If you are one of the millions of people in the UK who suffer from sinusitis, it means that your sinuses the air-filled cavities within your cheek bones, forehead and nose are inflamed, causing thick mucus production, nasal stuffiness and pressure and pain in your head and face.
This condition is considered to be acute if it has been going on for less than three weeks. Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, persists for weeks, months, or even longer in some cases, causing untold misery for sufferers.
In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, acute sinusitis can cause fatigue, fever, and dental pain in the upper teeth. Chronic sinusitis symptoms are often milder, such as post nasal drip, a diminished sense of smell, a dry cough and bad breath. These symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the inflammation and the sinuses involved.
Your sinuses produce mucous, which lubricates and cleanses your nose, and each sinus has an opening into the back of your nose for air and mucus to pass through. If this opening becomes blocked, the air and mucus get trapped, making the lining of your sinuses become inflamed and swollen.
While acute sinusitis is usually due to a bacterial or fungal infection following a cold, the chronic form can also involve an immune reaction to inhaled allergens, such as traffic fumes, cigarette smoke, chemicals at work (including those from photocopiers), pollen or specific foods. Chronic infections of the teeth or gums, or growths such as nasal polyps are other possible causes.
Dont get hooked on ineffective and potentially dangerous drug treatments
Because acute sinusitis following a cold can often be due to a secondary bacterial infection, the first line of treatment from your doctor may be antibiotics, despite the fact that around 40 per cent of sinusitis sufferers get no benefit from these drugs. Decongestants may also be prescribed, to ease breathing through your nose, but these can cause insomnia and nervousness, tend to become ineffective and can lead to dependency if used long-term.
Corticosteroid nasal sprays, such as Beconase, are used to combat inflammation and swelling, but the side effects of steroid drugs can be severe, including high blood pressure, peptic ulcers, mood swings, acne, weight gain and glaucoma.
Both antibiotics and corticosteroids suppress the immune system and prevent natural healing. Surgery to unblock the sinuses and remove thickened mucus may be performed as a last resort. However, around 25 per cent of sinusitis patients who undergo surgery experience no improvement in their symptoms, and relief may only be partial or temporary for others. In addition, there is a small risk of post-operative problems such as infection or damage to the delicate nerves and blood vessels in the surrounding area.
Eucalyptus oil ingredient provides relief for 92 per cent of sufferers
One of the most effective natural treatments for sinusitis is found in eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and decongesting properties, and is used traditionally to treat asthma, nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, sore throat, and sinusitis. A recent study found that cineole, a major ingredient in eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) oil can successfully relieve inflammation of the sinuses.
A total of 152 people with sinusitis were given either capsules of cineole (200mg three times per day) or a placebo for seven days. A massive 92 per cent of those treated with cineole experienced improvements in more than half of their sinusitis symptoms, while only 45 per cent of the placebo group reported this level of improvement. Whats more, ultrasound scans showed no swelling or fluid in the sinuses of 95 per cent of the cineole group at the end of the study, compared with only half of the placebo group.
Eucalyptus oil is also effective when used in a steam inhalation, by acting on receptors in the nasal mucous membranes to bring about a reduction in the symptoms of nasal stuffiness. Because cineole can be irritating to the stomach lining, eucalyptus oil supplements should be used with caution by people with a history of gastritis or peptic ulcer.
The silkworms secret sinus cure
Enzymes that break down proteins in the body also have the effect of reducing inflammation. The silkworm is the unlikely source of one such enzyme, serrapeptase, produced by bacteria that live in its gut.
Serrapeptase eases pain and swelling, without the immunosuppressive effects of anti-inflammatory drugs. In a double-blind study carried out in Japan, 193 sinusitis patients were given either 20mg of serrapeptase daily or a placebo for eight days.
The resulting improvements in symptoms were considered to be excellent or good for a staggering 97.3 per cent of patients treated with serrapeptase, compared with only 21.9 per cent of those treated with placebo. Take 10mg of serrapeptase, twice a day.
These common garden plants are just as effective as antibiotics but without their side effects
Two sinusitis remedies you can grow in your garden are nasturtiums and horseradish. Horseradish root releases allyl isothiocyanate a natural antibiotic when grated, while nasturtium has been found to contain a substance called glucotropaeoline, which is antimicrobial, expectorant and possibly anti-fungal as well.
Recently, German doctors carried out a clinical trial involving 536 acute sinusitis sufferers that compared a natural herbal supplement of horseradish root and nasturtium with a standard antibiotic drug. Both groups showed a more than 80 per cent improvement in symptoms, leading the researchers to conclude that the herbal treatment was just as effective as the antibiotic, but safer and with less side effects. Take half a teaspoonful of grated fresh horseradish root three times a day and add nasturtium leaves, flowers and seeds to your meals when in season. In the study on horseradish and nasturtium, the researchers only included people with the acute condition since they wanted to compare it with standard antibiotic treatment for acute sinusitis.
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Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.
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