As the weather turns colder during autumn and winter, we are more susceptible to respiration diseases. One of such diseases is sinusitis.
Even though, for some, sinusitis can be present during the whole year, it most often occurs during the cold months.
What is sinusitis?
Sinuses are cavities within the bones of our skull, filled with air. They are found above the eyebrows, in cheek bones, behind the nose ridge and between the eyes.
Picture by: Patrick J. Lynch, medical illustrator, Illustration by : Michał Komorniczak
source: Wikimedia Commons
Sinuses are lined with respiratory epithelium, which is kept moist with mucus. The air enters the sinuses via small orifices in the bones, which allow the communication with the nose cavity. If any of these orifices are blocked due to swelling of the mucous membrane, the air cannot enter the sinuses and, at the same time, mucus created in the sinuses cannot get out.
This ensues the inflammation of the mucous membrane, in other words inflammation of the sinuses or sinusitis.
Sinusitis can be roughly divided to acute (lasts up to three weeks) and chronic (lasts couple of months, or even years).
Acute sinusitis is most often a consequence of cold, allergies, flu or a bacterial infection. It is caused by viruses, bacteria, and rarely fungus. Also, sinusitis can be triggered by chemical irritants.
Chronic sinusitis mostly occurs due to frequent acute conditions, allergies, asthma, but also because of nose septum deviation, polyps and similar.
In both cases the organism has a weakened resilience (immunodeficiency) towards infections, so balancing the immune system is a first step in the treatment.
The most common sinusitis symptoms are: headache, pain, sensitivity and swollen areas around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead, stuffed nose with greenish-yellow mucus, feeling of pressure on the face area (which gets worse when a person leans forward), fever, general weakness and fatigue, reduced sense of smell and pain that spreads to the teeth.
It should be taken into account that sinusitis is almost always harmless and is successfully treated. Only in rare cases sinusitis can turn into a more serious disease.
Before I explain the aromatherapeutic approach, here are some methods which will help a great deal in prevention of sinusitis.
– If you spend a lot of time in dry rooms (caused by heating), room humidifiers can help.
– The filters used in heaters or air-conditioners can be used to remove the allergens from the air.
– Avoid smoky rooms.
– Avoid all irritants that have proved to cause some kind of reaction, like runny nose, sensitive eyes or cough (cleaning agents, air refreshers, perfumes, smoke…)
– Avoid alcoholic drinks (alcohol can elevate the mucous membrane swelling and additionally make the excretion more difficult).
– Avoid swimming pools, because the chlorine can irritate the sinuses.
– Try to prevent getting sick: avoid contact with people infected with any kind of respiratory disease, wash your hands often.
-Keep a balanced diet, with a lot of fruit and vegetables, whole grain cereals, nuts…so your organism is resistant and healthy.
– Take food supplements which will also help you keep a balanced immunity – health food stores have a really good choice.
– Drink enough fluids (water and tea), because among other things enough fluids take daily can help liquefy the thick mucus in the nose and sinuses, and in that way alleviate its excretion.
Aromatherapy is extremely efficient when used for all kinds of respiratory diseases.
The essential oils I will mention in the following text are antiviral and antibacterial, liquefy mucus and cleanse the sinuses.
Of course, one condition is that you use the therapy regularly – every day, several times a day.
The therapy includes several different remedies, and the best results are achieved if you combine all of them together.