Natural Ways to Treat Sinusitis
Sinusitis, or the inflammation of the nasal cavities, affects 37 million people each year. And according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), sinus problems are among the leading reasons children and adults need to stay home from school or work. Sinusitis can cause difficulty breathing, headaches, sore throat, teeth pain, and fatigue.
Most cases begin with a common cold, and symptoms can last for 10 to 12 days. Possible causes, besides a cold, include bacterial infections, allergies, asthma, and other health conditions, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Veteran New York City pharmacist Larry Weiner says that there are ways to manage sinusitis cases that aren’t due to serious causes but are likely caused by allergents. “When patients come to me with congestion discomfort and sinus pain, but don’t show symptoms of a bacterial infection,” Weiner says, “I immediately point them in the direction of natural remedies like a drug-free saline spray because it moisturizes the nasal passages, clears congestion, and can be used as often or as much as needed with no dangerous side effects.”
Although over-the-counter decongestive sprays offer instant relief, Weiner says, they can become addictive if used past the recommended 3-5 days. The longer they are used, the more likely a rebound effect will occur that only causes more congestion.
Weiner says that the following tips will provide natural relief from the worst symptoms of sinusitis caused by allergies:
- Irrigate the nasal passages with a saline solution. A product like Arm & Hammer Simply Saline offers drug-free congestion relief and soothes irritated passageways.
- Alternating hot and cold compresses over your eyes and nose can help relieve sinus pressure.
- Take a steamy hot shower to clear the nostrils and clean off allergens such as pollen from your hair and skin.
- Experiment with spicy foods to ease sinus pressure. A variety of “hot” foods, from peppers to wasabi, can provide a temporary decongestive effect.
“As a pharmacist, I understand the appeal of choosing OTC solutions for quick fixes to your body’s everyday ailments,” Weiner says, but in the case of maintaining proper nasal health when dealing with allergy symptoms, natural methods are the most effective in the long run.”
As always, check with your doctor before beginning any new health regimen.
For more information on allergy-related health issues, click here to visit the website of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.