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Video transcription

Hi, I'm Dr. David Hill and today we're going to be talking about remedies for sinus infection. Now to talk about that, we're going to say, "What are sinuses?" Sinuses are actually air-filled cavities within the skull. There are two here behind these bones; another pair up here behind these bones and then there are two more paired deeper back in the skull, places you can't really point to. However, these sinuses can become infected or filled with fluid. Now the most common reason is a viral cold; we call that Rhinosinusitis in medicine because it does infect the sinuses and there's really no medication that makes much difference in getting rid of a cold. There are some things in natural medicine that may help. Zinc supplements may keep you from getting colds. They may also shorten the duration of a cold but you do have to take a lot of them to get that effect. Vitamin C has not been shown to have any effect nor has Echinacea. Salt water drops may help quite a bit; for babies, they'll give you a lot of relief, help the baby unclog the nose, some be able to eat and sleep. You can buy these over the counter or you can make them in your home using a half teaspoon of salt and one cup of water. You just want to dribble two or three drops in each side of the nose and then suck them out with that little suction bulb that they gave you at the hospital when the baby's born or you can buy a replacement bulb in any pharmacy for a couple of dollars. You don't want to do it too much however because you can cause increase swelling if you're doing it all the time. Now older children and adults may benefit from something called a Neti Pot. This looks kind of like a teapot or a genie's lantern, but it holds salt water and you can use it to introduce water into the nose and let it run in and run out that will actually reduce the inflammation and some of the pressure. There are some medical remedies as well to the clogged up nose from sinusitis. You can buy over the counter nasal spray like Afrin. I wouldn't use this in kids very much unless the child's doctor recommends it and if you're an adult, I would only use it for two or three days at a time. After that, that third day, the nose kind of gets used to having it there and when you try to take it away, the swelling gets much worse. So really keep track of how much you've done. Now there are some clues especially in children that may need to see a doctor. If the fever with a cold goes on more than three days; goes much over 102 degrees or goes away for twenty four hours and then comes back, those are real good signs that the child might have a bacterial sinus infection. Additionally, if there's any swelling or puffiness or pain of the face especially if the eyes are running with yellow goop or the ears hurt, you probably have something that needs to be treated. The same signs can suggest a bacterial sinusitis in an adult. The bad news is it's not nearly as clear that antibiotics make much difference in the course of sinusitis in adults. That's something if you have those symptoms you might want to talk to your doctor about. More and more doctors are withholding treatment for sinusitis using antibiotics since we just don't know that they work very well. Now people can also get a chronic sinusitis, that's by definition, symptoms that been going on more than a month. In getting relief for that is really quite difficult. Doctors have work long and hard to find something that works consistently and yet even sinus surgery doesn't seem to necessarily make a difference in the course of chronic sinusitis. So that's a topic you really going to want to talk to your doctor about if you're suffering. One of the medical therapy that makes a difference in sinusitis is nasal steroids. We use those to treat allergic inflammation but we're learning, especially in adults that acute use of the nasal steroids may help shorten the duration of the sinusitis; so that's another thing you want to talk to your doctor about if you're a sinusitis sufferer. Talking about getting relief from sinusitis, I'm Dr. David Hill.