The paranasal sinuses are air-filled cavities of the bony skull, they are connected to the nasal cavity by conduits. The acute sinusitis is often caused by viruses, but also bacteria. It usually arises after inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes (for example, with a runny nose (rhinitis) or allergic reactions). If the inflammation persists for a long time or if there are anatomical peculiarities in the area of the nasal passages, chronic sinus inflammation may occur.
The American Journal of Respiratory Medicine and Critical Care reported on research conducted at Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, which found that people who hum (or sing whispering) with their mouths closed exhale 15 times more nitric oxide from their nostrils that don’t.
Nitric oxide helps relax blood vessels, thereby reducing swelling in the nose and improving blood flow. The increase in airflow due to humming also helps ventilate the sinuses, which can decrease susceptibility to infection.
Massaging the sinuses, pressing the thumbs firmly on both sides of the nose, holding for 15 to 30 seconds, releasing, then repeating, temporarily relieves sinusitis as it brings a new blood supply to the area.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, usually caused by an infection by viruses or bacteria. It is common and usually clears up on its own in 2 to 3 weeks. But medicine can help if it takes a long time to go away. Although there are also natural remedies that can relieve discomfort and even prevent sinusitis from appearing.
Symptoms: how does sinus infection manifest?
Possible symptoms of sinusitis are:
- General feeling of weakness.
- Nasal congestion.
- Nose running.
- Viscous or purulent discharge from the nose.
- Mucus discharge in the throat.
- Sensation of pressure in the face area.
- Severe headache, especially when the person leans forward.
- Cough frequently
- Having episodes of fever.
- Respiratory problems.
- Restricted sense of smell.
Chronic sinus infections generally show similar symptoms; However, these are often somewhat milder.
Folk remedies for sinusitis
These natural treatments should be taken with caution and it is advisable to go before a medical consultation to find safe relief from the symptoms of sinusitis.
- Cayenne pepper. Putting a teaspoon of cayenne in a cup of hot water and drinking three cups a day can be of great relief. Both red and black cayenne pepper dilate the blood vessels in the nose and stimulate secretions, which helps drain the sinuses. This is a bit itchy, but you will get results faster. This remedy is especially good for chronic sinus infections.
- Boil eucalyptus. The natural remedy is very simple, it involves using ½ cup of water and adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Pour the mixture into a bowl, and then lean over it while covering your head with a large towel, inhale the steam for 10 minutes, keeping your eyes tightly closed. Eucalyptus oil is widely used for various respiratory problems. Put a few drops on a tissue and try to smell it periodically.
- Salt / baking soda. To relieve sinus congestion due to allergies, try making this nasal flush: Mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of hot water, fill a syringe, and pour the mixture up to your nose. Another variant is to use a teaspoon of non-iodized salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in half a liter of water. Put the mixture in a nasal inhaler.
- Thyme has been used for generations for respiratory infections due to its strong antiseptic properties. Put 1 to 2 teaspoons of thyme in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes. Drink a cup three times a day.
- Nasal sprays can become an addiction or cause of “rebound” nasal congestion. To eliminate these problems, you can make your own saline nasal spray by mixing eight ounces of warm water (boiled first) with half a teaspoon of salt. Pour the mixture into an empty nasal spray bottle and shake it. This spray is good for relieving nasal congestion caused by colds or allergies and for moistening dry nasal passages. It is also much cheaper than over-the-counter medicinal sprays and does not contain harmful chemicals.
- Apple cider vinegar. A unique folk remedy for nasal congestion is to do the following: put two inches of apple cider vinegar in a saucepan and heat until it starts to evaporate, then inhale the steam, if the steam is too strong add a little water. The nasal passages should be clear for 12-24 hours. Repeat as needed. By eliminating congestion, the inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose will decrease and it will make breathing easier. Germs from colds will also be killed. Take a teaspoon of vinegar with a glass of water during meals to facilitate healing.
- Essential oils. Place a drop or two of eucalyptus or peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball or tissue and hold it close to your nose when taking deep breaths. This should increase the air flow. Putting any oil in your nose is not recommended as it can cause inflammation.
- Grapefruit seed extract. This extract is a powerful antimicrobial and antiseptic. Try a nasal rinse, putting a few drops of grapefruit seed extract in 1/2 cup of warm water and inhaling it; repeat two or three times, especially before going to bed and when you get up in the morning. Grapefruit seed extract helps kill bacteria.
How to prevent sinusitis?
If breathing through the nose is severely impaired during a runny nose (rhinitis), decongestant nasal drops and, if necessary, expectorants can reduce the risk of sinus infection. However, decongestant nasal drops should not be used for more than a few days, as they can cause a kind of “dependency”.
In addition, it is advisable to always worry about a sufficient fluid intake. It also has a preventive effect by regularly rinsing the nose with a saline nasal rinse. If there are anatomical peculiarities such as nasal polyps or a crooked nasal septum, surgery is often necessary to prevent chronic sinusitis.