There are many reasons why some people are not morning persons. While for some it has to do with waking up early, for others it has a lot to with sneezing, and blocked and runny noses. Sinusitis is very common, especially with the changing season, and it can take the good out of the morning.
Nolusindiso Cindy Pukwana (30) from Langa in the Cape, says her sinuses get “hectic” in the morning. When she feels the strain in her nostrils, her whole mood changes, she explains.
“Often every morning my nostrils get blocked, with runny nose sometimes. When this attack strikes, my whole body just shuts down. I don’t feel like doing anything.”
What is sinus infection?
Sinusitis is the inflammation of the *paranasal sinuses. It is a common disease that may afflict people throughout their lives. According to Mediclinic, sinusitis infection is quite common in our society and affect approximately 30% of the South African population.
The report reveals that sinusitis may be acute or chronic, and infectious or non-infectious. Sinusitis can be caused by infections, allergies (to dust mites, pollen and mold), and irritants (car exhaust, petrol and paint fumes, perfume, insect spray and household chemicals), and people who smoke are also prone to it.
Gqeberha based SANDF soldier Okuhle Makhangela (25) says his infection didn’t seem serious at first, but now it needs much more attention.
Makhangela says he first experienced uncontrollably runny noses, continued sneezing and blockages in his nasal passage.
“My main triggers are dusty areas, especially in a place where there’s a carpet, sometimes the wind and often the air blown by the air conditioner. To treat my sinuses, I use Loratadine pills – at least these tablets ease the tension, and they become better. I also resort to covering my mouth and nose with a mask when I’m in such environments where there’s an aircon or a carpet,” he adds.
The best sinusitis hacks
Even though many people know and understand this condition, there seems to be little action towards combating sinus infections from a healthy nutrition point of view. More than anything, the resolution to the infections for many is allergy tablets.
For Xolani Mabuya (29) of Cape Town his first sinus allergy felt like any other common condition. “It felt normal for me because a lot of people had it at home and there was little to no natural cure used at home,” he says.
According to registered dietician Jason van Heerden, this move is justified as there is not much than can be done about allergies to the wind, dust and air conditioning.
“Precautions and remedies for sinus infections are mostly dependant on the nature of the allergy, as a result people then make their own homemade remedies besides just prescribed medication,” he says.
He adds that there is not enough evidence that proves that certain foods should be cut out of the diets due to sinus infections. “But the most important thing about sinuses and what we eat is that people should seek to eat foods that keep them hydrated and within adequate sugar levels. The most important thing is to see a dietician for a specific diet,” Van Heerden advises.
Get some relief
Dr Debra Sullivan shares three full-proof hacks for sinus relief:
Water and more fluids
Fluids and humidification help in thinning mucous and drain your sinuses. Fluids also lubricate your sinuses and keep your skin hydrated.
Nasal flushing is effective at relieving congestion and irritation. Flushing simply means flushing out your nasal passages with salt and water solution. You can do this with bottles and syringes.
Steaming helps relieve congestion as it loosens mucus. Give yourself a steam treatment using a bowl of hot water add camphor or eucalyptus oil and a large towel.
*Health For Mzansi word of the Day:
Paranasal sinuses – One of the many small hollow spaces in the bones around the nose.