TREATING SINUS DISEASE

TREATING SINUS DISEASE FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH

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Sinusitis is the first limb of chronic airway-digestive inflammatory disease (CAID), and like CAID, can be caused by infection (bacterial, fungal/mold, or viral), allergies, environmental elements (car exhaust, cigarette smoke, or mold) and/or the anatomical narrowing of the sinuses. The diagnosis of sinusitis refers to an inflammation of the sinus membranes, whereas rhinitis means inflammation of the lining of the nose and turbinates. Inflammation

Understanding Your Diagnosis

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Sinus Disease and DiagnosisThere are three general types of sinusitis or rhinosinusitis: acute, acute recurrent, and chronic. While all three types of sinusitis or rhinosinusitis are caused by inflammation, the duration of the inflammation defines your problem. See which of the following descriptions best describes your current state of health.

ACUTE SINUSITIS

Acute sinusitis is defined as a short-term

ACUTE RECURRENT SINUSITIS OR RHINOSINUSITIS

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If either a viral or bacterial infection lasts longer than 4 weeks despite antibiotics, or if you experience at least four consecutive recurrences of acute sinusitis or rhinosinusitis, you may be diagnosed with acute recurrent sinusitis. Many of my patients can effectively treat their acute symptoms within 2 weeks, but as soon as they stop taking their medicines their initial

Treating Acute Recurrent Sinusitis or Rhinosinusitis

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The treatment for acute recurrent sinusitis is, in most cases, a course of antibiotics that can last for 3 - 8 weeks. I may recommend a course of nasal steroids to bring down excessive inflammation. I also recommend hydrating the nose with nasal saline sprays, irrigation, and steam, especially when
it is dry in the winter. Hydration can break up the thick secretions. Decongestants and mucolytics can be helpful as well. You will

CHRONIC SINUSITIS OR RHINOSINUSITIS

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A sinus infection lasting longer than 4 weeks should be considered more than just an acute infection and, in fact, should be considered a chronic sinus infection or chronic sinusitis. You can differentiate between an acute recurrent problem and chronic sinusitis because the symptoms of acute recurrent sinusitis will resolve after an adequate

BIOFILMS AND CURING CHRONIC SINUSITIS

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While inflammation is the direct cause of rhinosinusitis, other factors may be at work that can cause the disease to become not only chronic but difficult to permanently cure. According to a new theory, a matrix forms in the sinuses that house the fungal or bacterial infection. This matrix is called a biofilm. This biofilm anchors to the surface of the sinus and is difficult to remove. Biofilms

Sinus Headaches vs. Migraine Headache

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A sinus headache can range from mild to excruciating to the point at which you can feel debilitated. A sinus headache can also spark a migraine headache. This occurs when there is pressure on the blood vessels in the sinus cavities. Many patients have sinus headaches at times and migraine headaches at other times. Or sinus headaches can turn into migraine headaches.

It is possible to tell the difference between a sinus headache

Sinus Headache Treatments

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The first step to breaking the cycle of sinus headaches is to clear up and control your sinus problems. At this point, you might see your headaches disappear or improve significantly. Some of my patients have also found relief by eliminating caffeine, chocolate, and other stimulants from their diet.

Yet sometimes

NASAL POLYPS

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Nasal polyps are small growths that occur in the nasal cavities. They can be as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen or as large as a grape. Even small
polyps can obstruct sinus openings, which can allow sinusitis to develop. Polyps are diagnosed via a CT scan and/or endoscopy.

Polyps are caused by inflammation.

Treating Nasal Polyps

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To reduce the size of nasal polyps so that breathing can return to normal, you must break the inflammatory cycle. Polyps may need to be removed surgically. However, they tend to recur, so medication still must be taken to control them even after they are removed. I often prescribe nasal steroid sprays or oral steroids, such as prednisone, to reduce inflammation. Antibiotics and/or antifungals (oral or topical) are also

DEVIATED SEPTUM

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If the wall between your nostrils (the septum) is crooked because of an injury or anatomical abnormality, it can create air turbulence that can irritate the sinus membranes. This irritation can cause swelling, which will impede normal sinus drainage. A septal deviation can also create significant nasal obstruction, enough to cause difficulty

Decoding My Problem

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The first step to better health is to review your results from Part One of the CAID Quiz (p. 70-71). Locate your score so that you can define your next course of action. Follow these guidelines:

■ If your score is between 0 and 10, you can treat your symptoms with OTC medications for the first 48 hours. If the symptoms

TREATMENT OPTIONS

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Currently, there are new medicines and successful combinations of traditional and holistic care that can treat sinus disease. The sinus problems ot the vast majority of sinus disease sufferers can be successfully treated with medication alone. This may include a combination of nasal sprays, decongestants,

Irrigating the Sinuses

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Using a mild nasal saline spray to regularly cleanse and moisturize the sinuses is probably the best thing you can do for your health. Saline sprays are OTC remedies that are made by many different companies. You should experiment with the different formulations and see which one agrees with you best. Saline spray works well when patients have an acute infection.

A nebulizer

Preparing for Irrigation

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If you have recurrent or chronic sinus disease, you may require more aggressive therapy with saline solution. You will need to irrigate with a neti pot (i. e., Baraka pot) or an irrigation device (i. e., Hydro Pulse). You can purchase a neti pot at most pharmacies or health-food stores, and irrigation devices can be found at most pharmacies. Some people use a simple

Using a Neti Pot

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A neti pot is an ancient Indian tool used to cleanse the nose. Choose a neti pot with a tapered conical tip at the spout end that is the right size for your nostrils. Fill the pot with the cooled saline (6a).

Tilt your head to one side, and gently

Using an Irrigation Apparatus

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You can also try an irrigation apparatus. This is an electric device that is used in much the same manner as the neti pot. It provides a more aggressive cleansing because the water is pressurized. The irrigation apparatus should be used once or twice daily for chronic conditions or more often when you are experiencing a flare-up.

I personally use an irrigation apparatus. I feel that in bad cases it breaks the infection up better

MASTERING ROUTINE NOSE BLOWING

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For anyone with any form of sinusitis, it’s important to keep your nose clear by frequent blowing. However, some doctors believe that blowing your nose too forcefully can actually be detrimental: It can force the mucus, and any germs it contains, into the sinus cavities. Others believe that this is not true.

I believe that the correct way to blow your nose is to clear one nostril at a time

YOUR MOTHER WAS WRONG

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I have never met a person who has not picked his or her nose sometime in the past. Although picking our nose is taboo in today’s society and
considered disgusting, people pick their noses to remove infected crusting that is irritating them or to remove scabbing as a result of nasal dryness and bleeding. These crusts and scabs are blocking your breathing, making you uncomfortable. So it is good

PRESCRIPTION MEDICINES

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Don't Be Afraid to Take Medication

Patients very often come into my office afraid to take medication. Their fears are usually based on inaccurate information that they have
been given regarding medicines. You should understand that despite the fact that every medicine has its risks, when taken properly most medication will help rather than hurt you. For example, I had a patient who came to me many years ago. During

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