Sinuses are four pairs of air-filled cavities located in the skull in the region around the nose and the eyes.
These sinuses are:
- Frontal sinuses; located above the eyes, in the center region of each eyebrow
- Maxillary sinuses; located within the cheekbones, just to either side of the nose
- Ethmoid sinuses; located between the eyes, just behind the bridge of the nose.
- Sphenoid sinuses; located just behind the ethmoid sinuses, and behind the eyes.
Inflammation in the inner layer of these cavities is known as sinusitis. This is also known as a sinus infection or rhino-sinusitis. When this happens, the sinuses get swollen and mucus secretion gets blocked inside the sinuses. The sinusitis can be infectious as well as non infectious. Sinusitis is a common condition. It affects about between 10% and 30% of people each year. Women are more often affected than men. Chronic sinusitis affects approximately 12.5% of people.
Rosenfeld, RM; Piccirillo, JF; Chandrasekhar, SS; Brook, I; Ashok Kumar, K; Kramper, M; Orlandi, RR; Palmer, JN; Patel, ZM; Peters, A; Walsh, SA; Corrigan, MD (April 2015). "Clinical practice guideline (update): adult sinusitis executive summary.". Otolaryngology--head and neck surgery : official journal of American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 152 (4): 598–609.
Allergic reaction to pollens, animal fur, certain foods and beverages, hay fever, deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, impairment in ciliary function (there are small hair like parts in our nose which prevent travelling of infectious agents or harmful substances to sinuses), impaired immunity, bacterial infection or fungi (in rare cases like immune-compromised cases), respiratory tract infections are found to be the common cause of sinusitis.
Both smoking and second hand smoke are associated with chronic sinusitis.
Maxillary sinusitis may also be of dental origin given the close proximity of the teeth and the sinus floor. This constitutes about 20 % of all cases of maxillary sinusitis. Sometimes such maxillary sinusitis may spread to the orbit or to the ethmoid sinus.
Chronic sinusitis can also be caused indirectly through a common but slight abnormality within the auditory or Eustachian tube, which is connected to the sinus cavities and the throat. This tube is usually almost level with the eye sockets but when this sometimes hereditary abnormality is present, it is below this level and sometimes level with the vestibule or nasal entrance. What is of interest here is there are many people who will have sinutis attacks inspite of removal of above causes and there are people who get the attacks post a stressful event, this shows that there are reasons beyond the above stated. This aspect is considered while homeopathic treatment is planned as homeopathic considers a person’s tendency to catch a disease and targets to treat that.
Christine Radojicic. "Sinusitis". Disease Management Project. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved November 26, 2012
Chronic sinusitis and acute sinusitis have similar signs and symptoms, but acute sinusitis is a temporary infection of the sinuses often associated with a cold.
At least two of the following signs and symptoms must be present for a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis:
- Passage of a thick , yellowish or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of throat (called post nasal drip or discharge)
- Nasal obstruction, blocked nose, obstructed sensation in the nose causing difficulty of breathing through the nose.
- Pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
Other signs and symptoms could be:
- Ear pain
- Runny nose
- Reduced sense of smell
- Bad breath ( halitosis)
- Bad taste in mouth at times
- Cough with mucus production (more at night when lying down)
- Teeth pain
- Blocked sensation in one or both ears
- Soreness in throat
Chronic sinusitis can have symptoms of lesser severity and will have facial pain or pressure, olfactory disturbance, halitosis, constant irritation in throat and tendency to clear the throat , Cough (worse when lying down)
Diagnosis can be confirmed clinically as well as getting a par nasal sinuses x ray done. CT might be needed in certain cases.
This visual inspection will also help rule out physical conditions that trigger sinusitis, such as nasal polyps or other abnormalities.
In some cases the diagnosis is tricky, because the symptoms so often resemble those of an uncomplicated cold. However, sinusitis should bestrongly suspected when a cold lingers beyond about a week's time.
A simple test used by practitioners is using a flashlight pressed up against the skin of the cheek the practitioner will look in the patient'sopen mouth. When the sinuses are full of air (undernormal conditions), the light will project through thesinus, and will be visible on the roof of the mouth as a lit- up reddened area.
When the sinuses are full of mucus, the light will be stopped. While this simple test can be help still it is certainly not a perfect way to diagnose or rule out the diagnosis of sinusitis.
