By Sami Kennedy and John Haycock
Sinus infections can occur any time of the year for a number of reasons.
Understanding what causes the infection to set in will allow you, in most cases,
to prevent the occurrence.
Sinus infections are usually the result of mucus buildup in one or more
of the sinus cavities in the head. There are four sinus cavities: the frontal
(above the eyes); the maxillary (inside the cheekbones); the spheroid (behind
the bridge of the nose) and the ethmoid (in the upper nose).
When you have a bacterial or viral infection in the upper respiratory
tract (the common cold)
the mucus produced may cause congestion in one or more of the four sinus
cavities. Sinuses that are clogged for a long time usually become infected. This
is known as acute sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis may be caused by injury by injury
to the nasal bones, allergies (especially dairy), or smoking.
The symptoms of a sinus infection include fever, headache (especially
when bending forward), earache, toothache (sometimes sinusitis is associated
with a dental infection), cranial pressure, facial tenderness (tapping on the
sinuses causes pain), cough, difficulty breathing through the nose, decreased
sense of smell, stuffy nose and a postnasal drip. A postnasal drip may lead to
further complications, such as sore throat, nausea, chest congestion and
possibly a bronchial infection.
Another sign to look for is the color of the mucus. If the mucus is
greenish or yellowish, you have an infection. If it is clear, you probably do
not have an infection in the sinus tract (however one can develop if it goes
untreated). If the mucus is clear and you have no other signs of a cold, more
than likely you have food and/or airborne allergies.
Fortunately you can stop these symptoms from progressing and usually
prevent them from recurring. The following is a list of ideas that are known to
alleviate and further prevent sinus infections.
Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of steam distilled water a day.
Eat plenty of raw foods.
Take Echinacea or Astragalus to boost your immune system.
Use a good cold-pressed multi-vitamin and mineral supplements.
Take extra Vitamin C to prevent infection and decrease mucus buildup.
Use Nettles and Eyebright to alleviate the mucus buildup in your
Use Lomatium and Osha or Elecampane to alleviate the mucus buildup in
Decrease your sugar and dairy intake.
Use acidophilus to replace the good bacteria in the colon - if
antibiotics were used. Make sure they are used at least an hour apart.
Take hot liquids such as soups or teas to help relieve the mucus
Bromelain (enzyme found in pineapples) is very helpful fighting
There are many other helpful remedies that can be added to this list. To
make it simple, ensure you get plenty of rest, eat a diet high in fiber and low
in mucus-forming foods, and make sure that you have beneficial supplements and
plenty of fluids.