Sinusitis is an inflammation of your sinuses, the cavities around your nasal passages that are meant for air-filtration. When the mucous membranes of your sinuses become inflamed, the swelling blocks the openings to your sinuses, and mucous cannot escape. This creates an environment for bacteria to develop, and makes it difficult for you to breath and may cause pain around your nose, eyes, and forehead.
Most acute sinusitis cases develop after a cold or flu infection, although some develop because of a fungal infection, especially in those with diabetes or a compromised immune system. A compromised immune system can often lead to you developing chronic sinusitis, although smoking and allergies can also predispose you as well.
Risk factors that predispose you to sinusitis include:
- dental infection
- deviated septum
- cold or flu infection
- cystic fibrosis <link to CYSTIC FIBROSIS>
- gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- weakened immune system (e.g. HIV/AIDS)
It is important to differentiate between a migraine headache and a sinus headache. Although the pain that you feel with the two headaches may be similar, a sinus headache is due to inflammation of the sinuses, whereas a migraine is due to inflammation of the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Your doctor should differentiate between the two headache types as conventional medical treatment differs for the two headache types.
Conventional treatment for acute sinusitis rarely involves antibiotics, unless the inflammation lasts more than two weeks and your doctor suspects that you may have a bacterial infection. If allergies are a potential risk factor, you may be referred to a specialist.
Medications that your doctor may prescribe involve decongestants, although they can have side effects and excessive use can cause rebound congestion. A saline nasal spray is an effective alternative, and anti-inflammatories can sometimes help as well.
Natural health care can help immensely, especially with chronic sinusitis. A nutritional counsellor can help you design an elimination diet to identify any food allergies, and will advise you on what foods to avoid. Acupuncture and TCM can resolve congestion and address your pain symptoms. Yoga will help you put your body in better health through exercise, and massage therapy can help you reduce stress.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you prevent manage your sinusitis.
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