The sinuses are thin, air filled chambers in the cartilage around the nose, sides of the forehead, the eye sockets and in the cheekbones. When sinus openings are obstructed, infected pus collects in these pockets causing pain and swelling.
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus mucous membranes. Symptoms of sinusitis include: difficulty breathing, mucous clogged head, feel achy, have pain behind your eyes, throbbing facial pain, runny nose, inflamed nasal passages, greenish discharge dripping down your throat, loss of smell and taste, indigestion, and bad breath, frequent sore throats, earaches, toothaches.
Suppressive over the counter sinus medications can trigger an infection by not allowing the draining of infective material, and aggravate one by driving the infection deeper into sinus cavities. Trapped or stagnant mucous provides a breeding ground for bacteria so keep it fluid by drinking plenty of liquids, preferably purified water.
Sinusitis can be caused by a fungal, viral or bacterial infection, can be triggered by an allergy, overuse of nose drops with benzalkonium chloride preserver in the drops, deviated nasal septum, tooth infection, enlarged or infected adenoids in children, or complications of cystic fibrosis, GERD, or immune system disorders.
How to prevent sinusitis
Avoid upper respiratory infections
Minimize contact with people who have colds
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before meals
Carefully manage your allergies
Avoid cigarette smoke and polluted air
Use a humidifier
Adding moisture to the air may help prevent sinusitis
Be sure the humidifier stays clean and free of mold with regular, thorough cleaning
How to relieve symptoms of sinusitis
At the first sign of infection combine 1-2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in 6 ounces of water, a teaspoon of raw honey to sweeten and drink 3 times a day for 5 days.
Apply warm compresses to your face, eases facial pain
Rinse out your nasal passages
Sleep with your head elevated. This helps sinuses drain, reducing congestion
What can be done
Avoid or limit
Environmental allergens (house dust, animals, foods, pollens, molds)
Tobacco smoke and chemical irritants will cause further swelling of the mucous membranes
Add or increase
Lightly cooked vegetables
Soups (clear broth based)
Herbs (Cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, horseradish)
Get plenty of rest ( aids your body in fighting the infection and speeds recovery)
Page, L. (2004). Healthy healing: A guide to self-healing for everyone.(12th ed.). Healthy Healing, Inc.