Sinus infection (sinusitis) causes great misery: nasal congestion, sneezing, headache, pain, postnasal drip, and obstructed breath. Sinusitis can be caused by acute upper respiratory infection (URI), allergens and pollutants. Every year, sinusitis affects about 37 million in the United States. Worldwide the number of people suffering from chronic sinusitis increases steadily due to rapid increase in populations with allergies.
Viral infection or allergic rhinitis damages the cells of the sinus lining, leading to inflammation. The lining thickens, obstructing the nasal passage, causing disruption of the process that removes bacteria normally present in the nasal passages. As a result, the bacteria begin to multiply and invade the lining of the sinus.
Bacteria that normally cause acute sinusitis are Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Moraxella catarrhalis. These microorganisms, along with Staphylococcus aureus and some anaerobes (bacteria that live without oxygen), are involved in development of chronic sinusitis.
Fungi are also becoming an increasing cause of chronic sinusitis, especially in people with diseases that weaken the immune system, such as AIDS, leukemia, and diabetes.
Chronic sinusitis associated with progressive mucosal disease is often a cause for anosmia, impairment or complete loss of the sense of smell. Despite aggressive anti-allergic, antibiotic, and surgical intervention, long-term relief of anosmia has been difficult to achieve. Prolonged use of nasal spray to fight the common cold can often cause anosmia, which gradually may lead to loss of the sense of taste as well.
Asian Natural Remedies for Chronic Sinusitis
As the body starts to fight more effectively against the harmful pathogens to rid them out of the system, the tissue along the nasal passages can take a break from the constant "inflammation assault" and start renewing itself: shedding necrotic, damaged cells and producing fresh, healthy cells to rebuild the mucosal lining. Gradually, in a matter of a few months, with a change to "healthier soil" the local environment of sinuses is much improved, and normal functions of olfactory receptors and nerve tissue can be gradually restored.
"Your immune system is your interface with the environment. If it is healthy and doing its job right, you can interact with germs and not get infections, with allergens and not have allergic reactions, with carcinogens and not get cancer.A healthy immune system is the cornerstone of good general health."
- Andrew Weil, M.D., in Natural Health, Natural Medicine (2004), p. 210.
A family is a unit composed not only of children but of men, women, an occasional animal, and the common cold - Ogden Nash Every year the Center for Disease Control (CDC) expects that 5% to 20% of the population will get the flu and that 200,000 people will be hospitalized because of it. Even more than that will get a cold. Is it inevitable?
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