Today we are going to talk about some of my favorite solutions for sinus problems. Sinus problems are the PITS! And I get more than my share of them.
- Allergies – check!
- Deviated septum – check!
- Frequent sinus infections – check! (In fact, I have one coming on now – ugh!)
- Sleep apnea – check!
Makes me wish sometimes that there was such a thing as a NOSE TRANSPLANT. I was even scheduled for sinus surgery at one point, but I chickened out. Thankfully, I have some other options that I can use to lessen the misery of all these sinus issues.
Disclosure – This post is full of affiliate links, but these are all products I’ve used myself for years. Income from my affiliate links is one of the ways I pay for this site.
As far as medication, my go-to remedy is Zyrtec. Especially in the Spring, this keeps my off-the-chart allergies somewhat under control. I had the scratch testing when I was a teenager and they gave me like 3 pages of plants, trees, and grasses that I was allergic to – ugh. I think you have to just find out which type of medication works for you.
Salt water is definitely a big help in reducing the congestion. It’s fairly benign and non-addicting, unlike chemical sprays like Afrin (which I LOVE, but use as sparingly as I can manage). However, getting it up there can be a real challenge. Many people swear by these Neti pots like this one. I do have one, but I mostly swear AT it. I hate that thing! Feels like I’ drowning.
If you haven’t used one before, you fill it with a mild salt water solution, tip your head to the side and insert it in one nostril. The water runs up through the sinus cavity and out the other nostril. It’s kind of a nasty feeling, but it does let you breathe again, which is marvelous.
However, instead of the Neti pot, there are a couple of alternatives. I haven’t tried this Navage thing, but it looks like it would work, especially if you’re really clogged up.
I love this little squeezy bottle instead. For one thing, it’s faster than the Neti pot and it’s less likely to make you feel like you’re drowning. I use it a couple of times per week and it seems to reduce the frequency of my sinus problems.
Regardless if you’re using the Neti pot or the squeezy bottle, you can use the same pre-measured salt packets in them. You could DIY it and mix up do a big jar of it, but I prefer these little pre-measured packets. It’s some kind of buffered salt mixture, not just plain table salt – that would be scratchy. You can keep a bunch of these in a waterproof container in the shower so they’re right on hand.
For the times when I don’t have the time to do the whole squeezy bottle thing, I keep several of these these handy little saline canisters around. It just squirts a small measure of saline solution in your nose. I always keep one in my desk at work and I have another one in my toiletries kit for when I go on trips. These things are seriously brilliant for a quick rescue when you simply.can’t.breathe.
I kept the best one for last. I’ve literally recommended this little steamer unit to half a dozen of my friends. This steamer is the BEST – that warm steam is so soothing and it gets hot enough to kill about a million germs.
I had the Vicks model that is about $10 bucks cheaper, but it was junk. Didn’t get hot, you couldn’t put oils or anything in it, and it didn’t get nearly as hot or “steamy” as this one. This gives off a nice thick cloud of steam, plus it has a little compartment that you can put essential oils, salt water, herbs or whatever you like in it. It works quickly too – you can do a whole treatment in about 9 minutes. It does get HOT though, so I put a small washcloth or a folded paper towel over my upper lip to keep it from feeling like it’s burning. I still have to turn it on and off again because it does get ridiculously hot
Only if you’re desperate
If you’re really, really feeling desperate, then try these Sinus Plumber things. I read the reviews and they aren’t that bad. This squirts a combination of horseradish and cayenne pepper. Surprisingly, many of the reviewers said that the sting isn’t nearly as bad as you’d think and the results are worth it. Shrug. Might be worth a try…
I hope these little tips will help you manage your own sinus problems and be less miserable through them.