By definition, sinusitis is a common condition where there is inflammation of the paranasal sinuses. What usually causes the inflammation are allergies, viruses, fungi, bacteria and even autoimmune reaction. The nasals in our noses are a pair of hollow pockets surrounding the bones. These hollow pockets produce a slimy secretion called mucus. The mucus then drains down the nose which keeps our nasal passages moist while trapping dirt and other particles. However, when these pockets get clogged, inflammation or swelling occurs along the lining. As a result, the swelling causes infection and becomes uncomfortable and painful.
What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
Experiencing sinusitis is commonly noted by, feelings of congestion, pressure on the face particularly around the nose, as well as abnormally thick discolored mucus discharge. However, the symptom may vary for every person and usually depends on the duration and intensity of the infection.
For a person who is diagnosed with acute sinusitis, they would usually experience one or two of the following symptoms followed by thick, yellow or green nasal mucus discharge.
– Frequent nasal discharge
– Pain around the face and nose
– Frequent coughing
– Blocked nose
– Sense of smell reduced
In severe cases of sinusitis, symptoms may last up to 12 weeks or more and may be diagnosed with chronic sinusitis. Individuals with chronic sinusitis would experience the following:
– Foul smelling breath or halitosis
– Feeling fever
– Constantly tired and fatigue
What are the types of sinusitis?
Sinusitis is caused as a result of flu or cold viruses that spread to the sinus passages in the nose. This blocks the passage of the mucus from draining to the nose which builds up and causes inflammation. However, there are different types of sinusitis depending on the length of time it is experienced.
These different types of sinusitis are:
– Acute sinusitis: This is the most common type of sinusitis. A person would experience congestion, pinched throat, thick mucus discharge and pressure surrounding the nose area. A person would acute sinusitis would more likely recover quickly and would usually last up to four weeks.
– Subacute sinusitis: This often occurs when symptoms would last longer than the normal period a person experiences sinusitis.
– Chronic sinusitis: In cases like these, symptoms may last longer and may occur more than once in a year. This would usually require invasive treatment and even surgery. A visit to the doctor will also be recommended if this occurs.
At some point in our lives, we’ve experienced the pressure and pain of sinusitis. Sinusitis is a common condition for a lot of people especially in cold are dusty areas. More often than not, people can recover quickly from sinusitis without medical or therapeutic interventions. However, experiencing sinusitis can have drastic effects on our daily life as it disrupts our concentration at home or work.
Can sinusitis be prevented?
Yes, sinusitis can be prevented. However, like any other health conditions, it would mean being aware of the kind of environment that would trigger recurring sinusitis infection. Some of these preventions include:
– Avoid smoking and places that allow second-hand smoking
– Practice good hygiene like frequently washing your hands
– Maintain and update vaccinations
– Avoid being around people who are suffering from colds and respiratory problems
– Keep the air around your home moist and clean
– Avoid allergens like certain plants and pets, and keep your face covered in dusty places.
Sinusitis cases that are less severe can quickly be recovered from and treated naturally to unclog and relieve sinuses at home. Below are some of the alternative and natural remedies you can try at home to clear sinuses and ease the pain and pressure of sinusitis.
1. Nasal Flushing or nasal spray
A saline nasal spray can be one way to help clear the blockage in the sinuses. The solution can be easily made at home with just ¼ pint of clean, sterile water, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and ¼ teaspoon of salt. You need to combine the ingredients and sniff in through the nose using cupped palms, one at a time. Alternatively, you can also mix all the ingredients into a dry and clean spray bottle and spray the solution inside each nostril with the spray nozzle.
2. Keep the air moist by using a humidifier
Since it is important for people suffering from sinusitis to keep their sinuses moist, using a humidifier at home can do just that. It is usually recommended to use during dry and hot conditions. This is because high levels of humidity at extended periods can breed molds and fungi. Also, it is important to keep the humidifier clean at all times.
Inhaling steam is also a simple and good way to clear clogged sinuses. This is because the moist in steam can open the nasal passages and relieve the pressure. It is also easy to do at home as you would only need to boil water and pour it into a large bowl. Once that’s done, simply face the bowl and lean towards it so that your face is directly above the bowl as the steam rises. You can also cover your head with a towel and breathe in slowly through the nose.
4. Put more spice into your food
If you’re into spicy stuff, foods like hot peppers, curry, wasabi, horseradish are known to help clear sinuses. The spices in the food would create a mild burning sensation which would help clear the sinuses.
5. Consider taking decongestant tablets and painkillers
Decongestant tablets may help lessen the swelling and pressure and allows the mucus to drain. Painkillers would help in reducing symptoms of fever and pain around the face.
6. A warm compress for relief
Aside from steam, a warm compress can also help clear the blocked sinuses and lessen discomfort, especially around the affected areas. Simply place a warm compress or towel around the affected area to reduce swelling.
7. Plenty of rest and hydration
Water and rest are practically essential for all aspects of our health. It is important to regularly drink lots of fluids to relieve symptoms as well avoiding too much exertion.
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