Anyone who suffers from sinus pressure or has ever had a simple cold can tell you: A stuffy nose and pressure in your forehead are really irritating.
As parents, there’s nothing worse than watching our little ones lay around in pain and tired from not being able to breathe properly. But what if we were able to help reduce the chances of this occurring? Is it possible?
In fact — it’s very possible. We can make a small, simple change daily that could help keep our sinuses clear and have them (and us) feeling pressure-free 365 days a year.
It’s possible… with essential oils. They’re all-natural, easy to use, and safe for kids and adults. No age requirements or restrictions here!
Today we want to talk about sinuses, essential oils, and how we can connect the two to maintain healthy breathing habits long-term.
What Are Sinuses?
Let’s start by breaking down our sinuses. Knowing as much as we can about our sinus passages and how they work will take us a long way in understanding how to keep them functioning right.
A sinus is defined as a passageway, or channel, in the body that is not a blood or lymphatic vessel. While there are many sinuses in the body, we will concentrate on those found in the skull, specifically the paranasal sinuses. One of the main functions of the paranasal sinuses is to carry mucus to the nasal passages and subsequently out of your body.
What Is Sinusitis?
When our sinuses become blocked or clogged with fluids, this is a condition known as sinusitis. This can happen to anyone, and it occurs most notably during colds, cases of flu, or allergy season.
Your sinuses are normally full of air when they are functioning properly, but during a blockage, they become filled with fluids or mucus and lead to a lot of discomfort.
Sinusitis is the infection that occurs due to your sinuses becoming blocked. There are four stages or types of sinusitis that can occur.
What Are the Stages of a Sinus Infection?
The four stages are more intense sinus infections than those that clear up on their own after a few days to a week. These are:
- Acute bacterial sinusitis: The infection in which nasal passages are blocked and sinus pressure occurs and lasts longer than ten days. This is also the term used for infections that seemingly clear up but then return before you’re 100% better. With rest/antibiotics, symptoms clear up fully.
- Chronic sinusitis: This type of infection is accompanied by the same sinus pressure and congestion. It is more intense, and symptoms last for at least 12 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitis: This type of sinus infection lasts between four and 12 weeks and is associated with the same sinus pressure/pain as the aforementioned infections.
- Recurrent acute sinusitis: Sinuses infections that last for about two weeks and occur at least four times a year.
What Causes Sinus Infections?
The most basic causes of sinus infections happen when foreign agents or bacteria enter the body and cause a cold. If this cold doesn’t get better on its own, it can easily transition into a sinus infection.
A deviated septum can also lead to a sinus infection as the nasal bone or cartilage will be closer to the nasal passageway on one side of the nose, causing blockage to happen regularly.
Another common way to end up with a sinus infection is if you suffer from allergies. The intense reaction caused by allergy season can lead to a sinus infection simply because you have an overabundance of mucus during this time, and your body can’t fight it.
Sinus Infections vs. Colds. Allergies
Sinus infections, colds, and allergy symptoms are easy to confuse for one another.
- With allergies, you are more likely to experience head fog from sneezing so much and having a runny nose.
- With a cold, you will have body aches, fevers, and chills.
- A sinus infection will have these symptoms but could also include bad breath, post nasal drip (mucus that drips back into your throat), and most notably, sinus pain and pressure. You’ll be able to detect this pain and pressure by pushing three fingers down on your cheeks, just below your eyes, and on either side of the nose.
If you are swollen due to sinusitis, you’ll be able to feel the pressure expand, and the pain in your sinuses will be apparent. A healthcare professional will then need to diagnose and assess a sinus infection. At this point, they’ll be able to determine if you need prescription medication or standard OTC drugs.
Why a Diagnosis and Treatment Are Important
As parents, we usually don’t have time to be sick; we must summon the willpower to continue to adult our way through colds and flu season. A sinus infection can be far more detrimental to our health than we may want to admit.
Furthermore, for our children, it could pose an even larger threat. While not all sinus infections will need to be treated with prescription medication, having a doctor diagnose this for you is important. Why?
Untreated sinus infections with serious bacteria at the root of the problem could grow into more serious medical complications. First of these is an infection that spreads to the eyes, brain, or nearby bones.
The second and potentially fatal infection is meningitis.
Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. There are vaccines that are given to school-age children to protect against this virus, but if it has been more than ten years since their last booster, they could still be at risk for infection.
The Best Essential Oils for the Sinuses
To prevent sinus infections from growing dire or developing in the first place, there are essential oils on the market that work wonders at prevention and treatment should a situation occur.
The list below consists of the top choices for handling and managing sinus issues:
Lemon oil is the top essential oil for the sinuses. For one, it clears nasal passages by working as an anti-inflammatory.
For another, it also acts as an anti-bacterial. So any bacteria or infection that may be harboring in your nasal passages are up against a worthy opponent.
The strong scent of peppermint oil helps to alleviate swelling and inflammation of the nasal passages and helps to clear out any blocked mucus.
Keeping peppermint on hand during a minor cold or allergy season will help prevent your sinuses from blocking up and will promote drainage through your nose. Get those tissues ready!
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a very clean essential oil, meaning it is one of the top choices for antiviral and ant-ibacterial qualities. Bacteria and viral infections are the sources of sinusitis, and tea tree oil works to fight them off.
Black Spruce Oil
Black spruce oil is a must for athletes, as it helps to alleviate minor aches and pains associated with exercise.
For those suffering from sinus blockage, black spruce oil will alleviate the pain from swelling and any chest tightness from coughing or wheezing. It can also help you fight brian fog due to congestion as it helps stimulate cognitive functioning.
Eucalyptus is a tried and true option for those seeking relief from sinus pressure and congestion. It helps to stimulate drainage in your nasal passages and may help clear up any buildup in your chest.
A great option for utilizing eucalyptus in your home is to hang fresh bunches in your shower. The steam can help open the plant and fragrances up to help with any congestion you may be experiencing.
Not to mention how gorgeous it looks hanging in the shower when you have guests come over.
Grapefruit oil is ideal for those needing a little pick-me-up when experiencing lethargy due to allergies or sinus infections.
It works to invigorate the senses and boost mood as well as relieve stress. Many times the aches and pains that accompany these ailments can be too much and cause our moods to drop. Adding some grapefruit oil to your routine may help alleviate this issue swiftly.
How To Feel Better, Faster
There are many ways that you can utilize essential oils to help relieve sinus pressure. You can buy additional tools like diffusers or plug-in air fresheners. You could even buy bottles to spray on furniture or just in the air in general.
But we suggest buying a pack of our AllergyPatches instead. They are full of all the perfect essential oils that you need to keep your sinuses clear and bacteria away.
These guys are mobile as well, so you can still get relief even when you need to leave the house, and each patch offers relief for up to eight hours at a time. Considering other options for utilizing essential oils aren’t able to go with you everywhere, our patches are easier and cost-effective.
This one is great because, as parents, we know how hard it is to keep little ones asleep all night when their noses are stuffy. With these patches, they’ll get a good night’s sleep and wake up the next morning refreshed and with a clear nose.
Get Help When You Need It
Living with sinus pressure and allergies and working your way through colds is a tough job. Almost as tough as being a parent.
The ultimate toolbelt of remedies is a wonderful way to help prevent colds from getting you down for the count. As if you had time to be down anyway.
Anatomy, Head and Neck, Nose Sinuses | NCBI
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis): Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic