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Keep sinusitis at bay with home remedies

Do you regularly suffer from postnasal drip, stuffiness, headaches, coughing, sore throat, swollen glands, hoarseness, wheezing, dizziness, fevers, sweats or hearing loss (phew!)?

 

Infected sinuses could be the culprit behind all these problems. But you can ease your discomfort right away, says Jordan Josephson, M.D., author of Sinus Relief Now. Just follow his four easy steps.

Wash your troubles away

Over-the-counter saline nasal sprays cleanse and moisturize your sinuses, and remove allergens, infections and pollutants from your airways.

This should help you breathe easier, make your voice less hoarse and put an end to the need to clear your throat.

Look for a sterile solution that is labelled “isotonic saline” at your drugstore and use it daily.

If you’re taking antibiotics, ask your doctor if a saline solution is appropriate for you.

Make your own nasal spray

Eighty-four percent of folks who flushed their sinuses twice daily with a saline solution reported dramatic reductions in symptoms like congestion and sneezing within 72 hours, say researchers. To make your own symptom-soothing mix, try this home made recipe:

Combine 1 litre of water with 1/2 tsp pharmaceutical grade salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda. Don't use normal table salt, is it contains sinus-irritating additives. Pour into a squirt bottle and shake, squeeze liberally into each nostril, then gently blow out residue into a soft tissue.

Clean house… Literally

You want your home environment to be as soothing as possible, so make an effort to get rid of any mould or dust.

Wash bedding once a week in hot water and consider getting rid of mattresses every 10 years; replace carpeting in your bedroom with hardwood floors or tiles and make sure the room is well ventilated; vacuum your entire house weekly; and make sure your vacuum cleaner has a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, which eliminates dirt particles in the air.

Revamp your shopping list

Limit foods that can aggravate sinus problems, such as certain carbohydrates (sugars, grains and alcoholic beverages), dairy, foods containing mould (all mushrooms and aged cheeses, and caffeine. "You don’t have to give them up cold turkey but even cutting back a bit should cause a dramatic improvement in your symptoms,” says Josephson.

Follow Doctor’s orders

If you’ve already been prescribed medication for a sinus problem, it’s important to take the medicine according to your doctor’s instructions. If you’ve been prescribed a daily nasal spray or inhaler, it can take up to two weeks for you to see results. On the flip side, some medications continue to work after your symptoms disappear, so you need the entire prescription to make sure your infection really clears.