Sinuses are air-filled cavities inside the cheekbones and forehead and they produce mucus which drains into the nose through small channels. Sinusitis is inflammation of these cavities and it can be acute (lasting 2-3 weeks), sub-acute (up to 12 weeks) and chronic (over 12 weeks).
Sinusitis is normally triggered by a cold or flu and as a viral infection antibiotics are not effective. It can also be spread from dental infections or be linked to allergies, polyps, facial injury or surgery or the use of naso-gastric tubes as well as asthma, diabetes, a lowered immune system, inflammatory conditions or smoking.
The main symptoms are pain and tenderness over the affected sinuses, a blocked, runny nose and a fever. Acute sinusitis will tend to clear up on its own but the symptoms can be eased naturally.
There are a number of herbs with analgesic, anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties which can ease blockages. Other herbs can soothe inflamed cavities, dry up excess mucus and support the immune system. Herbalists can make up the most appropriate mix of herbs to deal with current symptoms and possibly target underlying causes.
Steam inhalation with essential oils such as eucalyptus can offer short-term relief but care must be taken in handling hot water. Some people find a hot shower or bath offers similar relief.
Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water and herbal teas. A warm compress, using a facecloth steeped in warm water and placed over the sinuses, can also help. So too can gently massaging the cheeks and forehead.
Consult your health practitioner before following any advice if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have underlying health issues or are on any other medication.
At Napiers Glasgow our practitioners also use special combination Sinus Treatment with MLD applied to the face to clear congestion, ear candling to remove wax and help regulate inner ear pressure and reflexology to open up sinuses. This treatment lasts an hour and can be used alongside herbal medicine.