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What exactly is sinusitis? According to Wikipedia it is an inflammation of the paranasal sinuses which may or may not be as a result of infection from bacterial, fungal, viral, allergic or auto-immunine issues. New classifications of sinusitis tie it to the nose and thus combines rhinitis (nose) with sinus for the term rhinosinusitis.

Sinusitis can be acute (less than 4 weeks), subacute (4-12 weeks) or chronic (12 weeks or more). All three types of sinusitis conditions share common symptoms that may be difficult to distinguish.

Sinusitis is thought to affect as many as 38 million Americans or inflammation of the sinuses when air quality is optimal. When the air is clogged with pollution, smoke or other contaminants, even more people develop sinusitis problems than normal. This is true for certain regions of the country when fires are burning or other bad air conditions occur. Pollen can also cause problems.

Sinusitis is no fun for the sufferer. I can cause a wide range of symptoms from mild pain and pressure to excruciating pain and pressure.

Since sinusitis is often tied to the nose it can result in constant drainage or a thick post-nasal drip.

Dr. Murray Grossan, a board certified ear, nose and throat specialist with more than 40 years of sinusitis expertise and author of The Sinus Cure: 7 Simple Steps to Relieve Sinusitis and other Ear, Nose and Throat Conditions (Ballantine Books, 2007) has worked with patients in utter agony because of sinus pain.

Sinusitis sufferers may dismiss their chronic runny nose as a minor ailment but if left untreated it can pose serious health conditions such as the development of meningitis - an infection of the brain, and in some rare cases can cause the formation of blood clots. In those cases where blood clots form in the veins around the sinus they can literally affect the brain like a stroke. Definitely a dangerous, although rare, development.

Dr. Grossman says "most people simply don't see their doctor for a runny nose, but if they have persistent symptoms they should take action. Some of the symptoms that should take sinusitis sufferers to their doctor include: "brain fog" affecting the ability to think clearly, hoarseness, post-nasal drip or sinus pressure that lasts for weeks.

Dr. Grossan reports that long term and chronic systems such as those listed below are a different red flag that requires intervention from their doctor. He also warns "you can't just write it (the symptoms) off as a cold, especially in children because it can lead to bronchial problems and asthmas".

Because so many sinusitis symptoms can be triggered by air contaminants, Dr. Grossman's "The Sinus Cure" devotes an entire chapter to air quality and urges people to be cautious when faced with pollution issues. He says "most people with sinusitis or asthmas know that pollen and smoke can exacerbate their problems."

Dr. Grossman warns "even if you don't have an existing sinus or respiratory issue, you should avoid exposure to air pollutants." He says "fortunately there are several steps you can take for relief, including nasal irrigation to literally keep your nose clean and help the tiny hair inside your nose called "cilia" do their job - filter the air you breathe".

Dr. Grossman recommends putting a HEPA room-sized air filter in your bedroom and says it can work wonders.

With his book Dr. Grossman hopes to show people how to treat sinusitis and related sinus disease issues as a "whole person" approach that avoids the overuse of antibiotics. In fact, overuse of antibiotics to treat sinusitis and related sinus challenges is such a problem that up to one-fifth of prescriptions for adults is written for a drug to treat sinusitis, according to researches at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Dr. Grossman contents that "sinusitis and allergies are worse today than before the antibiotic age" . He says "many patients believe antibiotics are the only remedy to cure their sinus problems but they're wrong." He notes "my new patients come to me having had the latest antibiotics, yet they're still sick and depend on us (their doctors) for relief." As a result, Dr. Grossman has been forced to develop some innovative approaches to curing sinusitis.

Dr. Grossman believes that food plays a big part in both healing and preventing the disease. Dr. Grossman recommends avoiding alcohol, chocolate and dairy products. He also claims that "cold drinks (like soda and iced drinks) are the number one culprit for turning minor postnasal drip into a major sinus headache.

Dr. Grossan says "no matter what you drink, do not drink it cold" He says "siddping hot drinks, such as hot tea can help drain your sinsuses and allow you to breathe easier."

Dr. Grossan's book - "The Sinus Cure" coves the gamut of ear, nose and throat issues from the impact of stress, the under diagnosis of "cough asthma" to current strategies in drug treatments and new surgery options for sinusitis. After treating thousands of patients, Dr. Grossan's dedication to curing sinusitis will bring relief to millions, including those who are seeking help dealing with seasonal air pollution.

Dr. Grossnan currently practices at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He has specialized in treating patients who can take ordinary drugs or have failed with standard treatment. His successful non-drug method of using pulsatile nasal irrigation is detailed in The Sinus Cure. Dr. Grossan's Hydro Pulse Nasal/Sinus Irrigator was featured in Time Magazine's "Best Inventions".

Dr. Murray Grossan's book is The Sinus Cure: 7 Simple Steps to Relieve Sinusitis and Other Ear, Nose and Throat Conditions by Debra Fulghum Bruce, Ph.D. and Murray Grossnan, M.D. (Ballantine Books, 2007; 300 pp). Paperbook - $14.95

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