There are local and systemic complications related to sinusitis. Most local complications are linked directly to the paranasal sinuses and other structures of the head, neck, and chest. The local complications are orbital cellulitis, subperiosteal abscess, and orbital abscess, intracranial disorders, subdural empyema and meningitis, facial osteomyelitis, and thrombosis of the cavernous sinus and cortical vein. The precise rates of these complications are not known, but they occur in about 5% of patients hospitalized for sinusitis.
The blocked secretions can become infected due to growth of bacteria, fungi, etc. Infection of surrounding structures is uncommon complications of sinusitis. These structures include eye, the brain, the bone, overlying skin and nearby blood vessels.
Orbital cellulitis can complicate acute ethmoiditis if anterior and posterior ethmoidal veins thrombophlebitis enables the spread of the infection to the lateral or orbital side of the ethmoid labyrinth. Sinusitis may extend to the central nervous system, where it may cause cavernous sinus thrombosis, retrograde meningitis, and epidural, subdural, and brain abscesses. Orbital symptoms frequently precede intracranial spread of the infection. Other complications include sinobronchitis, maxillary osteomyelitis, and frontal bone osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis of the frontal bone often originates from a spreading thrombo-phlebitis. A periostitis of the frontal sinus causes an osteitis and a periostitis of the outer membrane, which produces a tender, puffy swelling of the forehead.
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Sinusitis can be well managed by medical treatment and self care. Chronic sinusitis is often associated with food allergies. An elimination/ challenge in diet are recommended to identify and eliminate allergenic foods.
Irrigating the sinuses with a salt water solution is often recommended for sinusitis and allergies, in order to clear the nasal passages of mucus. Another solution for nasal washing washing utilizes powdered Hydrastis Canadensis.
Other herbal treatments takentreatments taken internally, include a mixture made of Euphrasia officinalis, Hydrastis Canadensis, Achillea millefolium horseradish, and Ephedra sinica or, when infection is present, a mixture made of Echinacea spp., wild indigo and root of Phytolacca decandra-Americana.
Homeopathy has answer to this problem for it can resolve the acute sinusitis as well as drastically reduce the tendency to get sinusitis. For acute attacks there are various remedies which can be prescribed based on symptoms. Also, for complete treatment of chronic or recurrent sinusitis one must see a homeopathic practitioner. A homeopath in such a case will prescribe a holistic remedy covering the physical symptoms and emotional attributes of patient so as find the remedy based on totality which will boost immunity and reduce or annihilate the tendency to sinusitis. Steam inhalation is also helpful in cases of sinusitis. Prognosis for sinus infections is usually excellent, although some individuals may find that they are particularly prone to contracting suchinfections after a cold. Fungal sinusitis, however, has a relatively high death rate.
Deviated Nasal Septum (DNS) need not always trigger the sinusitis, as there are many people who have a DNS but do not have sinusitis. Similarly inspite of being in a similar environment where there are pollens or allergens some people will get the attack and suffer and some will not, and again, severity will vary in different people. When there is an inherent tendency in person to get recurrent sinusitis, Homeopathy understands this as due to sensitivity or low immunity. Homeopathy plays an important role in correcting this sensitivity and thereby curing the problem. A well selected homeopathic remedy removes or annihilates the tendency to sinusitis and remove the body’s way of reaction to pollens and other allergens that trigger such attacks.
Prevention involves the usual standards of good hygiene to cut down on the number of colds an individual catches. Avoiding exposure tocigarette smoke, identifying and treating allergies, and avoiding deep dives in swimming pools may help prevent sinus infections. Duringthe winter, it is a good idea to use a humidifier. Dry nasal passages may crack, allowing bacteria to enter. When allergies are diagnosed,a number of nasal sprays are available to try to prevent inflammation within the nasal passageways, thus allowing the normal flow ofmucus.
Few homeopathic remedies for acute sinusitis are given below, but we recommend to take remedies in consultation with a registered homeopathic practitioner
Bryonia alba has dryness of nose with headache just over frontal sinusitis. Frontal headache due to sinusitis ,lachymation with bursting pain in eyeballs. Headache < cold application.
Pulsatilla pratensis - Congestion of blood to head and engorgement of the sinuses. Coryza with loss of smell and taste; dry and fluent alternately, or stopped up in evening, with loss of smell and taste and appetite; obstruction of nose in evening; yellow or yellow-green in morning; nostrils sore; frontal headache.
Kalium bichromicum - Inflammation extends to frontal sinuses, with distress and fullness at root of nose. Loss of smell. Much hawking.
Kali iodatum : Acrid, burning, watery or greenish yellow discharge,< open air ,sneezing .pain at the root of nose, sensitive nostrils.
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