Chronic Sinusitis - Learn more about this painful, irritating problem

Chronic Sinusitis is a prolonged sinus infection that lasts without significant interruption for a prolonged period of time, usually anywhere from three weeks to three months. It affects 30-40 million Americans a year, is the most common chronic condition in the United States, and can often cause you to experience severe headaches.

How do I know if I have a sinus condition, and not just a cold?

Generally, chronic sinusitis will last far longer then 10 days, and can often produce a thick yellow/green mucus discharge, facial pain or pressure, and nasal congestion. There is no known cure for this condition, although the right treatment can help resolve a current infection.

Allergies are often associated with chronic sinusitis, particularly patients with asthma. Often, inhalation of airborne particles in the home, such as dust, pollen and pet dander can set off allergic reactions that can sometimes contribute to the problem. Pollutants in the outside air and in buildings, along with wet, damp weather, can also add to the problem.

Many people confuse severe, long-lasting colds with chronic sinusitis. However, a cold usually lasts no more than 7 to 14 days, and then disappears without requiring medical treatment. Chronic sinusitis often lasts much longer and includes symptoms not normally associated with the common cold. A doctor can usually diagnose it by a physical exam, x-rays, or medical history. Occasionally, an MRI or CT scan may be required to confirm the diagnosis.

How is chronic sinusitis generally treated?

Chronic sinusitis can be difficult to treat successfully. Generally, the goal is to re-establish drainage of the nasal passages, relieving the pain and eliminating the source of the inflammation. Home remedies can be used, and while they don't necessarily cure the problem, they can often relieve the painful, irritating symptoms. Inhaling steam from a vaporizer or a cup of hot tea can be soothing to the nasal cavities. A wet, hot compress, or a hot water bottle can also ease the symptoms temporarily.

A good path to follow is to avoid anything that triggers allergic responses. If you are sensitive to your outdoor environment, try to avoid exposure to cold air. Keeping your air humidified and avoiding exposure to pollutants as much as possible will help as well.

Another alternative solution for treating chronic sinusitis

If your sinus problems are not too severe, I've had good luck using the Nasal Sinus Formula developed by Therabreath. By squeezing 3-4 drops into each nostril (and then lightly inhaling to move the potent formula through the sinus) twice daily, most people find that their symptoms are reduced, and find a nice additional benefit of fresher breath too, as the production of sulfur compounds created by the reaction of mucus and the anaerobic sulfur producing bacteria are eliminated.

If your problems have developed into chronic sinusitis, many people have found relief by using the Hydropulse (an amazingly effective Nasal-Sinus Irrigator, designed by an Ear Nose & Throat specialist) to flush the sinuses. The Hydro Pulse helps to restore ciliary function and relieve post nasal drip. A short period of regular use can stimulate the cilia (the tiny hair-like fibers in the nasal sinus passages) to restore their natural protective "sweeping & cleansing" action.

If you want to learn more about the treatments mentioned above, here's an article about nasal congestion, including chronic sinusitis, that will provide additional information on how you can also put a stop to your bad breath, while working on your sinus problems.

Meanwhile, this free eBook is a fantastic resource that covers all aspects of bad breath, including it's relationship to nasal congestion and other sinus issues.