Sinusitis

Sinusitis

This is such a horrid condition. In my experience, it is normally down to an allergy of some kind, or to the body not being able to fight off a fungal or bacterial infection.

I have written a more complex factsheet for Sinusitis, which you can download for free here.

Here’s a bit to start you off…I hope it helps.

The sinuses are the eight bony cavities around the nose. A ‘sinus’ describes a cavity of some kind and the suffix ‘itis’ means inflammation. The sinuses themselves are simply extensions of the nose and are connected via ducts the size of a pencil lead. The cavities are lined with mucous membranes which produce mucous and if the membrane of one or more of the cavities becomes infected, the sinuses become blocked with thick mucus which cannot drain via the ducts and the resulting sinusitis can be very painful.

There is always some degree of sinusitis with any cold, but it is when the infection becomes trapped and persists that problems can occur. The main symptoms include pain in the face or gums, often with the pain getting worse on leaning forward, a persistent headache, most often over the eyes, a foul taste in the mouth, loss of smell, hearing problems, fever, a blocked nose and sometimes a bloody discharge coming from it.

In an acute attack, often following a cold, hayfever, damp foggy weather or even stress, the person can feel ill and quite feverish for several days. If you have thick mucous that clears after a week, it is unlikely you have an infection in the sinuses; if it is clear but you don’t have any other cold-like symptoms, you probably have an allergy of some kind, but if the mucous turns yellow or greenish, an infection is probably present. Similarly, if you suffer from colds more than 4 times a year, you are more likely to be suffering from an allergy.

Causes and Important Factors

Sinusitis is most commonly started by having a cold and results in infection of the mucous membranes. However, allergy to either food or airborne allergens is also a major factor in chronic sinusitis.

The most common food allergens seem to be milk, wheat, corn and yeast in that order, although eggs, citrus fruits and peanut butter also figure strongly in research. Other additives, sugars, colourings etc also play a part. The typical chronic sinusitis sufferer seems to have an ‘acid-reacting’ diet, eating too many starches and dairy foods, and lacking in raw green vegetables. It is believed by naturopaths that this type of diet causes mucous production and congestion. In addition, irritants such as pesticides and an over acidic blood level causes irritation and ultimately inflammation which is often then exacerbated by bacterial infection in the sinuses. Often, people have used suppressive drugs to stop the symptoms of colds and this is a bit like driving the infection underground waiting for it to pop up in more serious guise later on, as in sinusitis.

There may also be an underlying dental or gum infection, nasal growths or damage to the nasal bones which can all affect the health of the sinuses.

Sinusitis is also said to be linked to bowel problems, especially constipation, and to people who are mentally ‘constipated’ ie who can’t show emotion and are inflexible, or who have suppressed grief.

Continue reading here, the next section is all about treatments…

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