Sinusitis treatment with natural ways - Are antibiotics helpful in acute sinusitis? Home remedy for chronic sinusitis, by Ray Sahelian, M.D.
March 4 2016


Sinusitis is an inflammation of the lining of one or more of the sinus cavities in the facial bones around the nose. It is categorized as acute (sudden onset) or chronic (long term, the most common type). Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for the majority of patients with sinusitis even though most cases are caused by a virus rather than bacteria. Overuse of antibiotics is leading to more virulent and even drug-resistant bacteria.


Practical home remedies and suggestions
Breathe salt water spray or rinse can help.
Drink more water or fluids.
Use a humidifier at home or in the bedroom so you can breather moist air.
Avoid smoking cigarettes, exposure to smoke of all sorts, and smoking marihuana, whether as a cigarette or from a bong / vaporizer.
Reduce or avoid fumes from harsh cleaning products, paints, hair spray, perfume, etc.
Nasal irrigation may help. Nasal lavage or nasal wash involves using a mild saline solution to flush out the thickened mucus causing your sinus congestion. Lean over the sink, squirt the solution into one nostril and let it drain through your nasal cavity and out the other nostril. Keep your mouth open and don't breathe through your nose. Rinse bottles, bulb syringes, and neti pots are available at many stores.

Acute sinusitis
Most cases are acute infectious sinusitis, which generally lasts less than four weeks. Routine sinus infections arenít really helped by antibiotics. In a British study, people suffering from facial pain and a runny nose with greenish or yellowish mucous improved within about two weeks whether they took the standard antibiotic amoxicillin or steroid nose spray. Antibiotics, particularly the penicillin-like drug amoxicillin, are among the most commonly prescribed medicines for sinus infections.


Watchful waiting is a good approach in the treatment of acute rhino sinusitis
Symptoms cannot reliably identify which patients with acute rhino sinusitis -- infection of the nasal and sinus cavities, will benefit from antibiotic therapy. Dr. Jim Young of the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland and colleagues conclude that antibiotic therapy should not be used to treat acute this common infection in adults, even if the symptoms have lasted for up to 10 days. The overuse of antibiotics for acute rhino sinusitis is common because doctors are often unable to determine if the cause is viral or bacterial. Dr. Jim Young found the overall number of patients that would need to be treated to cure one patient was 15. If purulent discharge in the throat was present, the number needed to treat declined to 8. There may be some benefit using antibiotics in treating older patients, those with longer symptom duration, and those with more severe symptoms. "Watchful waiting" and symptomatic relief are reasonable approaches for almost all adult patients with acute rhino sinusitis-like complaints. The Lancet, March 15, 2008.


J Med Assoc Thai. 2015. Treatment Outcomes of the Uncomplicated Upper Respiratory Tract Infection and Acute Diarrhea in Preschool Children Comparing Those with and without Antibiotic Prescription. Upper respiratory tract infection (URI) and acute diarrhea are the two most common reasons for ambulatory visits among young children. Unnecessary use of antibiotics to treat such conditions pose significant financial burden and can result in untoward side effects as well as risk of antimicrobial resistance. On the other hand, inadequate antibiotic treatment in certain cases may increase the risk of suppurative complications and/or invasive infection in this population, including sinusitis. Antibiotic therapy did not appear to provide clinical benefit in the management of uncomplicated URI and/or acute diarrhea among previously healthy young children.


Natural treatment for sinusitis, and prevention
It is highly recommended that a person with chronic sinus problems stop smoking cigarettes or marijuana, reduce exposure to smoke or pollutants, perhaps drink less milk or eat less dairy, reduce white bread and simple, processed carbohydrates, drink less sugared sodas, increase fresh fruit and vegetable intake, have more fresh vegetables juices, add more culinary spices to their food, eat more fish, lots more fish, and perhaps take fish oil capsules. If you use sugar with tea or coffee, consider stevia as a sweetener.


The herb andrographis has been tested in this condition.

