge from the nose

Nasal inflammation

Drainage down the backside of the throat or postnasal drainage

Pain and swelling around your nose or forehead

Reduced sense of smell and taste

Other symptoms and signs can include:

Ear pain

Aching on your upper jaw and teeth

Cough or throat clearing

Sore throat

Bad breath

Fatigue

See: 20 Years of Sinus Allergy Treated with Acupuncture and Naturopathy

Sinusitis causes

Frequent causes of chronic sinusitis include:

- Nasal polyps. These tissue enhancements can block the nasal passages or sinuses.

- Deviated nasal septum. A crooked septum - the wall between the nostrils - can block or restrict sinus passages, which makes the symptoms of sinusitis worse.

- Other medical conditions. The complications of conditions like HIV, cystic fibrosis, and other immune system-related diseases may result in nasal blockage.

- Respiratory tract infections. Infections in your respiratory tract - most commonly colds - may inflame and thicken your sinus membranes and prevent mucus drainage. These illnesses can be viral, bacterial, or fungal.

- Allergies such as hay fever. Inflammation that occurs with allergies may obstruct your sinuses.

See: Nasya Ayurvedic Treatment for Healing And Relief From Sinusitis

Sinusitis natural treatments

Lifestyle and home remedies

These self-help steps can help alleviate sinusitis symptoms:

1. Rest. This can assist your body in fighting inflammation and accelerate recovery. Concentrating on work or studies may be hard for a person who has sinus pressure. Taking a break and getting a lot of rest can help the body to recuperate.

2. Moisturize your sinuses. Wrap a towel over your head as you breathe in the vapor out of a bowl of medium-hot water. Maintain the vapor directed on your face. You can take a hot bath, and breathe in the warm, moist air to help mucus drain and relieve pain. 

Use steam to open the blocked passages in the nose to help relieve sinus pressure. Steam inhalation is not difficult to do at home. Boil water, pour it into a big bowl, and then lean over, so the face is over the water. Use a towel, cover your head, and breathe the steam through the nose.

3. Rinse out your inner nasal passages. Use a specially designed squeeze bottle or neti pot to wash your nasal passages. This home remedy, known as nasal lavage, can help clear your sinuses. Clearing the nose can help ease this symptom.

4. Saline nasal spray. Saline nasal sprays are popular for relieving sinus pressure and can be created at home. Inhaling saline solution can help clear a stuffy nose. A saline solution can be made at home using sterile water, baking soda, and salt. Sniff this in the nose from a spoon, one nostril at a time. You can also use a dry spray bottle. Slowly insert the nozzle into a nostril and spray in the solution. Repeat two to three times every day.

5. Neti pot. Some people today use neti pots to wash out the nose, which helps to keep the mucous tissue moist and alleviate pressure in the sinuses. The device looks like a little pot with a long spout.  Water will go from one nostril to the other, which should flush out bacteria, pollen, and other debris. Someone should repeat this procedure on both nostrils. It's vital to not use tap water, but utilize sterile or distilled water, which can be purchased at a pharmacy. Alternately, boil water and let it cool.

6. Acupressure. Acupressure is a vital part of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves applying pressure to certain points on the body to relieve pain or symptoms of illness. Scientists aren't clear on whether acupuncture works, but it might ease some symptoms. Massaging the pressure points at the base of the head and top of the throat might help. Acupressure has been used as a treatment for colds, kinds of influenza, and sinus issues. It can be performed at home or by a professional practitioner. Do not apply too much pressure, causing pain or distress.

7. Essential oils. Menthol oil is considered to help open the nasal passages, although research hasn't supported this. Essential oils are organic oils derived from plants. The American Sinus Institute recommends some essential oil usage to relieve sinus pressure. Menthol generates a feeling that the nasal passages are clearing. Add a few drops of the oil to some warm water, and breathe in the steam through the nose. There are a few anesthetic properties, but no scientific evidence demonstrates that menthol causes the nasal passages to open. Essential oils, such as menthol, can be found online. People should make sure to purchase these oils from trusted sources, however.

