Got Chronic Sinus Issues?
So many of my patients have got chronic sinus pain, sinus pressure and discomfort. It really is one of the most common problems I see in my clinic.
The Impacts of Chronic Sinusitis
Sinus problems can bring facial pain from the sinus pressure, blocked nose, affect your sleep, escalate your snoring and cause you to wake up with a very dry mouth, ruin your ability to taste, give you headaches, make you tired (including making you look very tired too) and frankly make you feel unwell and lousy. In more severe cases sinusitis and rhinitis can make you dizzy (due to phlegm in your Eustachian tubes of your ears) and it has even been linked to depression.
Why Do So Many People Have Sinus Problems?
The main causes of chronic sinus problems are:
Infection – because of the warm, moist and sheltered environment of the sinus cavities, bacterial infections thrive and are not easily eradicated. Even after multiple courses of antibiotics the bacteria can easily survive leading to chronic infections and problems.
Allergy – your body’s response to airborne allergens can swell the lining of your sinus cavities to restrict the flow of air creating pressure and breathing difficulties.
Blood stasis – after an extended period of sinus issues the whole sinus area can get jammed up to restrict your blood flow to the area. Poor blood flow means the body can’t fix the problem and you can’t get rid of it. It’s a vicious circle.
Phlegm – Phlegm is really sticky stuff that is usually brought on by poor diet, infection and poor blood flow. The sticky stuff (phlegm) stuffs up your sinuses.
In some cases the cause of some of these is structural – deviated septum, polyps, very narrow passages or other growths.
Western Medicine Treatment
The first stage of treatment can be around using antihistamines and steroidal nasal sprays to control the swelling and pressure. Antibiotics can also be prescribed in an attempt to kill any bacteria. The health effect of using steroidal sprays long-term is not really known. The long-term use of antibiotics destroys the beneficial bacteria that lives in your gut and often brings on a whole raft of digestive and other health issues as a result. Bacteria can be antibiotic resistant too. Anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs can also be used to reduce swelling and pain, but again these are not appropriate to take for long.
If none of these treatments work then the patient is often referred to and Ear, Nose and Throat specialist who may prescribe stronger steroidal sprays and anti-inflammatories and analgesics. They may also investigate your sinuses to determine if there are any structural issues that may be contributing to the problem. If they believe a structural problem may be contributing they may recommend surgery. Nasal surgery is at worst painful and at best extremely uncomfortable with no guarantees that it will address the issues. Some report resolution of their symptoms, others that their problems came back after a period and some that it made it worse. Surgery can be expensive and may also require that you have time off work.
In my view surgery of any kind should always be a last resort.
Chinese Medicine Sinusitis Treatment
Acupuncture and Chinese herbs increase the blood flow to your sinuses, reduce the swelling and the pressure and help your body break up and remove all of the phlegm and gunk. We treat both the symptoms (pressure, headaches, blocked nose, etc…) and the cause (poor blood circulation and/or build up of phlegm). Your body is the only thing that can fix your sinus problems. By increasing your blood flow your body can now work on fixing the problem. And by dealing with the cause, the problem is far less likely to come back.
Everything the body needs to remain healthy is in your blood. Good blood flow = good health. Most patients report a significant reduction in sinus pressure and pain during the first acupuncture treatment.
If you are suffering chronic sinusitis, come and see us for a free 15 minute health check. We’ll read your radial pulse and tell you what’s causing it and how it is best treated.