Until the past year or so I have never had a problem with my sinuses. Now all of the sudden I have had three sinus infections in less than a year. I tried store-bought sinus rinse solutions, which work great, but I thought there had to be a DIY solution that would work just as well. And I was right, there is!
If you have never used a sinus rinse, doctors highly recommend them. My doctor told me when he thinks he is starting to get a sinus infection he uses a rinse once or twice a day and this greatly reduces the severity of the sinus infection. If you are not sure if you have a sinus infection...if you have a head cold that just won't go away and a dull ache in your forehead (just bend forward and you will feel it instantly), then you probably have a sinus infection.
Sinus rinses are also great for people who have chronic allergy problems.
A sinus or nasal rinse is just a saline solution, which is salt and water. To make your own sinus rinse all you need is 1/4 tsp. of salt mixed with 8 oz. of warm water.
A lot of people add 1/4 tsp. baking soda to help sooth your swollen nasal passages, but it is not necessary.
A couple things to note are that you should use distilled water, not tap water when using ANY sinus or nasal rinse. Distilled water is more pure than tap water and costs less than $1 a gallon. You can also use distilled water to make DIY eyeglasses cleaning solution and homemade electronic wipes used to clean screens on your favorite electronics, like t.v's, computers, and cell phones.
You can use table salt in this solution if you are only going to use it a couple of times. I tried it and it worked fine. It is recommended, however, to use non-iodized salt, also commonly known as pickling salt. This is salt that iodine has not been added to. The reason for the non-iodized salt is that the iodine can cause irritation to your nasal passages if used over a long period of time. If the non-iodized salt does burn at all, just reduce the amount of salt next time.
And a word of caution, too. If your nose is so plugged up that you can't breathe at all, you probably shouldn't try this. The solution needs to be able to go into your nasal passages. Also, if you feel any ear pain, then don't try this and go see your doctor.
Doctors say that this is a perfectly safe alternative to store-bought nasal rinses. Use this solution as you would use the store bought kind. I used a bottle that came with a sinus rinsing kit I had bought in the past.
If you don't have a bottle to use, you can also use a bowl and bulb syringe method just as effectively.
If you have never used a sinus rinse before, here are instructions for how to administer the nasal rinse solution. I tried my DIY solution today, and it worked great. Nothing like cleaned out sinus passages!
Copyright 2012, Creative Homemaking, LLC. This article may not be reprinted.
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