8. Ayurveda. The majority of us never consider our sinuses once we take a deep breath through the nose. For others, these small air passages are a source of distress that lasts up to 12 weeks at least four times annually. Let us look at why sinus issues grow and how to help them through Ayurveda. Sinus issues are actually brought on by an inherent imbalance in Prana Vata (the sub dosha of Vata that modulates the brain, head, and also the mind) and Shleshaka Kapha (a sub dosha of Kapha, which modulates lubrication and moisture equilibrium). When these two sub-doshas are concurrently imbalanced, another complication arises. Ama, the tacky waste-product of digestion, has blended with Shleshaka Kapha in the nasal area, forming a much more toxic, sticky mucus named Shleshma. Shleshma settles in the region and clogs the channels of the uterus. Because of this restriction and obstructing, Pitta dosha also becomes uncontrollable.

When all of your three doshas are out of balance, immunity is severely compromised. The body becomes a fertile ground for germs, allergens, or germs. Air pollution, stress, fluctuations of cold and hot weather, and lifestyle patterns like eating excessive amounts of cold, sweet, heavy meals, staying up too late, or not getting enough exercise may aggravate the imbalance.


See: Sinus & Cluster headache treatment in Ayurveda

Sinusitis risk factors

You are at increased risk of getting chronic sinusitis if you have:

- A deviated septum

- Nasal polyps

- Asthma

- Aspirin sensitivity

- A dental infection

- An immune system disorder like HIV/AIDS or cystic fibrosis

- Hay fever or another allergic condition

- Frequent exposure to pollutants like cigarette smoke


See: Acupuncture for Migraines and Headaches

Prevention of sinusitis

You can reduce your risk of getting chronic sinusitis by taking the following simple steps :

- Prevent upper respiratory infections. Minimize contact with people who have migraines. Wash your hands regularly for 30 seconds with soap and water, particularly before and after meals.

- Handle your allergies. Work with your practitioner to keep symptoms in check. Avoid exposure to things you are allergic to whenever possible.

- Avoid and polluted air and cigarette smoke. Tobacco smoke and air pollutants may irritate and inflame your lungs and nasal passages.

- Get a humidifier. If the air in your room is dry, adding moisture to the air might help prevent sinusitis. Make sure to keep the humidifier clean and free of mold with regular cleaning.

See: Nasal Congestion and Eye Pain subsided After Evidence Based Ayurveda Treatment

Summary

If caused by an infection, for example, sinusitis, the strain should go away in a couple of weeks. If the sinus pressure is caused by an allergy, the pressure may come and go. Taking antihistamines prior to coming into contact with an allergen, such as grass or pet fur, can stop sinus pressure. The natural remedies above will help to relieve sinus pressure and related distress. They can also help speed recovery.


See: Case of a Little Boy with Asthma Allergies and Successful Treatment with Ayurveda

References

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296439/ 

2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170500/ 

3. http://www.theresearchpedia.com/health/health-benefits-of-foods/health-benefits-of-cumin 

4. Eccles, R. (2003, May). Menthol: Effects on nasal sensation of airflow and the drive to breathe. Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, 3(3), 210–214

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11882-003-0041-6

5. Eight essential oils that can help relieve your sinus congestion. (n.d.)

https://www.americansinus.com/essential-oils-that-help-relieve-sinus-congestion/

6. Is rinsing your sinuses with neti pots safe? (2017, January 24)

https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm316375.htm

7. Lad, Vasant. "Textbook of Ayurveda Volume 1: Fundamental Principles of Ayurveda." (Albuquerque: The Ayurvedic Press, 2002)188.

8. Mansell, N. J. (2017, January). How to use your nasal sprays

http://www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk/patient-information-leaflets/Nasal%20spray%20how%20to%20use%20ENT.htm

9. Acupressure point GB20: Gallbladder 20 or feng chi (wind pool). (n.d.)

https://exploreim.ucla.edu/self-care/acupressure-point-gb20/

10. Aring, A. M., & Chan, M. M. (2011). Acute rhinosinusitis in adults. American Family Physician, 83(9), 1057–1063

http://med-docs.creighton.edu/Departments/Family_Medicine/StudentPDFs/p1057.pdf

11. Wise, P. M., Wysocki, C. J., & Lundström, J. N. (2012, July). Stimulus selection for intranasal sensory isolation: Eugenol is an irritant. Chemical Senses, 37(6), 509–514

https://academic.oup.com/chemse/article/37/6/509/361469

12. Lad, Vasant. "The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies." (New York: Three Rivers Press, 1998)132.

13. Keojampa, B. K., Nguyen, M. H., & Ryan, M. W. (2004, November 1). Effects of buffered saline solution on nasal mucociliary clearance and nasal airway patency [Abstract]. Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 131(5), 679–682

http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1016/j.otohns.2004.05.026

See: Ayurveda Treatment for Migraine

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