Holistic News & Events
August 6, 2011
Sinusitis, Sinus Congestion and Sinus Headache
“ Sinusitis is most debilitating in its chronic form”
By Dr. Sal Masi
If you have not experienced the pain or pressure of a sinus headache consider yourself fortunate. For many people sinus pain is a common ailment and for some it can be a recurring, debilitating disorder.
There are 5 pairs of air filled sinuses and are connected to the nasal cavity. They are named for the cranial bones they are located in - the frontal, sphenoid, ethmoid, palatine and maxillary sinuses.
The sinuses and nasal cavity are lined with a membrane that produces a sticky mucous. Mucous serves several important functions. It moisturizes and warms the air we breath and traps dirt, dust and pathogens. The mucous is swept out of the sinuses by finger -like projections called cilia into the back of the mouth where it is swallowed and digested. This is an important protective mechanism - protection against infection.
Irritation of the mucous membrane causes the membrane to swell and produce excessive mucous. This swelling blocks some of the small passageways that connect the sinuses and lead to the back of the throat. Once blocked the mucous stagnates in the sinuses and causes congestion of the sinuses and nose. This congestion is responsible for the pressure that people feel in the face and head, commonly referred to as sinus headache
So what can irritate the sinuses? There are many possibilities. To list a few: viruses, bacteria, molds / fungi, trauma, volatile chemicals (including perfumes), environmental allergens, foods / beverages that one may be sensitive to, polyps or other malformation of the nasal passageways (deviated septum).
Sinusitis is most debilitating in its chronic form. These patients suffer with recurring attacks of sinusitis and sinus headache. Other symptoms include: forehead, eye orbit, nasal, cheek pain / pressure; referred pain into the teeth, jaw and ear; pain worse in the morning; pain increases with certain positions (usually bending forward); chewing, coughing, sneezing and bowel movements increase pain; nasal stuffiness with possible discharge that can be clear, yellow, green to brown.
The pain can be debilitating. When evaluating and treating sinusitis there are many factors that must be considered. The best treatment protocols will involve a multi-level approach to care.
Disciplines to consider are:
- Nutritional interventions
- Chiropractic care
- Endonasal techniques
- Massage Therapy
- Craniosacral Therapy
The use of antibiotics may be necessary for acute bacterial infections but keep in mind that many chronic cases of sinusitis are not bacterial infections.
The most prudent course of care that a patient can pursue is one that begins with a doctor who understands the complexities of the disorder, is willing to listen and spend time with the patient, is willing to consider all possibilities of care that will benefit the patient and have the confidence to help guide the patient toward better health.
When you are ready to begin this process and want to feel better, I am ready to help you get there.
Dr. Sal Masi