I have a terrible history with sinus infections. Growing up, I didn't even have to make a trip to the pediatrician for him to call me in an antibiotic due to my history. Then, there were the times I would try to self-medicate with an over-the-counter pill so I wouldn't have to pump anymore of those antibiotics into my system than absolutely necessary. Once, I accidentally overdosed on Actifed. Usually, I would take 2 Sudafed, but Actifed only required 1 pill. I took 2 on an empty stomach. Then I went to church. That made for a re-heal-ly exciting evening. We'll just leave it at that. Anyhoo...before we moved to Florida my sinus infections would almost instantaneously turn into bronchitis. I didn't get them quite as often while we lived in the Sunshine State. But, the minute I would head north I was in for a doozy.
During my time in Florida I started to hear about sinus flushing. I couldn't find the neti pots that you were supposed to use to do this. So, I improvised and used salt water and a nasal aspirator. It wasn't the greatest approach - but, it helped. Nowadays, you can find neti pots almost anywhere.
They come in a kit with saline packets and the neti pot itself. These things are a God-send!
It reminds me of an Aladdin lamp. It is so easy to use that my husband (who would not use the nasal aspirator) and nine year old son use it regularly.
The refill packets are cheap. I think this box of 100 cost me $9.99.
Dr. Oz (and about every other doctor out there now) recommends flushing your sinuses to stay healthy. They say that all sickness starts in the sinuses and then progresses to the throat, the chest, yada, yada,yada... I received an e-mail recently regarding the Swine Flu virus. It said that the virus stays in the sinuses for something like 2 days before it germinates (or whatever viruses do). So, they said that if you flushed your sinuses daily, you wouldn't get the H1N1 virus. I don't have medical facts supporting my next thought - but it seems to me that the same thing would be true for any flu bug flying around.
I am convinced that we have been spared at least one trip to the doctor for antibiotics this year to get rid of a sinus infection, and probably more. My husband likes to sleep with a fan. But, it can't be pointed at his head or he will wake up with a sinus infection. This seems weird to me - but after 14 years of marriage, I don't even try to understand it anymore. I just know that's how it works for him. About a month or so ago - the fan got moved and he woke up with those burning sinuses. So, he flushed them before he went to work. By the time he came home, they weren't burning anymore. He continued to flush them morning and night for the next couple of days. By the 2nd or 3rd day he was completely over it. No trip to the doctor required. Let me just say, that was a first.
The box says that this is so safe that you can safely flush your sinuses up to 20 times a day. I can't possible imagine needing to do it that many times. But, hey, whatever.
It may seem like a strange thing to do if you've never flushed your sinuses before. But, truly, it's quick, easy and painless. My nine year old flushes his all by himself. And, $.10 per pack of saline seems like a cheap price to pay to keep my family healthy. I hope you consider flushing your sinuses the next time an infection comes knocking on your door.