As cooler temperatures continue through the fall season, the rise of acute or chronic sinus cases increases. According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 30 million people have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis.
When traditional treatment for sinus issues such as antibiotics, nasal sprays, and even surgery have not been successful in relieving the symptoms, many a have turned to Eastern Medicine such as acupuncture as a viable alternative and found relief.
Signs and Symptoms of Sinusitis
The symptoms of acute and chronic sinusitis are similar. Chronic sinusitis usually does not cause fever, and its symptoms last longer. Chronic sinusitis is most common in people who have allergies.
- Pain or pressure in your forehead, temples, cheeks, nose, and behind your eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Nasal discharge (yellow or green)
- Postnasal drip (a sensation of fluid dripping down the back of your throat, particularly at night or when lying down)
- Cough, often worse at night
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Loss of sense of smell
- General sense of not feeling well (malaise)
Sinusitis usually follows an upper respiratory infection (such as a cold) or an allergic reaction (such as hay fever or allergic rhinitis). These can cause inflammation and swelling that keeps the sinuses from draining properly. When sinuses become blocked, they provide a place for bacteria, viruses, and fungus to live and grow rapidly. Although a cold is most often the culprit, anything that prevents the sinuses from draining can cause sinusitis.
Other common causes for sinusitis include:
- Allergies (such as hay fever, cigarette smoke, and dry air, pollutants)
- Changes in air pressure (for example, from swimming or climbing high altitudes)
In Chinese acupuncture treatment, very thin needles are inserted into the skin at certain points to allow energy flow between the body’s meridian. This can relieve sinus pressure, open nasal passage and relieve aches and pain associated with sinusitis.
Acupuncture has been able to treat sinusitis in early stages and complement with other Western medicine treatments in latter stages of sinus infection.
Acute sinusitis is usually curable. If you have recurrent attacks, you should be evaluated for underlying causes (such as nasal polyps or another structural problem, i.e. deviated septum).