chronic sinusitis

  1. Chronic sinusitis

    How to cure those sinus problems once and for all

    Wake up and smell the coffee? You wish!

    If you're among the estimated 40 million Americans battling chronic sinus problems, you can barely smell a thing.

    It's like having a cold that never quite goes away. Or, it's like having allergies -- except it seems like you're allergic to absolutely everything.

    I've got a surefire way to beat this condition so you can breathe better than ever -- and I'll share the secret in a moment.

    But first, a new study spots a simple drug-free way to breath a little easier... as long as you don't mind getting some strange looks.

    It's those little strips and tubes people use at night to stop snoring.

    The strips look almost like a Band-Aid and go across the nose, while the tubes go inside and stick out just a little bit.

    They work the same way: They hold the nostrils open just a little wider to let a little more air in, and the new analysis of 10 studies finds that if you're willing to wear them all day long, you can get some relief from chronic sinus problems.

    The downside -- in addition to the strange looks -- is that none of these things are very comfortable, especially for all-day use.

    But they're certainly better than drugs or surgery.

    Over-the-counter meds can make you loopy, groggy, and cranky, while the prescription glucocorticoids used to cut inflammation in the sinuses can weaken your immune system and expose you to infection risk.

    Surgery is even worse.

    Sinus surgery is an extremely tricky procedure in a very delicate area. If anything goes wrong, a stuffy nose will be the least of your worries.

    A botched sinus surgery can damage your vision... cause problems in your mouth, jaw, and teeth... or even lead to permanent headaches.

    In some cases, the surgery doesn't even help much.

    So naturally, the research team behind the new study suggests that sinus patients try nasal strips or tubes before turning to surgery, and that makes at least some sense.

    But I've got something better than all of the above.

    I've found that most cases of chronic sinus infections are caused by fungal growth and fungal infections. Mainstream docs will tell you the only way to treat it is with surgery to remove the infected tissue, but that's just not true.

    Grapefruit seed extract and oregano oil in the form of a nasal spray can often wipe the infection out, sometimes in a matter of days.

    If you've tried those and they don't work, or don't clear it up completely, food sensitivities and/or undiagnosed allergies could also play a role. A holistic medical doctor can test for the causes and come up with a treatment plan that's right for you.

  2. Poke your sinus pain away

    In my experience, there's almost no such thing as "chronic" sinusitis -- only doctors who don't know how to treat sinus conditions, so their patients never get any lasting relief.

    Next thing you know, the patient is battling the condition for months or even years at a time -- and the sinusitis is labeled "chronic," as experienced by some 30 million Americans in 2010 alone.

    Now, a new study shows that mainstream docs can bring at least a little more relief to their patients if they're willing to send them out for some acupuncture and acupressure.

    Researchers say the 11 long-term sinus patients in the study who got both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatments -- along with some nutritional counseling based on the principles of TCM-- had less nose-blowing, sniffling, and sneezing.

    They also had less of that awful facial pain and pressure that goes hand-in-hand with sinus problems, and enjoyed better concentration, fewer cases of restlessness, and less frustration.

    Put it all together, and you can see why they also reported overall improvements in quality of life, according to the study in the Archives of Otolaryngology.

    But on the other hand, no one was cured, either -- so while I think acupuncture and acupressure are great, and I have an acupuncturist at my clinic, neither one would make my shortlist for treating sinusitis.

    Not when there are ways to actually cure the condition instead.

    One reason mainstream docs never get this one right is because they're too focused on treating the symptoms rather than the cause. They'll prescribe nasal corticosteroid sprays and antihistamines and send the patient on his way.

    But while those drugs might bring some quick short-term relief from the symptoms, they do nothing to correct the actual cause (they also come with side effects, especially with long-term use).

    In many cases, chronic sinusitis is caused by environmental allergens and irritants -- including toxins in the home, tobacco smoke, and mold spores. Other common causes include food allergies and even a fungal infection in the sinus cavity (that last one's a lot more common than you'd think).

    There's no antihistamine or steroid on the planet that can correct any of that, which is why patients who take them never get cured. As a matter of fact, they can increase the fungi in the sinus cavity.

    They get "chronic" sinusitis instead.

    Your own answer will depend on the cause -- and that means you need a doctor who's willing to take the time needed to find it. Odds are, that won't be a mainstream doctor. Seek the care of a holistic doctor instead, especially one experienced in testing for allergies and treating fungal infections.

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