Recent research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that antibiotics are not helpful in the treatment of most sinus infections. As we all know, sinus infections make us miserable. Congestion, post-nasal drip, runny nose, headaches, and exhaustion from coughing all night all make the weeks of sinus infections miserable. This past month all the Patel family has been sick with sinus infections While most of the infections self resolve in 2 weeks, 2 weeks of misery with sick kids at the same time is two weeks too long. What does the Patel family do to combat the symptoms of sinus infection?
Quick Natural Relief for Sinus Infections
At the first sign of infection, we start with our routine to boost our immune system, this is goes for all family members not just the sick ones: Omega -3, vitamin D, and homeopathic immune boosters such as Engystol or Galium, both by -heel. We also take an herbal preparation of both quercetin and bromelain. Both herbs help improve sinus health. Common sense solutions come into play here as well, lots of hand washing, covering noses and mouths when we sneeze of cough, not sharing glasses (good luck with 3 kids), strict bedtimes for everyone, even moms and dads all help.
Once stuffy noses are in play, we continue with the above routine but will add several other remedies. None of these eliminate your infection, but they do help alleviate some of the symptoms and make you more comfortable. Probably the most important of these is sinus cleansing or irrigation. This was traditionally called a neti pot and is an ancient Indian remedy. A saline solution is inserted into one nostril and comes out the other. Sounds terrible, I know but it really helps. I have numerous patients who have great success with this treatment and even my 8 and 10 year olds ask to use it when they feel sick. A product called Sinucleanse is particularly child friendly, make sure to get the child size for your kiddos. When using sinus irrigation it is important to follow the recommended amounts of saline and water when making the solution.
Steam showers or inhaling steam from a pot of warm water will also help loosen secretions and help drain your sinuses. When doing so, make sure that the water is not too hot and off the burner when you do so. Some people will add a few drops of tea tree oil or oregano essential oil to the water as both oils have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
My wife will make a solution of essential oils–5 drops eucalyptus, 5 drops tea tree, and 1 drop peppermint to help loosen secretions. She will add these to an essential oil diffuser and run it for 10-15 minutes several times a day. A mentholated rub will also help relieve congestion.
Common sense solutions such as gargling with salt water, drinking lots of water and hot tea with honey and lemon can also help make you more comfortable.
Individuals who have a history a sinus infections may wish to try sinus cleansing on a regular basis, weekly or monthly to ward off recurrent sinus infections. In addition querceten and bromelain on a regular basis can help with overall sinus help.
Please discuss use and dosage with your health care provider for all vitamins, homeopathic and herbal remedies. Sinus infections are uncomfortable with no quick fixes, but hopefully the above suggestions will help you find some comfort. What are your favorite home remedies and treatments for sinus infections?
Update: Note: Due to microbes that may be present in tap water, using boiled, distilled or filtered water is recommended with any nasal irrigation system. Please make sure that everything is cleaned before and after each use and completely dry before storage.
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