PATIENT ENQUIRY

Sinusitis


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What Is?
What is Sinusitis
How to Treat Sinusitis
Natural Treatments for Sinusitis

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation with swelling of the facial or forehead sinus spaces, which are air spaces behind the cheekbones, between the eyes, and behind the forehead. These sinuses are lined with a mucus layer and tiny hairs called cilia, which trap and expel bacteria and pollutants. Normally, sinuses are filled with air, but when sinuses become blocked and fill with fluid a bacterial infection, or less commonly a fungal infection, can result.
The function of the sinuses is to help control the temperature and water content of inhaled air reaching the lungs. Our noses are designed to serve as high-efficiency air filters. When fully functioning, the human nose is capable of filtering 80% of substances from the air. The cilia are equipped with mucus that’s loaded with substances to counteract toxins and other dangerous elements in the air.
Any condition that inflames the nasal and sinus cavities can cause a blockage of the narrow passageways that drain the sinuses, such as a cold, viral infection, allergic rhinitis, deviated nasal bone, or nasal or sinus polyps (benign lesions of the lining). The paranasal sinuses behind the cheekbones are the most commonly affected.

Infection from a cold or flu virus that spreads from the nasal cavity to the sinuses is the most common cause of sinusitis. A secondary bacterial infection can also develop following a cold or flu virus. An infected tooth adjacent to the sinuses can also cause a sinus infection.

Sinusitis is described as acute when the episode has a sudden onset and lasts no more than a month. In 75% of cases of acute sinusitis, the body’s immune defense and over-the-counter medication will clear inflammation. However, if bacteria have infected the sinuses antibiotics are usually required to treat a bacterial infection.
Chronic sinusitis means a long-term infection of eight weeks or longer. Chronic sinusitis can lead to permanent changes in the mucous membranes that line the sinuses. These changes can make a person more prone to recurrent sinus inflammation or infections, which become increasingly more difficult to treat.
Untreated chronic sinusitis can lead to serious complications, including infections in the adjacent bones (osteomyelitis) and tissue (cellulitis), or the brain (abscess or meningitis). Complications of sinusitis are uncommon, but can be life threatening and require prompt medical or surgical treatment.
Complications tend to affect children more than adults. A child with sinusitis who develops swelling around the eyelid or cheekbone, might have cellulitis, a bacterial infection of the skin. Call a doctor immediately if you suspect this type of advanced infection. Your doctor may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

Acute sinusitis may be diagnosed when a person has two or more symptoms or a thick green or yellow nasal discharge.
Some of the primary symptoms of acute sinusitis include:

  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Nasal stuffiness and discharge
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Loss of smell
  • Cough and congestion
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Fatigue
  • Dental pain

People with chronic sinusitis may have the following symptoms for eight weeks or more:

  • Facial congestion and fullness
  • Nasal passageways blocked
  • Pus in the nasal cavity
  • Fever
  • Yellow or green nasal discharge
Risk factors for sinusitis

Risk factors for sinusitis

Any condition that causes inflammation and swelling of the delicate lining of the nasal passages can lead to inflammation of the adjacent sinus cavities, and that swelling can block the narrow passages that drain the sinus cavities. Viral or bacterial infections of the upper airways increase a person’s risk of developing sinusitis.
Factors that increase a person’s risk for sinusitis:

  • Frequent colds, especially in children
  • Viral or bacterial infection of the upper airways
  • Untreated hay fever or allergic rhinitis
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Nasal or sinus cavity benign growths – polyps
  • Exposure to cigarette smoke, air pollution
  • Overuse of nasal decongestant sprays
  • Change in air temperature or pressure
  • Swimming in contaminated or chlorinated water
  • Using a CPAP machine to treat sleep apnoea
What causes sinusitis?

What causes sinusitis?

During a viral infection, such as a cold, the sinus cavities become inflamed. Normally fluid from the sinuses drains into the nose and throat, but too much mucus or swelling can block the drainage passages and cause an infection. This can occur during a common cold or result from an allergic reaction or irritation of the sinus linings.

