Thursday 1 October 2020, 02:57 GMT

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Body Talk - 21st October

My guest this evening was Mr Paul Chatrath, Consultant ENT Surgeon at Spire Hartswood Hospital and Queen's Hospital Romford.

Paul was talking about common nasal and sinus problems, including sinusitis and nasal polyps.

The symptoms of sinusitis are blocked nasal passages accompanied by pain across the forehead, under the eyes and sometimes affecting the ears. It is a serious condition which needs immediate attention. There is a lot you can do to help, there are many over the counter sprays which will help to clear it. Also a bowl of hot water with some menthol added, then place your face in the steam and breathe in the menthol  for a few minutes. This can bring much relief. There is also the common remedy of sniffing up salt water, which you may have heard from your mother or grandmother. If you find that difficult, you can buy a kit from most chemists, which gives you a salt water mix, including bicarb which helps to stop the salt from stinging the nasal passages. It also provides you with a small teapot to allow the water to flow directly into the nostril. There is a practise in yoga called neti which is based on exactly the same theory.

If symtoms persist, it is time to consult your doctor. It may be that a course of antibiotics is needed to clear the infection, or it may be that there are other conditions which are stopping the flow of air. There could be nasal polyps or just that the growth of the nose has been affected in some way, maybe through an accident. In which case a simple operation can be performed to correct it.

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