Sinus congestion (also referred to as nasal congestion) is the blockage of what can be termed as the nasal airway passage. The condition can either be chronic or acute depending on the predisposing factor. The leading cause of acute sinus type congestion is in most cases common cold, while the chronic sinus related congestion may be as a result of bacterial infections or allergies which in most instances results in sinusitis. Sinusitis is the inflammation of not only the sinus but also of the nasal passage. Sinus infection is characterised with cough, fever, sore throat, bad breath and nasal or sinus congestion. Thick nasal secretion is also a major characteristic of sinusitis, feeling pressure in the ears is also another common sign associated with this condition. Pressure is felt because of the Eustachian tube that is present in the pharynx and this tube normally connects the ears, nose and the mouth.
Understanding the anatomy of Sinus Related Congestion
For us to be able to understand as well as appreciate the problems associated with sinus congestion, it is important that we have an overview of the anatomy of the sinus. Sinuses are four pair hollow air-filled cavities to be found on the human skull. There are indeed connected to the nasal passage and the nostrils. The sinuses play few major roles including; insulating the skull as well as reducing its weight and permitting the voice to resonate within the skull. There four pairs of the sinuses are;
• The frontal sinuses to be found in the forehead
• The ethmoid sinuses located between the eyes
• Maxillary sinuses to found right behind the cheek bones
• Sphenoid sinuses located behind the eyes
Sinuses contain a well elaborate defence mechanism against bacteria and virus. It is covered with a layer of mucous and hairy cells on the surface (cilia) that aid in the trapping and propelling of pollutants and bacteria outwards.
An Overview of Nose Congestion
Sinus congestion is a relatively common condition that affects persons of all ages and gender. In 2009 for example more than 29.3 million adult cases were recorded in the United States. In 2007 approximately 12.5 million people paid a visit to medical practitioner throughout the country with chronic nasal congestion related complications. Acute sinus congestion occurs no more than three times in a year and more importantly an attack should not last for more than eight weeks. On the other hand the chronic one not only lasts longer but is also more frequent. Chronic nasal congestion may have symptoms lasting for than 20 days.
Treatment and Management of Nasal Congestion Relief
There is no known cure for sinus congestion. As such all medications available today are meant to relief and manage this condition. Some of the known remedies both natural and synthetic are meant to help in moisten the mucous membrane and thus allow for the decongestion process to take place – thus assisting with sinus congestion relief.
Decongestants; these are medication that meant to reduce the swelling of the nasal passage and such help ease not only the stiffness but also the pressure on the sinus. They come as nasal sprays such as oxymetazoline, naphazoline, phenylephrine among others. They can also be available as pills such as pseudoephedrine.
Pain relievers; these medication help in relieving pain associated with sinus congestion. It is imperative to note that they play no role in either decongestion or fighting against bacteria, viruses and allergens causing sinus congestion. Pain relievers that may be prescribed for this condition include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen sodium. If purchased over the counter ensure you read and follow the instructions as given in the label.
Antihistamines; in case the sinus congestion is as a result of allergy then antihistamines and other allergy medication may be prescribed. These medications are designed to reduce and control symptoms emanating from allergy and thus help sinus congestion relief. There aid in relieving sneezing and sniffling and must be used in-conjunction with decongestants to relieve sinus pressure and congestion. If purchased over the counter please always remember to read the label for the dosage and other directions as well.
Such natural remedies as mangoes are highly rich in mucous membrane moisten vitamin A that is as popularly known as membrane conditioner. It helps in prevention of the reoccurrence of itchiness of the nose as well as the swelling of the mucous membrane. Other foods that are rich in vitamin A include egg York, spinach, pumpkin, sweet potato and papaya.
Vitamin C is an essential component in the fight against sinus congestion. It is known to strengthen and boost the body immune system. It is a water soluble vitamin that is easily eliminated from the body through the kidneys. The work of vitamin C is specific in not only fighting the sinusitis causing bacteria but also in repairing damaged body tissues. Fruits rich in this vitamin include citrus and oranges. Normally sourer fruits would contain some reasonable amount of vitamin C.
Taking lots of fluids will help hydrate your body and thus restore the fluids lost due to fever and mocuos discharge associated with acute sinus congestion. Fluids play a vital role in moistening up the mucous membrane. Recommended fluids may include a number of herbal teas like ginger teas that has some anti-inflammatory as well as detoxification effects which help in boosting the body immune system. The teas aids not only in the reduction of the nasal swelling but also in mitigation of inflammations to be found along the digestive and respiratory tract.
The aroma of such seeds as cumin are can aid in relieving the sinus congestion. Onion and garlic have been recommended for use as well. These products act as natural decongestants and antibiotics that are very effective in fighting bacteria causing sinusitis and so bringing on sinus congestion relief.
If the problems and symptoms associated with nasal congestion persist for more than seven days, one should consider see his or her doctor for further consultation. At this there is a possibility that you are dealing with a condition that needs a professional medical practitioner attention. Please visit your doctor sooner if the conditions appear to be more severe. Sinus and nasal congestion is a manageable condition but one need not take chances.
i appreciate the effort puit into this site - keep it coming
— Louis G. Wood Jan 29, 2012
The range of possible causes and treatments for sinus problems is enormous, and your site does the subject justice.
— Carlos Weaver Mar 12, 2012
gotta say its a lot of stuff on this site - and most of it is real usfeul stuff too. thankyou
— Benbo Apr 9, 2012
Nice variety of topics been covered - haven't seen this much on other sites.
— Norman Hunt, Oklahoma City,OK Jan 9, 2012
i like the herbal things - they have eased my sinisitis a lot. thankx
— Sherry Simpson, NYC Dec 9, 2011