Q: Dear Dr. Mao,
I suffer from sinus infections that are especially bad in the spring. What can I do to relieve the pressure in my head and sinuses? Right now I just take a lot of medication to mask the symptoms. Isn’t there another way?
A: Recurrent sinus infection or sinusitis is commonly due to persistent allergies or seasonal hay fever. Treat the hay fever first and then once the allergies subside, the sinus condition will get a reprieve from the incessant inflammation from the allergic reactions and should improve. You may want to follow up with immune system strengthening tips to prevent infections.
Here are some tips for clearing up allergies:
1. Irrigate your nose with saline (warm salt water) twice daily.
2. Reduce the allergy-load on your body by avoiding mucus-producing foods like dairy, wheat and sugar.
3. Take a bee pollen supplement and the herb stinging nettle.
4. Use an air purifier in the workspace, as well as at home.
5. Exercise indoors with filtered air.
6. Drink 8-12 glasses of water daily.
Strategies for a stronger immune system:
1. Keep stress low by practicing meditation, tai chi or yoga.
2. Maintain a positive and uplifting attitude.
3. Eat lots of garlic, ginger, cilantro, and oregano.
You may find the herbal supplements “Allergy Tamer” and “Perpetual Shield” helpful in temporarily relieving your allergy symptoms and boosting your immune system. Of course, discuss with your physician before beginning any new health regime.