Sinuses are the empty spaces in your skull. There are four pairs of sinuses. Normally, these spaces are filled with air, but if they are infected by germs or filled with fluid, and blocked due to inflammation, then this condition is called sinusitis. In acute sinusitis symptoms mostly last between 10 days to four weeks. Whereas in chronic sinusitis the symptoms last longer than 3 months.

Any person with a weak immune system or any kind of allergy is more likely to develop sinusitis. Homeopathy helps in treating sinus infections as these medicines help build immunity against these infections, prevent their further progress, and provide long-term and safe treatment.

Role of homeopathy in sinus infections

Homeopathic medicines for sinus infections act by removing blockages, helping in getting rid of discharge rather than stopping the normal flow of discharge or drying of air passages. These medicines also treat the underlying cause of sinusitis in addition to the symptoms.

Six homeopathic medicines for sinus infections

Allium cepa

Common name: Bulb onion

Allium cepa is indicated for complaints of profuse watery discharge from the eyes and nose.  The discharge from the nose is acrid with a burning sensation while the discharge from the eyes is bland. There is a runny nose and symptoms are better by going outdoors and worse in the evening and in a warm room.

Hydrastis canadensis

Common name: Goldenseal

Hydrastis is mostly used in cases where the nasal discharge is thick, yellow, and ropy. There is a catarrh of the nose, ear, and throat. The patient is weak with poor digestion. There are complaints of headache and heaviness in the respiratory tract. It is also indicated if sinusitis has occurred after coryza.

Calcarea carbonica

Common name: Calcium carbonate

Calcarea carbonica is suitable for individuals who catch colds easily. The nose is blocked with offensive and yellow discharge. Nostrils feel dry and ulcerated. The patient is often fat, fair, and flabby with a desire to eat sweets, eggs, and cold drinks. There is a headache when exposed to cold air and symptoms are worse in cold damp weather. It is also indicated in nasal polyps and swelling of the tonsils.

Echinacea purpurea

Common name: Purple coneflower

Echinacea is known to strengthen the immune system. It is very effective in cases of excessive tiredness and weakness with bodyache. The patient tends to catch coryza, and hay fever in every seasonal change. The discharges are foul-smelling and the nose is stuffed up with post-nasal catarrh.

Silicea

Common name: Silicon dioxide

Silicea is used in cases of chronic sinusitis. The nose and sinuses are stuffed up with discharges with a feeling of heaviness and congestion. The patient is chilly where the hands and feet remain cold. There are recurrent attacks of allergic rhinitis. Loss of smell, sore throat, and post-nasal drip are present. The person complains of headache and pressure-like pains behind the eyes. The patient wants to be covered up. Silicea helps in unblocking the airways and allow the free flow of discharges thereby relieving symptoms of pressure and congestion.

Sabadilla

Common name: Feathershank

Sabadilla helps in cases of continuous coryza, constant runny nose, violent spasmodic sneezing, nasal congestion, and watery eyes. One of the nostrils is blocked, and inspiration through the nose is difficult. Itching and irritation are present in the nose. Tearing when walking outdoors, looking at light, sneezing, coughing, or yawning are some of the common symptoms.

Sneezing is so violent that once the sneezing begins there is no telling when it will end. There is dryness of the nose and tickling in the nose spreads throughout the body, followed by shortness of breath. The face is hot and the eyelids are red and burning with lacrimation. There are severe pains in the frontal region of the head with coryza.

Causative factors for sinus infections

Virus

The most common cause of sinusitis is a viral infection. Around 90% of the cases are caused by viruses.

Common cold and influenza

If not treated well and on time, they lead to sinus infections.

Bacteria

Streptococcus pneumoniae and haemophilus influenzae are common forms of bacteria that cause sinus infections.

Fungal infection

Sinusitis caused by fungi is also common, especially in cases of diabetic and cancer patients.

Nasal and seasonal allergies

Allergies due to pollen grains, danger, dust, strong perfumes, and animal furs.

 

Your chances of developing a sinus infection increase due to the following risk factors:

  • Genetic predisposition.
  • Anatomical deformities like deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, etc.
  • Weak immune system.
  • Cigarette smoking.
  • Occupational hazards like working in a chemical, pharmaceutical, or construction industry.
  • Environmental factors like living in a damp, marshy area near the seashore or slums which are prone to humid and unhygienic living conditions.

Signs and symptoms of sinus infections

  • Postnasal drip (mucus dripping down your throat).
  • Runny nose with thick yellow or green mucus.
  • Stuffy nose.
  • Pressure around the eyes, nose, and forehead.
  • Pressure or pain in your teeth.
  • Ear pressure or pain.
  • Sore throat.
  • Loss of smell.

Treatment for sinus infections

Conventional treatment for sinus infections include corticosteroids, antibiotics, nasal decongestant sprays, and antihistamines. Surgery is advised in cases of anatomical defects and cases of nasal polyps.

Diet and lifestyle modifications for sinus infections

  • Consume a diet rich in vitamin C like citrus fruits, Indian gooseberry, and papaya.
  • Expose yourself to sunlight between 10 am to 2 pm to get your daily dose of vitamin D.
  • Steam inhalation helps in decongesting nasal passages.
  • Avoid exposure to cold air and pollution. Wear a face mask to protect your respiratory tract while going out.
  • Stay away from strong odors and pet dander that may act as allergens.

Conclusion

Sinus infections are caused due to low immunity and can result in discomforting symptoms. Managing the symptoms in time can help reduce the complications and other severe forms of the condition. Homeopathic medicines provide symptomatic relief and aid in recovery of the condition without much side effects.

References

  • Rosenfeld RM, Piccirillo JF, Chandrasekhar SS, et al. Clinical practice guideline (update): adult sinusitis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2015;152(2 Suppl):S1-S39. PMID: 25832968 ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25832968/.
  • Witt CM, Lüdtke R, Willich SN. Homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic sinusitis: A prospective observational study with 8 years follow-up. BMC Ear Nose Throat Disord [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2024 Mar 19];9(1):7. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6815-9-7
  • Bell IR, Boyer NN. Homeopathic medications as clinical alternatives for symptomatic care of acute otitis media and upper respiratory infections in children. Glob Adv Health Med [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2024 Mar 19];2(1):32–43. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.7453/gahmj.2013.2.1.007
  • Anand A, Srivastav N, Gandhi N. Role of homeopathic medicine in the treatment of sinusitis [Internet]. Tjhms.com. [cited 2024 Mar 19]. Available from: https://tjhms.com/uploadfiles/7.%20sinusitis.20230709015055.pdf
  • Nayak C, Singh V, Singh VP, Oberai P, Roja V, Shitanshu SS, et al. Homeopathy in chronic sinusitis: a prospective multi-centric observational study. Homeopathy [Internet]. 2012;101(2):84–91. Available from: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.homp.2012.02.002