We all know someone who has sinus issues at certain times of the year. Spring, Summer, and Autumn are the worst for many. In order to be able to minimize the problem, you need to understand what’s the cause of the issue.
First, let’s take a look at sinuses. Sinuses are hollow cavities in the skull that are connected together. The cheekbones hold the largest ones and are approximately an inch across. The frontal sinuses are in the lower center of your forehead and the ethmoid sinuses are between your eyes. The bones behind your nose are where your sphenoid sinuses are located.
Most of the time your sinuses are empty except for a thin layer of mucous. The turbinates (ridges inside the nose) aid in humidifying and filtering the air we breathe in and out. The septum is the thin wall that divides the nasal cavities. Most sinuses drain into the nose through a small channel called the “middle meatus.”
There are several things that factor into what causes our symptoms affecting our sinuses. Acute sinusitis is due to a virus, bacteria, or a fungi infection inflaming our sinus cavity. Chronic sinusitis is a persistent inflammation of the sinuses usually connected with asthma. Allergies such as hay fever can cause an overreaction from our nose defenses. Nasal polyps can grow in our nasal cavity due to allergies, chronic sinus infections, and even asthma.
Besides avoiding allergens and pollutants such as cigarette smoke there are many things you can do to treat the symptoms. For bacterial infections, they may give you an antibiotic. Antihistamines are given for allergies and decongestants are given to constrict the blood vessels in the nose. A nasal saline spray may be used to break up the dried mucous and keep the nasal passages moist. In severe cases, surgery may be needed.
I can tell you that medication such as Zyrtec didn’t work past a month for me. Most people do build a tolerance to medications eventually so if you can find something that allows you to take less or no medication you will be better off. Easier said than done I assure you but here are a few ways people have tried.
Sinusalia is an all-natural homeopathic medicine. It’s no-drowsy with no drug interactions. Here is the ingredient list and what they do.
Belladonna (a perennial plant in the nightshade family) it relieves pain with a stuffy nose. (Often used in treating inflammation, congestion and throbbing pain.)
Sanguinaria canadensis (a wildflower related to the poppy family) relieves sinus pain with runny nose. (Often used in treating hay fever, asthma, catarrh, and inflammation.)
Spigelia anthelmia (a tropical weed) relieves sinus pain due to post nasal drip. (Often used in treating parasitic infections, migraines, and inflammation of the mucous membranes.
Croscarmellosea is a sodium that allows the body to absorb the ingredients more efficiently and at the proper time.
Lactose is milk sugar and is used to form the tablets. It is usually not enough to affects those with lactose intolerance.
Magnesium stearate is from the plant and/or animal sources. It keeps the ingredients from adhering to the manufacturing equipment.
I carry this in my purse for when I am out and need quick relief.
Bromelain is a supplement found in pineapple stems. As prize fighters have found out it helps reduce swelling in the nasal passages. However, it may interact with other medications so check with your physician before using.
Pressure point techniques work for temporary relief. They can break up some of the mucous but only temporarily. Here are three ways that may help. 1) Use your two index fingers and push on either side of your nose at the base. Hold for about three minutes. 2) You may also press around just above your eye around your eye socket. Move slowly to the outer part of the socket just below the brow. 3) Move your index finger under the eye but above the cheekbone and apply a light but constant pressure.
At home, you can use an air filtration system to help clear the air. You can also use a humidifier at home or in the office if the air is dry. Don’t use in humid months and keep it clean to prevent mold growth.
Use a saline solution with a neti pot or a saline nasal spray to keep your passages moist. Use steam in the shower or with a towel over your head with a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Stay hydrated and avoid caffeine or alcoholic drinks.
If you use essential oil you can put a couple of drops mixed with a carrier oil in your hand and then cup your hands together and breathe in. You can also put a dab behind your ears or above your upper lip. Add to your bath or diffuser. I use rollerballs to mix my solutions and then I can either inhale it directly or add to my body where needed.
Here are a few essential oils that are great for sinus infections and can be used in any of the ways mentioned above. Peppermint, eucalyptus, oregano, thyme, lavender, lemon, cinnamon, and clove. Essential oils are so easy to carry everywhere you go. They make cute keyring cases too.
If you prefer a natural vapor rub you can use the following recipe.
½ c. beeswax pellets
½ c. coconut oil (or carrier oil of your choice)
Heat these ingredients together then add your choice of essential oils.
20 d. Peppermint e.o.
20 d. Eucalyptus e.o.
8-10 d. Cinnamon e.o.
Or thyme, lavender, lemon or clove. Mix and match or choose just one. One of the benefits of using essential oils is that you can customize it to your preference.
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Do you have any sinus remedies that work for you? Please share below.