A few days ago, I woke up with a sore throat. It must be allergies, I told myself. Post nasal drip, because I have a certain brown dog who hogs all the pillows and I end up sleeping flat on my back.
But the sore throat stuck around.
Yesterday it was joined by a stuffy nose. And a headache. My nose and sinuses got more and more congested as the day went on, and I finally had to conclude that it wasn’t allergies. It was the beginnings of a sinus infection. I pulled out the Echinacea and goldenseal and took the suggested dose before I went hunting for my sinus rinse kit.
To my dismay, the sinus rinse kit had not handled my recent move well. Not at all. The squeeze bottle and spout were all moldy — it must have still been wet when I packed it. There was no way I was going to be able to use it. Off to the local drugstore I went, scouring the shelves in the hope of finding a replacement. Success! The good old NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit, with squeezy bottle and little pre-made packets of solution (which is mostly salt, as far as I understand).
This next part is gross. You may want to skip down to the next paragraph. I used my brand new sinus rinse and was amazed to see a whole lot of yellow gunk come streaming out of my nose. All the stuff that had been building up in my nose and sinuses was forcefully evicted by warm salt water.
Already, I’m breathing better. The sinus pressure headache is still there, but lessened. I’m going to keep using my sinus rinse — at least twice a day, maybe more — until I chase this sinus infection away. I can’t say this enough: it sure is gross, but it sure does work.
If you can’t find the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit at your local pharmacy, you can also look for something called a Neti Pot. Just a variation on the “shoot salt water up your nose” theme. You can also get a little squeeze bottle and make your own. Don’t go too crazy with the salt — half a teaspoon or less is plenty. Don’t make the water too hot, either; you don’t want to burn the inside of your nose.