Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinus cavities. The sinuses are air filled spaces in the skull. It is not clear what purpose they serve (except, perhaps, helping opera singers to project sound!). They are often affected by allergies, and are also susceptible to infection by viruses and bacteria.
Allergic sinusitis is usually associated with allergic rhinitis (hay fever). For information on natural and conventional treatment of this condition, see the allergic rhinitis article. Viral sinusitis is typically associated with the common cold . It has no specific treatment, other than decongestants.
Bacterial sinusitis may develop independently, or as a result of viral or allergic sinusitis. Acute bacterial sinusitis typically lasts less than three weeks and resolves on its own; it is not entirely clear whether standard treatment (antibiotics and decongestants) will in fact speed recovery.
Chronic sinusitis involves continuous infection of the sinuses for months or years. Treatment is often quite difficult and may involve extended courses of antibiotics, antihistamines, decongestants and steroids; in certain cases surgery may be helpful.
Proposed Natural Treatments for Sinusitis
Irrigation of the nose with saline solution is typically recommended, both by conventional and alternative medicine practitioners. It is not clear, however, whether this method actually helps.
For homeopathic approaches to sinus problems, see the homeopathy database .
- Reviewer: EBSCO CAM Review Board
- Review Date: 08/2013 -
- Update Date: 08/22/2013 -