The sinuses are four pairs of openings in the front of the skull, which are located above, behind, and below the eyes and are connected to the inside of the nose. Normally these cavities are empty, and their lining produces mucus, which routinely clears away dust, pollen, other inhaled particles, and bacteria. The mucus drains harmlessly into the nose or the back of the throat, and from there it flows into the stomach, where stomach acids destroy any dangerous germs.
Sinusitis can be acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis is usually the result of bacterial infection, and it can cause fever and chills as well as severe facial pain and swelling around the eyes. Dental discomfort is also a common complaint. Chronic sinusitis is usually a response to a persistent inflammation of the mucous membranes. Symptoms are usually milder, but can recur frequently.
- Vitamin C combined with Bioflavonoids (antioxidants that also combat viral Infections and Inflammation) and Vitamin A may help to strengthen the immune system and fight off respiratory viruses. Do not exceed 5,000 IU of Vitamin A per day if pregnant or considering it.
- Other immune boosters can be taken on a daily basis; try an antioxidant complex that contains VITAMIN E, BETA-CAROTENE, AND SELENIUM.
- Echinacea and astragalus are immune-system boosting herbs with antibacterial and antiviral properties. Take them at higher doses to treat an episode of acute sinusitis. For chronic sinusitis, alternate herbs for as long as needed, taking each herb for a week before switching to the next one.
- Bromelain, an anti-inflammatory supplement, can be added to help reduce discomfort.
- NAC (N-Acetylcysteine) thins mucus and can be taken long-term by chronic sinusitis patients; an ephedra-free herbal decongestant, it can be very helpful in easing breathing and clearing nasal passages. If you are taking NAC long-term, however, take 30 mg zinc and 2 mg copper daily as well.
- Washing the sinuses out with a saline solution that contains golden seal may help the body combat viruses, bacteria, and fungi.