In the U.S., one of the most common chronic conditions is chronic sinusitis. For at least eight weeks — and up to three months — people with the pesky condition can have a stuffy nose, facial pain and difficulty breathing, all because of inflammation in the nasal passages, or sinuses.
Doesn’t sound so great, right?
Researchers are now learning that for some patients, the cause of chronic sinusitis might be surprisingly close to home: an overactive immune system. That’s right, the body can cause its own discomfort.
Typically, it’s assumed that chronic sinusitis stems from bad bacteria, fungi or viruses, if not caused by an obvious physical obstruction like nasal polyps or a deviated septum.
However, a study from Saint Louis University found that in people with an overactive immune system, the body can lash out at harmless microorganisms found in the air we breathe everyday. That leads to lingering inflammation…and stuffiness, stuffiness, stuffiness.
For sinus discomfort that just won’t quit, these options can help offer relief for some patients:
- OTC pain relievers. Basic pain medication can help combat symptoms, but check with your doc before choosing the medicine. Some medications can actually make sinusitis worse.
- Elevated sleeping. Getting your Z’s while lying on your back with your head elevated by a pillow or two can encourage mucous to drain. Don’t sleep with your neck too high while lying on your side, though, or it could throw off alignment.
- Soothing compresses. Warm, wet cloths on the forehead or cheeks can help soothe tension and pain.
- Hydrating beverages. For sinusitis treatment, ditch the caffeine and alcohol — both of which can make inflammation worse. Try water, juice or herbal tea to stay hydrated while your body’s trying to heal.
People with chronic sinusitis should get a checkup at the doctor to rule out any underlying conditions. And as always, at-home treatments aren’t replacements for a doctor-advised, personalized plan.
If you’re looking for relief from chronic sinusitis, give us a call. We’re here to help find answers that work for you.