Sinus Allergy

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sinus-allergiesThe best natural remedies for sinus infections are alternative treatments you can do at home. People are more commonly seeking these remedies due to the side affects normally associated with traditional medical treatments.  Sinus infections are systemic which means it affects the whole body, as you probably know if you have ever suffered from sinus problems.

Sinus infections affect over 36 million United States residents every year.  Sinus infections is also called sinusitis and is usually caused by allergies, a cold, a deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, bacterial infection or an abnormal growth that is blocking the nostrils. Immune System Disorders is another less frequent cause of sinus infections.

Here are some great natural remedies for sinus allergies and their related infections:

Neti Pot – A popular natural remedy for sinus infections is a neti pot. Fill the neti pot with warm saline solution, then place the tip of the pot into one nostril, tip your head slightly and let the solution flow through the nasal cavities and the other nostril. In doing so, you wash the allergens, irritants and other mucous membranes and moisturize the sinuses. Neti pots come from India, which have been used to unclog infected sinuses for centuries. Known in Yoga circles as “Jala Neti”, the term is refers to an ancient cleansing technique that literally means the “water purification”.  However, some people have reported ear problems when using a neti pot because they must turn their head to the side when using allowing water to flow into their ear tube.

Neil-Med Sinus Rinse – This plastic bottle is filled a with warm saline solution similar to a neti-pot and is actually easier to use. This device is very good for both prevention and cures. Effective results have been reported by most users and even the editor-in-chief of this web site uses this method regularly with great results.

Humidifier with Essential Oils -You can also add eucalyptus in your humidifier every night during the worst spells. However this method only seems to work for mild cases.

Apple Cider Vinegar – One of the most popular natural remedies for sinus is apple cider vinegar which can be effective in helping dissipate the mucosal infection. Take two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, mixed with a teaspoon of honey in 8 ounces of warm water and drink 4-6 times per day. Once again, this method is reported to help in only the mildest cases.

Goldenseal Extract – One of the simplest natural resources for sinus infections since they are often the result of a weakened immune system, is using the herb goldenseal.  Goldenseal can boost immunity. and helps reduce mucus congestion. Goldenseal is known for its antibiotic properties that may help the body to get rid of the infection. The root of the goldenseal plant is a powerful astringent that helps reduce the flow of mucous into nasal cavities. However, this method may take up to 3-5 days before results.

Garlic – One of the most effective natural remedies for sinus infection is using garlic. Garlic is both a antibacterial agent and an antimicrobial agent. It’s great for people with sinus problems and also increases your immunity system. However, it can be hard to get into your diet in sufficient amounts needed. With that said, garlic is always a good additive to any diet and can help prevent all types of infections.

Doctors refer to “acute sinusitis” as lasting 2-8 weeks while sub-acute infections may last from 1-3 months long. Sinus infections which last longer than 3 months are considered chronic. Reducing indoor allergens which can cause sinus problems while at the same time using prevention techniques is paramount to the cure and the prevention of sinus allergies and their related infections.

About the author: Stan K. Hall a.k.a. The Sick House Doctor is a recognized specialist in Indoor Air Pollution as well as Health & Safety in the home. He has performed over 400 indoor environmental evaluations over the past 26 years and has helped hundreds of homeowners make their homes a haven. He is widely known as the originator of T.E.A.M., the scientifically proven approach to controlling and resolving indoor air pollution.

To learn more about how to make your home a allergy-free haven, please sign up for our sponsor’s Free 10-Part Email Mini-Course on this page or click here to read more.

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Sinus Allergy Relief

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sinus-allergyMillions of people are familiar with the stuffiness and painful pressure of sinusitis, one of the most common chronic ailments.

Your sinuses are air-filled pockets located above your eyebrows, under your eyes, between your eyes, and behind your nose. Normally, mucus from your sinuses drains into your nose and down your throat, where stomach acids destroy it. When your sinuses clog up, the tissues swell, and mucus does not drain prop­erly. This results in a buildup of mucus, which can quickly become infected.

The symptoms of sinusitis include a stuffy or runny nose, painful pressure around your eyes, earaches, and coughing which becomes worse when lying down. It is usually caused by bacterial infection. People with asthma or allergies are more likely to have sinusitis. It may also be brought on by environmental factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, and weather conditions. Many people find that their sinusitis is worse right before a storm. Some people may have a deviated septum, which means the wall of bone and cartilage between the right and left nostrils is crooked. This can interfere with mucus drainage.

