With the cold season fast approaching, it is important to learn about how to avoid and deal with sinusitis. According to the CDC, The Center for Disease Control, there are 30.8 million Americans suffer from chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis is an inflammation in the cavities of the bone surrounding the nose causing pain in the nasal passages, headaches, nasal congestion, and increased mucus discharges which is usually swept by hair cells, thus clogging the drainage system. Additional Symptoms may include earache, toothache, fever, fatigue, neck pain which can be a manifestation of sinusitis affecting sphenoid sinuses felt behind the eyes. Sinusitis pain is felt around the eyes, nose, cheeks, and forehead and gets worse with coughing, sneezing or leaning down. Sinus tooth pain affects the upper teeth and felt like dull ache as a result of fluid builds up in the sinus cavity leading to sinus tooth pain.
Chronic sinusitis can lead to the formation of nasal polyps which can obstruct the sinuses passageways. Diagnostic tests such as CT scan, MRI can show details of the sinuses, inflammation, deviated septum or obstructing polyp. There are certain factors leading to increased inflammation such as exposure to smoke, pollens and even certain foods intake which increases inflammation in the body such as Gluten, refined carbohydrates, fried food, and white sugar. On the contrary, there are some foods that decrease the associated inflammation in the body such as green leafy vegetables, kidney beans, warm chicken nodules, tart cherries, and wild salmon.
Sinus headache can be triggered by allergic reactions, fungal infection, pollen after rain There are common allergies such as grass, shellfish, nuts, and eggswhich cause inflammation of the nasal passages leading to chronic sinusitis. Since most allergies in the environment can not be avoided, it would be best to minimize exposure to pollen or ragweed by staying indoors, using HEPA filters, take antihistamines. Elevating the head of the bed to reduce postnasal drip, use anti-reflux therapy would decrease associated cough resulting from reflux.
Avoiding sinus infections could be accomplished by frequently washing hands, avoid nasal irritants, frequent deep nasal irrigation is an effective method in preventing sinusitis as done many times daily before Muslim prayers for example but saline nasal irrigation is similarly effective Swim in the saltwater pool, which is less irritant than chlorinated pools, maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid smoking and use of immune-suppressive drugs and minimize use of systemic steroids but may use steroid nasal sprays like Flonase. Avoid inappropriate use of antibiotics as it may lead to secondary fungal infections. Using mucus-thinning agents such as ( Mucomyst)would be helpful to loosen the nasal discharges. Aspirin desensitization treatment could be attempted with aspirin allergy. Black seed therapy to boost the immune system is very effective in preventing sinusitis. Look testimonials in the link below.
ENT ( Ear, Nose, and Throat) Specialist evaluation would be appropriate if symptoms of chronic sinusitis persist after adequate antibiotic therapy looking for polyps, deviated septum or congenital narrowing of the paranasal passages. Careful use of decongestants is advised as they contain ( phenylephrine) which can cause elevation of the blood pressure and cause jitters and anxiety. If all the above measures failed to work and chronic sinusitis symptoms recur or persist, the ENT Specialist may consider performing a procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty where a small balloon-tipped catheter is inserted into the sinus passages and then the balloon is inflated to widen the sinus passage, then deflate the balloon and remove the catheter with very short recovery time. Finally, endoscopic sinus surgery is a more invasive procedure used to remove polyps, nasal cysts, and excess tissues to widen the sinuses. and done under general anesthesia.