What is Sinusitis?

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This is an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the paranasal sinuses. If often follows the common cold, influenza and other general infections. Germs which are usually eliminated from body sometimes find their way into these sinuses or chambers on either side of the nasal passage, leading to sinus trouble.

The sinuses consist of cavities or chambers contained in the bones situated in the head and face region. The frontal, maxillary, ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses are the paranasal sinuses which communicate with the nose. The frontal sinuses lie on the frontal bone directly above the eyes.

The maxillary sinuses are located one on each side of the nose under the cheekbone. The ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses are situated behind the nose or either sideof it. These air sinuses lighten the weight of the skull and give resonance to the voice.

Signs & Symptoms of Sinusitis


The symptoms of sinusitis are excessive or constant sneezing, a running nose, blockage of one or both nostrils, headaches and pressure around the head, eyes and face. Sinus headaches are usually felt in the forehead and in the face just below the eyes.

The patient may suffer from a low grade fever, lack of appetite, loss of sense of appetite, and toothache. He feels miserable because of difficulty in breathing. The voice is also affected because of the blocked nose.

What Causes Sinusitis?

Sinusitis results from the congestion of the sinus passages due to catarrh. It is caused by over-secretion of mucus in the membranes lining the nose, throat and head. This over-secretion is due to irritation caused by toxins in the blood.

A faulty diet is thus the real cause of sinus trouble. When a person consumes certain types of foods or drinks regularly, these, in due course, have a conditioning effect on the entire system. As a result,some persons become more sensitive to certain allergens, whose reaction ultimately turns into sinusitis.

Risk Factors:

Sinus and Sinus Attack in Children

Sinus might seem like common cold at first. The child coughs, sneezes and gets a red nose, like in cold. But the difference is that sinus attack last longer than common cold. Sinuses are spaces in the bones of the face and the head which are filled with air.

They are exactly located on both sides of the nose, behind the nasal cavity, within the forehead, and at the back & in between the eyes. Sinuses grow in pairs and there are four pairs of them.

Sinuses begin to develop in the mother womb and grow till twenty years of age. As children have an incompletely developed immune system, they catch cold infection more frequently.

The actual purposes of the sinuses are not known, but scientists say that they make the head lightweight as these air pockets are filled with light air. If these air pockets were to be replaced with something solid, the head will become heavier.

The sinuses also provide tone and depth to the voice. That is the reason why the voice sounds funny when a person catches a cold or gets a sinus attack. The sinuses are covered with a thin and moist tissue layer known as a mucous membrane. These membranes are responsible for adding moisture to the air breathed in.

They also produce mucus, a sticky liquid filled in the nose, also called snot. This sticky liquid catches germs and dust, which are carried by the air, before they enter the body. The mucus membranes are covered with cilia or microscopic hair.

These cilia move to and fro to encourage the flow of the mucus out of the nose and back inside. When the sinuses are infected, the membranes produce more mucus and become swollen and irritated.

When a person catches cold, the virus harms the cilia and the mucus doesn’t get swept back in. This is how a runny nose is developed. The mucus lining swells within the nose. This narrows or completely blocks the minute opening of the sinus into nose.

Because of this, the stickier and thicker mucus produced get trapped in the sinuses. This stagnant mucus becomes the breeding ground for virus, bacteria and fungi. If the common cold stretches for over two weeks, the sinusitis condition develops. This condition is sinus infection.

Acute sinusitis is sinusitis stretching over two weeks or so. But when it crosses three months, it is called chronic sinusitis. The child can get mild fever along with acute sinusitis. There is no fever associated with chronic sinusitis and the symptoms are less intense.

The symptoms of sinusitis or sinus attacks are mild fever, bad breath, continuous nasal discharge, puffy eyes, and daytime cough. Some children also experience low energy, crankiness, headache and pain behind the forehead, cheeks and eyes.

When the doctor is approached for help, he/she will check throat, nose and ears for infection. The sinuses are also checked. The doctor will press or tap on the cheeks and forehead. If bacteria are responsible for causing the infection, the child will be given antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

The antibiotics will show their effect within few days itself. A nasal spray or decongestant can also be used to treat blocked and runny nose. If it is chronic sinusitis, the antibiotics need to be taken for a longer time period, like for about a few weeks, in order to kill the bacteria completely.

The child shouldn’t stop the course of medicine if he/she isn’t seeing any improvement in the condition. The doctor should be contacted for further instructions. In this case, a surgery is an alternative. The doctor will ask the child to get a CT scan of the sinuses.

The best thing about sinusitis is that it isn’t contagious. So if a kid is infected with it, he/she can still go to school and have fun with the rest of the kids. But kids who have sinus problem should stay away from environmental pollutants and allergies, which can trigger the condition again in them.


When the doctor is approached for help, he/she will check throat, nose and ears for infection. The sinuses are also checked. The doctor will press or tap on the cheeks and forehead. If bacteria are responsible for causing the infection, you will be given antibiotics to kill the bacteria.

The antibiotics will show their effect within few days itself. A nasal spray or decongestant can also be used to treat blocked and runny nose. If it is chronic sinusitis, the antibiotics need to be taken for a longer time period, like for about a few weeks, in order to kill the bacteria completely.

Self Care strategies for Living with Sinusitis

Plenty of sleep, adequate rest and fresh air are essential in the treatment of sinus trouble.

Patients should avoid the use of perfumes and strongly scented hair oil.

