Prevent Sinusitis ... Naturally!
Presented by Dr Masoud Shamaeizadeh
Sinusitis — an infection or inflammation of the sinus cavities — afflicts millions of people each year, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Disases. Sinusitis pain also hits the wallet: with annual health-care costs related to sinusitis averaging $5.8 billion.
The common cold, which can irritate delicate sinus passageways, is the most recognized instigator of sinusitis. Instead of resorting to costly and potentially harmful drugs to cover up cold symptoms, Dr. Shamaeizadeh promotes chiropractic’s prevention- oriented way of life. This chiropractic lifestyle includes regular chiropractic care, proper nutrition, stress reduction, exercise and wellness education.
The sinuses are comprised of four distinct cavities surrounding the nasal area of the skull: the frontal sinuses (over the eyes in the brow area), maxillary sinuses (inside the cheekbones), ethmoid sinuses (between the eyes) and sphenoid sinuses (deep in the skull in the upper region of the nose and behind the eyes).
Symptoms of sinusitis include head-ache, facial pain, fever and postnasal drip.Sinusitis may be acute (short-term) or chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks).
What Triggers Sinusitis?
Focusing on prevention is key to warding off sinus infection. Consequently, it’s essential to understand the common instigators of this condition, including the following.
Weakened Immune System
Ample scientific research reveals that patients with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop sinusitis — in addition to a host of other illnesses.
An article published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, however, underscores what Dr. Shamaeizadeh chiropractors throughout the world have known all along: Chiropractic care boosts immune function.
Over a nine-month period, 11 volunteers received periodic chiropractic adjustments and lab work designed to track immune function. In addition to immune function showing significant improvement, participants reported that chiropractic care enhanced their quality of life (J Vert Sublux Res2006:1-6).
Allergies and Asthma
Allergies and asthma are common triggers of sinusitis. Patients can, however, reduce their risk of developing sinusitis by staying properly hydrated and eating a diet low in sodium and omega-6 fatty acids (found in sesame, sunflower, corn and flaxseed oil). Avoiding trans-fatty acids — like partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, hydrogenated vegetable oils and shortening — is also important.
Instead, diets should be high in omega-3 fatty acids (fish, pumpkin, almonds, walnuts and flax seeds), onions, fruits and vegetables (Prim Care
Regularly scheduled chiropractic care with a doctor like Dr. Shamaeizadeh may also lower the risk of developing sinusitis by addressing allergies.
In a 12-week analysis, doctors of chiropractic examined 36 asthmatic children for the presence of a spinal condition known as vertebral subluxation. This common malady is characterized by areas in the spine where movement is restricted or bones (vertebrae) are slightly out of alignment.
Half of the patients received chiropractic adjustments — safe and gentle maneuvers designed to restore spinal movement and alignment — while the others underwent placebo treatments.Patients receiving chiropractic adjustments reported 20 percent less frequent use of their bronchodilator. They also noted that their quality of life improved by 10 percent to 28 percent. In addition, asthma severity ratings dropped 39 percent. These results remained constant during the one-year follow-up period (J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001 ;24:369-77).
Gastric Reflux Disease
Based on widespread speculation that gastric reflux disease (GRD) might play a role in the development and maintenance of chronic sinusitis, researchers launched a study involving 31 patients. Test results showed that
25 of the 31 patients had both GRD and sinusitis.
Upon getting GRI) symptoms under control, 14 patients demonstrated “at least some improvement in their sinus symptoms, including seven who experienced either a complete or almost- complete resolution of symptoms. The improvements in sinus symptoms corresponded with improvements in reflux symptoms.” (Ear Nose Throat J 2006;85:174.)
Drinking alcohol causes nasal and sinus membranes to swell and become irritated. And swimming in pools treated with chlorine can irritate the lining of the nose and sinuses: a scenario worsened by diving.
Sinusitis Drugs May Do More Harm Than Good
Over-the-counter or prescription decongestant nose drops and sprays can be counterproductive, leading to even more congestion and swelling of nasal passages.
Avoid antibiotics as well. “Many cases of acute sinusitis will end without antibiotics,” according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
In addition to regular chiropractic care, your doctor may suggest a number of all-natural solutions aimed at stifling sinusitis.
All-natural saline nasal spray, for instance — available in health-food stores and many pharmacies — is an inexpensive therapy that flushes the nasal cavity with a mild salt solution:
removing nasal discharge and crusts, thinning mucus and decreasing inflammation (Am Fam Phys 2005;72: 1661).
To make your own saline spray, add one-fourth teaspoon of table salt to one cup of warm water. Mix well in a clean squeeze bottle. Squirt the salt water into each side of your nose three or four times a day (Am Fam Phys 2004;70:171 1)
Your doctor may also recommend one or more of the following:
• Exercise. In one study, 81 percent of participants engaged in physical exercise to relieve symptoms (Cliii Excell Nurse Prac1999;3:346-52).
• Inhale steam from a vaporizer.
And remember: Keep vaporizers clean and free from mold and mildew.
• Drape a warm — not hot — washcloth over painful sinus areas.
• Purchase a humidifier, particularly
if the air in your home is dry. For the office, select a desk-type version.
• Massage your face, particularly over painful sinus cavities.
• Avoid cigarette smoke and other air pollutants.
Watch Out for Wasabi
Hailed by many for its reported decongestant ability, researchers studied wasabi’s (Japanese horseradish’s) effect on 22 healthy volunteers. “Findings from acoustic rhinometry
a measure of sinus volume and cross section — showed that wasabi was associated with increased rather than decreased nasal congestion.” (Fam Pract News 2004:34:79.)
“No Sneeze” Zone
Sinus attacks are nothing to sneeze at.
That’s why prevention is so critical.
Make a chiropractic appointment today to discuss strategies to boost your immune system and reduce the risk of sinusitis.
The common cold, which can irritate delicate sinus passageways, is the most recognized instigator of sinusitis. Instead of resorting to costly and potentially harmful drugs to cover up cold symptoms, Dr. Shamaeizadeh promotes chiropractic’s prevention- oriented way of life. This chiropractic lfesty1e includes regular chiropractic care, proper nutrition, stress reduction, exercise and wellness education.