The best way to maintain healthy sinuses is to avoid catching a cold. If you are suffering frequent colds and infections, it may be time to overhaul your lifestyle, in order to improve immune system health.

Once the sinuses become blocked, bacteria could grow inside the sinuses, causing pain, headache, and sometimes fever. Mucus discharge from infected sinuses can be yellow or green in colour. Some people are more prone to getting sinusitis when they have a cold. The same viruses that cause the common cold cause most cases of sinusitis.

How is sinusitis diagnosed?

How is sinusitis diagnosed?

To diagnose sinusitis, your doctor will review your symptoms and give you a physical examination. A doctor can examine the nasal cavity with a special light to assess whether the tiny swirl-like bones within – the turbinates – are swollen. He or she might press or tap the cheekbones over the maxillary sinuses and forehead to check for pain or tap your teeth for any sensitivity, which suggests inflamed paranasal sinuses.
Other diagnostic tests to assess the cause may include a nasal swab, nasal endoscopy, sinus X-rays or CT, allergy testing through blood tests or skin prick testing. ENT specialists perform nasal endoscopy using a flexible tube with a camera at the end, in order to see inside of the nose and sinuses. X-rays and CT can demonstrate any bony abnormality, deviated septum, tissue swelling, fluid levels, nasal and sinus polyps, or abscess formation.

Types of sinusitis and related medical conditions

Types of sinusitis and related medical conditions

The different types of sinusitis and sinus–related medical problems:

  • Acute sinusitis – sudden onset of cold-like symptoms such as runny, stuffy nose and facial pain caused by viral or bacterial infection that does not resolve after 10 days and typically lasts four to eight weeks
  • Chronic sinusitis – persistent process of inflammation of the sinuses that lasts eight weeks or more
  • Recurrent sinusitis – when several sinusitis episodes occur during a 12-month period
  • Allergic rhinitis – when allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander irritate the nasal lining and cause an immune overreaction resulting in nasal congestion, sneezing, and itching
  • Deviated septum – when the septum that divides the nose is bent to one side, which may obstruct airflow
  • Turbinate hypertrophy occurs with the ridges on the nasal septum become enlarged, which may obstruct airflow
  • Nasal polyps are uncommon benign lesions of nasal cavity that develop in response to inflammation caused by allergic rhinitis and chronic sinus infections.
What to do when you have sinusitis Mel to check

What to do when you have sinusitis Mel to check

For early symptoms of sinus inflammation – headache, facial pain, and nasal congestion – watchful waiting is an appropriate response. Drink lots of fluids and inhale steam over a basin filled with hot water. Use the following guidelines to decide when to call a doctor.

Call your doctor if sinusitis does not improve after one week of home treatment and you have symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the face or upper teeth
  • Pain extending from the bridge of the nose to eyes
  • Headache that is not relieved by taking paracetamol, ibuprofen, or aspirin
  • Fever greater than 38ºC
  • Nasal discharge that starts out clear but becomes thickened and turns to yellow or green
  • Repeated nosebleeds
  • Cold symptoms for more than one week or worsening symptoms
  • Chronic facial pain for more than one week
  • No improvement in symptoms after five days on antibiotics

Sinusitis means infection or inflammation of the air-filled sinuses of the face and forehead. Sinus infections often result from a cold. Treatment options include pain relief and antibiotics and sometimes sinus surgery.

Uncover your allergy triggers

Uncover your allergy triggers

Approximately 20% of humans will develop some form of allergy during their lifetime. An allergic reaction occurs when a person’s immune system overreacts to normally harmless substances, called antigens. The response can be as mild as a sneeze or a life-threatening anaphylaxis, when swelling obstructs the airways.

