SINUSITIS AND AYURVEDIC TREATMENT

- Dr. Murali Manohar Chirumamilla, M.D. (Ayurveda)

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You cough now and then and sneeze a lot when you get up in the morning. You are feeling tired and your body aches. You suspect you have a cold. You go on to take medication for the common cold. It doesn’t work. You now have a terrible headache as well. You finally consult the doctor. After listening to your history of symptoms, examining your face and forehead, and perhaps seeing a sinus X-ray, the doctor says you have sinusitis. This is the day the health problem begins.

When you say that you are having a sinus attack, you are actually referring to symptoms in one or more of four pairs of hallow cavities, or air spaces, known as para-nasal sinuses. These cavities are located within the skull or bones of the head surrounding the nose.

Each sinus has an opening into the nose for the free exchange of air and mucous, and a continuous mucous membrane lining joins each sinus with the nasal passages.

Therefore, anything that causes a swelling in the nose, either an infection or an allergic reaction can affect the sinuses. Air trapped within an obstructed sinus, along with pus or other secretions may cause pressure and pain on the sinus wall. The swollen membrane at the opening prevents the air from entering into paranasal sinuses that creates vacuum and causes pain.

Symptoms

Sinusitis simply means inflammation of the sinuses. It has its own localised pain signals, depending upon the particular sinus affected. Recurrent headache or congestion that changes with head position and disappear shortly after getting out of bed is the characteristic of sinus involvement. You may have stuffy nose and loss of smell with yellowish green nasal discharge. You may experience bad breath; pain in the upper jaw and tenderness over the facial sinuses is also present. Fever, if present, indicates the acute nature of the disease. In addition, drainage of mucous from the sinuses down the back of the throat can cause a sore throat and can irritate the membrane lining, the upper windpipe causing cough.

Causes

Sinusitis can be caused by infections, allergies, or medicines. It can also occur because of changes in temperature, air pressure and irritants in the air. A cold can put you at risk of sinusitis. Overuse of decongestant nasal sprays, smoking, and swimming and diving may also increase your risk. Nasal polyps and other problems with the sinuses also increase the probability of getting sinusitis.

Sometimes, fungal infections can cause acute sinusitis. Although these organisms are abundant in the environment, they usually are harmless, indicating that the human body has a natural resistance to them. Fungi can cause serious illness in people whose immune systems are not functioning properly. Inhaling airborne allergens such as dust, mould and pollen, often set off allergic reactions that, in turn, contribute to sinusitis.

Guidelines

bulletIf you are susceptible to sinus disorders you should avoid cigarette smoke and other air pollutants. Inflammation in the nose caused by allergies provokes sinusitis. Drinking alcohol also causes the nasal-sinus membranes to swell.
bulletDo not swim in the pool treated with chlorine, since chlorine irritates the lining of the nose and sinuses.
bulletAir travel, too, poses a problem if you are suffering from sinusitis. A bubble of air trapped within your body expands as air pressure in a plane is reduced. This expansion causes pressure on surrounding tissues and can result in a blockage of the sinuses or the eustachian tubes in the ears. The result may be discomfort in the sinus or middle ear during the plane’s ascent or descent. In the same way, some people with sinusitis feel worse just before a rainstorm, when the air pressure is changing.
bulletIf you suspect that your sinus inflammation is getting worse with dust, mould, pollen, or food or any of the hundreds of allergens that can trigger a respiratory reaction, you should take medical help.
bulletAvoid curd, banana, ice-cold drinks, and frequent head baths. Mosquito repellents are the major culprits. If possible, use mosquito nets in the place of repellents.
bulletHousehold remedies such as turmeric, garlic, ginger, and black pepper are always helpful for both the prevention as well as cure of the disease.
bulletAlthough sleep is important to help you feel healthy, too much sleep may worsen your sinus symptoms. This happens because lying down increases nasal congestion. If only one side of your sinuses is affected, try lying on the side that is not congested when you go to sleep.
bulletFor some people who have chronic sinusitis, exercise helps reduce congestion by increasing nasal discharge. For other people, exercise can worsen symptoms.
bulletMake sure your eyeglasses fit well. If your glasses pinch your nasal bridge, your symptoms may get worse.
bulletSteam can be very helpful in relieving congestion. You can use steam inhalations with or without astringents such as eucalyptus or menthol. Simply breathing in the steam from a cup of hot water works. You can also place a damp cloth heated in the boiling water or microwave oven over your face, but make sure you do not burn yourself.
bulletSaline rinse helps moisten dry nasal membranes, and help make the mucus wetter and easier to remove. The saline rinse can be prepared at home by mixing one-fourth teaspoonful of table salt with 200 ml of warm water. Use a bulb syringe to squirt the liquid into your nostrils and rinse the sinuses. Nasal wash with the lotion prepared from fried Tankana bhasma (borax) is also very effective.

Ayurvedic Remedies

After diagnosing sinusitis and identifying a possible cause, your doctor can prescribe a course of treatment that will reduce the inflammation, relieve the symptoms, and build up the resistance power. Sinusitis is treated by re-establishing drainage of the nasal passages, controlling or eliminating the source of the inflammation, and improving the immunity power.

bulletAyurvedic doctors generally recommend nasal drops such as Anu taila or Shabdindu taila to reduce congestion. These oils initially may provoke bouts of sneezing and running of water from the nose. If properly inhaled, these oils remove the blockage of the path from the sinuses of the nasal cavity.
bulletTo reduce the inflammation, you may be advised to take medicines such as Khadiraadi vati, Vyoshaadi vati, and Kaanchanaara guggulu. These medicines will produce a soothing effect and reduce the inflammation.
bulletOther symptoms such as headache, pain, and nasal allergies are treated with appropriate medicines. Medicines such as Laxmi vilas ras, Chyawana praasha, Abhraka bhasma will build up the immunity if used for a long period.
bulletChitraka hareetaki available in lehya form in the dose of 2 teaspoonfuls with warm milk twice daily is also an effective remedy that is commonly prescribed for sinusitis. Along with it, nasal inhalation of steam to which a few drops of Jeevan dhaara (a mixture of camphor, menthol etc.) are added, should be inhaled twice daily for about a week.

Note

As we all are genetically different with different constitutions and patterns, we respond to treatments in many different ways. Hence Standard Ayurvedic Treatments are always individually formulated. This article is intended only for information. It is not a substitute to the standard medical diagnosis, personalized Ayurvedic treatment or qualified Ayurvedic physician. For specific treatment, always consult with a qualified Ayurvedic physician.

 

Address

Dr. Ch. Murali Manohar, M.D. (Ayurveda)

Ayurvedic Specialist

Raksha Ayurvedic Centre,

Opp. Directorate of Women Development,

Yousufguda Main Road (Sarathi Studio Road),

Ameerpet, Hyderabad - 500073.,

Andhra Pradesh, INDIA

Phones: Land: +91 (040) 23742146; Mobile: 09246575510

Consultation Hours  (by phone appointment)

Weekdays: 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.

 E-mail: muralimanoharch@hotmail.com

 

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