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Sinus Infections and Chiropractic Care

Sinus pain (sinusitis) and pressure can lead to headaches that can have a huge impact on your quality of life. For some individuals, the pain can be so severe it is crippling. If you suffer from sinus pain and pressure, or sinus headaches, chiropractic care can help.

Sinuses

Sinuses are cavities that are in the forehead (frontal sinuses); between the eyes (ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses); and in the cheekbones (maxillary sinuses). These cavities filter and moisten the air that is inhaled and they give resonance to our voice. Sinuses are lined with fine hair-like cells called cilia. Cilia help to drain mucous through the sinus passages into the nose.

Defining Sinusitis

Sinusitis, or sinus infections, is also commonly referred to as rhinosinusitis. This condition occurs when the sinus openings become blocked or too much mucous builds up causing one or more of the cavities to become inflamed or swollen. Allergic rhinitis or asthma can be associated with chronic sinusitis as well.

Sinus infections can be either acute (sudden) or chronic (long-term). With a chronic sinus infection, the infection or inflammation does not completely go away for 12 weeks or more. Typically these occur after a cold, an allergy attack or from pollutants in the environment.

Acute sinusitis often occurs in those with weakened immune systems and it is almost always viral. A small percentage of these individuals will develop a secondary bacterial infection with streptococci, pneumococci, Haemophilus influenzae, Moraxella catarrhalis, or staphylococci.

Chronic sinusitis involves many factors that can combine to create chronic inflammation. Chronic allergies, structural abnormalities, environmental irritants, mucociliary dysfunction, and other factors interact with infectious organisms to cause chronic sinusitis. The organisms are commonly bacterial but may be fungal. Many bacteria have been implicated; however, in a few cases, chronic maxillary sinusitis is secondary to a dental infection.

Allergic fungal sinusitis is a form of chronic sinusitis characterized by diffuse nasal congestion, markedly viscid nasal secretions, and, often, nasal polyps. It is an allergic response to the presence of topical fungi, usually Aspergillus.

Specific Causes of Sinusitis

Those who smoke or work with children can be at risk for developing sinusitis. Even pregnancy or development disorders such as cystic fibrosis can be an antecedent to getting sinusitis.  Other causes include:

  • Inflammatory and infectious causes that are related to bacterial, viral, and fungal infections, as well as allergies and polyps.
  • Tumours in the nose and sinuses.
  • Anatomical causes such as a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates in the nose.
  • Immunocompromised states such as diabetes or HIV infection.
  • Prolonged ICU stays, severe burns, and ciliary dyskinesia.

Symptoms

If you have sinus congestion, discharge, and pressure with facial pain or headaches this could mean you simply have a cold. However, if the discharge from your nose is yellow or discoloured you may have a sinus infection. Also, when you bend over and the pressure intensifies, then chances are you have sinusitis.

Prevention Tips

Hand washing is perhaps the most important key to protecting ourselves not just from sinusitis, but other infectious conditions.  Washing hands isn’t just running our hands through water; it is using soap and water and scrubbing up to about 10 or 15cm above the wrist for minimum 10 seconds. Removing all jewellery is important and making sure between the fingers and under the nails are attended to as well.

We should be washing our hands:

  • When we come home from anywhere.
  • Before eating food.
  • After petting our dogs or cats.
  • After toileting.
  • Most importantly, before touching our face.

Wash your vegetables and fruits before you prepare them. Many people still are not coughing or sneezing the way they should be . . . into their sleeve or a tissue. People are coughing and sneezing either into their hands or over produce in grocery stores!

Germs are commonly spread by the respiratory droplets emitted from sneezing and coughing. When they land on your hands, they’re transmitted to door knobs, elevator buttons, food, desk tops, and other surfaces the people around you are likely to also touch.

The CDC reports on their website:

  • It is estimated that washing hands with soap and water could reduce diarrheal disease-associated deaths by up to 50%.
  • Researchers in London estimate that if everyone routinely washed their hands, a million deaths a year could be prevented.
  • A large percentage of foodborne disease outbreaks are spread by contaminated hands. Appropriate hand washing practices can reduce the risk of foodborne illness and other infections.
  • Hand washing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%.

Keep the Immune System Healthy

A compromised immune system is an invitation to many health conditions, not just sinusitis. Food and food substances such as refined sugar, processed foods, pop and other sugary beverages will compromise the immune system.

Eating healthy is critical in order to maintain a healthy immune system. If possible, on a regular basis eat different mushrooms and seaweeds as these contain beta glucans which are critical to a healthy immune system.

Chiropractic Care

In order to help prevent or treat sinusitis, chiropractic care can help. A qualified health professional is your best ally when seeking help.

Established in 2007 by Dr. Behalf Sanjari, Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has a proven record of commitment providing quality health care services in the Greater Toronto Area. Chiro-Med Rehab Centre has qualified professionals who can provide the services you need. Chiro Med has clinics located in Richmond Hill and Newmarket, visit Chiro-Med online or call 905-918-0419 or 905-235-2620 for more information.