A variety of substances can trigger an allergic reaction, but the most common allergy triggers are:

  • Pollen, animal dander, mould, cockroaches
  • Insect stings
  • Foods
  • Latex
  • Medications
  • Fragrances

Most trees, grasses, weeds, and flowers produce pollen, which can trigger hay fever or seasonal allergies, which can lead to sinusitis. Symptoms include nasal irritation, sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and watery and itchy eyes. These irritations are annoying but not life threatening. Over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, or allergic desensitisation are used to treat pollen allergies, which can lead to sinusitis.

Domestic pets secrete a protein mix called dander in their skin and saliva, which can trigger allergies. Washing your pet regularly, bushing hair outdoors, air filtration, frequent vacuuming and pets out of bedrooms will reduce allergic symptoms due to pet dander.

Another common allergic trigger is the dust mite – microscopic insects that feed on dead skin (human and animal), pollen, bacteria and fungi found in household dust. Keeping the home free from dust, washing bed sheets regularly, keeping pets out of bedrooms, and ridding the home of dust-collecting items reduces exposure to dust mites.

Cockroaches are now part of both urban and rural environments. Cockroach droppings, saliva, and shell sheddings are thought to be responsible for the significant increase in allergic asthma during the past 30 years. The more cockroaches, the higher the concentration of allergens, the more likely allergic reactions will develop. Keeping your home cockroach free will reduce and prevent cockroach-related allergic reactions.

Microscopic moulds can cause allergic symptoms similar to pollen and dust mite. Mould only grown in damp or wet areas such as bathrooms and basements. Good ventilation will keep indoor rooms dry and prevent mould. Because mould can grow outdoors, cutting grass, raking leaves, and spreading mulch may trigger allergy symptoms.

Mild food allergies can cause a number of related symptoms, such as hives, stomach pain, eczema, itchy mouth or ears. Nasal congestion, a runny nose, and sneezing are common symptoms that can lead to sinusitis.

Many people react to the fragrances found in perfumes, candle smoke, laundry detergent, soaps, and room fresheners. Fragrances are classed as both allergens and irritants. Nasal congestion, sneezing, and discharge are the most common symptoms, which are not life threatening, but can lead to sinusitis.

Possible complications of sinus infection

Possible complications of sinus infection

A person with chronic sinusitis may have other problems, which affect the ear, nose, or throat, including:

  • Middle ear infection and temporary deafness
  • Post-nasal drip, which can lead to constant coughing, a sore throat, and bad breath.

Although uncomfortable and painful, bacterial sinusitis is usually harmless, but in severe infections complications can be severe and should not be ignored. Consult a doctor if you suspect you or someone you know has a fever (temperature of 38.5ºC or more) feels very unwell and any of the following.

Adolescent males with acute frontal sinusitis are at risk for osteomyelitis of the forehead and maxillary bones. A person with osteomyelitis will experience headache, fever, and a soft swelling over the bone.

Orbital infection is a rare but serious complication of ethmoid sinusitis that causes swelling and drooping of the eyelid. A person with an orbital infection will lose eye movement and pressure on the optic nerve can cause temporary or permanent vision loss.

Although rare, blood clots are a complication of ethmoid or frontal sinusitis. Symptoms are similar to orbital infection and in addition the pupil may be fixed and dilated. Symptoms usually begin on one side of the head, then spreads to include the other side.
Brain Infection.

The most dangerous complication of sinusitis is the spread of infection by anaerobic bacteria to the brain, directly through the adjacent bones or via the blood stream. An abscess, encephalitis, or meningitis is a life-threatening complication. The possible sequence of symptoms: the patient will behave strangely; suffer headache, altered consciousness, visual problems and finally seizures, coma, and death.

Conventional medical treatment for sinusitis

The sinuses are hollow cavities within the facial bones, situated in the forehead, cheeks and between and behind the eyes. The facial sinuses connect through narrow passageways no wider that a pinhead.

The inflammation from allergies, viral or bacterial infection, or structural abnormality can block the passageways, causing further inflammation, headache and facial pain. Early treatment of allergic sinusitis could prevent secondary bacterial sinus infections.