Steps to Stop Sinusitis

  • Wash your sinuses out with a neti-pot or sinus rinse product using a balanced saline solution.
  • Get the right amount of sleep. Too much or too little sleep may make you more likely to suffer from sinusitis. Sleeping with your head elevated may also help. If you only have sinusitis on one side, try sleeping on the other side. This may help open your nasal passageway.
  • Change your diet. You may have food allergies which could trigger your sinusitis. Try eliminating foods like wheat, milk, or red wine. Spicy foods like garlic, horseradish, and cayenne pepper may help clear sinuses.
  • Use a nasal spray. Saline nasal sprays help moisten and soothe nasal pas­sages. Over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays should not be used for more than three days in a row. A rebound effect may occur if you use them too much, which means your symptoms will get much worse when you stop using them.
  • Exercise. Most people with sinusitis find that exercise opens nasal passages by increasing the flow of mucus. However, some people may find that exercise makes their symptoms worse.
  • Make sure your glasses fit. Improperly fitting glasses can pinch the bridge of your nose and cause congestion.
  • Inhale steam. Breathing in steam may help. You can add pine oil, eucalyptus, or menthol for a little extra nasal-opening power. A warm facial pack (hot tow­els) can have the same effect.
  • Use a humidifier. A humidifier may prevent your sinuses from becoming dry and irritated, which could lead to swelling and infection. A humidifier is partic­ularly helpful during the colder months.
  • Use a HEPA air purifier and HEPA vacuum to reduce the amount of airborne allergens in your indoor air. Regular use of HEPA technology can drastically improve allergies symptoms in a home environment.
  • About the author:
    Stan K. Hall has been a recognized specialist in indoor air pollution for 25 years and has performed over 400 in-home environmental evaluations. He has been recommended by doctors, nutritionist’ as well as other health professionals for his expertise in diagnosing and remediating sick houses. He has more information about indoor air quality on his official Sick House Doctor website.

    Medical Sources:American Family Physician (53,3:877)
    The Asthma and Allergy Advance (January/February 1994)

    How to Use a Neti Pot

Sinus Pain

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sinus-painYour sinuses are lined with a membrane that manufactures a sticky substance known as mucus. When the membrane swells – most likely because of an infection or an allergy, mucus production kicks into overdrive. The combination of inflamed membrane and excess mucous blocks those tiny passages between your sinuses and nose. That’s when you feel the pressure build behind your forehead and eyes.

Breathe a Sign of Relief

For most people decongestants are the treatment of choice for sinus pain. “If a blocked nose is your only symptom, an over-the-counter oral decongestant can help,” says Salah D. Salmon, MD, director of the Sinus Center at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston.  Dr. Salmon also stated “Be sure to choose a product with an antihistamine if your sinus pain is associated with allergy.”

What about localized decongestants such as sprays and drops? “They can be extremely effective, too.” Dr. Salmon says. “But you shouldn’t use them for more than three days in a row. They can be habit forming if you use them for too long. And once their medicinal effects wear off, they can produce rebound congestion.”

But decongestants are not your only option for dealing with sinus pain. The following strategies can help ease the pressure and keep you breathing easy.

Just add water. “Dryness often sets the stage for a sinus infection,” Dr. Salmon says. You can keep your sinuses moist by drinking plenty of water every day. A saltwater solution, administered as either a nasal spray or nose drops, can also help, he notes. You can make your own solution by mixing 2 tablespoons of salt into a glass filled with 8 ounces of warm water. Use this preparation three to four times a day.

Hold your head high. Elevating your head while you sleep promotes sinus drainage, experts say. Prop up your bedposts ath the head of your bed on books or bricks and see if it helps.

Clear the air. Anything that irritates the nasal passages is an ally of sinus pain. “Pay close attention to air quality,” says Dr. Guillermo Mendoza, MD, chief of allergy for Kaiser-Permanente. “Avoid smoggy environments, cigarette smoke and any other pollutants that you’re sensitive to.” You may also need to stay away from seemingly harmless items such as scented laundry detergents and scented tissues.

“C” your way clear. Dr. Mendoza recommends a daily dose of vitamin C as a preventative against sinus pain. “If you are prone to sinus infection or you have a chronic sinus problem, take 1,000 milligrams of times-release vitamin C a day,” he advises.

Don’t catch a cold. If you have a chronic sinus problem, a cold will only intensify your sinus symptoms, Dr. Mendoza says. So do what you can to steer clear of cold-causing viruses: Eat a balanced diet, get regular exercise, practice good hygiene (as in lots of hand washing), and stay away from people who have colds.

Excerpted from: Pain Remedies by Philip Goldberg.  Rodale Press

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