In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across several people who have been suffering from, or cared for someone suffering from a “summer cold.”
When the weather is warm and inviting and vacations are planned, the last thing you want is to be is sick in bed with nasal congestion, headaches and fever.
The danger of a simple cold is that it can develop into the more serious and uncomfortable Sinusitis which is a swelling of the nasal passages.
Infection or other triggers can cause your sinuses to inflame causing a stuffy nose and pain. It may also lead to postnasal drip which can irritate the back of the throat.
While many things can cause sinusitis, the disease generally falls into two categories. Acute or Chronic.
Acute sinusitis is more common and generally the result of a viral or bacterial infection. Cold and flu-like symptoms usually persist for a few weeks and are often treated with painkillers, decongestants, nasal sprays and sometimes antibiotics.
Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when an infection lasts 12 weeks or longer and may even last months if not properly treated. Sufferers often experience loss of smell, along with nasal discharge and halitosis.
“One of the first lines of defense should be use of a nasal spray or rinse to help clean out your nasal passages,” said Ed Neuzil, ARNP, PhD and founder of Dr. Neuzil’s Irrigator nasal cleansing spray. “Your medical practitioner may recommend a medicated spray which will help reduce inflammation but there are natural properties that can help as well.”
Essential oils such as eucalyptol and pine oil are known to be anti-inflammatory and will soothe swollen tissue.
“If you do use an over-the-counter nasal decongestant, follow the medications instructions carefully to limit use after three days,” encourages Neuzil. “If your symptoms persist, you should call your health care provider to avoid the condition from worsening.”