It is said that around 30 per cent of all people suffer from sinusitis or sinus infection at least once each year. Sinuses are little air pockets inside the skull bones. They are located to either side of the nose, behind and in between the eyes, in the forehead, and behind the head. Sinuses contain mucus that drains into the nasal passageways through pin holes in the sinuses.
A sinus infection happens when the paranasal sinuses on either side of the nose get inflamed. This happens during a cold or an allergy attack, when more histamines are produced in the paranasal sinuses. The inflammation blocks the narrow passageways, making the mucus collect there. This collected mucus soon becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. That’s how a sinus infection begins.
The body produces histamines during allergic reactions. Histamines are neuro-transmitter chemicals. Though histamines are always present in our body, an allergy attack causes more histamines to be released at the site of the allergy attack. When a mosquito bites, for example, histamines are released at the area of the bite making the skin there turn red and itchy. When histamines are released, they cause inflammation and constriction of the muscles.
The symptoms of a sinus infection begin with headache, facial pain, nasal congestion, fever, green or yellow discharge, a heavy face feeling, etc. The infection usually lasts for three weeks or more.
Structural problems such as deviated septum, nasal polyps, etc. are conducive to a sinus infection.
The cure for sinusitis is steam inhalation, nasal irrigation, hot fluids such as tea or chicken soup, and plenty of rest. Aspirin or paracetamol tablets and decongestants are some of the medicines commonly prescribed for sinus infections. If the symptoms continue for more than 48 hours, the pateint should be started on antibiotics or nasal steroids. If you don’t treat the sinus infection pretty early, it could even cause bronchitis and pneumonia and damage the sinuses and cheekbones. You would then have to go for nasal surgery to repair the damage.
When the sinus infection refuses to respond to medication, Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) is the most efficient treatment.
Prevention is always better than cure. Stop smoking, because smoking is one of the chief stimulants of sinusitis (sinus infection). Take an oral decongestant or a short course of nasal spray decongestant, especially before air travel. Drink plenty of fluids, so the nasal discharge remains thin, and use antihistamines for controlling allergy attacks. Allergy testing can also increase tolerance towards allergy inducing substances.
An allergic reaction is an unnecessary, and even dangerous, immune response that should be prevented. Antihistamines counteract these immunological inconsistencies. One of the factors that cause our immune system to go awry is the increasing presence of toxins in the environment. These toxins also touch off allergy attacks in the body.
Recent research has found that a new group of sugars called glyconutrients could represent the next frontier in building a robust immune system. Eight of these essential sugars have already been discovered. They play a major role in the some of the body’s most fundamental chemical processes, and also have a role in keeping the human immune system in perfect order.
Consuming glyconutrients through natural dietary supplements could go a long way in regulating histamine-induced disorders and allergies, and in preventing sinus infections.