Home treatments such as steam inhalation or medication should successfully treat sinusitis. The aim of treatment is to reduce inflammation, unblock nasal and sinus passages to enable drainage and relieve pain, and kill off any bacterial or fungal infection.
Most sinus infections are viral (common cold) but usually a bacterial infection will need antibiotic treatment, which might be three days or several weeks or more.
See a doctor if your symptoms are severe, if they get worse, or if your symptoms don’t improve after one week.

Medicines most often used to treat sinusitis include:

  • Cold and flu medicines to treat the underlying viral symptoms
  • Nasal decongestant that reduces nasal swelling of the nasal mucous membranes, such as pseudoephedrine
  • Saline nasal sprays to keep the nasal cavity clean
  • Antibiotics such as amoxicillin, klacid, which kill bacteria
  • Paracetamol, aspirin, or ibuprofen for pain and fever
  • Do not give aspirin to a child under 16 years of age

Antihistamines, either oral or intranasal, are most effective when taken prior to allergen exposure and will improve allergic rhinitis symptoms. Second–generation antihistamines have fewer unpleasant side effects.

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction in response to an insect bite or foods such as peanuts of shellfish. The throat swells to block the airways, making breathing difficult. Treat by administering an EpiPen an epinephrine autoinjector if available, or call 000 and ask for an ambulance.

Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if he or she suspects that you have a bacterial infection and three or more of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent purulent nasal discharge for more than one week
  • Fever (a temperature of 38.5°C or more)
  • Headache
  • Tenderness over the sinuses around the nose
  • Blocked nose despite using a nasal decongestant
  • Tooth pain and tenderness in the jaw around several teeth (not caused by toothache)

Antibiotics are only effective against bacterial sinus infections. Taking a course of antibiotics when you don’t really need them may lead to antibiotics being less effective next time when you really need them to work effectively.

From NPS MedicineWise http://www.nps.org.au/conditions-and-topics/conditions/respiratory-problems/respiratory-tract-infections/for-individuals/conditions/sinusitis/for-individuals/medicines-and-treatments

Telfast tablets contain fexofenadine, a type of antihistamine used to relieve the symptoms of seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis. Sudafed contains pseudoephedrine, a sympathomimetic decongestant that reduces congestion in the nose nasal passages and sinuses, making it easier to breathe.

Prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines and prescription nasal sprays can reduce chronic inflammation in the sinuses and nasal lining. However, the best treatment is avoidance or a reduced exposure to allergens, and boosting the immune system to prevent catching the common cold virus.

Up to 75% of people with acute sinusitis improve without antibiotic treatment, because sinus infections are commonly caused by viral infections, which don’t respond to antibiotics. See a doctor if your symptoms persist or get worse to find out whether you need treatment with antibiotics.
A person with acute sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection who takes a full course of antibiotics will usually enjoy a complete recovery. Remember to take the full course of antibiotics prescribed by your doctor even if you feel much better in the interim. The number of days you take antibiotics depends on the type of antibiotic and the severity of the infection. Always take an antibiotic exactly as prescribed, or the infection may not resolve completely. Some antibiotics need to be taken with food, so check the instructions supplied.
A person has chronic sinusitis, when the episode endures for eight weeks or longer. Chronic sinusitis is much harder to treat and responds more slowly to antibiotics, compared with acute sinusitis. Your doctor may recommend a corticosteroid nasal spray, which will reduce inflammation and swelling of the lining of the nasal and sinus cavities.
A US survey asked prescribers which antibiotics they usually recommended for the treatment of acute and chronic sinus infections. The penicillin antibiotics were the most commonly prescribed (27.18% for acute, 30.35% for chronic), followed by macrolides (24.32% and 14.03%), and then cephalosporins (17.98% and 13.80%).

