5 Ways to Prevent a Sinus Infection

We’ve all been there. The snuffy nose that runs like a faucet. Coupled with pain and pressure in the face.

Yep. Sinus infections.

And sinus infections are RAMPANT this time of year.


I used to get two sinus infections a year — one in the winter and one in the summer when my seasonal allergies went berserk.

But then I decided I would really figure out how to prevent them. Using evidence-based and integrative strategies. And voila! Sinus infections no more!

So how do you prevent sinus infections?

Keep reading for my top tips.

1. Avoid Breathing Dry Air


You may be thinking, “Yeah, right. How do I do that in the winter?”

Great question because the combo of cold air and artificial heating is a recipe for dryness.

There are a few things you can do.

One is to use a humidifier, especially while you’re sleeping. These relatively inexpensive devices can be a godsend. They work by infusing the air with moisture, which makes things much more comfortable for your nasal passages and sinuses.

Another is to use saline nasal rinses. You can read more about those here.

2. Savor a Cup of Tea


This is something I can completely get behind.

Tea, particularly of the green variety, has been shown to prevent sinus infections. It is thought the cathechins are responsible for this effect.

If you are new to tea, rest assured green tea tastes delicious. However, how you steep the tea is incredibly important. If you steep green tea for too long or at too high a temperature, it will taste bitter and honestly unpleasant. Be sure to follow steeping instructions to ensure your cup tastes great.

3. Stay Away from Smoke and Pollution


Cigarette smoke is not only bad for your lungs — the smoke also irritates your nasal and sinus membranes.

When your nasal and sinus membranes are irritated, you are much more likely to get a sinus infection.

High pollution levels also have the same effect. So consider exercising indoors when the air quality is subpar or investing in an air purifier. Air purifiers are not cheap, but can make a huge difference if you live in an area with pollution.

4. Avoid Your Allergens


When you are exposed to allergens, you often cause inflammation of the nasal and sinus membranes.

If you cannot avoid your allergens, at the very least treat your symptoms.

5. Wash Your Hands . . . Now and Often


Wash your hands. Right now.

If you come into contact with people with colds or other infections, you increase your risk of illness.

The best way to prevent cold transmission is by hand washing. Now and often.

Keep Yourself Healthy & Happy

I’m a true believer in the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So if you suffer from sinus infections, try these tips to keep you (and your sinuses) healthy and happy.


Runny Nose? Fall Allergies Could be the Culprit (+ 3 Natural Remedies to Get You Feeling Better Fast)

Are you still experiencing runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itching, and dark under eye circles? Even though fall is officially here, these classic allergy symptoms can be full force.

It is estimated that more than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. While we often think of spring as allergy season, the reality is allergies can be bothersome year round. In fact, 75% of spring allergy sufferers also experience fall allergies.

If you stroll through your local pharmacy, you are likely to see a plethora of drugs for sale to help with your allergies. Many of these products, while effective, have undesirable side effects such as drowsiness and dry mouth. If you want to avoid side effects or you prefer a more natural approach, you are in luck! It’s still possible to relieve your symptoms naturally with the following three scientifically proven options:

1.) Butterbur (Petasites hybridus)

Butterbur is a plant found in Europe, Asia, and North America. Butterbur works similarly to allergy medicines — by blocking the action of inflammatory mediators called leukotrienes. In fact, a placebo-controlled study of over 300 people compared butterbur to fexofenadine (an allergy drug sold under the brand name Allegra) for allergic rhinitis, a common symptom of allergy sufferers. The results of this study showed butterbur to be as effective as fexofenadine and superior to placebo.

Side effects of butterbur include nausea, burping, fatigue, and headache. Users of butterbur should be cautious of unpurified butterbur preparations. These products may include liver-toxic contaminants called pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PPA). If you use butterbur, be sure to only use products that are free of PPA.

2.) Probiotics

Probiotics are bacteria that are purposefully introduced into the body for health benefits. There are various different bacterial strains available in probiotic products. One such strain, Lactobacillus paracasei, can improve allergy symptoms, in particular red and itchy eyes. Lactobacillus paracasei has been studied alone, in combination with conventional allergy medicine, and in adults and children. Other benefits of probiotics include decreased symptoms of eczema, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics are generally recognized as safe. However, if you are immunosuppressed, you should avoid using probiotics due to increased risk of infection.  

3.) Nasal irrigation

While not the sexiest treatment, nasal irrigation is effective at preventing and soothing allergies. Clinical studies show nasal irrigation relieves symptoms and may reduce the need for antihistamines in allergy sufferers. In particular, nasal irrigation reduces running and irritated noses.

Side effects of nasal irrigation include pain, burning, and irritation of the nose. Traditionally, this treatment involved mixing warm distilled/filtered and previously boiled water with a salt powder in a pot or plastic bottle before performing irrigation. Improper cleaning of irrigation containers can lead to infection. However newer products supply the irrigation solution premixed and ready to use.

If you or a loved one suffer from allergies, consider one of these natural options. Your eyes and nasal passages will thank you! Please note, if you are pregnant or breast feeding, be sure to check with your healthcare provider before starting anything new.

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