Sinus infection congestion is the worst! The unbearable sinus pain. The oh-so-attractive mouth breathing. We’ve all been there…an estimated 37 million people get at least one infection a year. That’s a lot of tissues! There are ways to ease the discomfort without running to the doctor for antibiotics or developing an addiction to decongestant nasal sprays. After suffering from sinus congestion for years, I’ve compiled my top 3 go to remedies whenever my sinuses start to ache.
1. Hot Toddy! Yes, hot toddy is number one. Why? Because warm booze is the best thing ever when you feel like crap and have sinus infection congestion! And also, because they do work. A hot toddy is basically liquor, honey, lemon, and either warm water or tea mixed together. I usually reach for the Jack Daniels, but you can use any kind of brandy, whiskey or rum you like. I also don’t feel like reaching for the measuring cup when I’m super congested, but if you must measure, here is a go-by:
The World’s Best Hot Toddy
1 ounce brandy, whiskey or rum (or 2 ounces if you really want to knock this sinus infection congestion out!) 1 tablespoon honey 1/4 of a lemon 1 cup of hot tea or hot water
Hold your nose and throw it down the hatch! A cinnamon stick, six to ten cloves, or a couple of teaspoons of brown sugar can be added to the mix if you’re not as experienced with the hot toddie, or drinking for that matter. You should feel relief immediately, and if you don’t, rinse and repeat!
2. The Newly Popular Neti Pot
I have to be honest. I don’t understand what all the hype is about the neti pot. Although it does feel great, the relief is very short lived. In my experience, I’m congested again in about 5 minutes, no exaggeration. However, I am including it on my list because it has helped keep my allergies, cold, etc from turning into a full blown infection when used as soon as the tell tell symptoms appear – dripping nose, sinus congestion, etc. The neti pot has never done much of anything for me if I already have an infection. So, as soon as your nose starts to drip, use your neti pot twice a day or more.
3. Mucinex! Mucinex! Mucinex!
People don’t realize how important mucinex is when you have an infection. When I go to the doctor for a sinus infection, and I used to alot, he would prescribe me mucinex and send me home. That’s right, no antibiotics, mucinex. Why? First, antibiotics are not the sinus cure like we once thought. More studies are showing that antibiotics may shave one day off the infection time, if that. In my experience, doctors try to avoid giving you antibiotics. So, back to the mucinex. If you have sinus problems yearly like I do, take mucinex as directed on the box as soon as your nose starts to drip. Most of the time the mucinex will prevent your cold or allergy from becoming a full on infection. Why? Because the bacteria that causes the infection lives in your mucus. Mucinex thins your mucus, making it easier for your body to get rid of, therefore, getting rid of the infection. Also, removing the mucus eases the sinus infection congestion.