Types of antibiotics used to treat bacterial sinus infection:
Penicillin – Amoxicillin, Augmentin, Ampicillin
Macrolides – Azithromycin, Clarithromycin, Erythromycin,
Cephalosporin – Vantin, Ceftin, Cefalexin, Keflex

A person with an impaired immune system is more at risk of sinusitis than the general population, in particular to fungal infections. People who must use an oral or inhaled corticosteroid medication, such as prednisone, are at risk. Fungal infections of the sinuses do not respond to antibiotic treatment and need antifungal medication, corticosteroids, or occasionally surgery.

Simple, sensible ways to reduce sinusitis symptoms

Simple, sensible ways to reduce sinusitis symptoms

Avoiding getting a cold is the most effective way to prevent sinusitis. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, simply gargling with plain water three times a day throughout cold and flu season may help to reduce your risk of catching a cold by 40%.

Try these simple measure to relieve sinusitis symptoms:

  • Get plenty of rest to enable your body to fight the infection
  • Drink plenty of water and other fluids to keep hydrated
  • Avoid exposure to cigarette smoke
  • Inhale steam to help relieve a blocked nose
  • Create a steam room for a child, by running hot water in the bath or shower

If your allergy symptoms are triggered by pollen you can reduce your exposure by not going outdoors on windy days. Use air conditioning rather than opening windows.

Wash your pet regularly, bush pets outdoors to reduce hair inside the home, vacuum frequently and keep pets out of bedrooms, in order to reduce allergic symptoms caused by exposure to pet dander.

Keeping the home free from dust, washing bed sheets regularly, keeping animals out of the bedroom, and ridding the home of dust-collecting items will reduce exposure to dust mites.

Good ventilation will keep indoor rooms dry and stop mould from growing. Keeping your home cockroach free will reduce and prevent cockroach-related allergic reactions.

Allergens and pollutants in the air – dust, smoke, outdoor air pollution, and strong perfumes – can contribute to coughing, irritate the nose, and cause inflammation that increases the risk of sinusitis. Avoid these irritants as much as possible if you suffer from allergies or asthma. An air purifier will reduce pollutants in the air.

You might enjoy cooling down in a pool on a hot summer’s day but avoid spending long periods in chlorinated pools, as chlorine can irritate your nasal lining and sinuses. Diving into chlorinated water can push water into the sinuses and irritate and inflame the delicate lining.

Keep your nasal lining as moist as possible by drinking lots of water and avoiding caffeine. Use a humidifier to keep indoor air moist during the winter, to counterbalance heaters that dry out indoor air quality. Nasal irrigation with hypertonic saline solution may reduce irritation and settle inflammation.

Options for sinus surgery

Options for sinus surgery

An ENT specialist may consider sinus surgery if treatment with over-the-counter and prescription medication fails to treat a chronic sinus infection. The goal of sinus surgery is to clean out infected sinuses and open up any blocked passageways so sinuses can drain naturally.

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) involved using a thin tube with a camera is passed into the nasal cavity to perform one of three procedures.

Ethmoidectomy – the ethmoid sinuses located between the eyes and bridge of the nose are a common site of infection in children. If the ethmoid sinuses are blocked, the infection can spread to the other sinuses. Any infected tissue and bone that blocks natural drainage is surgically removed.

Maxillary antrostomy – unblocks the drainage passageways of the maxillary sinuses located deep to the cheekbones – a common site of infection in adults.

Septoplasty with turbinoplasty – aims to improve breathing and sinus drainage. The nasal septum consists of bone and cartilage and divides the nasal cavity into left and right sides. The nasal turbinates are delicate, bony, scroll-like structures within the nasal cavity. The mucous lining of the turbinates filters and humidifies air before it enters the lungs, and keeps nasal membranes moist.

If the septum becomes deviated after a direct blow to the face, breathing through the nose is obstructed and sinus infections are more likely. The turbinates usually swell, which obstructs airflow. A septoplasty involves straightening the nasal septum and returning the turbinates to their normal position and function.

