A runny nose and headache can mean a common cold, but it can also be a symptom of acute sinusitis. What is worse, every year even a few million people struggle with this disease without knowing it. It is estimated that as many as one third of Poles are affected by acute sinusitis and one fifth suffer from its chronic form. How to cure sinuses? Find out by reading this article!
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What is sinusitis?
The paranasal sin uses are air-filled cavities within the skull, connected to the nasal cavity. In addition to their function as a shock absorber for the delicate structures of the brain, they play other roles, such as humidifying the air inhaled through the nose. They include the frontal sinuses, the maxillary sinuses, the ethmoid cells, and the wedge sinus.
Sinusitis is an inflammatory process of the mucous membrane lining the interior of the sinuses resulting from disorders of natural ventilation. As a result, the removal of mucus is impeded and secretions clogging the sinus cavities accumulate. Bacteria multiply, causing the infection to spread, and the air, which cannot escape, presses on the sinus walls causing pain. Inflammation may be acute, in which case it passes after about 3 weeks, chronic, lasting much longer, about 8 weeks, or recurrent, when an acute episode occurs several times a year.
While healthy sinuses do not cause any trouble, diseased ones can make life unbearable. Inflammation and its symptoms result from a bacterial or viral infection. The symptoms include pain in the sinuses, located in the area of the sinus affected by the infection, high fever, nasal obstruction, intense secretion flowing into the throat and sometimes coughing.
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Acute and chronic sinusitis
The acute form of infection is characterized by a sudden onset associated with a cold or infection with bacteria or viruses. Typical symptoms usually subside after about 2-3 weeks. However, acute inflammations may have a recurrent character despite the applied treatment. Then we are dealing with the chronic form, when the disease appears several times a year, or persists for about 8 weeks in the case of adults and even 12 in the case of children.
In such situations, especially when, despite a change in the method of treatment, the symptoms not only do not disappear but they even intensify, surgical intervention is sometimes necessary. The point is to remove the pathological changes that have occurred as a result of long-term infection.
Chronic, untreated or inadequately treated sinusitis may last for years and have a mild course, with periods of exacerbation of the disease. There is no doubt that symptoms, which intensify even from time to time, significantly worsen the patients’ comfort of life. Persistent catarrh, headaches, blocked nose and secretion flowing down the throat are certainly not pleasant.
How to cure ill sinuses?
In the treatment of acute inflammation preparations containing ibuprofen, which has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, and pseudoephedrine, which reduces swelling of mucous membrane and decongests the nasal cavity and sinus mouth, are used. In more severe cases, the doctor may include antibiotics and steroids.
Modern medicine has at its disposal good tools enabling proper diagnosis and making decisions concerning further treatment. Such a tool is, for example, endoscopic examination, which allows for a precise view and assessment of the condition and possible changes within the nasal cavity and sinus inlets. With recurrent inflammation, a swab and culture are sometimes performed to determine what bacteria are causing the disease.
Sometimes sinus treatment requires surgical intervention. This occurs when an ENT specialist determines permanent and significant pathological changes in the sinuses. Surgical treatment is also necessary in case of congenital or acquired anatomical abnormalities of the sinuses which prevent proper airflow. The most precise examination before surgery is computed tomography of the nose and sinuses, which allows detection of any anatomical anomalies, changes resulting from inflammation, and their extent.
Home remedies for sinuses
If we are dealing with an individual infection in the initial stage, it is worth trying to cure sinuses with the help of natural methods available to everyone. As with a runny nose, the number one method in terms of effectiveness will be inhalations for sinuses. For this purpose, you can use:
- Table salt – add a few tablespoons of salt to a pot of hot water, stir, cover your head with a towel, and inhale the steam for a few minutes. Perform inhalations once a day for 5 days.
- Herbal infusions – chamomile, thyme, peppermint, sage, purgative. Brew 50 grams of herbs in a liter of water, inhale about 10 minutes, once a day, for several days.
- Essential oils – thyme, pine, almond, eucalyptus, peppermint. Add a few drops of oil to hot water, repeat inhalation as above.
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Not a very pleasant, but effective method is rinsing the frontal sinuses. This type of treatment cleanses the nose and sinuses, facilitates breathing, relieves pain. Distilled water, sea water or saline are used for irrigation. Rinsing can be done with a nasal pear, a pipette, a dropper. It should last no longer than a few minutes, and if there is pain or bleeding, it should be stopped immediately.
Another home remedy for sinuses is warm compresses. They are applied locally, for example, at the base of the nose, and are made, among other things, of heated salt, which is wrapped in a clean cloth and applied to the painful area.
Finally, various herbs for sinuses work very well, used not only externally, in the form of inhalations, but also internally, in the form of syrups, infusions, teas and tinctures. Here are examples of applications:
- Thyme sy rup – pour a bunch of fresh thyme into 1.5 liters of water, boil over low heat for half an hour, after cooling add 2 tablespoons of buckwheat honey and the juice of one lemon. We take 3 times a day after one spoon.
- Lime blossom and dried raspberries infusion – one teaspoon of herbs brew for about 10 minutes, after cooling add honeydew honey, drink 5 times a day.
- Tinctureof garlic and mullein flower – 10 chopped cloves of garlic mixed with a handful of dried herb, pour a glass of spirit and leave in a dark place for 2-3 weeks. Then strain, pour into a bottle and leave for another 5 weeks. Drink 3 times a day.
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