Caring for your Sinuses

Icky topic, but some of us just have bad sinuses! With an allergy as well, I am more susceptible to getting sinus infections than the average person. At one point a few years ago, I was having nearly chronic infections. Two rounds of antibiotics, two weeks off, then another infection. This went on for a couple years each winter! Here’s what I started doing to attempt to keep the infections at bay during the winter, when I feel sinus pressure, or after I’ve had a (food) allergy attack:

  • Sudafed at least every morning; as often as allowed when necessary. I use the CVS store brand, but only the one that you get “behind the counter”.
  • Once or twice a day, a Mucinex tablet; every morning, and in the evening if I need it.
  • Daily sinus rinses with NeilMed Sinus Rinse. I used to do it twice a day with 1 packet of saline, but now I do it once a day with 2 packets.
  • Four capsules of echinacea a day. Natrol makes one that is corn-free.
  • Daily use of fluticasone propionate nasal spray, especially in the late afternoon when my sinuses are tight and stuffy.
  • Avoid allergy triggers like hairspray, perfume, and cleaning products. These products seem to cause the allergy reactions in me that lead to sinus issues. Kind of obvious when you think about it.
  • Sleep! I make sure I get as close to 8 hours of sleep a night as possible. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people that can skip sleep and still function, let alone get run down and sick.
  • Use a humidifier in the bedroom at night. We have hot air heat (as opposed to electric), so our rooms get very dry. The humidifier works wonders.

With this strict regime, I now get only one or two sinus infections a year. What a relief! Sinus infections are not only painful, but I am very limited as to what antibiotics I can take. Not to mention that my doctor’s office has a policy of making us wait 10 days from the first symptom before they will prescribe antibiotics. While I completely agree with that policy, being sick for 10 days (or even a week if it clears up on its own) is pretty rotten!