Breathing is the essence of living and our nose aids in this important process. The air we breathe might not be pure due to multiple reasons in which we might also be a part of some reason (such as contributing to air pollution in some way) but this is a bigger problem that needs the entire country’s attention. Whereas, any problems with our nose that obstructs breathing can be corrected when we take efforts from our side. Some people love the windy weather, some embrace winter for its chillness and pleasantness but there are a handful of people like me who are fans of the bright sunshine and don’t find it a problem even when the scorching sun never fails to traumatize our mood, dampen our spirits and cause us to sweat profusely. I don’t sweat much and maybe you think that’s the reason but no! each of us love or hate things mostly due to various selfish reasons and my happiness in seeing the sun also falls under this ‘selfish’ umbrella. I suffer from sinusitis and even after a septal correction breathing through my nose is a great pain in my daily life when its cold out there.
If you are often sneezing, suffering from a lingering headache due to cold, have troubles without your handkerchief (that takes care of your runny nose) or the swollen red eyes prevent you from focusing on any task at hand it is essential to seek medical help immediately as all of these are symptoms of sinus. Sinusitis is a chronic allergy and a painful condition when the hollow spaces near the nasal passages are inflamed due to infection by germs. Such inflammation is the first step towards runny nose, headaches and swollen eyes. Its never possible to keep sneezing continuously and be 100% productive. Just imagine sitting at a company team lunch with a kerchief over your nose during the entire time-this is awkward not only to you but also to the other people sitting around you! How about driving a vehicle or overtaking one when your nose constantly keeps sending our watery liquid or you sneeze like a dozen times in a minute? Its sounds dangerous! Irritation and discomfort are the foremost effects of a sinus problem but a struggle to breathe while trying to lie down and sleep is an even bigger problem that needs your attention.
Doubting the Antibiotic Effect?
The night we experience breathing struggle makes us promise to pay a visit to the physician the next day who prescribes certain medications that might include antibiotics to clear your congestion. Definitely you feel better but there are chances that the problem recurs all through the winter season debilitating your health and wellness. Research even tells that sinus infections are not really cured by antibiotics prescribed. A British study that focused on the effects of antibiotics and steroid sprays for acting against nose block showed that these were not in any significant way better than the dummy drugs dispensed for the control group individuals in treating sinus. It even suggested that physicians must focus on effective remedies such as over-the-counter painkillers for bringing in relief for the patients (https://www.smh.com.au/world/antibiotics-dont-fix-sinus-infections-20071205-1f1f.html).
Revisiting Grandma’s Medications
We are never in short of home remedies but these too come in handy in times of dire need. Though they might not be a permanent cure these remedies do provide temporary relief and are worth the efforts taken!
Water: Start your day with a glass of warm water and stay hydrated through the day to thin mucus in the nasal passage making it easier for the congested sinus to drain out easily. Any warm liquid aids in relieving the congestion and it is always reliable to sip some warm water or herbal tea that can provide you with relief.
Ginger & garlic: Ginger, a spice popular in our country, comes as a welcome relief to those suffering from common cold and sinus. Boiling a piece of ginger in hot water while preparing tea helps in decongesting the nasal passage. One can also simmer chunks of ginger in hot water for around half an hour, soak up a piece of cloth in the water and apply it on your face (ensuring that it does not burn your forehead) for some 15 minutes to help the sinus drain.
Garlic does more than simply add flavour to foods-it packs your body with good health. Eat 3-5 pieces of garlic daily to boost immunity, stay away from viral diseases and alleviate congestion (boil water, add garlic pieces to it and steam).
Steam: Every time when I complained of cold during my younger days my mother would make me steam with a towel over my head. Adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil in boiling water helps to kill bacteria that cause congestion. Once water starts boiling, its helpful to cover your head and the bowl with a thick cloth to ensure that the steam doesn’t escape off. Do this for some 15 minutes repeating the inhalation procedure at least thrice a day.
Sip herbal tea: A cup of chai is refreshing during anytime of the day for anyone. Sipping on some hot herbal tea provides soothing relied especially when you suffer from cold and sinus problems. Prepare your own herbal tea with water, crushed pepper, cloves, basil, ginger and tea powder. The ingredients have anti-inflammatory effects. You can also prepare black tea with other herbs such as lemongrass to improve your immunity and act as a relief to congestion.
Milk: While milk consumption decreases as a person grows old relying on beverages such as coffee and tea, milk with turmeric remains the tried-and-tested method to relieve any kind of inflammation as milk provides immunity and turmeric has anti-bacterial properties.
Citrus fruits: While individuals are suggested against consuming citrus fruits in real life fruits such as oranges and lemons are rich sources of nutrients such as vitamin C and antioxidants that help in boosting immunity and keeping your body safe from viral infections and flu.
Massage: You can give yourself a massage by making use of the four pairs of sinuses located in your face. There are three massage points but the most commonly used one is the sphenoid/ethmoid-the sphenoid sinus point is located just behind the nose and between the eyes while the ethmoid sinuses are located in the ethmoid bone that divides the nasal cavity from the brain. Massage by placing the index finger on both sides of the bridge of the nose applying pressure on the area with the fingers for 15 seconds. Stroke downward along the bridge using your fingers repeating this for about 30 seconds.
Suffering From a Sinus Infection? Here’s What you Should Include in your Diet: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/suffering-from-a-sinus-infection-heres-what-you-should-include-in-your-diet-6109571/
What to Eat & What to Avoid if you are Suffering from Sinus? https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/food-news/what-to-eat-and-what-to-avoid-if-you-have-sinus/articleshow/68684677.cms
Home Remedies for a Stuffy Nose: https://www.readersdigest.ca/health/conditions/home-remedies-stuffy-nose/
Antibiotics ‘Don’t Fix Sinus Infections’: https://www.smh.com.au/world/antibiotics-dont-fix-sinus-infections-20071205-1f1f.html
3 Massage Techniques to Get Relief from Sinus Pain: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/home-remedies/3-massage-techniques-to-get-relief-from-sinus-pain/articleshow/70934673.cms
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.