Acute and chronic sinusitis are common conditions leading to individuals seeking medical attention, and is currently the most common respiratory condition worldwide. A small percentage of sinusitis cases can be attributed to infectious agents, while the majority are inflammatory in nature and do not respond to antibiotic agents.
|Causes||Infections, Smoking, Allergies, Environmental Toxins, Dietary Factors|
|See Also||Respiratory Conditions, Food Allergies, Food Sensitivities, Environmental Allergies, Upper Respiratory Infection (Common Cold), GERD|
|Books||Books on Head, Ears, Nose and Throat Conditions|
|Articles||Articles on Head, Ears, Eyes, Nose and Throat Conditions|
- 1 Naturopathic Assessment
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Naturopathic Treatment
- 4 References
In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. In sinusitis, the causes are variable and include lifestyle and environmental factors. A detailed assessment is required to determine which factors are contributing to the development and progression of acute or chronic sinusitis.
- Infections are one of the main causes of acute sinus infections.
- Air Pollution
- Air with less than 30% relative humidity (such as forced air heating systems, automobile a/c, and oxygen therapy) and temperatures lower than 65F contribute to sinusitis.
- Occupational Hazards
- The use of antihistamines and vasoconstrictors to treat sinus congestion can cause rebound congestion after discontinuing use.
Practitioners suspecting sinusitis will complete a visual inspection of the nasal mucosa with a nasal speculum to assess colour, edema, nasal secretions, polyps, and the condition of the nasal septum. Palpation of the maxillary and frontal sinuses for tenderness and transillumination can also help to identify cases of sinusitis. In some cases extra testing may be required including:
- Imaging studies including plain radiograph, CT, ultrasound, and MRI may be used to confirm a diagnosis of sinusitis.
- Maxillary sinus aspiration or endoscopy may be used to to perform a culture to identify the pathogen involved in bacterial sinusitis.
Related Symptoms and Conditions
It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.
Home Care strategies include: Since up to 85% of chronic sinusitis cases may be attributed to allergies, it is important to reduce the allergenic load on an individual prone to developing sinus infections. Strategies to reduce indoor allergens in the home include:
- Eliminate dust mites (warm water washing)
- Install high efficiency particulate air filter
- Maintain humidity under 50%
- Remove pets if necessary
- Remove carpeting and feather bedding
Lifestyle recommendations include:
- Dietary recommendations
- Ensure you drink adequate water.
- Regular exercise can decrease the severity and frequency of sinus infections.
- Addressing any postural misalignment issues of the head and neck can prove beneficial.
The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.
Naturopathic Therapies for sinus infections include:
- Vegetables, Roots, Nuts & Gourds such as corn silk.
- Other foods such as honey
- Herbs such as:,  Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus), Bayberry (Myrica cerifera), Golden Rod (Solidago virgaurea), Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica), Elder (Sambucus spp), Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana), Yellow Cedar (Thuja occidentalis), Onion (Allium cepa)
- Gemmotherapies such as Betula alba/pubescens, Carpinus betulus, Juglans regia, Ribes nigrum, Sambucus nigra
- Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes the varied presentations of sinusitis, and treatment is dependent on detailed assessment. Treatment principles utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine to address sinusitis include:
- Expel Wind Heat
- Clear Heat in Liver and Gallbladder
- Clear Lung Heat
- Tonify Spleen and Expel Spleen Damp Heat
- Using hydrotherapy on the feet may be beneficial. Chest diathermy and local application of hot packs over sinuses may be effective. Nasal irrigation with water or hydrastis tea can reduce congestion.
Reviewed by Iva Lloyd, BScH, RPE, ND 
- Leung RS (2008) The Diagnosis and Management of Acute and Chronic Sinusitis Prim Care 35(1);11-24
- Ivker RS (2012) Rakel: Integrative Medicine 3rd ed Chap 15 Chronic Sinusitis Saunders
- DeMuri GP, Wald ER (2009) Mandell: Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases 7th ed Chap 58 Sinusitis Churchill Livingstone
- Murray MT, Bongiorno PB (2006) Pizzorno Textbook of Natural Medicine 3rd ed Chap 153 Bacterial Sinusitis Elsevier.
- Lu Henry (1986) Chinese System of Food Cures, prevention and remedies Sterling Publishing Co. New York.
- Guo R, Canter PH, Ernst E (2006) Herbal Medicines for the treatment of Rhinosinusitis: a systematic review. Otolaryngol Head Neck Sug 135(4)496-506
- Goos KH, Albrecht U, Schneider B (2006) Efficacy and safety profile of a herbal drug containing nasturtium herb and horseradish root in acute sinusitis, acute bronchitis and acute urinary tract infection in comparison with other treatments in the daily practice/results of a prospective cohort study Arzneimittelforschung 56(3):249-57
- Kuoch DJ (2007) Acupuncture Desk Reference 2nd ed Acumedwest.