Every spring, as the people around me, sneeze, rub their eyes, complain of headaches in a congested voice, and exhibit other seasonal-related allergies, I cruise by feeling unruffled save for an occasional sneeze here and there. This lasts for a few weeks…until it doesn’t. And BAM, I get smacked in the face with a painfully uncomfortable sinus infection. Well this year, it started last Monday. And I have to say, I thought I was in the clear as it usually occurs during March/April for me. But there I was, with a sore throat, and somehow not yet making the link between that symptom and the ominous sinus infection that was heading my way. By last Wednesday, I was in full congestion and sinus pain mode.
I still wasn’t totally convinced that this would take me down for the count, so I decided to go to the gym and attempt to lift on Wednesday morning. Later that day, I would head to Ocean City, Maryland for a work conference, so I thought why not get a workout in before I get on the road. Well, the workout proved to be a bad idea as you can imagine, and without the option to stay at home and rest, I decided to pick up some Mucinex for sinus on my way out to Ocean City. And so, I survived the conference until Friday with Mucinex, many tissues, and lots of bone broth. I was handling it, and actually feeling like I was recovering…until Sunday when it just all hit me again—the pain, the clogged ears, the pain, the congestion, the PAIN. So after a terrible night’s sleep Sunday, I decided I needed to take some action (other than Mucinex, which I had run out of at this point anyway) to get this thing cleared up.
Why not go see a doctor?
So yes, I could have easily gone to a Minute Clinic or something similar for this sinus infection. And I probably would have if I had been home and not out of town at a conference when the symptoms really hit me. But I’m also a bit anti prescription medication if I can help it. And like I said, I’ve had this before (every year); I know it’s my body’s reaction to all the allergens in the air—this is just how it presents itself in my body. I also wasn’t sure that if I went to the doctor at that late stage in the game, several days after the symptoms started, whether or not I would have been prescribed any antibiotics or simply told to take more Mucinex and buy a nasal spray. So instead of spending the time going to see a doctor, I decided to see what I could do on my own to knock this infection out.
I did a little research, and what that led me to do was head over to my local Vitamin Shoppe to purchase some Bromelain and Oregano Oil. I also looked for nasal spray infused with grapefruit seed extract but didn’t find any at Vitamin Shoppe; luckily, I was able to purchase that on Amazon Prime pretty inexpensively. Within a day of taking the Bromelain and breathing in hot steam with infused with oregano oil, I was feeling much better. The nasal spray, unfortunately, didn’t arrive until yesterday–two days after beginning the Bromelain and doing the steam treatments—but I was still quite congested (still sounded congested too), so I was curious to see if it make a difference. So far, I’m feeling less congested and it seems to be working.
Why and How:
- Bromelain is a protein that actually comes from pineapples and has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the inflammation in the sinus passages. Furthermore, it can aid in breaking up and draining the congestion. I was able to find a Bromelain specifically designed for sinus relief that also contains Vitamin C and Quercetin, both helpful in either reducing inflammation or supporting the recovery process. It is suggested you take Bromelain on an empty stomach, so I’ve been taking it prior to my meals 3 times a day.
- Oregano oil not only has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, but it’s also quite potent. Now, I didn’t ingest the oil, so I imagine the first two qualities of the oil were not of any benefit to me. However, the potency of the oil really helped to open up my sinuses and break up some of that congestion, i.e. sinus pain (and maybe I did inhale some anti-bacterial and anti-fungal grade steam to help things along too ).
- To use the oregano oil with steam, all I did was place a pot of water on the stove and allow it to come to a boil at which point steam was coming up from the pot. I added about 5-6 drops of the oregano oil, put a towel around my head to catch the steam, and just breathed it all in. I did this several times during the day, and then even sat at my kitchen table for a couple hours while I allowed the water with the oil added to it continue to boil and steam into the air. So needless to say, this process takes some repetition for it to be effective. But honestly, it did work.
- The nasal spray I purchased suggests that you use it 4 times a day, which I’ve been doing since I got it yesterday. The reason why grapefruit seed extract or oil is effective is because it helps to eliminate infection, bacteria, fungus. It comes right from the seeds of a grapefruit, as its name implies, and in delivering vitamin C and other minerals to your body, it supports the calming of the inflamed sinuses. It does create a minimal burning sensation in your nose when you use it, I assume because of its citrus qualities.
- I also can’t neglect the importance of rest. And I mention it while also admitting that I’m not one who willingly takes to the concept. Even when I intend to stay home and rest, I’m rarely actually resting. So I think something I, along with countless others, need to remember is that when our bodies are telling us something, we should really listen. No doubt, taking the day to rest was another significant factor in my recovery process.
- Neti Pots–I’ve been told about the effectiveness of these, and I’m sure they are effective. In all honesty, it just felt like too much work for me on Monday when I was prompted to take some action and attack this infection. I would have needed to use distilled water (I think that was what the directions I looked at noted), and figure out how to use it. I also just don’t really want to flush my nose out; it seems weird to me, and I just wasn’t ready to take that on this time around. I will, however, consider it the next time I begin to feel sinus congestion.
- When I go to the Vitamin Shoppe, I can’t leave without a treat. And these did not disappoint!