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Probiotics for Sinusitis

By Esther Kinuthia RN BSN BA

Sinusitis is the swelling and inflammation of the sinuses and is caused by bacteria, allergies, fungal or viral infections. Sinusitis occurs when the sinuses become blocked, leading to mucus buildup, which encourages the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms. Sinusitis may be acute or chronic. Chronic sinusitis lasts for more than 12 weeks. Probiotics can help prevent sinusitis, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Lactobacillus Acidophilus

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to beneficial microorganisms found in the human gut. Patients with sinusitis are encouraged to take lactobacillus acidophilus supplements because they help reduces chances of developing allergies, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Allergy symptoms are a major cause of sinusitis. Probiotics also help replace friendly bacteria that are killed by antibiotics used to treat sinusitis.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

Patients with sinusitis experience symptoms such as a cough that worsens at night, yellow-greenish nasal discharge, post-nasal drip, pain, tenderness and pressure around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead, lost sense of smell and taste, toothache, bad breath, ear pain, sore throat, fatigue, malaise and fever.

Treatment of Sinusitis

Sinusitis caused by bacterial infection is treated using antibiotics. Antibiotics do not treat sinusitis caused by viral or fungal infections. Most cases of bacterial sinusitis improve without antibiotics. Patients with sinusitis caused by allergies are treated using antihistamines. Patients are also treated with nasal corticosteroids to reduce swelling, decongestants, over-the-counter pain relievers and saline nasal sprays.

Prevention of Sinusitis

Sinusitis can be prevented by frequent hand-washing so as to avoid infections, treating allergies, avoiding smoking , drinking plenty of fluids and using a humidifier. A humidifier is necessary in homes where the air is dry. Breathing in dry air can cause hardening of mucus in your nasal passages, which leads to mucus buildup and sinusitis. A humidifier helps add moisture to air. Patients should also rinse out nasal passages regularly using homemade salty rinses or manufactured sinus rinses. Sleeping with the head of the bed elevated also reduces the congestion that can cause sinusitis.

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