Sinusitis is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses. Normally, sinuses are filled with air, but when sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, germs (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) can grow and cause an infection. A sinus infection can cause a headache or pressure in the eyes, nose, cheek area, or on one side of the head. A person with a sinus infection may also have a cough, a fever, bad breath, and nasal congestion with thick nasal secretions.
Conditions that can cause sinus blockage include the common cold, allergic rhinitis (swelling of the lining of the nose), nasal polyps (small growths in the lining of the nose), or a deviated septum (a shift in the nasal cavity).
There are different types of sinusitis, including:
- Acute sinusitis: A sudden onset of cold-like symptoms such as runny, stuffy nose and facial pain that does not go away after 10 to 14 days. Acute sinusitis typically lasts 4 weeks or less.
- Sub acute sinusitis: An inflammation lasting 4 to 8 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitis: A condition characterized by sinus inflammation symptoms lasting 8 weeks or longer.
- Recurrent sinusitis: Several attacks within a year.
Sinusitis can be classified by the sinus cavity which it affects:
- Maxillary – can cause pain or pressure in the maxillary (cheek) area (e.g., toothache or headache)
- Frontal – can cause pain or pressure in the frontal sinus cavity (located above eyes), headache, particularly in the forehead
- Ethmoidal – can cause pain or pressure pain between/behind the eyes, the sides of the upper part of the nose (the medial canthi), and headaches
- Sphenoidal – can cause pain or pressure behind the eyes, but often refers to the skull vertex (top of the head), over the mastoid processes, or the occiput (back of the head)
In Ayurveda, this condition can be correlated to Dushta Pratishyaya, where the main dosha affected is Kapha. It get aggravated and vitiates the Prana Vata (a sub type of Vata), which is mainly present in the respiratory tract.
The Ayurvedic approach to sinusitis treatment is multifaceted and can involve a combination detoxification processes through Panchakarma, oral medicines, dietary and life style modifications.
Therapies like Nasyam, Lepanam, Thalam, Vamanam, Shirodhara are commonly practiced depending on the dosha predominance and severity.
Nasya Karma or Nasyam is a unique and one of the five detoxification therapies mentioned in Ayurveda, highly successful in treating Sinusitis. It is a process in which medicated oil or powder or fresh juice is administered through the nostrils to clear the Kapha accumulated. Recurrence can also be prevented.
Average duration of therapy is around 7 days. Oral medicines duration will be around 6 - 12 months depending on recovery.