An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to sinus infections (sinusitis) caused by colds, flu, allergies or air pollution. The best ways to prevent and treat sinusitis are often the cheapest and simplest rather than reaching for antibiotics.
The most effective prevention and treatment is nasal irrigation. Clean your nasal passages to remove crud every day by using your neti pot or syringe to flush warm water mixed with salt through each nostril. Stir one teaspoon of salt into two cups of lukewarm water. Use at least one full neti pot or syringe per nostril.
Keeping the nose clean will create an environment where germs are less likely to hang out. Consider adding a few drops of GSE or grapefruit extract to your saline rinse solution to get your nose running.
Antihistamines dry you out which makes mucus thick and difficult to drain.
Be wary of decongestants
Never use decongestant nasal sprays for more than 3-4 days as the labels warn you because they can cause increased swelling once the medication wears off. The minimal relief they may provide isnít worth the side effects: possible addiction and worsening of your sinusitis.
Inhale hot steam
Inhaling hot steam will help loosen up mucus in your sinuses. Take a long, hot shower or soak in a whole tub filled with steamy water with 10 drops of eucalyptus oil added.
Another option is inhalation therapy. Give your hot steam some extra muscle by adding eucalyptus essential oil which has antimicrobial properties and peppermint essential oil which helps open the sinuses with its potent smell.
Hereís what to mix for your inhalation therapy. Pour 1 Ĺ quarts boiling water into a large bowl and add 5 drops eucalyptus essential oil and 2 drops peppermint essential oil. Drape a towel over your head and the bowl, and breathe in the steam for 10 minutes.
Drink lots of liquids
If you are not properly hydrated, your mucus will be thick rather than thin and loose. Drinking hot liquids will help open up your sinuses by thinning mucus. One of my favorites is peppermint tea which has decongestant properties. Or try some chicken soup with a clove of minced raw garlic added.
Applying hot compresses to your forehead and face helps relieve sinus pain and promotes drainage of mucus. Add three drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a small bowl of hot water. Dip a washcloth in the hot water, wring it out slightly and place it over your sinuses. Keep wetting the cloth to keep it warm and reapply for up to 10 minutes. Repeat this treatment as often as needed throughout the day to alleviate symptoms.
Donít have time for 10 minutes. Just soak a washcloth with hot tap water. Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the washcloth and press on your face.
Keep your immune system strong
Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and veggies. Consider giving the garlic remedy a try if you donít mind smelling like an Italian restaurant. Some people are advocates of eating one to two cloves of raw garlic each day to strengthen their immune systems. Garlic is believed to have antimicrobial properties.
Unplug your ears
Mix one teaspoon of salt in four to eight ounces of warm water and gargle. The salt acts as an anti-inflammatory which can help relieve the stuffed-up feeling in your ears.