What are sinuses?
Sinuses are connected systems of various size hollow sockets in your skull, more precisely, in your cheekbones and forehead. These sockets are laid out with pink tissue called mucosa. This tissue produces mucus, which is drained into nose through small pathways.
What is sinusitis?
Inflammation of paranasal sinuses is called sinusitis. Infection in sinuses overly stimulate mucus secretion (same as regular cold), therefore openings of the nose get shut. Most often cheekbone (maxillary) sinuses are affected. Individuals who suffer from sinusitis often feel strong sense of pressure on the forehead and/or cheekbones. These symptoms worsen, when performing usual everyday activities like bending over, coughing or sneezing.
Types of Sinusitis – Acute and Chronic
There are two forms of sinusitis, acute sinusitis is lighter version of disease, which we know as just a regular cold. In essence it is bacterial infection lasting up till 3 weeks. It can also come as the result of untreated allergies.
More severe type of this illness is chronic sinusitis and it is defined as chronic, in case symptoms do not subside for 4 weeks. More often it is caused by prolonged inflammation and if not treated properly, it can last for years and lead to serious health complications.
Symptoms of sinusitis
Symptoms of an acute and chronic sinusitis are very similar. The difference is that symptoms for acute sinusitis is temporary, on the contrary, symptoms for chronic nature of disease last longer and cause more dullness. Sinusitis symptoms include:
- Increased mucus production
- Nasal obstruction
- Smell and taste disorders
- Headache, toothache, ear and facial pain
- Sore throat and cough
- Bad breath (halitosis), bad taste in mouth
- Fatigue, irritability and nausea
- Obstructive sleep apnea
What are the causes?
Most commonly sinusitis is caused by either flu or cold virus. In addition, bacterial infection can be possible source as well. Some of the other most common causal agents for sinusitis are:
- Allergies ( allergic rhinitis, asthma or hay fever)
- Anatomical features (bent nasal septum, enlarged nasal concha or narrowed sinuses)
- Nasal polyps (growths inside the nose)
- Weakened immune system
- Irritation of sinuses lining (e.g. from chlorine in swimming pool)
- Bacteria and germs inside sinuses
If action is taken as soon as any of the previously mentioned symptoms appear, many times sinusitis can be cured without any use of antibiotics or other heavy medications. For instance, simple methods such as steam inhalation (thyme, sage or chamomile) or nose irrigation with salt water can make tremendous improvements and heal this unpleasant illness.
In addition, here are some foods you should avoid in order speed up your recovery:
- Dairy products
- Trans fats
- Heat-producing foods (strong spices, hot roasted or hot tempered meals)
However, when the sinusitis persists, oftentimes antibiotics and other medications like cortisone are used. Apart from the fact that this might be an effective way to cure this complication, considerable side effects could be an accessory.
Consequently, other, healthier methods such as acupuncture are recommended.
Acupuncture and sinusitis
From the standpoint of acupuncture, sinusitis is viewed as more complex issue. Therefore deeper cause is found in digestive tract, where lack of energy leads to accumulation of dampness and mucus. This results in mucus occurrence in respiratory pathways leading to energy reduction in respiratory system. Subsequently, body’s immune system gets negatively influenced due to reduced lung energy.
Big factor leaving impact on this problem and as well in our overall health – is stress. Each and every one of use cope with it in different way and often times stress manifests itself as a failure in particular parts of our body.
Prolonged stress and repressed emotions can lead to liver energy depletion, thus resulting in heat which dries out mucous membranes of the sinuses. Therefore, sinuses become clogged.
The goal of acupuncture is to strengthen digestion, lung and defense energy. And the regained balance in energy flow helps to reduce stress, this leads to a side effect free regeneration of your sinusitis and the associated symptoms.
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