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Are you living with facial pain and tenderness and/or swelling in the sinus areas, headaches, post nasal drip, bad breath, fatigue or a chronic cough? While sinusitis or inflamed sinus linings may not be considered a serious ailment, it may mean you are at risk of being exposed to dangerous bacteria, toxins, viruses and allergens because your sinuses can’t operate efficiently.

Our noses are designed to serve as high-efficiency air filters. When fully functioning, the human nose is capable of removing 80 percent of the various substances in the air.

Healthy, mucous-covered cilia, the tiny hair-like fibers in the nose are meant to catch invaders before they make themselves at home in your lungs. But inflamed sinuses weaken cilia, preventing them from doing their job, and leaving you exposed to risk with every breath.

There are two types of sinusitis — acute and chronic. Common colds, bacteria, or viruses can trigger acute sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis may start with a cold, and then linger due to pollution or toxins in the air, stress, smoking, or allergies.

Typically, acute cases go away within a month or so. When the symptoms drag on for twelve weeks or more, the diagnosis changes to chronic sinusitis.

Luckily, a handful of supplements can really make a difference in keeping sinuses clear and working to protect the body from infection. They include curcumin, Vitamin C, essential fatty acids and Vitamin D. Many times, temporarily doubling or tripling the daily dose of vitamin D helps relieve sinus infections.

You also want to make sure you’re getting enough immune-boosting Vitamin A as it not only maintains healthy immunity overall, it also keeps mucous membranes in top form. Add some Zinc to optimize the absorption of Vitamin A and you have a powerful cold-and-sinus infection fighting combo.

Herbs can be used to stimulate the immune system and to reduce the production of mucus, dry out the sinuses, and reduce inflammation of the membranes. Both Echinacea and goldenseal may strengthen the immune system, making it harder for future infections to trigger an attack of sinusitis. Teas made from elderflower, ginger, chamomile or peppermint can clear out mucus. Other herbs that offer sinusitis relief include eyebright, goldenrod, and marshmallow.

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