The Best Sinus Infection Remedies for the Sinusitis Sufferer
The best sinusitis remedies recommended by an experienced sinusitis sufferer
Welcome to my article about the best sinus infection remedies. I have suffered from chronic sinus infections for the past three years. Once upon a time, I would get a cold and it would clear up within the week. Those days are long gone. Nowadays, whenever the cold or flu bug strikes, I know what will inevitably follow - sinus headaches, toothaches, sticky nasal discharge, post nasal drip, and severe night-coughing - the prime sinus infection symptoms.
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, read on. In this article, you will find a list of effective sinusitis remedies to help with sinus pain relief. Options range from the strictly natural to the medicinal. Though the perfect sinusitis cure doesn't exist as of yet, it is my hope that with the help of this site you will discover a few ways of improving your quality of life when this terrible condition does pay you a visit.Photo courtesy of Anya Quinn on Flickr
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What is Sinusitis?
The definition for this debilitating condition
Sinusitis is defined as the inflammation of the nasal sinuses. Sinus infection signs and symptoms may include: severe headaches, toothaches, a runny nose, post nasal drip, a low fever, discoloured mucus, and severe congestion. Depending on the severity of the infection, it may take from 1-4 weeks to pass.
The causes of sinusitis are varied. If you suffer from allergies or are frequently exposed to pollutants in the air, you will be more likely to get sinusitis. Sinus infections are also common in those who have recently suffered from a viral infection (a cold) of the upper respiratory tract. When you come down with a cold, the damaged sinus lining in your nose thickens and blocks the free passage of mucus. This blockage creates a bacterial infection which infiltrates the sinuses, resulting in sinusitis.
My Sinusitis Story
How my battle with sinus infections began.
It is difficult to say why I started suffering from regular sinus infections. I certainly remember when it started, however.
Three years ago, I moved from my small hometown in Canada to the city of Turin in Italy to teach English to children. Though I never gave it much thought at first, the pollution in the air was stifling, so bad that when I would return home after a day of work, I could wipe a layer of filth off my face with a cloth. Although no doctor has ever confirmed my suspicion, I believe that heavy pollution was the trigger for my imminent encounter with sinusitis.
A year passed and I started work in February at a nursery school with over two hundred children. These children, especially during the winter months, were often unwell and would bring their sniffles to school. (Not so) coincidentally, it was during my first week of work that I came down with my first bout of severe sinusitis. My sinus headaches were so intense that I had to lie down in the attic crawlspace for most of the day. In class and at home, no garbage bin was spared the mountain of tissues I would throw away on a daily basis. It goes without saying that I did not make a very good impression that first week!
Three years down the road, I have grown used to my unwelcome visitor. In fact, my colleagues at work often tease me, calling me Miss Sinusitis. My shelf, which was once dedicated solely to cosmetics, is now full of saline nasal sprays. I keep a full tissue box next to my bed at all times. The warm fleece band wrapped around my head has become a part of my household fashion attire. My life has certainly changed, but I continue to fight the good fight, with the hope that a sinusitis cure will be found one day.
NATURAL SINUS INFECTION REMEDIES
Tried and tested by the author
#1 - Steam Inhalation
Just make sure not to burn that pretty face of yours!
One of the most effective and natural sinus infection remedies is the use of steam inhalation. There are a number of expensive steam-producing machines out there which you can purchase, but I tend to use the old fashioned cooking pot.
To start, boil a large pot of water. Add salt and baking soda to the boiling water and place the pot on a flat surface, such as the kitchen counter or dining room table, where it will be comfortable for you to bend over the pot. Place a large towel over your head and bend over the pot, letting the towel drape over it. The towel is very important as it stops the steam from escaping and keeps the water hot for longer.
Breathe in the steam through your nose, being careful not to burn yourself. Sometimes, it can help to block one nostril with your finger as you inhale the steam with the other. As you are inhaling the steam, let the melted mucus drip into the boiling water.
Continue this process until the water is no longer producing steam. At this point, you can either reheat the water, or try blowing your nose to remove the rest of the mucus. I usually find that my nose is relatively clear and sinus pressure symptoms such as headaches and toothaches have weakened after about 10-15 minutes of steam inhalation.
It goes without saying that after you have finished, thoroughly wash out your pot. Remember, you'll be cooking your dinner with it tonight!
1. Boil a large pot of water, adding salt and baking soda.
2. Breathe in the rising steam while covering your head and the pot with a large towel.
3. Continue to inhale the steam for 10-15 minutes until the mucus has dislodged itself from your nose.
#2 - Nasal Saline Spray
Keep those nostrils clean and moist!
Nasal saline sprays are an easy and effective way of keeping your nostrils clean and sterilized during a violent sinus infection. The spray removes any thick mucus that might have built up, while disinfecting the inner cavities of your nasal passage. Using a nasal saline spray can reduce the possibility of further infection, and can also free your airways before you go to sleep and when you wake up. Though it isn't a foolproof sinusitis cure, it is probably the closest thing to one if used for preventative purposes.
