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Colloidal silver for sinus infection might ease symptoms if used over several days, but long-term use is not advised. Proponents of this alternative therapy say positive electrical charges in silver particles kill viruses and bacteria. Long-term use of colloidal silver for sinus problems might cause skin to turn bluish-gray or darker from accumulation of the metal in tissues. Large doses might also lead to kidney damage and birth defects in unborn children.
Some people who use colloidal silver for sinus infection make a solution at home. A tiny bit of salt might be added to minute particles of silver contained in a liquid base. This solution can flood the sinus cavities when sinusitis becomes problematic.
With the head tilted back and nostrils facing upward, the solution trickles into the throat. After a few minutes, the liquid is drained. This process is typically repeated several times a day for a week or more until infection disappears.
Using colloidal silver for sinus problems periodically might be safe, but no scientific evidence supports its effectiveness. In fact, government agencies in some regions targeted manufacturers of these products for making false medical claims. They also have issued warnings about the safety of ingesting silver over long periods of time or in large doses.
Silver particles typically leave the body through urine or feces within two or three months. A danger exists, however, of the metal accumulating in internal organs or the skin, causing a condition called argyria. The eyes, skin, fingernails, and tissue might take on a bluish tint from repeated use of colloidal silver for sinus problems. If open membranes exist inside the nose, the nasal passages might also turn blue, gray, or black.
While argyria poses no serious health issues, it represents a cosmetic disorder that usually becomes permanent. Animal research also shows that silver particles built up in the tissue of rats and might harm the kidneys. Tests on workers exposed to silver used to manufacture jewelry, dental fillings, and other products showed toxic levels of the metal in their systems.
Colloidal silver was a common remedy for colds and infection until modern medicine developed products considered safer and more effective. It works by inactivating certain enzymes and binding to protein molecules. Using silver to treat infection is deemed an alternative therapy that should not be used beyond a 10-day period. It does not represent an essential element found naturally in the human body.