You’ve probably had it happen to you before. You try to breathe in, but you feel stuffed up; you try to blow your nose, but nothing’s really there. You feel an uncomfortable pressure in your face all day long and you are sick of it. Thankfully, there are natural ways to relieve the discomfort of sinusitis from the comfort of your home- keep reading to learn more!
Do I Have Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. Healthy sinuses are filled with air, but when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs can grow and cause an infection. Sinusitis can start suddenly and typically lasts two to four weeks, but can last as long as twelve weeks. It might even reappear multiple times a year.
The main symptoms of sinusitis include:
facial pain or pressure
loss of smell
cough or congestion
…but less common symptoms also include a fever, bad breath, fatigue, and dental pain (1).
What Causes Sinusitis?
Colds, allergies, and bacteria
Typically, most sinus infections start with a cold and then progress into the sinus cavities. Colds begin when you are infected by a virus which can make the nasal tissue swell — blocking the holes that normally drain sinuses. Allergies are another major cause of sinusitis; they can cause inflammation in the nasal passages and prevent draining, causing sinus problems.
Anything that triggers your allergies could put you at risk for sinusitis, such as hay fever, dust mites, pet dander, mold, and cockroaches. Bacteria is another potential cause of your sinusitis. In these cases, it’s most likely that streptococcus pneumoniae or haemophilus influenza infections have taken hold and broken through your body’s natural defenses (2).
Pollutants, pools, and fungi
Irritating environmental pollutants such as dust, outdoor air pollution, and strong perfume can also cause sinusitis. They irritate the lining of the nose and cause inflammation that can increase your risk of sinusitis. Chlorinated pools have also been known to cause acute sinusitis. The chemicals in the pool can irritate your nasal lining and sinuses and could lead to a build up of mucus. Although rare, it’s also possible that fungus may cause a sinus infection. The damp and dark area of your sinuses is perfect for fungi to grow and the most common fungus associated with sinusitis is aspergillus (2).
But how should you deal with an annoying condition like sinusitis? You could be dealing with thick nasal mucus that feels gross and uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are remedies for this condition that will alleviate the tightness in your face and help your sinuses flow freely once more.
Easy at home remedies for sinus infections
To help open up the nasal passages and reduce symptoms of sinusitis two to four times a day, sit comfortably and lean over a bowl of boiling water. Do not try and inhale the steam as it boils, which is dangerous. Cover your head with a towel, so the steam remains under the cloth. The steam should be inhaled continuously for ten minutes.
Aromatic preparations can be added to the water to increase its penetrability in your face such as a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. You can also enjoy the same effects by having a long steamy shower (check out how to make a shower bomb to help clear congestion!). The warm water should work at clearing your sinuses and helping to relieve some of the pressure build up (3).
Ginger root and apple cider vinegar:
Another remedy just takes two ingredients and is an all natural way of clearing your sinuses and combating sinusitis.
One medium-sized ginger root
1 cup Apple cider vinegar
First, grate the ginger and mix it with two decilitres of apple cider vinegar in a glass bowl.
Pour mix into a glass jar and seal well with a lid. Store and keep it at room temperature for ten days. Shake the remedy occasionally, so you get best results.
Place your head over the jar and cover it with a towel. Start inhaling the mix’s aroma.
Do this for around five to ten minutes.
Next, before going to bed, take a handkerchief, soak it in the mixture and place it on your neck. Let it sit overnight.
Repeat the therapy for a couple of days until you witness positive effects (4).
Use these 2 tricks whenever sinusitis hits, and don’t forget to stay hydrated, stay rested and keep your immune system as strong as possible.
(1) WebMD. An Overview of Sinusitis http://www.webmd.com/allergies/sinusitis-and-sinus-infection Accessed: January 25, 2017.
(2) Health. 13 sneaky causes of sinus trouble http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20472158,00.html#irritating-pollutants-0 Accessed: January 25, 2017.
(3) The New York Times. Sinusitis http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/sinusitis/treatment.html Accessed: January 25, 2017.
(4) Healthy Food House. Mix these 2 ingredients and say goodbye to sinusitis, phlegm, flu, rhinitis and more http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/mix-2-ingredients-say-goodbye-sinusitis-phlegm-flu-rhinitis/ Published: January 4, 2017. Accessed: January 25, 2017.
(5) Youtube. What is sinusitis? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RywHs4kKxjA Published: September 12, 2014. Accessed: January 25, 2017.