If you have ever felt your head laden with weight, especially while fighting a cold, you’re probably familiar with the unbearable pain of sinusitis. You may be equally aware of how recurrent and stubborn the condition can be. Today, let’s explore the various ways that can help make the aches and blocks a rarity.
What triggers sinusitis?
Chronic sinus inflammation occurs when normally harmless, or even pathogenic bacteria, infect the paranasal sinuses, which are roomy cavities present in the skull. The human body responds with an immune response, thus causing swelling of the inner lining of the sinuses, thickens the mucous and blocks the drainage of nasal secretions.
Apart from bacterial infections, sinusitis is also commonly triggered by other causes such as:
- Allergic rhinitis (inflammation of the lining of the nose)
- Common cold
- Nasal polyps (small outgrowths of the lining of the nose)
- Deviated nasal septum
All these can lead to pain concentrated between the eyebrows, or arches of your cheek, depending on the sinus affected; sinusitis can also cause upper toothache, nasal congestion, loss of smell, headache, fever and bad breath.
What can you do at home to clear your sinuses?
Nasal irrigation is an excellent way to clear out the culpable cavities. A practice known to ancient health practitioners of India, you too can make an easy homemade solution with just half a teaspoon each of table salt (non-iodized) and baking soda mixed with previously boiled water. With the help of a syringe or a neti pot, rinsing the solution through one nostril at a time can help decrease dependence on nasal decongestants and antibiotics, while giving immediate relief.
Steam inhalation has also seen to decrease congestion, help clear the thick mucus secretions and is highly recommended.
What other treatments are available for sinusitis?
If your sinusitis hasn’t lasted long, your doctor may recommend a short course antibiotic and nasal decongestant. Avoid using them longer than recommended as that can lead to relapse of symptoms. Painkillers may help with the headache.
If the sinusitis is recurrent and due to anatomical reasons such as a deviated septum or nasal polyp, your ENT surgeon may recommend you undergo a minor procedure to correct the defect. No treatment is necessarily permanent, and as each case is different, it is best to take an appointment with your ENT specialist to discuss your concerns specifically.