Sinus Articles

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Sinusitis, both acute and chronic, causes great misery

Sinusitis, both acute and chronic, causes great misery. The worst cases seen are in cigarette addicts, but people who suffer from upper respiratory allergies may also develop bad sinus problems (pain, headache, congestion, postnasal drip, obstructed breathing, and so forth). Regular doctors treat sinusitis with a lot of drugs (antibiotics, antihistamines, decongestants, and steroids) and sometimes with surgery.

Sinus sufferers may want to try a number of actions :

Eliminate milk and all milk products from the diet, including prepared foods that list milk as an ingredient. An overwhelming majority of patients report dramatic improvement in sinus conditions after two months of this dietary change.

  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not spend time around smokers or in smoky environments.
  • Consider moving if you live in a smoggy area.
  • Equip your home with air filters
  • Practice nasal douching regularly and use this technique as a treatment for acute sinus infections also.
  • At the start of sinus trouble, put hot wet towels over the whole upper face. Work up to as much heat as you can stand and keep applying them for fifteen minutes. Do this three or four times a day. It is an excellent home treatment for sinus congestion and sinusitis, since it promotes drainage and increases blood flow to the area.

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Nasal Douching

Nasal douching is the practice of rinsing the nasal passages with a saltwater solution. It is a hygienic practice of yoga as well as a marvelous treatment for sinus problems and allergic rhinitis (as in hay fever). Most people don't like the sensation of water in the nose, and some of us associate it with distress in swimming. Therefore it takes some practice to change these reactions and master the technique. Having the water at a comfortably warm temperature with just the right concentration of salt is critical.

Dissolve one quarter teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water. This approximates the concentration of sodium in blood and tissue fluids and is soothing to mucous membranes. There are several ways to get this solution into the nose. You can pour it into your cupped hand and simply  inhale the liquid through one nostril at a time while closing the other with an index ringer. Or you can inhale it directly from a small cup or glass in the same way. You can tilt your head back and squirt the solution in gently with a rubber bulb syringe. Or you can pour it in slowly from a small container with a spout. (Yoga supply shops sell a ceramic device for this purpose that looks like a miniature Aladdin's lamp.)

However you do it, you want to get enough water in through your nose so that you can spit it out your mouth. Do this several times through each nostril, then gently blow your nose. Do not be discouraged if: you cough, splutter, and make a mess. You will soon learn to inhale the salt water neatly and efficiently and come to like the way it feels.

People with pollen allergies should do this once or twice a day during the pollen season, as should people living in smoggy areas who experience nasal irritation from airborne pollutants. People with sinus conditions should also use a nasal douche daily, as it promotes drainage of the sinuses and speeds healing of inflamed tissues. In the case of acute sinus infection, it is important to do it even more frequently, up to four times a day. It will reduce pain and end the infection more quickly.

You may also find the nasal douche helpful in relieving the congestion and irritation of colds and flus, as long as the air passages are open enough to allow inhalation of the solution. Unlike most commercial nasal sprays, warm salt water does not cause irritation, rebound stuffiness, or drug dependence. Practice the technique while you are well so that you will be ready to use it in time of need.

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