NCTV Episode 103

Continuing with the series of bitesize health tip videos which can be found here on my YouTube Channel, this episode includes:-

  • Hey fever…spot the typo
  • A comprehensive overview of sinusitis
  • Self-help strategies
  • Effective treatments – conventional and natural
  • Preventative measures


If you’d prefer to read the content within, rather than watch the video, then feel free to read the transcript, as follows:-

Hello and welcome to NCTV, Episode 103 and today we’re talking about something that’s a real pain in the…sinuses, and that is sinusitis.

We’re now into June 2024 at the time of recording and it’s that time of year again when hay fever is rife and this is one of the things that can lead to sinusitis. However, this video is more about sinusitis and less about hay fever, so if you wish to know more about hay fever and how you can help yourself with this then tune into NCTV Episode 62 which was devoted exclusively to this.

So, what exactly is sinusitis? Simply put, it’s an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Our sinuses are four pairs of air-filled spaces in our skull that connect to the nasal cavity. When these get blocked or filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection. Fun fact: your sinuses produce about a litre of mucus every day! Gross, but true.

There are several causes of sinusitis other than hay fever. It can be triggered by a cold, allergies, nasal polyps, or even a deviated septum. Simply put. when your sinuses get blocked and can’t drain properly, that’s when the trouble starts.

In terms of the symptoms, if you have sinusitis, you might experience:

  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Nasal congestion
  • Thick, discoloured nasal discharge…nice
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste
  • And a cough or throat irritation

In severe cases, you might even have fever, bad breath, and fatigue.

As for treatments, mild cases of sinusitis often clear up on their own, however, here are five ways to help speed up your recovery:

  1. Stay hydrated to help thin the thickened mucus.
  2. Use a humidifier to keep the air moist if the air is dry. This moistens your nasal passages to help the flow of mucus to ease sinus congestion. Or use a dehumidifier in damp conditions where the air is humid to reduce mould, dust mites and other allergens that can trigger sinusitis.
  3. Try a saline nasal spray to rinse out your sinuses.
  4. Over-the-counter decongestants can be helpful, but don’t use them for more than a few days.
  5. Warm compresses can relieve facial pain.

Before starting any treatment though, be sure to always consult with a healthcare provider.

If you’re after some self-help strategies, here are a few tips:

  • Inhale steam from a bowl of hot water to loosen the thick mucus and sooth the membranes.
  • Elevate your head while sleeping to help your sinuses drain.
  • And avoid irritants like cigarette smoke and strong odours.

Another fun fact for you – Did you know that consuming spicy foods can help clear your sinuses? This is because spicy foods cause your body to produce more mucus, which can help clear out your nasal passages – an excellent excuse to enjoy a spicy curry if you’re into that sort of thing!

Prevention is always better than cure though, so here are five ways to avoid sinusitis:

  1. Wash your hands frequently to prevent infections.
  2. Manage your allergies with appropriate medications.
  3. Avoid upper respiratory infections by keeping your distance from people who are sick.
  4. As mentioned, use a humidifier if you live in a dry climate or a dehumidifier if in a damp climate. These can be used as both prevention and treatments. And…
  5. Keep your home and environment clean to reduce allergens.

As an osteopath I can say that sometimes people do reach out for help on the matter, and whilst we can’t technically say we treat this condition as such, when combined with conventional treatments though, those suffering with sinusitis have found the facial drainage techniques osteopaths use helpful, along with work on the neck and upper back which promotes fluid movement, potentially helping to reduce inflammation and pressure on the sinuses. We’d also look holistically at how you can help make adjustments to your lifestyle to support your overall health.

For more information on how to manually drain your sinuses yourself, see NCTV Episode 12. This is by far the most popular video I’ve made so far so it’s well worth a watch.

Other alternative therapies that may be helpful are acupuncture and herbal remedies like eucalyptus, peppermint and ginger teas or steam inhalations to unblock the sinuses.

When it comes to diet, eating healthy anti-inflammatory type foods, much like the mediterranean diet, may be best – so foods such as fish and fruit & veg and avoiding things like diary and sugar may help to reduce your body’s baseline inflammation and mucus production levels.

To wrap up, the prognosis for sinusitis is generally good. Acute short terms sinusitis often resolves on its own, while more chronic long terms sinusitis may require more intensive treatment but can be managed effectively with the right approach.

And that’s it for week’s bitesize bit to help your health flourish. I’ll see you again next time!

By for now.