Sinusitis

Q: Is dietary modification a remedy for sinusitis?

A:The first approach to treatment includes making some changes in your personal habits and your environment. Your habits and your environment can both affect the severity of your symptoms. Although sleep is important to help you feel healthy, too much sleep may worsen your sinus symptoms. This happens because lying down increases nasal congestion. If only one side of your sinuses is affected, try lying on the side that isn't congested when you go to sleep. For some people who have chronic sinusitis, exercise helps reduce congestion by increasing nasal discharge. For other people, exercise can worsen symptoms. You may want to try exercise to see if it helps you. Diet seems to affect sinus symptoms in some people, although no medical studies really support a connection between foods and sinusitis. If you believe your symptoms are related to a food, you might try avoiding that food to see if it helps. Air pollution can make sinus symptoms much worse. Some climates are worse than others for people who have chronic sinusitis. Changes in air pressure can also cause symptoms in some people. For example, some people with chronic sinusitis feel worse just before a rainstorm, when the air pressure is changing. Steam can be very helpful in relieving congestion. You can use steam inhalations with or without astringents such as eucalyptus, pine oil or menthol. Simply breathing in the steam from a cup of hot water works. You can also place a damp cloth heated in the microwave over your face, but make sure you don't burn yourself.

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