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 HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT OF SINUSITIS 

Bartosz Dziemidowicz M.Sc. LCPH

 

Abstract

Sinusitis is a condition that is usually treated with antibiotics. Incorrect use of them contributes to the growth and escalation of the problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Homeopathy is a low cost alternative in the treatment of many common infections. The evidence from clinical studies suggests that homeopathy is an effective treatment for both acute and chronic sinusitis offering positive and long-term results.

 

Sinusitis.

The paranasal sinuses are air cavities located inside the facial bones of the skull. They are connected to the nasal cavity through holes in its wall. People have four pairs of sinuses: maxillary, frontal, ethmoidal and sphenoidal. Sinusitis is inflammation of the mucosa within the paranasal sinuses. Sinusitis is one of the most common diseases of the upper respiratory tract with a tendency to recurring episodes, especially during the winter. In healthy sinuses, mucus does not accumulate and it remains sterile. In a situation where the sinuses become obstructed or when the mechanism of self-cleaning of the sinuses is impaired, mucus can start to accumulate and it can become infected, which leads to the development of sinusitis. Viral infections are almost always the cause of acute sinusitis. A certain percentage of patients may develop a secondary bacterial infection. Factors hindering the proper purification of the sinuses increase the risk of development of sinusitis. These include mainly: nasal polyps, hyperplasia of the nasal turbinates, allergic rhinitis and conditions where immunity is affected i.e. diabetes. The most common symptoms of sinusitis are nasal congestion, purulent rhinitis, nasal congestion, headache, pain and sensitivity to touch or pressure on the face, and malaise [1].

Upper respiratory tract infections, antibiotic resistance and homeopathy.

Upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and their complications are the most common reason for prescribing antibiotics. Research results indicate that in many cases the use of antibiotics in the URTI treatment was not justified. Misuse of antibiotics contributes to the growth and escalation of the problem of microbial resistance to antibiotics. This problem is becoming more and more severe in many parts of the world, as infections caused by antibiotic resistant pathogens are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. The results of clinical research examining effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of URTI and their complications such as: pharyngitis, tonsillitis, otitis media, sinusitis, etc. suggests that homeopathic treatment is at least as effective as conventional therapy. Homeopathy treatment also turns out to be effective in preventing the recurrence of URTI, which has a significant impact on reduction of the frequency of antibiotic use. Homeopathy is a low cost and effective alternative in the treatment of many common infections, which is particularly important in view of the increase in the problem of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Homeopathic treatment in many cases brings faster results, is better tolerated than conventional treatment and it is also associated with fewer adverse events[2].

Efficacy of homeopathy in the treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis and rhinosinusitis.

The results of a study conducted in one hundred and thirteen patients to demonstrate the effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of acute maxillary sinusitis showed after 21 days of therapy complete resolution of symptoms in almost 70% of patients receiving the homeopathic preparation compared with 8.9% of patients in the control group. Within eight weeks of follow-up after treatment, patients had no recurrence of sinusitis symptoms [3]. Similar results were obtained in a study of the efficacy of homeopathy treatment of rhinosinusitis in one hundred and forty four patients. After three weeks of using homeopathic therapy 90.3% of patients showed complete resolution of symptoms, and another 8.3% noted a marked improvement in severity of the symptoms of rhinosinusitis. By comparison, 88.9% of patients in the placebo group reported worsening of symptoms or no improvement. Summarizing the results of the study authors concluded that homeopathic medicine was well tolerated by patients and enabled effective treatment of rhinosinusitis [4].

Homeopathy in the treatment of chronic sinusitis.

Chronic sinusitis is a condition affecting more often women than men. It affects most often the maxillary sinuses and a pair of maxillary and frontal sinuses simultaneously. In a study conducted to assess the therapeutic usefulness of homeopathic remedies in the treatment of chronic sinusitis, 95.1% of patients had positive results. Complete resolution of sinusitis symptoms without subsequent recurrence for 1 year was reported in 36.8% of patients. Positive treatment results were confirmed by radiological examination [5]. Based on the results of the another study, the authors suggested that the most effective remedies for the treatment of chronic sinusitis were: Silicea, Kali bichromicum, Pulsatilla, Natrum muriaticum, Belladonna, Rhus toxicodendron, Natrum sulphuricum and Lachesis. Researchers also observed the affinity of individual homeopathic remedies for a specific type of sinus affected by inflammation.