Sinus infections are infections of the sinus cavities, located in the cheeks, ears and forehead. Often caused by viruses, the infections can be particularly hard to get rid of. A bad cold or hay fever can turn into a sinus infection, and they often happen to people who smoke. They can sometimes effectively be treated with herbal remedies.

• Echinacea – This herb helps boost the immune system and is known to help fight off infections, particularly sinus infections. Take as soon as you feel an infection coming on and continue to take every two hours. You need to take it frequently at the onset of the illness in order to get the best results. You can take up to nine 400-milligram capsules per day.

• Astragalus – Taken over a long period of time, astragalus helps boost the immune system slowly. It builds up the immune system of people who get sinus infections often, and is most commonly taken in capsule form.

• Oregon Graperoot – This herb is an antimicrobial, as well as astringent and an anti-inflammatory. It can be used to treat a number of infections, including sinus infections. Commonly found in tincture form, take 15 drops at a time up to three times per day.

• Garlic – Garlic has properties that help fight bacteria. Overcooking deactivates the ingredient that fights bacteria, so it is best used raw. Garlic capsules are widely available.

Diet change strategies:

Using Ayurveda Therapy:

Correcting the faulty diet is of utmost importance in the treatment of sinusitis. Patients should take a balanced diet. Most persons with sinus trouble also suffer from acidity. Their diet should, therefore, veer to the alkaline side. The intake of salt should be reduced to the minimum as salt leads to accumulation of water in the tissues and expels calcium from the body.

In the acute stage of the disease, when fever is present, the patient should abstain from all solid foods and only drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices diluted with water on a 50 : 50 basis. After fever subsides, he may adopt a low-calorie raw fruit and vegetable diet with plenty of raw juices.

After the acute symptoms are over, the patient may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet of three basic food groups, namely seeds, nuts and grains ; vegetables and fruits. IN persistent chronic conditions, repeated short juice fasts may be undertaken for a week or so at intervals of two months.

Those suffering from sinusitis should completely avoid fried and starchy foods, white sugar, white flour, rice, macaroni products, pies, cakes and candies. They should also avoid strong spices, meat and products. Butter and ghee should be used sparingly. Honey should be used for sweetening. All cooked foods should be freshly prepared for each meal.

Vegetables should be taken in liberal quantities. All kinds of fruits can be taken with the exception of those belonging to citrus group such as lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. Milk should be taken in liberal quantities as it contains calcium which has a marked effect in overcoming inflammation of the tissues.

A diet rich in vitamin A is the best insurance against cold and sinus trouble. Vitamin A is the "membrane conditioner" as it helps build healthy mucus membranes in the head and throat. Some of the valuable sources of this vitamin are whole milk, curds, egg yolk, pumpkin, carrot, leafy vegetables, tomato, oranges, mango and papaya.

When the sinus trouble has already developed, relief can be obtained by taking vitamin A in large therapeutic doses of 25,000 I.U. per day. Vitamin C has also proved beneficial in the treatment of sinusitis and the patient should take one gram of this vitamin per day in two therapeutic doses of 500 mg. each.

One of the most effective remedies for sinus problems is to eat pungent herbs like garlic and onion which tend to break up mucous congestion all through the respiratory tract. One should begin with small mild doses and increase them gradually. Beneficial results can also be achieved by adding these herbs in moderate amounts to regular meals.

Carrot juice used separately or in combination with juices of beet and cucumber or with spinach juice is highly beneficial in the treatment of sinus trouble. 100 ml. each of beet and cucumber juice or 200 ml. of spinach juice should be mixed with 300 ml. of carrot juice in these combinations.

Water Treatment

Cold application over the sinus will give great relief ; alternate hot and cold applications will also prove beneficial. Take pans of hot and cold water, bathe the whole face with hot water - as hot as you can bear - and then apply cold water for short duration. Nasal inhalation of steam for five minutes every hour will also give relief.

Yogasanas such as viparitkarani, bhujangasana, yogamudra and shavasana, yogic kriyas , such as jalneti and sutraneti and pranayamas like anuloma-viloa and suryabhedan will be beneficial in the treatment of sinus trouble.

Vitamin & Nutrient Associations

Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.

It's for this reason that more and more medical authorities are advocating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements. However, finding them in the right combination can be both confusing and costly.

The nutrition products I am going to recommend you make use of knowledge gained from the botanical world's 6,000 year history. They incorporated health building nutritional herbs with the best modern technology to help our bodies cleanse and detoxify so that the cells - the tiniest living units - can be as fully nourished as possible.

This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.

One age old herbal support for hayfever and sinus allergies is guarana in it’s natural form.

Aloe Vera Juice is a refreshing and anti-bacterial drink, you might find that taking this daily, diluted in some filtered water will not only refresh you like ‘a shower inside you’ but also assists in dealing with any digestive issues you may also be experiencing.

You may find benefit from our information on detoxification as well as a bit about detoxing because of change of diet

It may be due to difficulties with your digestive system that is causing your body to be starved of key nutrients, vitamins or minerals. In this case you may find useful answers by reviewing our article on Nutrition For Your Cells. There is also more information here about why is nutrition such an issue nowadays?

It may be that your metabolism has slowed due to pressures that have been placed on your system through life in general or through specific “challenges” you have faced in the last few months or last few years. Review this by looking at our article about balancing your Metabolic Rate.

Further reading through our articles on Sinusitis health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.

We wish you well in your search for solutions to this Sinusitis problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.

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