My buddy Jack rarely gets sick. Whenever he feels a cold coming on, he always manages to fight it off. His secret?
He sniffs salt water up his nose.
This is probably the most disgusting thing I can think of, personally. Suck salt water up your nose, yeah, Jack, that’s a great idea. No thanks!
Looks like Jack has the right idea, though. An ear-nose-throat doc gave me a delightful sinus rinse kit to use to fight off my frequent sinus infections. I do have to say the experience is exactly as disgusting as I imagined it would be.
But it really does help.
The NeilMed sinus rinse kit is available at most major drug stores. It comes with an 8 ounce plastic squeezy bottle and little packets of prepared sinus rinse solution — which is actually just salt and sodium bicarbonate, AKA baking soda. You mix one packet of solution with 8 ounces of lukewarm water and then the fun begins. Don’t make the water too hot or you’ll have a whole new problem — burned nostrils.
The squeezy bottle has a special tip you tuck up against one nostril. Bend forward over the sink and open your mouth. Squeeze, and warm water shoots up your nose and (theoretically) out the other nostril. If you’re really stopped up, the water may come down the back of your throat and out your mouth. Yes, it is gross. Yes, you will slobber and dribble all over yourself. But the warm water will soothe infected nasal passages and wash away infected mucous.
Even using this horrid torture device once a day really helps me. If I start to feel the old familiar sensation of sinus pressure, daily use of the sinus rinse fights it off. It’s also good for the winter when I tend to get very dried out and prone to nosebleeds.
If you decide to give it a try, read the directions completely before use. Don’t make the water too hot… and don’t use the sinus rinse if your nasal passages are severely blocked or if you also have an ear infection.