Allergy season has officially begun, which means many will soon experience the dreaded sinus infection and some may not know it.
According to the Mayo Clinic, sinus infections occur when the sinus tissue in your nasal cavity becomes irritated and increases mucus production. The mucus then gets trapped in the swollen tissue, creating an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi. The excess mucus does not drain properly because of the swelling of the sinus tissue, resulting in excessive pressure in the head.
A sinus infection and the common cold have many similarities. They both can produce headaches, fatigue, stuffy nose and fevers. If you misdiagnose yourself, you run the risk of suffering from Chronic or Recurring Sinusitis.
Before you run out and stock up on cough syrup, try one of these proven remedies to cure what may in fact be a sinus infection:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (preferably organic) with a cup of water and sip on it throughout the day. This remedy works best at the first sign of a stuffy nose.
2. Neti Pot: This is by far one of the best treatments out there. It may feel uncomfortable, but the results will be worth the momentary discomfort. Start by filling your Neti pot with boiling hot water and add 2 tablespoons of salt. It is important to boil the water before use because there have been rare cases in which Neti pot users have contracted Encephalitis, an infection caused by brain-eating amoebas found in tap water. You must let the mix cool until it is lukewarm. Once it cools, stand over a sink and tilt your head to the side slowly pouring the water in through one nostril and allowing it to drain through the other. It is normal to feel a mild stinging sensation that just means it is working. Repeat the process once a day for no more than a week.
3. Grapefruit Seed Extract: The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of grapefruit extract make it a great natural remedy to treat a sinus infection. It helps kill bacteria and fungi in the sinus cavity. You can buy it at your local drugstore and it comes in pill and liquid form.
If you suffer from Chronic Sinusitis avoid consuming dairy as it produces more mucus and can aggravate your sinuses. The same goes for spicy food. For more information be sure to watch this week's Health Front.