on Chronic Sinusitis
Causes of Sinus Headaches
A headache is the characteristic feature of sinusitis,
a painful inflammation of the sinuses usually caused
by bacteria. The sinuses are air-filled cavities in
the skull, lined with mucous membranes similar to those
lining the nasal passages and the mouth. The sinuses
warm and moisten the air you breathe.
Sinusitis is often a secondary bacterial infection
that accompanies a cold. Allergies, polyps, and even
tooth decay can cause an infection in the sinuses. The
symptoms include pain around the upper cheeks, forehead,
and eyes that sometimes get worse when you bend forward;
dizziness or light-headedness; and a thick yellow-green
Breathing moist air helps to loosen the mucus and permit
drainage, the goal of treatment. Put a towel over your
head and breathe the steam from a sink or pan filled
with hot water. Repeat this procedure 3 to 6 times a
day for 5 to 10 minutes. It also helps to increase the
humidity in your environment with a vaporizer, humidifier,
or even a pan of water simmering on the stove. A warm,
moist compress placed over the sinuses can make you
more comfortable. Try above for temporary relief.
Never travel to a high altitude (greater than 5,000
feet) location or in an airplane when you have sinusitis.
The pressure in the sinuses may be transmitted to the
inner ear and eardrum, causing an ear infection and
possibly perforating the eardrum.
If your sinusitis lasts for more than 2 or 3 days after
a cold, you should see a doctor. You may require an
antibiotic, and the doctor may take X rays for an accurate
Prevent Acute Sinusitis & Chronic Sinusitis Sinus
Proper rest, good nutrition, and regular exercise can
help prevent this and many other infections. If you
are susceptible to sinus infections, keeping the air
you breathe moist with a humidifier is a preventive
measure. Arid, desert air or heated air can dry and
crack the sensitive sinus tissue, leaving it vulnerable
Avoid using a nasal spray. It may dry the external
nasal passages temporarily but usually causes a rebound
swelling of the sinuses when you stop its use. Also,
you can become resistant to it in 3 to 4 days, and it
will lose its effectiveness. If you use a spray, do
so for only 1 or 2 days.
Decongestants used for more than a day or two can also
over dry the mucous membranes and leave thick mucus that
is unable to drain.
Avoid blowing your nose, and in particular blowing
one nostril at a time. This may force an infection up
into the opposite nasal passage and the inner ear.
Helpful Herbal Treatment for Chronic and Acute Sinusitis
Sinusitis Helpful Herb: Eucalyptus
Species: Eucalyptus globulus (NOTE: There are over
700 different species of eucalyptus, with over 500 of
those producing essential oil.)
Infection Control: antibacterial, antiviral, and anti fungal
Actions: analgesic, anti neuralgic, anti rheumatic, antiseptic,
antispasmodic, antiviral, balsamic, cicatrisant, decongestant,
deodorant, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge,
hypoglycaemic, parasiticide, prophylactic, rubefacient,
stimulant, vermifuge, vulnerary
Uses: Eucalyptus essential oil is used for respiratory
illness including asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, colds,
croup, flu, sinusitis, and tuberculosis. It is also
used for feverish conditions including malaria, typhoid,
cholera, and skin problems such as burns, ulcers, and
Safety: Eucalyptus oil is toxic if taken internally;
but non-toxic used externally. Sensitization may occur
in some individuals.
Home Remedies for Chronic Sinusitis
If you're clogged, it's important to try to clear out
your sinuses to prevent infection. Techniques include
using Alkalol or Alkalol-like ingredients in a nose
spray, neti pot, or bulb irrigator; using a steam inhaler;
taking a hot shower with water running over your head;
applying a hot compress to your nose and cheeks; dabbing
eucalyptus oil on the outside of your nose; drinking
hot tea and lots of liquids in general; and eating hot
chicken broth with garlic.
Some people find that spicy foods (seasoned with garlic,
cayenne pepper, ginger, wasabi, etc.) help open up their
sinuses, while others find them sinus irritants. One
trick is to carry wasabi (Japanese horseradish mustard)
with you. It's available in small toothpaste-type tubes
from many Asian grocery stores. Just place a dab on
your tongue when you're congested.
Some sufferers use a vaporizer/humidifier at night
to decongest, though you need to keep it clean as well
as keep the humidity in the room from rising above 50
percent to prevent mold and dust-mite growth.
Another technique is nasal massage, which can soothe
your sinuses, reduce swelling, and encourage blood flow
to the area. Gently rub the sides of your nose and your
cheeks with your fingers or knuckles.
A recent sinus article in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings,
however, has brought candida more into the mainstream
by reporting that the vast majority of sinusitis patients
studied by the Mayo Clinic have fungal growth in their
Some doctors still dispute the importance of candida
and other fungi for sinus patients because the criteria
the Mayo researchers used for measuring fungal growth
were less stringent than is commonly used and because
small amounts of fungi are commonly present even in
people not suffering from sinusitis or any other health
The Mayo doctors contend that it's not the fungi itself
in the sinuses that causes problems but the allergic
response to it by some individuals.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic are further investigating,
including developing possible new treatments.
In the meantime, anti fungal drugs such as Sporanox
and Amphotericin B are available, though they don't
penetrate the sinuses particularly well and frequently
have side effects. Also available are anti fungal diets,
such as the one described in Dr. Ivker's book.
The special anti-sinusitis diet consists primarily
of vegetables and non-red-meat sources of protein, eliminating
refined sugar, bread and other foods made with yeast,
dairy, mushrooms, fried foods, grapes and some other
fruit, alcohol, and a number of other foods and drinks.
Substances that are thought to have anti-fungal properties
include garlic, the herbs barberry and oregano, and
the bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium
bifidum, and Lactobacillus bulgaricus (in some yogurts
or available in pill form in health food stores).