A double blind, placebo-controlled study of Andrographis paniculata fixed combination Kan Jang in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections including sinusitis.
Phytomedicine. 2002. Gabrielian ES, Shukarian AK, Goukasova GI, Chandanian GL, Panossian AG, Wikman G, Medical Centre, Yerevan, Armenia.
A double blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group clinical study was carried out to evaluate the effect of an Andrographis paniculata (N.) extract SHA-10 fixed combination, Kan Jang, in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections, including sinusitis. Ninety-five individuals in the treatment group and 90 individuals in the placebo group completed the study according to the protocol. The medication was taken for 5 days. Temperature, headache, muscle aches, throat symptoms, cough, nasal symptoms, general malaise and eye symptoms were taken as outcome measures with given scores. The total score analysis showed a highly significant improvement in the verum group versus the placebo. This result applied to the group as a whole and to the sinusitis subgroups. The individual symptoms of headache and nasal and throat symptoms together with general malaise showed the most significant improvement while cough and eye symptoms did not differ significantly between the groups. Temperature was moderately reduced in the verum group. It can be concluded that Kan Jang has a positive effect in the treatment of acute upper respiratory tract infections and also relieves the inflammatory symptoms of sinusitis.


Therapeutic use, efficiency and safety of the proteolytic pineapple enzyme Bromelain -POS in children with acute sinusitis in Germany.
In Vivo. 2005.
The therapeutic efficiency and safety of the proteolytic enzyme bromelaine obtained from pineapple (Bromelain -POS, Ursapharm GmbH, Saarbrucken, Germany) was evaluated in children under the age of 11 years diagnosed with acute sinusitis. Data from 116 patients from 19 centres located across Germany were analysed in a pharmacoepidemiological cohort study. Patient cohorts were either treated with Bromelain -POS, in combination with Bromelain -POS and standard therapies, or with standard therapies. The primary parameter measuring effectiveness of the different treatment groups was the duration of symptoms. The shortest mean period of symptoms was observed in patients treated with Bromelain -POS alone (6 days), followed by the standard therapy (8 days) and those treated with a combination of Bromelain-POS and the standard therapy (9 days). Patients of the Bromelain -POS monotherapy group showed a statistically significant faster recovery from symptoms compared to the other treatment groups. One 10-year-old male patient, with a known pineapple allergy, showed a self-limiting mild allergic reaction. No other unwanted side-effects were reported. This trial documents that the proteolytic pineapple enzyme Bromelain -POS is widely used in the treatment of young children diagnosed with acute sinusitis in Germany and that the use of proteolytic enzymes can benefit such patients.


Q. I am interested in ascertaining the possible benefits of using turmeric to reduce chronic inflammation in the sinuses and nasal passages that lead to frequent acute bacterial sinusitis infections. I haven't seen any research on sinusitis and turmeric or curcumin, but am wondering if it's reasonable to speculate that turmeric might reduce inflammation globally? I have an immune mediated reaction to normal molds, resulting in the production of Major Basic Protein which inflames the mucosa. Researchers are seriously studying this mechanism as the cause of chronic rhinosinusitis. Any thoughts on using turmeric?
   A. Sinusitis can be caused by many factors. We have not seen any research regarding turmeric or curcumin for use in sinusitis.


Natural chronic sinusitis treatment, alternative remedy, home remedy
Firstly, make sure you are sleeping well and deeply at night since this is crucial for good immunity. Many cases of chronic sinusitis are caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses that your immune system needs to keep in check or get rid of, and deep sleep is one of the most crucial aspects of a healthy immune system.


Include garlic and onion in your soups and meals, to help dissolve and eliminate excess mucus. These herbs also have anti-germ properties.


Cod liver oil supplements, fish oils, and multivitamins in children may be helpful.