Kali bichromicum has most often been used in the treatment of frontal sinusitis with pain and pressure in the supraorbital area and sensation of fullness at root of nose. Nasal secretions are usually thick, sticky, yellow or greenish. During sinusitis, patient needing this remedy may experience loss of smell with inability to breathe through the nose. 

Pulsatilla showed special affinity for maxillary and frontal sinusitis and their combinations. Pulsatilla proved to be a useful remedy when the symptoms of sinusitis were accompanied by a lack of thirst. Nasal congestion is felt by the patient much worse when lying down or staying in a warm, stuffy and closed room. The patient feels better in the open air. In the summary, the authors stated that the results of the study indicate homeopathy to be  effective in the treatment of chronic sinusitis [6]

Long-term effects of homeopathic treatment of chronic sinusitis.

The effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of chronic sinusitis has been confirmed not only by radiological examination [5], but also by the results of a long-term observational study conducted for the period of eight years. The study involved one hundred thirty four people suffering from chronic sinusitis, of which the vast majority, as much as 97.0%, had previously received conventional treatment. The results of this study showed a significant and long-lasting improvement in the quality of life of patients undergoing homeopathic treatment of chronic sinusitis [7].

Homeopathy in the treatment of chronic diseases.

The effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of chronic diseases has also been demonstrated by the results of another study. All patients participating in the study were affected by chronic illnesses of different kind for a period of several years. The researchers asked the patients for an overall assessment of the improvement or deterioration of their health compared to the situation prior to the first visit. Over 70% of the six and a half thousand people examined over six years rated changes in health status as positive. Half of the respondents estimated their health status as better or much better in comparison to the situation before the start of homeopathic treatment. Conclusions based on the results of the study suggest that homeopathic treatment has brought positive changes in health situation in a large group of patients with a wide range of chronic diseases [8]. 

Summary.

Homeopathy has shown to be not less effective therapy than conventional methods in treating upper respiratory tract infections. Homeopathy, as an alternative treatment method allows reducing the frequency of antibiotics use in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections. Homeopathic treatment of URTI also helps to desrease the frequency of infection recurrence. Studies examining  use of homeopathic complex medications and remedies selected individually according to the principles of classic homeopathy have shown that homeopathy is an effective method of treating both acute and chronic sinusitis. The effectiveness of homeopathy in the treatment of chronic sinusitis has been confirmed by radiological studies and long-term observational studies conducted for the period of over eight years. Homeopathy also has shown to be effective in the treatment of many other chronic diseases.

References: 

1. Orlandi RR, Kingdom TT, Hwang PH, et al: International consensus statement on allergy and rhinology: Rhinosinusitis. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol 6(Suppl 1):S22–209, 2016.

2. Fixsen A. Homeopathy in the Age of Antimicrobial Resistance: Is It a Viable Treatment for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections? Homeopathy. 2018 May;107(2):99-114. 

3. Zabolotnyi DI, Kneis KC, Richardson A, et al. Efficacy of a Complex Homeopathic Medication (Sinfrontal) in Patients with Acute Maxillary Sinusitis: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Clinical Trial. Explor J Sci Heal 2007;3:98–109. 

4. Friese KH, Zabalotnyi DI. Homeopathy in acute rhinosinusitis: a double-blind, placebo controlled study shows the efficiency and tolerability of a homeopathic combination remedy. HNO 2007; 55: 271-277.

5. Nayak C, Singh V, Singh VP. , et al. Homeopathy in chronic sinusitis: a prospective multi-centric observational study. Homeopathy 2012; 101: 84-91.

6. Sharma SR, Murty KB, Sahagal GC, Sharma B, Bharatalaxmi KSV. Clinical evaluation of homoeopathic medicines in sinusitis. Indian J Res Homoeopath. 2008; 2: 26-37.

7. Witt CM, Lüdtke R, Willich SN. Homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic sinusitis: a prospective observational study with 8 years follow-up. BMC Ear Nose Throat Disord 2009; 9: 7.

8. Spence DS, Thompson EA, Barron SJ. Homeopathic treatment for chronic disease: A 6-year, university-hospital outpatient observational study. J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Oct;11(5):793-8.


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