Thursday, March 7, 2013

How to Treat Sinus Infections (Irritations), the Easy Way!

Sinus Infection

Many of us have recurring sinus infections. Its not fun being an adult who feels like a toddler because you can't control your runny nose. And it can be worse when its not running and you are so stuffed from congestion. My problem has been when I feel like I have both happening at the same time.

The doctors fluctuate from diagnosing colds to allergies. They can never determine what I might be allergic to but lately I believe its mostly colds for myself. And having a spouse who works in child care keeps us all exposed to a variety of little nasties.

Thankfully I believe I have a strong immune system since I do not normally tend to become as ill as those around me. But catching a cold virus at least once a year must be part of the human condition. At least that is better than three or four times a year as I have witnessed occurring with so many others.

I have tried so many over the counter remedies as well as medical prescriptions which don't seem to work. For me sinus sprays usually only make things worse. I won't go into any name brands at this time but most tended to irritate my nasal tissues more than help. Except for saline sprays.

Saline Spray

Saline actually works, for me any way. I did some research on this and it appears that the saline actually soothes the sinuses as well as making it hard for bacteria to live. And I have been advised my a medical doctor that you can use saline sprays as often as you like. With no side effects. That is what I like to hear.

Now I do have to give the medical doctors their due. They almost universally recommend pseudoephedrine. This will help with the swelling that causes so much of the discomfort. Before self prescribing, make sure you check with your personal physician that this medication will not cause a problem with any other treatment or pre-existing conditions you may have.

Pseudoephedrine does seem to work for me but for the longest time I did not believe it was working. I was originally under the misconception that the pseudoephedrine was designed to stop the runny nose. I so wanted to be free of the constant sinus drainage. And to not have to constantly wipe or "blow" my nose. This constant activity can cause your nasal opening to become irritated and sore. Now that I understand that the pseudoephedrine was designed to ease the internal swelling and to allow the flow of the nasal mucus, I can see that it has actually been working for me.

Sinus Infection  Relief

But for my money, if you really want some relief, try a neti pot (nose bidet). What is a neti pot? It is a little tea pot looking device used to irrigate the nasal passages and provides relief for sinus pressure or sinus headache.

Neti pots really work and aren't as odd as they first seem. After a couple of uses you will be wondering where this has been all of your life. If you want more info on them, let me know. I used mine this morning and now the drainage has abated. Again, I hate feeling like a 6 yr old with stuff running down to my lip.

A neti pot can be had for about $10 at your local drug store. They have the salt solution powder in little packets or you can mix your own. I mix a 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized salt and the same amount of baking soda to a cup of warm water and use half of the mixture in each nostril. The baking soda is to help balance the pH and is not actually necessary. I also use warm tap water but distilled water or water that you have boiled and cooled first is recommended.

How to Use a Neti Pot

Your neti pot should have detailed instructions but do not worry. It is quite simple. Place half of your solution in the pot. Or use the fill line marking on your pot if it has one. My pot works best for me when it is half full.

Bend over and hold your head over a sink or basin and tilt your head to the side. Your nostrils should be vertical and you will place the spout of your neti pot in the upper opening. Slowly pour the saline solution in and after filling up your sinuses it will begin to pour out of the lower nostril. Remember to breath through your mouth. Nasal irrigation may at first be uncomfortable but do not worry, you will not drown.

You will need to tilt your head over a tub afterwards and tilt it side-to-side to make sure you don't have any water left inside that could embarrass you later. It feels so good afterwards. The first couple of times will be awkward but don't give up on it.

When first starting out or any time you have a sinus infection, use the neti pot twice a day for a week to 10 days then revert to once a day for a couple of weeks. After that every few days to once a week will keep your sinuses flushed out. I have been informed that there are little nooks and crannies in your nasal passages that bacteria or other foreign matter can collect. And it feels so nice to have a clean nostril and relief from the sinus pressure possibly causing a sinus headache.

Good luck! This sinus infection remedy does work wonders and is very effective in reducing sinus congestion.

Hopefully this information helps. I had planned to write on this topic and was propelled into it sooner than later through a friend who I carried on an IM conversation about this. In fact, a good part of that conversation was included here but reworded and extended.

This is the end but I must include a disclaimer. I am not a medical doctor and am not offering any medical advice. This is merely for informational purposes and I will advise you to seek professional medical advice for any persistent symptoms or pain. And if you have yellow or green mucus you may want to have your doctor check for an infection that may require antibiotics. The links below can provide additional information of a more professional nature.

Oprah Talking About SinuCleanse with Dr. Oz.

Additional Information:
Sinus Solutions from The Dr. Oz Show
My Sinuses Are Killing Me by Jonathan E. Aviv, MD, FACS
SinuCleanse Nasal Wash System, Plastic Neti Pot With Salt Packets

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