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Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus passages.
There are four pairs of sinuses in the human skull that help circulate moist air throughout the nasal passages. The common cold is the most prevalent predisposing factor to sinusitis. Hay fever, other environmental triggers, food allergens, and dental infections can also lead to sinusitis.
Acute sinusitis typically causes symptoms of nasal congestion and a thick yellow or green discharge. Other symptoms include tenderness and pain over the sinuses, frontal headaches, and sometimes chills, fever, and pressure in the area of the sinuses. Chronic sinusitis differs slightly, in that symptoms can be milder and may only include postnasal drip, bad breath, and an irritating dry cough.
A warm salt-water solution poured through the nose may offer some relief from both allergic and infectious sinusitis. A ceramic pot, known as a “neti lota” pot, makes this procedure easy. Alternatively, a small watering pot with a tapered spout may be used. Fill the pot with warm water and add enough salt so the solution tastes like tears. Stand over a sink, tilt your head far to one side so your ear is parallel to the floor, and pour the solution into the upper nostril, allowing it to drain through the lower nostril. Repeat on the other side. This procedure may be performed two or three times a day.
Some practitioners may treat sinus problems using various manipulation techniques. A single case study described treatment of chronic sinusitis and sinus headaches with spinal manipulation, massage, and a technique called: “bilateral nasal specific” (BNS). The BNS procedure involves inflating small balloons within the nasal passages, creating a change of pressure and, theoretically, a realignment of nasal bones. Initial treatment of a 41-year-old woman with manipulation and massage for approximately one year had resulted in only temporary, mild relief. Her headaches resolved immediately following each treatment that included BNS, followed by increased amounts of postnasal discharge and an improved sense of smell. At the end of two additional months of care, her headaches were reduced significantly in intensity and frequency.1
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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.