Sinus conditions, allergies and hayfever
Sinusitis is caused by too much mucous, or a swelling of the lining of the sinuses and nose, which can block the narrow channels. This can occur during a cold, from nasal polyps causing even more narrowing of the sinus cavity, or may be due to allergy (such as hayfever) or irritation of the linings of the sinuses (possibly from chlorine in a swimming pool or other irritants). Bacteria may then grow inside the sinuses, causing pain, headache and sometimes fever. Mucous from infected sinuses can be yellow or green.
Allergic Rhinitis, or hayfever, is an overstimulation of the immune system in response to an external trigger, typically pollen or fungus spores. The mast cells in the mucous membranes of the sinus respond to the external triggers by excreting histamine, which creates the runny, stuffy, itchy, nose and eyes that we experience in allergies. Typical biomedical treatments for sinusitis and allergic rhinitis can be antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, anti-histamines, and possibly cortico-steroids to reduce the immune response.
Chinese Medicine views sinusitis and rhinitis as disorders of the Qi (chee = vital energy) and Blood of the body which has been affected by external factors. Treatment is aimed at aiding the body to correctly use its defences to expel the external pathogen, and then to build up the defences and strength of the body to prevent the disorder arising again in the future. This is typically achieved using a combination of acupuncture, herbal formulas and massage, and is most effective when treatment starts prior to the hayfever season, or prior to the normal triggers of sinus pain, to help prevent re-occurrence of symptoms, and to lessen any symptoms that may arise.
Please call us if you have any further queries about treatments for hayfever and other symptoms.