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Sinus inflammation, as every sufferer knows, is not only irritating, it’s also painful and can very often be quite debilitating too.
Although it can affect anyone at anytime, usually as a result of a viral or bacterial infection, it can also be the result of allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to a whole host of airborne allergens.
There are, fortunately, steps that can be taken, not only to alleviate this distressing condition, but to reduce the chances of suffering from it in the first place.
Prevention is better than cure, and this is especially true in the case of allergy induced sinusitis. Allergy sufferers can take steps to improve their environment and reduce the chances of unwanted allergic reactions leading to this unpleasant condition.
Vacuum carpets and all soft furnishings thoroughly and regularly to keep the level of dust as low as possible. Avoid contact with flowering plants, and don’t keep them at home if you experience any reactions. Install air filters, as these can improve the air quality and eliminate many airborne allergens. Humidifiers can also improve the overall air quality.
While those with sinusitis caused by bacterial infections may be prescribed a course of antibiotics, those with most viral and allergy induced sinus inflammation will recover from their condition naturally. The medicines available for them are normally aimed at relieving the symptoms of pain and inflammation.
Apart from antihistamine drugs that may be prescribed by a doctor, if appropriate, ibuprofen is an effective NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) that can be taken to relieve symptoms. It’s considered to be more effective than aspirin and paracetamol, both in its pain killing effectiveness, as well as its anti-inflammatory properties.
As with aspirin and paracetamol, ibuprofen can be purchased without prescription from high street pharmacies and supermarkets. Generally, 200 mg tablets or capsules are the maximum strength obtainable without prescription. Care should be taken, when using such drugs, not to exceed the stated dose, especially in the case of paracetamol.
3. Vapour inhalation
This old fashioned but highly effective method involves filling a basin with freshly boiled water and adding various substance to it that will release their beneficial ingredients into the rising vapour, which you breathe in deeply. Raw onion is highly recommended in the case of allergy induced sinus inflammation.
Garlic and eucalyptus oil are other effective ingredients with relief-providing properties. Breathing in the vapour can provide significant relief as the sinuses react to the natural anti-inflammatory properties of the ingredients.
Put a towel over your head and basin to ensure that most of the vapour isn’t lost to the room, and also to keep the water temperature high, so that it will continue to emit its vapour for longer.
There are many herbal remedies available for obtaining relief from sinus inflammation. They are available from health shops and similar outlets.
Herbs normally used in these ready-made preparations include: horseradish, garlic, thyme, cali bich, pulsatilla, nettle, fenugreek, hepar such, thuja, spigelia and sage.
My go to herbal remedy is Sinus Soothe, which is an effective and 100% homeopathic formula that contains the following ingredients in therapeutic dosage: kali bic, pulsatilla, hepar sulph, thuja and Spigelia.
5. Drink more fluid
The better the state of hydration of your body, the more effectively it can drain the sinuses. Extra fluid will also thin the mucous and allow for easier breathing.
Hot drinks are also useful due to the vapour, which can be soothing to breathe in. Herbal teas can be soothing too and are less dehydrating than normal black tea. Milk drinks are best avoided, as they tend to hinder the thinning of mucous.
6. Eat more fruit and vegetables
This may not be necessary, if you’re already health conscious enough to take the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. If, like many, you don’t usually manage that many portions, then this is the time to make the extra effort to get those portions. Fruit and vegetables contain vitamins and other beneficial nutrients that will help restore the body’s balance.
7. Don’t smoke
If you’re a smoker, this is a great time to consider stopping. At any rate, you should avoid smoking during a sinus inflammation attack, as it will more than likely aggravate your condition and will cause it to hang around longer than it otherwise would have.
You should also avoid smoky atmospheres. This is even more true if you’re a non smoker, as you’re likely to be more sensitive to the irritants contained in tobacco smoke.
8. Nose massage
You can relieve the discomfort and pain of inflamed sinuses, to an extent, by applying gentle massage to your nose and surrounding affected area. Use the palm of your hand and gently rub your nose in a circular motion, first one way for a few seconds, then the other. Use your thumb and finger around the base of your nose, spreading out to your cheeks in smooth even movements.
9. Hot compress
Heat a small face towel in hot water, or heat a damp face towel in the microwave for a few seconds. Apply the hot towel to your face as soon as it’s cool enough to do so safely, without scalding your face.
If the towel is too hot to hold in your hands, don’t even think of putting it to your face. Assuming the temperature is just right, cover your face with it. This will relieve the discomfort around your face, especially, the swollen, bloated feeling that is a common symptom of sinusitis.
10. Nasal flushes
These are devices that can alleviate the symptoms of inflamed sinuses. They inject a saline solution into the nasal cavity to flush excess build up of mucous. They can be purchased from high street pharmacies and come with full directions on how to use the device effectively and with the least possible discomfort.
11. Traditional Chinese treatments
Some clinics holding to Chinese traditional practices offer relief treatment by using acupuncture, which involves the painless insertion of needles into various, seemingly unrelated, points on the skin.
Acupressure is a similar technique, but performed with hand pressure instead of needles.
Practitioners and many of their clients claim an impressively high success rate in relieving the symptoms of sinus inflammation by using these time-honoured traditional practices and methods.
Practitioners of Western medicine, on the whole, remain somewhat unconvinced of their effectiveness, however, but there are also quite a few who have been impressed by results they’ve seen.