Nutritional supplements as adjunctive therapy for children with chronic / recurrent sinusitis: pilot research.
Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2004
Inflammation and edema of the sinonasal mucosa are important in the pathophysiology of sinusitis. Based on the similarities between otitis media (OM) and sinusitis, and our previous research on OM, we hypothesized that nutritional supplements would be effective adjunctive therapy for the treatment of children with chronic/recurrent sinusitis. We performed a 4 month, open-label, dose-titration study; subjects were enrolled from late January to early March 2003. Each subject served as his own control. Study supplements were a lemon-flavored cod liver oil and a children's multivitamin-mineral with selenium, prescribed in escalating doses; at higher doses, fish oil was substituted for cod liver oil. Subjects were private pediatric otolaryngology outpatients with a clinical diagnosis of chronic/recurrent sinusitis, whose symptoms were refractory to treatment with antibiotics. Our four subjects were Caucasian males, ranging in age from 4 to 9 years, with chronic/recurrent sinusitis for at least 3 years prior to entry in the study. Three subjects had a positive response; one subject dropped out for administrative reasons. Four, six, and eight weeks after beginning study supplements, the responders had decreased sinus symptoms, fewer episodes of acute sinusitis, and fewer doctor visits for acute illnesses. Their parents reported that they had begun to recover from upper respiratory illnesses without complications, which was unusual for these children, as was improvement in springtime; their improvement had previously been limited to the summer months or periods of home-schooling. Use of flavored cod liver oil and a multivitamin-mineral with selenium as adjunctive therapy for children with chronic / recurrent sinusitis is an inexpensive, non-invasive intervention that clinicians can use for selected patients, pending the performance of definitive, large, well-controlled studies.


Q. I have cronic sinusitus. I have not been able to smell for over 13 years unless I go on antibiotics. Is there a natural solution to regain the sense of smell?
   A. I'm not aware of research in this area, sometimes alpha lipoic acid has been for enhancing sense of smell but I have no idea if it would work in such cases.


Chronic sinusitis definition
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the nasal cavities often caused by a virus, allergy, bacteria, fungus, or possibly an autoimmune reaction.


If the signs and symptoms of sinusitis last more than 12 weeks, or if there are frequent bouts of sinusitis, this could be considered a case of chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis is one of the most common chronic diseases in the United States, affecting more than 30 million people each year. In some cases it may be due to allergy to certain inhalants or foods.

Chronic sinusitis treatment, standard medical practice
This may be with medications such as antibiotics, or, in some cases, surgery. Patients with common cold have often symptoms similar to sinusitis. These symptoms often resolve in time, but symptomatic treatment (e.g. analgesics, decongestants) may be used. If symptoms continue for over 10 days, or severe symptoms continue for over 3 days, or symptoms turn worse in the course of the disease, bacterial sinusitis should be suspected. Diagnosis is based on clinical findings, and can be confirmed with ultrasound examination. Amoxicillin, penicillin or doxicyclin are recommended for bacterial sinusitis. Patients with chronic or recurrent sinusitis should be referred to specialist care.

Irrigation versus steam inhalation
For those with chronic sinusitis, doctors often recommend steam inhalation or nasal irrigation -- rinsing the sinuses with a saline (salt-based) solution.
   Nasal rinses are more effective than steam inhalation. Use a neti pot, a vessel designed to rinse mucus and debris from the nasal cavities. Typically, they look like little teapots with long spouts. Irrigate your nose daily with about 4 ounces of saline solution in each nostril. The solution can be made of 1 teaspoon salt and a half teaspoon of baking soda combined in 1 pint of water.


