Sinusitis- When Sniffles Turn Ugly
It’s always a relief when the warm weather of spring coaxes green sprouts from dried grass. At last, we can go outdoors without piling on coats and scarves. We can go to the park, enjoy the sun,breathe in the fragrant air . . . uh-oh. It’s pollen season. Many of us will try not to breathe that fragrant air, instead we close our doors and windows, turn on air filters, and begin numerous methods to prevent the dreaded onset of springtime allergy season.
But pollen is not the only particle that poses problems to the respiratory system. Dust and indoor mold can irritate the sinuses of allergic persons and colds and flu attack everyone equally. Often allergy flare-ups and colds clear up easily. Sometimes they don’t: the sinuses become inflamed and a secondary infection, known as sinusitis or a sinus infection,sets in. In this article, we will consider the structure of the sinuses, how sinusitis develops and what can be done to prevent and treat sinusitis – naturally.
Colds, flu and allergies make you sneeze because foreign invaders (benign in the case of allergies) have entered the nose. The immune system is alerted and it sends white blood cells and other immune system mediators to the area to fight the invader. Mucus-producing cells produce more mucus to flush the invaders out of the body. The resulting feeling is a stuffy, runny nose – swollen from the immune system cells rushing to the area and runny from the excess mucus.
If you follow the nasal cavity upwards, you will find the sinus cavities. These are hollowed out areas that are lined with mucus membranes. When a person has a cold or allergies,these cavities often become inflamed. Sometimes,the inflammation is so substantial that the sinuses become blocked and cannot drain into the nasal cavity. When this happens, warm mucus sitting in the sinus cavity becomes the perfect medium for bacterial growth. The majority of sinus infections are caused by bacteria that have proliferated in an inflamed, blocked sinus cavity.
While a cold usually resolves in seven to ten days, sinus it is can last three weeks or longer. A person with sinusitis may have a low-grade fever, low energy, bad-tasting mucus drainage, post-nasal drip, facial pain and pressure, nasal obstruction, sore throat and other symptoms similar to a cold. Sinusitis most often progresses from a cold or an
acute allergic condition. The presence of thick yellow or green mucus is often the telltale sign that a sinus infection has developed, according Dr. Rob Ivker, author of Sinus Survival.
While colds and allergies are inconvenient, sinus it is can become a chronic lingering condition. A person can have sinusitis for weeks, months, even years.
It is important to stop sinusitis because of its potential to initiate a cycle of sickness. Sinusitis can damage the mucus membranes that line the sinus cavities, making a person more susceptible to colds and the flu and leading to further acute cases of sinusitis. Nasal polyps can develop which also block the sinus passages and again lead to sinusitis.That’s the bad news – now for the good. There are many methods for reestablishing healthy sinuses. The firststep is recognizing that healing is an option. Your sinuses can heal, with your help. The following guidelines provide a multifaceted approach to healing sinusitis.
#1 Address the problem from many perspectives. Consider emotional, physical, and spiritual dimensions of your health. If you have sinusitis, you are probably trying to do too much. Is your body trying to get your attention? Set aside some time every day to meditate or pray. Decide to embark on healing your body, mind and spirit.
#2 Treat the problem. Wash away the infection. Using a neti pot with our Celtic Sea Salt® or other method of irrigation will literally wash out the bacteria. You can use a neti or nasal pot several times a day if you have an active infection or as needed to keep infection from recurring. If your sinus passages are blocked, try doing some light aerobic exercises before using the neti pot. This will temporarily open the passages, allowing you to rinse them out. In addition to irrigation,using a saline nasal spray throughout th
e day will help keep the mucus membranes moist and healthy. After rinsing with a neti pot, use a colloidal silver nasal spray. Anecdotal evidence suggests that colloidal silver discourages growth of bacteria. Colloidal silver is a powerful tool that can help resolve an existing sinus infection. There is another product, Xylitol Sinus Nasal Spray, which can be used to discourage bacterial growth as well. Buy today at Selina Naturally®, click HERE. Nasal irrigation, saline spray and colloidal silver nasal spray should all be used to treat a sinus infection – one is not a replacement for the other. If you are hesitant about squirting things up your nose, challenge yourself – there is no other better natural way to clear and prevent sinus infections.
#3 Get plenty of rest Most people need at least eight hours of sleep each night.When you are sick, you need more. Commit to getting better, go to bed early.
#4 Exercise. You are almost never too sick to go on a short walk. Even a brief walk will help get your lymph system moving, stimulating your immune system. As you get better, increase aerobic activity – this will help create a healthy respiratory system. Dance, run, walk and exercise in a way that challenges your respiratory system to open up and forces you to breathe deeply. If you have not broken a sweat exercising in a while, go slow and see your doctor before starting a regimen.
#5 Get hydrated with water and steam. Drink water,which thins the mucus helping it to move out of the nasal passages. Inhale steam by leaning over a pot #of water that has boiled and is taken off the heat. Put a towel over your head and put a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the steaming water. This helps to unclog and nourish the sinuses.
#6 Consider your diet. Pack your diet with fresh vegetables and you will consume a wide range of antioxidants,
vitamins, minerals and other factors that will help your immune system to function in high gear. Highly processed,sugary foods deliver no nutrients and may even contribute to congestion. If you don’t always eat as “healthy” as you believe you should, make three simple changes: whole grains instead of processed grains, lots of vegetables and no sugar.Food allergies can be a factor in sinus allergies. If you have had seasonal inhalation allergies all your life, but suddenly find that you are allergic all the time, consider the
possibility of food allergies. The most likely food culprits:dairy foods, wheat, soy, and eggs.
#7 If you are in a cycle of catching one cold after another,it is important to arm yourself against these viruses. Your sinus membranes need time to heal. Many herbalists strongly believe that taking echinacea at the first sign of a cold, several times that first day, can help your immune system fight off the virus. Certain essential oils, like tea tree and eucalyptus have anti-viral properties. Dab these oils behind your ears and on your wrists when you have that first feeling that a cold may be coming on. Consider working with an acupuncturist or other healing arts practitioner who can help you re-establish a balanced immune system.
#8 If you are having non-stop allergies, again consider the possibility of food allergies. There are a number of supplements that can help allergies, including vitamin C, quercetin, and nettle leaf. If you are unable to treat your allergies with natural measures, it may be worthwhile to see a doctor for pharmaceutical aid. With sinusitis, it is imperative to let the sinuses rest and heal. If the sinuses are under constant assault from allergies, they will not be able to heal. If a drug is necessary,it should be considered part of the treatment- eat healthy, exercise and rinse your sinuses.
#9 Pay attention to your breath. Working with the breath is a very powerful way to get in touch with your body and address deep-seated issues that may lie beneath your respiratory troubles.
#10 Still sick? See your doctor, a chiropractor, or a naturopath. Use the many healing modalities available to embrace healing. Sinusitis presents an excellent opportunity to realign your lifestyle with your ideals. We often put a high priority on health in our mind. Yet, in the day to day busyness of life our ideals can get pushed to the side. Give the healing process priority. When your sinuses heal, you too will delight in the fresh, fragrant air of spring.