September 27, 2010 - 8:32am
It has started for me and my children already and it's still September! Both of my daughters have had heavy colds and fevers (I know it's picked up from being back in school but it does seem rather early!) and I am currently having an awful time with a sinus infection. My first bout with sinusitis (often called a sinus infection) was about four years ago (never had one before) and I now get one (or two if I've been sinning a lot) every year and they are dastardly little buggers.
The facial pain is awful, as is the accompanying headaches and sore throats. I think I'm on the back end of things and hopefully won't see this monster again until next year!
So why do our ears, noses and throats have so much trouble in the winter, especially in terms of sinus infections?
The viruses that spread during the winter months primarily affect our respiratory areas. Since our mouths, noses and ears are all connected to respiration, they will often bear the brunt of the nasty symptoms of upper respiratory viruses that are primarily seen October through March. A sinus infection (that is non-allergy related) is generally viral (or fungal) in origin. The viruses that cause other upper respiratory illnesses causes the passages to become inflamed and bacteria increases. Eye pain, face pain, headaches and sore throats are all common symptoms. Often times a sinus infection will follow the flu.
Natural ways to treat sinus infections are hot showers, a steam bath (you can use additives like peppermint or eucalyptus) to the face. Hold face over a bowl of hot, steaming water with a towel over the head, to encourage the opening of passages and clear out sinuses. An menthol ointment to the throat and chest overnight can also relieve discomfort.
A doctor can prescribe medication if necessary.
How to avoid sinus infections?
Life can sometimes just make them inevitable. But there are ways to try to avoid them. Hand washing is vital (when trying to avoid any contagious illnesses) and also avoid those with colds and flus.
A flu shot and a healthy diet (with lots of fluids) and exercise regime will also help, as will a good night's sleep.
Does anyone else suffer from sinusitis? What do you do to avoid them or treat them?
Nasal irrigation with a saline solution can also help but this should ideally be done over a doctor's supervision. Over the counter medications like Mucinex can also help (this actually works for me as well as steamy showers).