I personally use the Source Naturals Wellness Nasal Spray (see below) when I am in Canada or the UK. (When I am in Italy, I am faithful to Toximer and Isomar.) Among the things that appeal to me about Source Naturals Wellness Nasal Spray are the naturopathic ingredients and the quick relief that it gives me. If I use this spray two times a day, once in the morning and once before bed, my sinus infection symptoms generally disappear within a couple of weeks.
1. Squirt the solution into one nostril while blocking the other nostril with your finger.
2. Breathe in the solution through your nose and force it to trickle down the back of your throat. The solution should carry any residual mucus along with it.
3. Spit out the solution and the mucus into the sink.
4. Repeat the process with the other nostril.
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#3 - Head Warmers - Keep your head warm and toasty to melt the mucus
Another way of melting the mucus in your sinus passages, which many sufferers overlook, is the use of a head warmer. You can find knitted head warmers, crochet head warmers, and my personal favourite, the fleece head warmer!
I tend to put it on a few hours before I go to bed, and leave it on the entire night if my sinus pressure symptoms are particularly bad. If you are worried about looking silly, try to purchase a selection of fashionable head warmers which you can use with various outfits.
On eBay, you will find a large selection of affordable head warmers for both you and your children. I have picked out a few that are well-priced and attractive!
#4 - The Neti Pot
The age-old way of fighting off sinus infections
The Neti Pot solution is an age-old nasal irrigation practice from India. It has been used for centuries to fight off colds and sinus infections. If used in moderation, the Neti Pot can reduce the frequency of your sinus infections, disinfect your nasal passages, and provide you with relief from sinus pain and pressure.
Though I have never used the Neti Pot, I have heard and read raving reviews from friends and Amazon customers, leading me to believe that it would be a worthwhile purchase for a frequent sufferer such as myself. The irrigation method is simple and quick, and the Neti Pot only costs around $10 on eBay, a true bargain considering you can use it again and again. When my family asks me what I want for Christmas, I'll have my (ever so slightly quirky) answer on hand!
Neti Pot Instructions:
1. Mix together a liquid solution consisting of 1 cup of warm filtered water and 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized table salt. If the Neti Pot comes with a package of salt, use that instead. Do not use hot or cold water, and avoid sea salt as it can leave a burning sensation the nasal cavities.
2. Pour the solution into the Neti Pot.
3. Position yourself over the sink and tilt your head to one side. Pour the Neti Pot solution into one nostril, letting it flow out of the other nostril. It takes a bit of practice but persevere and you'll be happy with the results.
4. Tilt your head to the other side and switch nostrils. When you have finished the process, gently inhale and exhale, allowing any excess solution or mucus to drain out of your nostrils.
Neti Pot Instructions on YouTube - How to use NeilMed's version of the Neti Pot
#5 - Nasopure
Easier than the Neti Pot and just as effective
A couple of visitors to this page insisted that I add the Nasopure Neti Pot to my list of sinus infection remedies, and I was more than happy to oblige! One visitor told me that it cured her son's cough variant asthma, and can also be used to prevent and treat sinus infections. It is so user-friendly that even children as young as three can be taught how to use it on their own.
The advantage of Nasopure is that you do not have to awkwardly tilt you head when you use the apparatus. You simply insert the bottle into one nostril, and gently squeeze until the solution comes out of the other nostril. The solution can be created using Nasopure's inventor Dr. Hana's preprepared Nasopure Wash Salt Mixture, which means no fussing with measuring the right amount of salt.
MEDICATED SINUSITIS REMEDIES
Tried and tested by the author
#1 - Vicks VapoRub
A full hour of relief to help you get to sleep
When my nose is stuffed beyond all measure, I put away the tissue box and whip out my best friend, Vicks VapoRub. Vicks is a potent mentholated topical cream which consists of camphor, eucalyptol, menthol, cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, special petrolatum, thymol, and turpentine oil. This powerful mixture melts the mucus in your nose and opens up your airways, allowing you to breathe normally.
Since Vicks VapoRub contains camphor, it is best not to put the cream near or in the nostrils. Instead, try smearing it on the ridge of your nose - it will have the same effect.
I tend to use Vicks VapoRub just before I hit the pillow. The effectiveness of the cream lasts for about an hour, giving you enough time to doze off and enjoy a peaceful sleep.
#2 - Nebulizer for Sinusitis
Attacks bacteria in the sinuses using aerosol technology
Using a nebulizer for sinusitis can be very effective. The nebulizer machine delivers vapourized liquid medications to the infected area. To create the vapour, the liquid medication is mixed with oxygen gas, which is then topically disposed in the nasal cavity and maxillary sinuses.
When I have a serious sinus infection, I use my nebulizer once in the morning and once at night for one to two weeks, depending on the severity of the infection. Each session lasts about 10-15 minutes. To find out which medications you should be inhaling, you must consult with your physician.
The Best Sinus Cold Medicine - Vote on the medicine that works for you
There exists a wide variety of cold medicines designed to help you cope with sinus infections. Here you will find a list of the best sinus cold medicines on which readers like you have voted. Let others know which medicine works for you by casting your vote, or add your own medicine by clicking "add to this list".