Winter is approaching, and our noses are starting to suffer! Writer Gabrielle Dyer reveals the only thing that helped her deal with her chronic sinusitis...
If you’ve never had a sinus infection it’s hard to explain just how awful they are. I made it my whole life sinusitis free, taking breathing through my nose for granted. Then, following a stint of back-to-back antibiotics I found myself dealing with the dreaded chronic sinusitis.
The inability to breathe, runny nose and money spent on tissues were the least of my worries – it’s the unbearable pain. Being someone who’s never even really had headaches, nothing could have prepared me for the 5 months of near constant throbbing face and head that a sinus infection gave.
A sinus infection usually starts off as a cold, it can be triggered by hay fever, or in my case a weakened immune system.
The tissues in your nose become inflamed and swell up, blocking the sinus passage and causing congestion. When your sinuses can’t drain the mucus builds up and you feel intense pressure in your head, around your eyes and nose.
At it’s best it felt like a dull headache, and at worst, like your head will explode.
Since lying down made it worse, I would have to sleep in a weird, half sat up position. Aside from the pain I found myself feeling constantly exhausted.
I bought decongestants, nasal sprays, I steamed, I lived off painkillers for months. I hoped it would go. It didn’t. Then, on one of my many sleepless nights I came across a Neti Pot.
It sounded strange – and looked even stranger – but many people had claimed they were the only thing that had helped them. Essentially, it’s a pot with a very long, thin snout that you hold up to your nose and use to flush out your nasal passage. You can buy a special Neti solution, which is basically just salt, to mix into your water and create the solution.
I was sceptical at first, it seemed too easy an answer for the months of drugs and pain. Plus, it was only £14. The first time I used it, it was an unusual sensation. You have to tilt your head forward in a certain way so that it doesn’t run down the back of your throat and make sure you’re breathing through your mouth only.
Afterwards, I followed the instructions and did the sinus massages included on a handy little sheet. What do you know, the following day I felt like a weight had been lifted from my head. That dull pain was almost entirely gone. I literally couldn’t believe it.
Moral of the (extremely long) story is that if you are suffering with sinus issues, please give this a try! It has changed my life.