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Home Ailments & Treatments Paranasal Sinusitis
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Paranasal Sinusitis
Paranasal Sinusitis

The nasal sinuses, which are linked with the nasal cavity, include the frontal sinuses, the sphenoid sinus, the ethmoidal cells and the maxillary sinuses. A nasal sinus infection, called sinusitis, usually develops when a bacterial or a viral infection, often a cold, spreads into any of these sinuses, causing swelling and inflammation of the mucous membranes. Sinusitis most often affects the frontal or the maxillary sinuses, although all the sinuses can be involved. The infection can be either chronic or acute; most acute cases are bacteria based, and often require treatment with an antibiotic. Symptoms of acute sinusitis include pounding headaches that intensify when you bend over or sneezing; sensitivity to very light pressure; heavy, green or yellow mucus secretions; and fever. Chronic sinus problems may be caused by small nasal growths, smoking or nasal injuries and should be assessed by a physician. Sinusitis can also be linked to food allergies or food intolerances. Nasal douches, compresses with natural herbs and footbaths are effective healing measures.

Expectorant medicinal plants
If you frequently suffer from colds and sinus infections, you should consume fresh garlic, horseradish or cayenne pepper. These antibacterial plants loosen nasal secretions and subdue the swelling of the sinuses' mucous membranes. Horseradish is probably most effective. You can grate it fresh yourself, buy it prepared or take it as a tincture.

What you can do?
Nasal douches and steam inhalations are especially soothing for painful pressure in the sinuses. Additional helpful measures to alleviate symptoms include footbaths, medicinal teas and compresses. Try one or more of these measures for a few days. However, if your sinusitis doesn't improve, be sure to consult your doctor.

Steam inhalations fight infection
Inhalations of steam and essential oils, such as eucalyptus or tea tree oil, are beneficial, since the nose carries the active components directly to the sinuses; the steam is antibacterial, and the moisture thins and loosens nasal secretions. The essential oils also inhibit inflammation and swelling.

Sweating releases toxins
Inducing perspiration stimulates the immune system, kills microbes, thins secretions and promotes the excretion of poisons. Take a hot bath or wrap your body in hot towels. Inducing a sweat helps a fever along, since fever is the body's own way of fighting and releasing toxins. Avoid heat treatments if you have heart problems or if you are pregnant.

Nasal douches aid drainage
Nasal douches moisten mucous membranes, reduce swelling and induce drainage. Place a spoonful of lukewarm chamomile, goldenseal, thyme or peppermint tea or diluted saltwater in your cupped palm. Holding one nostril closed, draw the liquid from your palm into the other nostril by breathing deeply; repeat on the other side. Repeat this once an hour.

Extra Tip : Dry air tends to irritate inflamed sinuses further. To combat dry air and moisten sinuses and nasal passages, use a humidifier, boil pots of water on the stove or hang damp towels over radiators.

Gentle relief

Horseradish poultice
Horseradish draws out infections by stimulating the skin, blood flow and metabolism. Simply grate some fresh horseradish root and place it on a gauze bandage. Lay the poltice on the painful sinuses for about 5 min. close your eyes and cover them with a handkerchief.

Homeopathic remedies
Take 5 pellets or drops every hour. Symptoms should improve within 5 hr.

Kali bic 6C, 30C
Kali bic is a useful remedy for infections when there are excessive amounts of very thick mucus.

Belladonna 6C, 30C
For infections with fever, and for throbbing pain in the face, forehead or teeth, Belladonna is a beneficial remedy.

Preventing sinus Infections

  • Be especially careful with hygiene when you have a cold. Use paper tissues, and throw each away after using. Remember to wash your hands frequently.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep nasal secretions fluid. Also, be sure to avoid coffee, soda and alcohol as they are dehydrating.
  • Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables daily so that you receive adequate levels of vitamins and minerals. Most important are vitamin C, beta-carotene and zinc. These vitamins and minerals help you to resist infections and overcome them quickly if they occur.
  • Dairy products are notorious for promoting mucus formation. Thick mucus accumulation in the throat, nose and sinuses are ideal breeding grounds for bacteria. Try cutting all dairy products from your diet for at least 6 full weeks. If this helps, think about making this a permanent change.