Research article
Chronic sinusitis: management for optimal outcomes.
Treat Respir Med. 2004.
Chronic sinusitis is characterized by nasal purulence accompanied by malaise, postnasal drip and nasal dryness or crusting. It is a condition that is very difficult to treat and can be very disabling to the patients. A clinical diagnosis is based on history and evaluation with endoscopy, and computerized tomographic scanning. The etiology of chronic rhinosinusitis is multifactorial and comprises a vicious cycle of pathophysiological, anatomical, and constitutive factors. Predisposing factors include ciliary impairment, allergy, nasal polyposis, and immune deficiency. Treatment is aimed at reducing mucosal inflammation and swelling, controlling infection, and restoring aeration of the nasal and sinus mucosa. The choice of treatment is influenced by many factors including past medication, duration of symptoms and the presence of allergy/nasal polyps. Pharmacologic treatment, with local or systemic corticosteroids such as mometasone furoate, fluticasone propionate, beclometasone dipropionate or oral prednisolone coupled with nasal lavage with isotonic saline solutions are the cornerstones of disease management. Systemic antibiotics including amoxicillin/clavulanic acid, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (cotrimoxazole) are often administered to patients with chronic sinusitis and underlying bacterial infection. In patients with underlying allergy, additional treatment with antihistamines should be considered. Aeration of the sinuses may temporarily be improved with local nasal decongestants such as oxymetazoline. If symptoms persist after aggressive medical treatment, surgery should be considered. Surgery should be functional and involve widening the natural drainage openings of the sinuses and preserving the ciliated epithelium as much as possible. In the case of nasal polyposis surgery is more aggressive involving removal of the diseased polypous mucosa. It is recommended that medical treatment should be continued post sinus surgery.

Nasal irrigation for chronic sinusitis
Neti pots and other gadgets that rinse the nasal passages could be the cause of a growing number of chronic sinus infections tied to tough-to-treat mycobacteria.

Sinusitis can cause tenderness in the face, aching behind the eyes and difficulty breathing through the nose. Postnasal drip is also common leading to chronic cough. A sinus infection symptom can include headache or pressure in the eyes, nose, cheek area, or on one side of the head. A person with sinusitis infection may also have a cough, a fever, bad breath, and nasal congestion with thick nasal secretions.


Post nasal drip is a major cause of sour taste in the mouth. The nasal mucus is rich in protein and provides good food for the bacteria. As a result, the bacteria multiply largely and accumulate at the back of tongue, which leads to sour taste in mouth. This is the reason why, a person is most prone to sour taste in mouth when he suffers from sinus infection. Heartburn is yet another cause. The esophagus relaxes while digestion, which causes the stomach acid and undigested food particles to wash back in your throat. This results in sour taste in the mouth.


Causes of chronic sinusitis
The bones around the nose, the eyes and the cheeks are lined with membranes that produce mucus, which function to warm and moisten inhaled air and to filter out bacteria and other organisms. When congested and unable to drain properly, the mucus continues to accumulate, stagnate and become infected.


Chronic colds and flu
Environmental allergies
Tobacco and pollution irritation. Other people's cigarette smoke could be to blame for much of the chronic itchy, runny nose and sinus woes - also known as rhinosinusitis -- that plague one in every six US adults. Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, 2010.

Food allergies
Dental infection
Fungal infection in the sinus cavity




Q. Can serrapeptase enzyme cause adverse reactions when taking meds for high blood pressure such as Norvasc and avapro? Because my mom takes those and they really afflict her badly. And what is the ideal serrapeptase dosage for me to take serrapeptase for chronic sinusitis. I've had that all my life. I need relief and not drugs.
     A. We personally do not have enough experience with this nutrient to have an answer to these questions. Serrapeptase has been used in Japan but very little in the US so we really don't know much about the ideal dosage or what conditions it is likely to benefit, or how it interacts with medicines.


Dr Ray Sahelian, M.D., I have patented and now offer a natural nasal wash, unique and the most effective nose wash on the market today. I have been teaching nose washing, prevention and avoidance of medications for more than 20 years and Nasopure is the result of this experience. I have written for CAM articles for WEBMD, have several informational handouts for patients.
   We have not tested this Nasopure product by Dr. Hana so we can't comment on it. Perhaps some people may benefit if they have sinusitis or nasal allergies. It may be worth a try.


I have surgically chronic dry nose. My mucosa in my inferior turbinates in my sinus is not producing mucuos. My new ENT prescribed Premarin cream .625% and seems to be working a bit to help repair the nasal mucosa. However I am a male and wonder if I should be taking anastrazole to block the estrogen once it is absorbed? Or is it ok to take without because absorbtion through nasal mucosa is not that potent? He said it is not enough to worry about.

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