Healthy Family | Home Safety | Health and Wealth | Relationship Issues | Career Advice | Growing Family
Get the SixWise e-Newsletter FREE!
Google Web
Free Newsletter Subscription
Get the Web's Most trusted & Informative Health, Wealth, Safety & More Newsletter -- FREE!


Share Email to a Friend Print This

Chronic Sinusitis: What it is, What the Symptoms Are, Common Treatments, Potential Cures

One of the most common chronic illnesses in the United States, chronic sinusitis affects an estimated 33 million people every year, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Sinusitis occurs when the lining of the sinus cavities (which are in the facial bones around your nose) become inflamed. This can prevent mucus from draining out of your sinuses, allowing viruses, bacteria and fungi to multiply and cause infection and swelling.

While most sinusitis cases last four weeks or less, chronic sinusitis can last 12 weeks or more. It can also be identified by frequent, recurring cases of acute sinusitis.

Chronic sinusitis can usually be identified by a recurring headache in the front of your head or around your eyes.

The Causes and Symptoms

While acute sinusitis is usually caused by infection with a virus or single type of bacteria, chronic sinusitis is usually caused by infection with a mixture of bacteria or allergies. It can occur at any time but may also follow a respiratory infection, such as a cold.

Chronic sinusitis can occur more often in people who have:

  • Abnormalities in the structure of their sinuses or nasal passages

  • Nasal polyps

  • A deviated septum (which means the wall between the right and left sides of the nose is dramatically off-center)

  • Unusually narrow openings where the sinuses drain into the inner nose

  • Nasal tumors

  • Asthma

  • Cystic fibrosis

  • Immune system problems

Over time, chronic sinusitis can actually damage the tissues of the sinuses. It also causes a number of uncomfortable symptoms:

  • Facial pain, pressure or tenderness around the eyes, forehead or cheeks

  • Difficulty breathing through your nose

  • Headache in the front of the head or around the eyes

  • Pain in the teeth or roof of mouth

  • Runny nose with yellow or yellow-green, thick discharge

  • Cough

  • Bad breath

Treatment Options

If you suspect you may have chronic sinusitis, you should visit your doctor. He or she may also refer you to an allergist or an ear, nose and throat specialist. Your doctor may be able to diagnose chronic sinusitis upon examination, or the following tools may be used:

Nasal endoscopy: A thin tube is inserted through your nose to visually inspect the inside of your sinuses.

Imaging: Computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to view details in your sinuses that may be difficult to detect with an endoscope.

Conventional treatments for chronic sinusitis include nasal corticosteroid sprays, antibiotics and even surgery to enlarge nasal passages or remove polyps. However, there are a number of steps you can take to prevent chronic sinusitis from flaring up and help reduce the symptoms naturally.

Natural Methods for Treating and Preventing Chronic Sinusitis

Using a saline nasal wash several times a day can help to clear your sinuses and make breathing easier.

If you know you are prone to sinusitis, the following precautions can help prevent a recurrence:

  • Don't smoke and avoid being exposed to secondhand smoke.

  • Avoid spending long periods of time outdoors when pollution and allergens are high.

  • If you have allergies, use these 26 simple steps to prevent allergy flare-ups, which will also reduce your chances of a sinusitis flare-up.

  • Drink plenty of fluids.

  • If you have a cold, blow your nose gently and correctly, using one nostril at a time.

  • Avoid traveling by airplane if you have a cold, bout of sinusitis or allergy flare-up.

  • Avoid alcohol, which can cause your sinus membranes to swell.

  • Eat a variety of foods, like fruits and vegetables, to boost your immune system, which may help fight off an underlying infection, and reduce inflammation in your body.

Meanwhile, if you feel the pain of chronic sinusitis setting in, these methods can help reduce symptoms:

  • Rinse your nose with a saline solution several times a day.

  • Inhale steam from a kettle or pot of boiling water (being careful not to get burned) or use a humidifier.

  • Don't bend over with your head down, as this can increase pain.

  • Apply warm packs to your face.

  • Get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids.

Recommended Reading

Why Some People Never Get Tired, and How You Can Join Their Ranks

Leptin: What it is, and Why it May be the Most Powerful "Tool" in the Battle Against Diabetes


Mayo Clinic: Chronic Sinusitis

Chronic Sinusitis in Adults

Medline Plus: Chronic Sinusitis

To get more information about this and other highly important topics, sign up for your free subscription to our weekly "Be Safe, Live Long & Prosper" e-newsletter.

With every issue of the free newsletter, you’ll get access to the insights, products, services, and more that can truly improve your well-being, peace of mind, and therefore your life!

Share Email to a Friend Print This