When your doctor struggles to control chronic sinusitis with medications including antibiotics, you may be referred to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist who will determine the best course of treatment to break the cycle of chronic sinusitis. Expert assessment of your symptoms and the duration of symptoms will determine whether you need to continue with medication or undergo surgery.

Balloon dilation of the sinus passages is a less invasive method of widening the drainage passageways, to enable better drainage. This endoscopic procedure involves inserting of a narrow balloon catheter into the nasal cavity and blocked sinus ostia (opening) using endoscopic visualisation. Once correctly positioned the balloon is gently inflated to open the passageway without damaging the delicate lining.

Nutritional medicine treatment for Sinusitis

Sinus infections, the cause of untold misery, strike hundreds of thousand of Australians each year. The cause of sinus problems is inflammation and blockage of the nasal passageways. Infective material builds up in the sinuses, bacteria colonise and flourish, making the patient feel very unwell.

Nutritional factors, specifically longer duration of breast-feeding and avoidance of early introduction of potentially allergenic foods, appear to reduce the likelihood that an infant will develop allergies. New mothers are advised to breast-feed their infants for at least six months and avoid introducing known allergic foods, such as cow’s milk, eggs, fish, nuts, corn, wheat, soy, and cocoa, during the first year.

Nutritional medicine assessment for sinusitis begins with taking a thorough medical history in order to identify any allergic triggers. If you are prone to allergies or hay fever, avoid allergic triggers, such as suspect foods, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, mould, and cockroaches.

Chronic sinusitis can be a stubborn problem but there are safe, effective natural treatments available. In reality, how often you get sinusitis and how long the problem lasts is in your hands.

Foods that benefit the immune system and reduce inflammation

Foods that benefit the immune system and reduce inflammation

Many everyday foods are known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Increasing your intake of these foods will help reduce nasal and sinus congestion.

For a person prone to allergic rhinitis, dietary fatty acids and antioxidants can influence the production of allergic mediators – histamine and leukotrienes – and play an important role in treatment.

Foods containing omega-3 fatty acid have an anti-inflammatory effect and reduce sinus swelling and congestion. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are oily fish, flaxseed and linseed oils, avocado, nuts, seeds and eggs. These essential fatty acids act as a natural anti-inflammatory, reducing sinus swelling and nasal ongestion.

Garlic is known to boost and maintain a healthy immune system, which will enable a person to fight off the common cold, a common precursor to sinus infection.

Vitamin C balances histamine levels, reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, and acts as a natural antihistamine. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries, broccoli and blueberries are rich sources of vitamin C.

Vitamin E has immunologic effects that improve rhinitis symptoms, including suppression of neutrophil migration and inhibition of immunoglobulin E (IgE) production. In adults, increasing foods containing vitamin E protects against hay fever. Tofu, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, avocado, fish, broccoli and olive oil are rich in vitamin E.

Vitamin A is considered a ‘membrane conditioner’ that helps build healthy mucus membranes in the head, chest, and throat and is great for skin and eye health. Vitamin A is plentiful in sweet potato, carrots, dark leafy greens, squash, apricots, rockmelon, paw paw, and red and yellow capsicum. In fact paw paw is rich in vitamins A, C and E.

Quercetin has proven benefits in reducing nasal allergy symptoms. It helps to inhibit inflammatory chemicals and stabilise the mast cells that release histamine. This important flavanoid compound is found in many plants including onions, berries, apples, broccoli, and many nuts and seeds.

Tumeric, part of the ginger family, contains curcumin, a natural phenol and known anti-inflammatory that down-regulates several enzymes involved in inflammatory mechanisms.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has long been used as an aid for reducing mucus production for those with chronic allergic rhinitis and sinusitis and is used in combination with the other nutrients known to relieve congestion.

Butterbur (Petasites hybridus) is a botanical treatment know to significantly reduce both histamine and leukotriene production in people who suffer allergic rhinitis. The benefits are similar to the benefits of taking oral antihistamine, but without any sedative side effects.

