What are Sinus Problems?
The sinuses are cavities within the bones of the face and skull that are associated with the nasal passages. There are times when these cavities become congested with mucous, and this congestion leads to inflammation of the sinuses—or sinusitis. This infection can be caused by a variety of factors, including allergies, bacteria, viruses, fungal infections, polyps, and a deviated septum. When one has sinusitis, they may experience nasal congestion, post nasal drip, pain in the face, headaches, fever, fatigue, nasal discharge, a feeling of excessive fullness in the face, toothache, and sometimes even a diminished sense of smell. It is estimated that sinusitis and other sinus problems affect nearly 40 million people in the United States.
How can I treat Sinus Problems?
Traditional Chinese medicine considers the nose and sinuses to be linked to the lung and spleen-stomach networks and works to treat sinus problems by dispelling the dampness that builds up in the cavities, making use of acupuncture and herbal therapy. Additionally, appropriate diet includes foods rich in fiber, complex carbohydrates and whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Specific foods that can help include quinoa, brown rice, papayas, pears, pineapples, citrus fruits, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, scallions, ginger, garlic, oregano, and turmeric. Other remedies include drinking a tea of magnolia flowers, chopped basil, fresh ginger, and chopped scallion three times daily for one week, as well as inhaling a vaporizer that includes a few drops of wintergreen or menthol. It is also recommended to practice 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on a daily basis.
What should I avoid in my lifestyle for Sinus Problems?
It is best to avoid foods that produce mucous and dampness including cold and raw foods, oily and greasy foods, dairy products, soft drinks, and other simple sugars. Other things to avoid include alcohol, smoking, dusty and polluted air, stress, and lack of sleep.
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