Sinus infections can be quite a bother, causing painful headaches and nasal congestion, making it hard to function normally. Sadly, for many Indians living with sinus infections is simply a part of routine life. Chronic sinusitis (non-curable sinus infections) affects an estimated 134 million Indians. That’s more than 10% of the country’s population. If you were to count those affected by acute sinus infections the figures would be even higher!
So, how do you cope with this annoying problem or do you just have to suck it up and bear the discomfort? Most patients don’t believe that they have a choice because they are unwilling to depend on medications for the rest of their lives, especially when there is a risk of side effects. Fortunately, there’s a lot that you can do to relieve sinus infections at home. Here are some easy fixes to help get you through the next time.
Simple Tips For Sinusitis Relief
1. Nasal Flush
“Several studies, including one in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that the ancient Indian practice of jal neti or nasal irrigation can help relieve chronic sinus symptoms”
This may sound scary or downright unscientific, but it’s been proven to be extremely effective. Neti pots have long been used in India, but if you’re not comfortable embracing this ancient Indian practice you can also try using saline sprays to rinse out the nostrils and nasal passages.
According to many doctors today, this should be your first line of defense against sinus infections.
“Inadequate hydration aggravates breathing difficulties in sinusitis because of blockages in the nasal passages; this makes adequate water intake vital for relief from sinus infections”
Make it a point to stay well hydrated as this will also ensure that the sinuses remain moist, reducing the risk of blockage. Increase your intake of water, using reminders if you must. Try to avoid dehydrating drinks like alcohol or tea/coffee, instead including rehydrating herbal teas. Herbal teas like green tea will also help boost immunity, helping with faster recovery.
3. Spice Power
“Aside from the great taste they give food, spices like ginger, pepper, & turmeric have proven antibacterial properties, & they can help relive sinus infections”
Indian cuisine is best known for its liberal use of spices and now would be a good time to embrace our food culture. The hotter the spices the better, so feel free to add plenty of chilies, hot peppers, mustard, ginger, garlic, and other spices to your dishes.
Researchers have found that many of these spices contain powerful antibacterial properties, with a report in Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials suggesting that they may also help fight drug-resistant infections. The use of spices also provides quick relief, as it helps open up the nasal passages.
“Try not to keep your AC on dry cooling & use a humidifier to maintain humidity levels between 35 to 50%”
Depending on the season, your location, and the use of artificial cooling/heating, air can be excessively dry, contributing to sinus problems. Researchers and doctors now believe that humidity may in fact have the biggest role to play in both acute and chronic sinus infections.
The use of a humidifier will help to keep the air adequately moist, but make sure to only use it when humidity levels are low. For sinus relief, ideal humidity levels would be between 35 to 50%.
5. Warm Compress
“Alternating between warm & cool compresses will provide quick relief, reducing pain & clearing sinus congestion”
Applying a warm compress, whether with a heating pad or towels soaked in hot water, can help to loosen up congestion in the sinus passages. You can also alternate between warm and cold compresses to get more relief from sinus infection pain. Similarly, steam baths can help, but be careful not to burn yourself.
Sinus infections can be irksome to say the least, but with these easy fixes you should be able to get some quick relief. Although they will not help cure chronic sinusitis, the use of such home treatments can greatly reduce your dependence on pharmaceutical drugs, sparing you from the side effects and additional expenses.