What is Sinusitis?
Also known as a sinus infection, sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses. Typically, patients have a dry cough that gets worse when lying down at night, and often there is a headache that does not resolve with the usual pain relievers. Sometimes, patients have a sore throat caused by the sinuses draining into the throat.
How is Sinusitis Treated?
Clinicians are often compelled to use steroid injections to obtain the symptomatic relief that patients are so desperate for, but this is not without its challenges. Many patients do not realize the consequences of taking steroid injections chronically. The symptoms of nasal congestion will initially improve due to the strong anti-inflammatory effect that a steroid has, but your immune system will be globally decreased at the same time.
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There is a better way! Although there are limited pharmaceutical options to prescribe to relieve the symptoms of sinus allergies, there are better combinations of medications and therapies than others.
First, addressing the correct symptom is important. Nasal and sinus congestion should be treated with a decongestant once or twice a day. Alternatively, if you have hypertension and should not use a decongestant, you can use a steroid nasal spray daily.
Next, the post nasal drip that often accompanies the congestion can be dried up with an antihistamine. This can be used once or twice a day and is helpful in controlling the dry cough that is often worse when lying down at night. Additionally, you can use a cool mist humidifier in the room where you sleep. This will help moisturize the sinus and nasal tissue.
What About Chronic Symptoms?
Alternate therapies can be very effective in treating patients who suffer chronically from these difficult symptoms. Using a Neti Pot to flush the sinuses of mucus build up and allergens is very helpful and can be used multiple times a day. There is even a battery powered sinus flusher on the market. Just make sure to use distilled water and not tap water.
Menthol rubs can also be used along with humidifiers for symptom relief. Finally, patients are often not aware that their intake of milk products increases their mucus production, so dietary restriction of milk can be helpful.