SPY Guide: 9 Ways to Help Improve Your Sinusitis

Over the counter sinusitis treatments
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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* Allergies, fungus, and mucus from colds can cause sinusitis
* You risk infection if mucus left untreated
* Get these products to relieve allergies and sinus pain

Whether you suffer from the occasional sinus pressure when your allergies go haywire, or have chronic sinusitis, sinus symptoms can do more than just make you feel miserable physically–they can also impact your professional and personal life. After all, it’s pretty hard to get your work done when your face and head feel like they’re going to explode and you can barely hear your boss because your ears are stuffed up.

Then there’s the bad breath, unrelenting one-sided headaches, toothaches, and sometimes even loss of smell and taste.

Sinus trouble can stem from a wide range of origins, whether it be the aftermath of a common cold, allergies, or a bacterial infection. Mucus that becomes trapped in our sinus cavities offers bacteria, fungus, pollen and other pollutants a cozy site to settle in, thanks to its sticky texture.

While antibiotics are usually necessary to treat acute sinus infections caused by bacteria, those of us who have an ongoing case of inflamed sinuses, can manage the symptoms with a few simple tools and hacks.

Sinus Cavities Diagram Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Disclaimer:  It’s important to talk to your primary care doctor or ENT before starting a new treatment to your current routine, whether all-natural or not. Identifying what’s causing the sinus troubles (i.e. an obstruction, bacteria, or allergies) will help you effectively treat your sinus woes.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

ACV has both anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties, which can help deter bacteria and fungus growth that contribute to sinus dysfunction. Unlike prescription antibiotics, Apple Cider Vinegar contains acetic acid, which has the ability to kill bad bacteria, while fostering the growth of good bacteria. You can mix a tablespoon with some water and take it orally or add to your humidifier or personal steamer for amplified results. Just make sure you’re getting the raw organic variety to reap its benefits. It’s labeled the “Mother” to show that it still has the culture of beneficial bacteria that turns regular apple cider into vinegar in the first place.


Apple Cider Vinegar Sinus Image courtesy of Amazon


2. Nasal Filters

If you’re sinuses are aggravated by allergens and air pollutants (hint: most people’s are) these portable nose filters will help block out dust, pollen, smoke and other common allergy-amplifiers from entering your nose. They may seem a bit gimmicky, but when you’re on a hike or simply going somewhere without a stationary air filter, these nose plugs will help. Just take a peak of the review images for a before and after glimpse of the pollution they block out.


Nasal Air Filters Sinus Image courtesy of Amazon


3. Heated Compress

Another way to soothe sinus pressure and pain, a heated facial compress can also help to loosen impacted mucus, especially in the maxillary sinuses (the areas around your cheekbones). The direct contact and pressure of the mask will help quickly relieve pressure by melting the mucus much faster than a typical air humidifier.

Facial Compression Mask Image courtesy of Amazon


4. Guaifenesin

This OTC expectorant is primarily marketed as a cough and cold remedy, to help reduce chest congestion, making coughs more productive by loosening mucus. Recommended by many ENTs for both patients with acute sinus infections and chronic sinusitis, its loosening effects also works really well for sinus drainage too.

Mucinex Sinusitis Image courtesy of Amazon


5. Light Treatment

One of the newer advances in sinus and allergy treatment is light therapy devices. The wavelength technology is supposed to help relieve symptoms of sinusitis and allergic rhinitis by helping to alleviate inflammation inside the mucous membrane and triggering immune cells to respond to infection. Although the research is inconsistent in determining light treatment’s efficacy at this time, these new devices are garnering some positive reviews, citing improved nasal congestion and less troublesome allergies.

Anti-Allergy LED Light Image courtesy of Amazon


6. Personal Vaporizer

Trapped mucus is often exacerbated by dry air. Normal humidifiers release steam to add moisture back into the air, which can help assist the moistening of mucus, stimulating increased drainage of mucus from sinuses. This personal vaporizer, however, goes a step beyond your average humidifier, featuring a facial hood that allows you to closely breathe in the steam, allowing the steam to enter directly into your nose.

Vick's sinus vaporizer Image courtesy of Amazon


7. Sinus Support Supplement

REDD Remedies’ blend of immune blasting ingredients including Vitamin C and bioflavonoids, with the addition of Bromelain and Stinging Nettle to help promote normal histamine responses and sinus drainage. Bromelain has been linked to helping loosen mucus, promoting increased drainage and relieving post nasal drip, while Stinging Nettle–a natural plant— has been shown to help reduce common symptoms from hay fever (seasonal allergies). Make sure to consult with your doctor before taking these supplements, as they may interact with certain prescription drugs, including antibiotics.

Sinus Support Supplement Image courtesy of Amazon


8. Saline Rinse

This trusted sinus cleansing method allows you to combine water and a saline solution to flush out pollutants, the pollen you may have inhaled that day, and even bacteria. The squeeze bottle allows you to cleanse your nasal passages with your head in an upright position (unlike the popular neti-pot) so it reduces the mess and clean up afterwards. As with all sinus rinses, it’s important to use distilled water or boiled water only.

NeilMed Sinus Rinse Image courtesy of Amazon


9. Pulsating Sinus Irrigator

This device is basically a glorified neti pot or saline rinse bottle, but it also has a pulsating motion, designed to help aggressively target hardened mucus for faster relief. According to studies, these advanced irrigation systems work equally as well as the less expensive spray bottle, but this device may be more beneficial for those whose whose symptoms are localized to the maxillary cavities.

Sinus Pulsating Irrigation Image courtesy of Amazon

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