Certain herbal teas stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation and mucus production, and act as a decongestant. Echinacea and goldenseal are known to strengthen the immune system. Infusions made from elderflower, ginger, chamomile, ground ivy, or peppermint can reduce and eliminate mucus.

Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme complex found in pineapple that helps to heal sinus tissues. Bromelain is known for its anti-inflammatory and decongestive properties, and acts as a useful digestive aid.

Drinking diluted apple cider vinegar or substituting it in salad dressings provides the mineral potassium, which reduces mucus production.

Drinking plenty of filtered water will keep body tissues well hydrated and keep delicate nasal membranes moist and prevent congestion.

Eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables will provide the many nutrients needed to keep the immune system healthy, mop up excess free radicals, and provide essential energy for proper metabolism.

Carrot juice used separately, or in combination with juices of beet and cucumber or with spinach juice, is highly beneficial in the treatment of sinusitis. Mix 50ml beet and cucumber juice or 100 ml spinach juice with 150ml of carrot juice to make a delicious, nutritious pick-me-up that will boost you body’s natural ability to fight sinusitis.

Foods to avoid to reduce allergic rhinitis

Foods to avoid to reduce allergic rhinitis

A number of common foods are known to cause or worsen sinus symptoms. You can assess your reaction to these foods by eating an elimination diet for 10 days, followed by the introduction of each food to gauge sensitivity.

Although the Australian dairy corporation and dieticians dismiss the link, patients affected by allergies to dairy products are well aware they increase the production of phlegm and mucus in the upper respiratory tract and nasal passages. Dairy products include cows milk, cheese, yoghurt, custard, cream cheese, and cream.

Drinking too much alcohol or coffee dehydrates the body, hardens mucus, and inflames sinus and nasal membranes. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and dehydrates body tissues, making them susceptible to inflammation.

Glossary

Glossary

Anaphylaxis – life-threatening type of allergic reaction when throat swells to block airways. Treat by administering an EpiPen. Call 000 and ask for an ambulance.
Antihistamines – medications that block histamines and stop allergy symptoms
Antrostomy – make a hole in the sinuses to enable drainage
Bromelain – enzyme found in pineapple that has anti-inflammatory benefits
Butterbur – a herb used to treat pain, nausea, migraine, headaches and allergic rhinitis
Cellulitis – common skin infection caused by bacteria
Cephalosporin – type of antibiotic includes Vantin, Ceftin, Cefalexin, Keflex
Decongestant – type of medication used to relieve nasal congestion in the upper respiratory tract
Endoscopy – inserting a tube with a camera at the end to view inside the body
Erythromycin – macrolide antibiotic used to treat infection including sinusitis
Ethmoid sinuses – two of the four paired paranasal sinuses
Ethmoidectomy – removes infected tissue and bone from the ethmoid sinuses
Histamines – organic nitrogenous compound involved in local immune responses
leukotrienes – inflammatory molecules that cause cystic fibrosis, asthma and allergic rhinitis
Macrolides – type of antibiotic includes Azithromycin, Clarithromycin, Maxillary sinuses – largest pair of paranasal sinuses deep to the right and left maxilla bones
Meningitis – bacterial infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord
N-acetylcysteine – dietary supplement with antioxidant benefits; thins mucus in nasal and sinus cavities
Osetomyelitis – bacterial infection of the bone
Paranasal sinuses – pair of air-filled sinuses located within the facial bones
Purulent – infected and containing pus
Penicillin – type of antibiotic, includes Amoxicillin, Augmentin, Ampicillin
Quercetin – flavanol found in plants with antioxidant benefits
Septoplasty – corrective surgery to straighten the nasal cartilaginous and bony septum
Tumeric – from the root of the curcuma longa plant with powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. Used in Chinese and Indian traditional medicine.
Turbinoplasty – surgical removal of diseased portions of the delicate turbinate bones within the sinuses