Sinusitis can be an uncomfortable and tiring illness. It can feel as though symptoms, such as blocked nose or headache, are going to last forever. However, there are a range of herbal and conventional treatments out there to relieve the symptoms. Our immune system expert, Dr. Jen Tan is on hand to guide us through these treatments and to offer the best natural solutions available.
As sinusitis can be caused by dehydration, it is important to ensure that you drink plenty of fluid. This will help to loosen and thin mucus which has accumulated in your sinuses or nasal passages, encouraging mucus to drain and helping to reduce blockages and pressure in your sinuses.
In addition, some people find that certain foods worsen the symptoms, and therefore are best avoided. The most common triggers are chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, dairy and gluten products. However, foods which trigger symptoms in one person may not in the next, and so it is important to find out for yourself if there are foods you are unable to tolerate.
When you are bothered with sinus pain often all you want is immediate relief. Warm face packs placed over your sinuses can be comforting and reduce pain. As well as this, the warmth can loosen the mucus and encourage it to drain down your nasal passages. This will help to reduce blockage and pressure.
Although eating spicy food is not recommended for everyone, particularly those who suffer from digestive complaints, this can act as a decongestant, easing sinusitis symptoms. Again this brings short term relief.
A Neti pot is a device which you fill with water or saline solution. You pour the solution down one nostril and tilt your head sideways so that it runs down and out the other nostril. If you tilt your head back it will run down the back of your throat. This can help to clear congestion from your nasal passages, which may bring some sinusitis relief.
Many people prefer to use herbal remedies over conventional medicines as they are less intrusive to the body.
Unlike conventional nasal sprays which can only be used on a short term basis, some herbal nasal sprays can be used for up to a month at a time. For example, A.Vogel’s Sinuforce Nasal Spray combines fresh extracts of peppermint, eucalyptus and chamomile. This has a soothing effect on mucous membranes and helps to clear congestion.
If your blocked sinuses are caused by allergic rhinitis or hayfever, then you may find that treatment for allergic rhinitis helps to ease sinus problems. Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets is a licensed herbal remedy for the relief of hayfever and allergic rhinitis symptoms, such as blocked sinuses.
If home and herbal remedies have not been effective, or you suspect you have developed a sinus infection, you should speak to your doctor. If he diagnoses a bacterial infection, it is likely that he will prescribe antibiotics.
Steroid sprays or drops are used to reduce swelling in your sinuses and nasal passages. You should be careful not to overuse such sprays as you can build up resistance to them.
In some cases, surgery may be the best option for sinusitis. This is particularly the case if your sinusitis has been caused by trauma to the face or anatomical abnormalities. Your doctor will refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist to discuss the possible options with you.
Echinacea is a traditional herb known to aid the body in its fight against colds and flu by supporting the immune system – but not all Echinacea is the same! Research shows that the fresher the herb, the more effective the remedy will be, which is why our Echinaforce cold and flu remedies are made using freshly harvested Echinacea.