Sinus problems

The thing about sinus problems – if you’ve got “sinus”, you usually won’t get much sympathy from someone who has never suffered from it. You can tell them about headaches and congestion and fatigue and poor concentration and inability to work, but they won’t be impressed. But you and I know how severe the problem can be. And so do scientists called epidemiologists, who study disease in large populations. They tell us that hay fever and sinus are amongst the greatest causes of lost days at work or school, and cost the community millions of dollars each year in lost productivity.

The sinuses are spaces in the bones of your face. When they clog up, they hurt. They drain through the nose, and if you have got hay fever or a snuffly nose all year, the drainage stops and you get “sinus”.

Once they stop draining, they easily get infected. If you leave the dish washing water in your sink for a week, it will become putrid. It doesn’t matter how much disinfectant you put in, it stays putrid until you pull the plug and drain out the water. This is what happens with sinus over a period of time.

The are two sorts of “sinus” or “sinusitis” as it’s properly called. The first is sudden and acute, often in children after a cold or ear infection, and may respond to antibiotics, although recent evidence suggests antibiotics may not be needed in many cases. The second is called “chronic sinusitis”, and people with this problem are sick most of the year, and are often prescribed many courses of antibiotics. Sometimes they have sinus surgery which helps some people but not all.

If you have ongoing chronic sinusitis, and if you have had two attacks (or more!) in the last year, or if you have had two courses of antibiotics (or more!) in the last year, then speak to your doctor. You need to find the cause of the problem, and in particular you need to know if either allergy or depressed immunity are causing your illness. If these are the cause, and if they are not corrected, then you will continue to suffer ill health irrespective of any other treatment.

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