If you've read my '25 Facts About Me,' you will see that no.6 talks about how I suffer from chronic sinusitis and other general pollen, dust, bleurgh allergies. As a child, I commonly caught colds but when I got older, it got worse and I ended up having to go to hospital for a more thorough examination. They did a number of allergy tests on me and I came up positive for every single one, they then found out I had polyps in my nose. Nasal polyps are abnormal tissue growths that grow inside the nasal passages and sinuses. This explained my recurring cold, my slightly nasally voice (whilst speaking and singing) and why there was a constant need for Kleenex in my house. My parents and I went through all the regimes, we bought a new vacuum cleaner, froze my teddies (I was 11 and still had them) and made sure I took medication regularly. I wasn't restricted any food as the allergy tests didn't show any food allergies up though the doctor said that I could be allergic to certain types of food but there was no point cutting anything out of my diet as I'd probably made myself tolerant. I was supposed to have an operation but the hospital lost (!!!) all my information and in the end I just completed my medication and went on with my life. For most of my teenage life, I was okay, I still was nasally but I wasn't plagued as such. University was the same, a bit bunged up but generally okay....this could have been the alcohol clouding it though! However, since I've moved home and started working a 9-5 job, my allergies and sinusitis have creeped back up and some days can completely knock me for 6. I sneeze every morning and evening, my eyes can water if I'm near anything with a strong scent, when I'm tired or had a long day, my chest gets quite tight and my sinuses (particularly the right one) hurt so much sometimes. Now, I wouldn't say they stop me from living my life, I can still do my job, I can still see my friends, I can do everything I could before, it's just...well...annoying! I thought I'd write this post though to show you how I deal with it and for any others who suffer from similar problems. I try to exercise and keep my diet relatively healthy, mayonnaise and dairy are bad for your sinuses (unfortunately they are my favourite things in the world) so I have to restrict myself there. The picture above shows you my essentials for being a girl with nasal problems. Before you ask, my friends find my nasal issues a great amusement...though not when I've slept over at their house and kept them awake with my snoring!
NeilMed Sinus Rinse is a product I bought from Amazon (though have later discovered that it is available at Boots Pharamacy), I don't use this regularly though I really should however it completely rinses out your sinuses and I'd definitely recommend it if you're having a bad sinus day. You use warm water and a sachet of powder and spray it up your nostrils. I don't recommend it as a first date activity.
Otrivine Nasal Spray is definitely an essential. Whenever I feel my allergies coming on, I give myself a quick spray and though at first I feel very bunged up, it does keep the symptoms at bay. You have to catch yourself at a good time though, make sure you're not too far gone! This can be purchased at any Pharmacy.
Neal's Yard Inhalation Oil is something I use when I'm having problem with my breathing. It clears your head and makes you feel a lot clearer. I love Neal's Yard products. I use their coconut oil for my eczema. Yes I have eczema too, though it's very mild. It only comes in small patches in random places and unless I point it out, people don't really see it. Luckily, it's places no-one would usually look such as my inner thigh, or a patch on my arm.
Honey is every sinus sufferer's dream. I can't tell you the amount of people who have suggested introducing honey into my diet. I don't really like honey on toast or in sandwiches but it's perfect in hot drinks to sweeten them, or in shakes, or as a glaze for both savoury and sweet foods.
Almond/Oat/Coconut Milk is yummy but it doesn't compare to real milk :( I would happily drink a glass of milk every day however due to this being bad for the old sinuses, I have to say no. These are my alternatives.
I also take Piriteze and Benadryl. I use Tiger Balm (tiger-friendly with NO tiger bone in it, thank god they made an alternative) for my head and though it's a little overpowering at first, I completely recommend it. I wear glasses for concentrating due to my right eye straining and quite honestly, I think my right eye strains because my nasal polyp is larger on that side. I'm sure the optician would disagree but hey that's me! My glasses are a great relief to me and whenever I'm tired or headachey, they instantly take some of the strain.
I hope this post has helped those who suffer with nasal problems! Do any of you have any recurring problems that aren't life-threatening but are just annoying? Do you use alternatives to dairy in your diet for other reasons? Do you have any tips? Let me know in the comments below!